So here it is! The baby email! A bit late but its been quite the ride!
Last Friday morning Patti gave birth to a bouncing baby boy! (still need to pick a name)
Just as Rich’s email highlighted how things don’t always go to plan, here is another slightly unforeseen birthing journey…
Weirdly, our boy was exactly the same weight as Lola, 7lbs 14oz. But that’s where the similarities probably end!
I’ll try and tell the story…..
Last Tues i go off to Southampton for a meeting. Patti calls me on the train saying that she thinks the show has happened. Amazing! we’re off. She then calls me back telling me she thinks her waters have actually also broken, and I’m steaming the wrong way out of London.
The thing was that her contractions hadn’t properly started.
As you know the midwifes will tell you that you have a 24hr window to get surges going or the risk of infection is a reality, as the baby is no longer surrounded by a sterile environment. This time frame used to be 72 hours a few years ago, so we just sat tight at home and tried to ‘get things going’(!). Not alerting the homebirth team or anyone. This went on all Wednesday and Wednesday night. We blew up the pool, covered the floor with sheets and sterilised everything. Then we thought we’d better see which home-birth midwife was on duty to prepare ourselves. And from that point everyone we spoke to urged us to go into hospital to get checked out and basically turn ourselves in (“for the sake of the baby!”). It was really hard. Patti stood up to them a lot but it began to make some sense to go see someone. Had we seen blood in the discharge? etc..
So on Thursday afternoon we went to Homerton hospital, and there we stayed.
From the checks, Patti was absolutely fine. The baby was fine as well. But it was clear we weren’t really walking out of there. So around 5pm I went home to get our bags. It was very gutting. Walking away from our house…I’ve never cried so much in my adult life.
But this was happening, so I clicked into action mode. Then on the way back to hospital the Hackney traffic was mayhem. I was on a bus that was not moving at all. So my Hollywood moment came when I demanded to be let off the bus in the middle of the road. I had 4 x bags full of baby stuff and a wife in (albeit) early labour. But the bus driver refused, so I hit the red emergency button, the doors flew open and I leapt into the traffic. In my heads crowds cheered. In reality all I was thinking that getting run over at this point would be very bad for all. I then did that funny walk/run thing the last 10mins to homerton.
On arrival, Patti was already in her room in the Labour Ward, and it wasn’t actually that bad. Friendly midwives, put your things here, dimmed the lights, put the tunes on, a bit like entering a new hotel room, sort of. Of course we both knew what might be ahead. We were on a different path but one we felt was probably about right at this point. If homebirth was to go wrong it was always gonna be straight to the labour ward, so deep down i thought of the possibility. The good thing being (and true for most of this story) we’d heard of all the stuff they offered from you so i was prepared and confident about the choices.
In fact the whole hypno course, which I thought had gone 100% to waste by this point had infact been invaluable. It only really dawned on me a day later that it had personally given me a ton of confidence about child birth I never previously would have had. Enough to make it through this tale….so thank you Kat! It’s what you take in your head, after all….
So…. back to the story….They came and fed Patti, but not me, so I ran out and came back with a pizza. I got a 20% discount from the nice lady when i said where I was taking it away to. It was Yard Sale pizza in Clapton High St. Try them …
What then unfolded was almost textbook intervention territory.
Patti was examined and was only 1cm. She had a artificial pill to kick the surges into gear. This took her from 0 to 100 mph pretty fast. She was hooked up for monitoring baby’s heart and her own contractions plus a drip and blood pressure arm band. It was obvious this wasn’t gonna be about windchimes anymore. 4 hours of that become extremely painful so pain relief was needed. At this point she was still only 2cm! It was heartbreaking that we still had so far to go and she had already been in so much pain. I think she went through some strong paracetamol, then found the gas and air on tap (which I essentially administered for 6 hrs!) then an injection of pethidine (which didn’t touch the sides) and finally the infamous epidural, which they upped the doses of twice. It was very tough to witness, to put it mildly. She was a total legend.
Then incredibly she was reexamined a few hours later and was 10cm! – much to everyone’s total surprise (seriously they were shocked). All the pain had come from her body artificially opening super quickly. The pain relief could barely keep up. It was c.3am and we were given 90 mins to rest before ‘the pushing part’. 4.45am came and it was full-on physically pushing. Patti become really focused. The end was in sight and the adrenaline was kicking in and really helping. This was the most positive bit of all.
The pushing lasted 2 hours! Although didn’t feel like it. Dawn had started to break….I was so impressed with Patti, as were the midwives. Of which there were 3 cheering her on / ready to catch… By this point she’d been up over 3 days! They threatened forceps near the end but we were not going to let them have everything their way.
He finally arrived at 6.58am on Friday. Bloodied, but unbowed.
We had a baby. And the birth was now behind us. With slightly less frankincense than predicted.
We spent all of Friday recovering in hospital. Patti stayed in over night with her amazing mum, i passed out at home for 13hrs! Sat afternoon we finally came home. Man, it was serene at home
And after all that. Our little man seems to be a total chilled out dude (for now)
crazy. unplanned. birth.
Not quite text book hypnobirth on the surface (try the polar opposite!) but we both agreed that your course totally prepared us on the inside.
Thanks again for everything
see you soon
Matt & Patti xx