When a birth plan goes out the window

Labour was slow and painful for first time Mum Sandy Fazio...

When a birth plan goes out the window

I was lucky to experience a fairly easy pregnancy and right on the evening that Sam was due, I started getting pains. “This is it!” I thought, and I felt like I was coping quite well with light contractions every 20 minutes or so.

This carried on through the night and I found it difficult to sleep or rest. Not much changed for the next day and night but by the evening of the third day, the pain of the contractions had become more intense.

We spent some time at home using the birth ball, bean bag cushion and a tens machine to deal with the contractions. By the middle of the day, I thought it was time to go to the hospital. I was wrong! They sent me home until I was truly in labour.

We went for a walk in a nearby park. By the evening, the pain had stepped up a few notches and this time I wasn’t going to let the hospital send me home again. We had wanted a water birth but unfortunately their only pool was already in use so we carried on using the birth ball and tens machine. My waters broke on the ball and from that point things started to get very intense. My contractions started slowing although the pain seemed continuous. We were lucky to have an excellent midwife who recommended some pethidine to calm me down as I was starting to panic from the pain and lack of sleep. Despite deciding in our birth plan to avoid pethidine at all cost, I jumped at the chance. It worked. I felt dopey but it helped to get me to the last stage of things.

Our midwife encouraged me to have a natural birth despite the labour taking so long. I now felt the urge to push but hadn’t quite reached full dilation and Sam’s head was quite big. He was getting bruised and swollen which was making it harder for me to push him out, and the midwife noticed he was in some distress.

I felt like I had been zapped of all energy. The midwife called in the doctor who suggested using the ventouse which helped to bring his head down a bit but it popped off. Things reached critical.

Someone said, “He has to come out now.” I immediately had an episiotomy and had one forcep inserted. I remember feeling the most intense pain imaginable. It jolted me into pushing Sam out.

After about two days of pre-labour and 12 hours of intense labour, he was born a healthy 8 and a half pounds. He had experienced some swelling through the trauma of birth and needed to be observed for his breathing. Although at the time this was incredibly worrying, he made a quick recovery and was a healthy baby boy.