In tribute to Emma from A Matter of Choice celebrating the birth of her new baby boy last week, Jenny and I chose the theme of Birth for this week's Flashback Friday. We'd love for you to link up an old or new post with the subject of birth. It can be a birth story, feelings about birth before a baby or after a baby, or any take on the theme that you may choose.
If you've read my blog before you'll know that I had two quite different birth experiences.
Charles' Birth was exactly as I hoped. I laboured a lot at home, which I wasn't aware of until I went to hospital and was told I was 8cm dilated and would have a baby in my arms in around an hour! I was in a birthing pool and the experience was amazing. I has gas and air just halfway through the labour then decided I didn't want it anymore so for the rest of the birth I had no form of pain relief at all.
I was talking throughout the whole labour, and excusing myself when I had a contraction, then would apologise and return to the conversation.
Honestly the only painful bit was when his head was crowning. Ouch! The burning feeling was intense but it was over in a matter of minutes and forgotten about really.
I had problems afterwards with my Uterus not closing properly, the valves were still open so I was bleeding heavily so had to be put on a drip. Charles had to have a tiny bit of Oxygen via a mask but it was around 8 'puffs' and he was fine. We were assured that this was quite normal and nothing to panic about.
His birth was everything I had wished for and for a while I thought that maybe it was so perfect was because I had been so positive during my pregnancy and has asked nicely for this perfect birth.
Then, came Harry's birth.
If I'm being honest I wanted the same birth as I had with Charles. I begged and begged for a water birth and after a lot of faff and rubbish communication from the midwives I was taken off consultant led care to then be eligible for a water birth and to be able to go on the Midwife Led Unit.
The morning of the 4th of July I woke up grumpy. I expected him to be here by then and was annoyed that he wasn't. I cried to my husband, he went off to work and sat down and had my breakfast. I was cuddled with Charles on the sofa and then BAM!
My contractions were really odd with Harry, they were very painful, not at regular intervals to be able to be timed.
The midwife led unit said that I could go over, despite the contractions not being regular. I found when I was stood up that the contractions were coming fast, then I would sit down and there would be nothing. The midwives said it was clear I was in labour and to stay in.
I remember walking from the car to the hospital entrance and having an intense contraction. After they told us to stay in they said we should go for lunch. Walking down to the Cafeteria I had 11 very strong, very public, contractions. I was so embarrassed. We decided to go back to the room.
12 looooong hours later I was fed up and told the midwives that there was definitely something wrong because when I pushed it didn't feel right.
I was right. There was something wrong.
I was taken out of the pool, had an internal examination and that's when the midwife felt the vessel.
I was then taken onto the delivery suite, examined by a registrar, our hero, who was able to bypass the vessel, break my waters and safely deliver our baby.
We were given the diagnosis of Vasa Praevia and after researching and talking to various midwives I realised just how lucky we were to have been able to take our baby home.
I just used gas and air during my labour with Harry and realised why some women use strong pain relief.
For months, and months I had the most horrible flashbacks. Occasionally I still do. The flashbacks always ended badly. Without me taking our baby home.
I now have mixed emotions regarding his birth.
I feel as though I shouldn't have issues over it because I should be over it by now. I think that because of people around me obviously feeling the same.
They stopped asking how I felt, stopped asking how the flashbacks were, so I felt like I should just keep the feelings locked up.
I'm also trying to block out the Flashbacks as much as I can now. I'm trying to regain control of my head and although it can sometimes feel like a war going on up there I feel as though I'm definitely getting somewhere.
By myself, without no help from anyone.
I've realised that I need to think positively of Harry's birth, despite the fact that it wasn't as perfect as I wanted it to be.
One day he will ask me about his birth, his wife will, his children will, and I don't want to be negative about it. I will share what happened because we are lucky, so lucky, to have him here. But I also think it's an example of how amazing our bodies are.
My body put that vessel in the way, I'll never forgive it for that, I'll never forgive what might have happened, but at the same time my body also told me that something was wrong.
And, my body went through a lot that day. The hours of intense contractions, pushing, the painful examinations, and then an 8lb 9oz baby coming out, not to mention the awful after pains I experienced which I didn't have with Charles.
It's also not going to achieve anything by thinking about the what ifs. That time has gone now.
Everything went well, in the end.
What might have happened doesn't matter, because it didn't happen.