Bringing Noah into the world
So when I wrote my blog about the birth plan I already knew I was going in to be induced the following day. A decision has been made between myself and my team all round that I was getting too tired and epilepsy was so unpredictable that baby would be better outside of me at the first chance possible than me carrying to 40 weeks. The next three blogs will cover labour and birth, aftercare in the hospital and then our first week at home.
On Wednesday 10th June we arrived at the hospital and were given a bed in an induction room. Little did we know this would be our ‘home’ for the next two nights. Early on the Wednesday a team of doctors came around and confirmed my birth plan was as it had been written up by my obstetrician. The original plan was then to induce me whilst we were sat in that room. However they went away and obviously had a chat and came back saying as I was high risk they didn’t wish to start induction incase there wasn’t a bed in the high risk unit. So that’s where we sat for two days, not always patiently but as I pointed out to Chris they couldn’t magic up a bed, and I’d much rather know when we were induced we would have everything we needed for baby rather than being somewhere where if things went a bit wrong there wouldn’t be someone to hand.
On Friday 12th at 0600 we were woken up by the midwife and told we were being moved, it shocked me out of sleep and we were moved pretty quickly, I was then given breakfast and a cannula put in my arm all within the hour. So shock horror I was sick and then became very faint, the night midwife then appeared to panic and scuttled off to get a more senior midwife. They then decided that because of this they wanted to see the doctors before they would proceed, no matter how many times I said I was ok, I was very frustrated. It was almost like she had had orders to get me induced before the day staff came on and it back fired just a little bit.
Shortly before 14:00 my obstetrician came in with what seemed like a million other doctors and midwives (ok that’s an exaggeration but it was a lot) and he said he couldn’t understand why I hadn’t been induced already. He ran through the birth plan with them again just to make sure they were clear on when meds needed to be given. I then asked him if I would be done by the end of the week. Being as gentle as he could he said being a first time Mum and being induced the induction could take a day or two for the initial stage to work. I could still be in labour early the following week. Up until he came in it had seemed as if my opinion hadn’t counted for anything until the obstetrician came in, it was only then it seemed that anyone was listening to me because they had seen the relationship and understanding I had built with him. I have had epilepsy for 22 years, I think I’m the best qualified person to talk to.
So then the fun began, at just after 14:00 I was induced to be checked again and another round of gel would be administered. I walked that labour ward with my sister until I was making myself dizzy, but I was determined to make this as easy as I could. I felt faint and I was concerned about the epilepsy but seemed to be coping well. So much so we were sat watching Inbetweeners and chatting away. As it turned out I didn’t need that second lot of gel which really shocked me. The anaesthetist came from nowhere just after midnight to say she had instructions to administer an epidural. Again I ended up being really sick, but luckily by this point the midwife and anaesthetist were following my lead where the epilepsy was concerned. My waters were broken at 01:30 and from that point on I did not feel a thing because of the epidural, at this point I also took Clobazam as agreed in the birth plan. I think it was a brilliant choice by my team to suggest both the epidural and Clobazam, and I am so glad I took the advice, even though the Clobazam made me very tired. I managed to get a bit of sleep and I think that helped no end. At 10:00 the obstetrician comes back and I was 7cm dilated, I have no idea who was more shocked me the obstetrician, midwife or Chris. My obstetrician said that rather than waiting 12 hours for the next dose of Clobazam to take it at midday as I think he knew if I waited the 12 hours it would be right on top of me having to deliver baby. They said they would be back at 14:10 to check on me again. When they did I was 10cm dilated and ready to deliver our baby. My midwife who had been fantastic the whole way through said she was going to give me 20 minutes to allow babies head to drop. She was well aware that for me pushing baby out was going to be the most tiring part, and having been awake for the best part of 25 hours and having had minimal sleep the two previous nights she wanted to make it as easy as possible. I made the decision not to have a top up of the epidural, I wanted to feel what I was doing rather than relying on someone else to tell me. Despite their objections they respected my choice and am I glad they did.
As I was about to start pushing the midwife who I had seen at my GP surgery appeared as if by magic, she told me that she had been on a transfer from the birthing centre and had seen I was ready to deliver and wanted to be there. This woman was worth her weight in gold, I had seen her the day before and she had been fantastic answering all my questions and reassuring me. So I was very glad to see her. The midwife who was delivering our baby was lovely but hell did she turn into a drill sergeant when I began pushing but returned to her lovely self the minute baby was here. However the only voice I could really hear was the GP midwife. I started pushing at 14:40 and by 15:09 our beautiful boy was here. The doctors, midwives and staff were full of praise that I had a textbook delivery. Finally after a horrid pregnancy I had an ‘easy’ labour. Something had finally gone right!
First few hours
As they delivered baby the midwife from the GP surgery was fantastic, knowing my concerns she started talking to me as they placed our baby boy on me. She reassured me he was a good weight and that they weren’t going to take him away from me (my fear had been he would be taken into neo natal care because of the meds). They then took baby to clean him up and do checks. The midwife changed my gown knowing how squeamish I am to make me feel better. She kept reassuring me that he was ok, and reminded me that I had had a little boy. At this point I think I was in shock and still drowsy from the meds Id taken in labour. I can never thank the midwife for her reassurance as they took baby away, and just knowing my concerns and needing reassurance. She remembered everything I said to her the day before and was giving me the information on each and every concern I had raised. It also turned out she had predicted his birth weight! The only downside to all of this was that I was so weak I couldn’t really hold baby straight away, I was too spaced out. Chris went off to make excited phone calls to our friends and family, he was a very proud new Daddy. I remember my sister asking me if I could take Noah and my saying no, when I did this she came and sat on the bed as close to me as she could so that I could touch and look at him without being the one to actually have hold of him. I can’t thank her enough for that.
Most of that evening passed in a bit of a blur, Clobazam always makes me spaced and tired and I was really feeling it. I had baby in my arms as we were moved from the birthing room to the post labour ward, and even in that short journey and in a wheelchair I felt like I was about to pass out. I didn’t feel that my son was safe in my arms and handed him back to Chris as soon as I could. I was hearing people talking but not really taking in what they said. We had a stream of visitors which was lovely to see how much Noah was already loved. However one thing that broke my heart was that both my Mum and Mother In Law fed him before I had, I just wasn’t up to it. I don’t know how I could have changed that because I don’t know what would have made me feel strong enough. I can’t and don’t blame either of them either because it was my decision not to take him knowing I wasn’t in a fit state to. I was already on my 4th bag of IV fluids.
Overall I was so incredibly lucky that he arrived as safe and easily as he did, and I don’t regret any choice I made with the birthing plan. I do wonder if I could have done anything to change how I felt post birth but I have nothing to compare it against. However none of that compares to what it was like to settle down as a family of three that night. That moment made every second of the last 9 months, every seizure, bruise, injury and moment of worry worth it. I never believed I could love Chris more than I did but seeing him with our baby boy in his arms made me love and respect him on a level I never knew existed, and I knew how very very lucky I am.
My names Faye, mostly known for being a tea addict and keen runner and swimmer. I'm 32, married and I had my 1st child in June 2015, oh and I also happen to have epilepsy. This is my story of Pregnancy, Motherhood & Epilepsy.