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Hayley’s Birth Story – the Plan and the Reality

Hayley sent us through her Birth Story and we wanted to share it as it’s a little different to the usual use of a TENS machine in labour  – read on….

“Hayleys Birth Story – the plan – and then what ACTUALLY happened”

After a false start two weeks before I was due and then going 8 days over my due date, the contractions finally started at 2am on Thursday 2nd March. To start with they were manageable and sleep was still an option. Around 6am the contractions began to ramp up and after a few more hours off to the hospital we went. I had always expressed my desire to have a natural birth using calm birthing techniques, a TENS machine and gas and air, if needed. My story turned out very differently!

Upon arriving and being checked over, I was barely dilated – how frustrating given how much pain I was in. I was moved to the labour ward for monitoring (I was a high risk pregnancy as I am epileptic). A shot of morphine did not assist in providing any pain relief or assist with getting any rest. At around 4pm, and still only being 1cm dilated, it was suggested that I go back home and try to rest. Upon returning home, I began vomiting and the pain continued.

At this stage my husband hooked me up to the TENS machine. Feeling exhausted and with contractions every 2 minutes I laid down and managed to use the TENS machine to relieve the pain, which allowed me to doze in between contractions. This was so helpful as rest was most welcome by this stage. At around midnight, it was time to head back to hospital.

With no further dilation and a very sensible midwife, it was decided I would be induced at 7:30am. With another shot of morphine and gas and air there was a little sleep to be had. Once the hospital shift change over had happened, an epidural was administered and induction began. By this stage I had given up thinking a natural intervention free birth was possible. However, I could now sleep. I dozed for half an hour at a time, either waking up refreshed or exhausted.

At 3:30pm I was checked over again and told I was still only dilated 4cm. In a dozy state I was told that baby was tiring and heart rate had been dropping. Hubby, who had been trying to get some sleep as well, was straight on his feet. We were told that baby was head down, but facing the wrong way so it was becoming difficult for all involved. An emergency c-section was the only option left. At this point I burst into tears. I had never considered having a c-section and it was quite a shock to be told I had to have one. However, it was the best option for baby’s safety.

In a flurry of activity I was whisked off to the operating theatre, prepped and my epidural topped up. Within a short period (and a lot of being tugged around) our beautiful baby girl Elsie was born.

A c-section was truly a strange experience. I found it a bit like a magic trick – someone puts a curtain up in front of you and then after some jostling about a baby appears. A wonderful, gorgeous little baby.

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