I had a beautiful baby girl 2 weeks ago and like many mums went over my due date, when my waters finally broke, I thought we were in business - but she had other ideas, 48 hours later I was induced and the process finally kicked off but after thinking I was in labour - the pain was certainly there, I wasn’t, that was just the induction working. When my contractions were every minute and lasting 40 seconds I again thought we had lift off but instead I was given an injection to slow them down and put on a drip, although I was 4cm dilated so a flicker of hope was there and I was in actual labour, so not long to go then?
14 hours of labour later and only dilating another centimetre with involuntary pushing and a swollen cervix I was given an epidural – the one thing that I wanted to avoid and the thing I was most scared of, but once I had it and I was given 2 hours of rest whilst my contractions continued it was clear that the baby just didn’t want to come out and I was taken down to surgery for a caesarean.
At the time I was really disappointed with myself that I hadn’t been able to have a natural birth and was now, after all that going to end up with an operation and a longer recovery time the other end, but once they did the operation they found she had turned herself and had the umbilical cord round her neck so there was no way that I would have delivered naturally without putting the baby at risk. This actually made me feel a lot better that it was something that couldn’t be avoided and throughout it all the baby had not once been in any distress so all round it was the best thing to happen.
I think the most incredible thing was about to happen though that once I had seen my gorgeous, perfect baby girl and was stitched up and wheeled through to post op, all the pain, the waiting, the discomfort seemed a million miles away and I’d forgotten what it felt like because every second was worth it. I always thought it was strange how people say you forget about what you’ve gone through when you’ve got your baby in your arms but it is so true. Even though I had lost a lot of blood and was weak and had to deal with the recovery, my milk coming in, the breast feeding, staying in hospital and everything else you face as a new mother I would do it all again if the outcome is this rewarding.
2 weeks on and I am mobile, we’ve been for a walk in the park, shopping and on the beach, something I wouldn’t have thought I’d manage in the first weeks after having a caesarean but I think if you keep an open mind and take everything in your stride and accept help when it’s offered you can do almost anything. I’m even back to writing blogs and doing work on only a few hours sleep – and believe me – if I can do it, anyone can.
So, if you’re thinking of having a baby, are pregnant or run your own business and wonder how you might cope, then take it from me, it can be done. My best piece of advice, coming from someone who wanted a purely natural water birth is to keep open minded and flexible and to do what is best for you and your baby. I am no longer disappointed with myself for not having a natural birth, I now know that that is the way it was always going to go and I’d have done anything to get my baby out safely and have her in my arms.