Lotus's Birth Story

Hi Nerissa.

After attending your pre-natal yoga classes I ended up having an emergency caesarean, and Amy was born on 17th August weighing 7lbs 12oz.

I just wanted to let you know that the yoga was still very useful to me.

I had a 'show' on the Wednesday evening, so thought things must be happening soon, though as I hadn't even had any Braxton Hicks I wasn't sure. However, I woke early the next morning and thought I needed the loo, and realised that I was definitely having some sort of twinges. At 5am I decided to call the midwife centre in Melton, where I planned to have a natural water birth. They told me that it sounded like I was starting to go into labour and to make myself comfortable and call them later when my contractions were regular or if I had any worries in the meantime. I tried to go back to bed but found lying down was rather painful so I 'pottered' while my husband slept and waited for him to get up for work at 7am. When he arose I told him and he said he wouldn't be going to work then - he was excited though understandably a bit apprehensive too. We started to time the contractions and they were quite erratic, sometimes lasting for 30 seconds, sometimes only 5 and with varying times in between. I got in and out of the bath 3 times throughout the day (that helped) and started to use my yoga breathing techniques early on - I lasted for 15 hours before ringing Melton again at 7pm to tell them my contractions had got stronger and I'd like to come in now - they agreed with no complaints, thankfully. I was worried about the car journey from Leicester to Melton, but we had a relaxing cd on and I started to use a TENS machine that I'd hired as well as the breathing exercises and I actually found the journey quite bearable and not too painful at all. When we got to Melton they measured to see how far dilated I was and found I was just 3cm - they said I could wait at the hospital to dilate further or go home, I opted to wait there in their 'quiet room'. Again I was breathing each time a contraction came, doing some yoga stretches and using the TENS machine, but was quite calm throughout. The midwifes would come and measure me periodically but over the evening I wasn't progressing further than 5cm and my waters still hadn't broke. They eventually broke my waters in the early hours of Friday morning and the midwife said I could get into the birthing pool if I wanted to - I did, but couldn't use the TENS machine in there and the contractions were VERY strong by now so I asked for gas & air- I found that wasn't really any more helpful except for focusing me to keep breathing deeply (I didn't feel sick from it or anything either). I then started feeling the urge to push, so the midwife got me out the pool and measured me again and I was still no further dilated, so she said I was going to need to go back to the Leicester to the LRI by ambulance - I had sort of thought this was going to happen as time had progressed so wasn't surprised, I was more worried about my husband having to drive back to Leicester at 5am when he must have been tired out too! In the ambulance the journey was somewhat more painful than on the way there, so I kept breathing deeply on the gas and air and trying to stay calm - I was exhausted by this point as it had been over 24 hours since the contractions began as well.

At the LRI there were lots of nurses and doctors and 2 lovely midwifes that stayed with me throughout. They told me they were going to have to give me a hormone drip to try and 'move things along'. There was a nurse that insisted on telling me how the contractions were going to be much more painful and that I'd have to wait for 4 hours for the hormone drip to work- her negativity did throw me a bit and I started to worry that I might find it much worse than up to now, so I asked for Pethidine - the negative nurse told me that this would not help really and it would still be very painful, so I tried to remain calm and asked if I could have an Epidural then. My husband asked if I was sure I wanted that as he knew I wanted to have as natural a birth as possible, but I assured him that I was ok with it and that I was too tired to keep up for another 4 hours without it. The epidural was fine - I kept breathing deeply while they did it and it was enough of a relief for me to think I might even be able to sleep for a short while whilst we waited for the hormone drip to work - however, as they were by now monitoring the baby's heartbeat we could hear the rate was speeding up and slowing down really rapidly and the nurses and doctors seemed worried and kept taking tests by scraping the babies head (which was engaged) to check on her. Eventually (around 11am) they said that it was likely that I would need to have an emergency c-section, which I said was fine just as long as we could get the baby out safely - they seemed more apprehensive than I did at this point, I was quite happy for it as I had prepared myself for this as you suggested Nerissa - be prepared for anything and try to stay calm! The c-section wasn't scary at all, the doctors and nurses were all really nice and I was completely aware throughout - even down to what was playing on the radio when they bought the baby out into the world. When they put the baby (Amy) onto my chest and she looked at us with her beautiful little eyes we were instantly in love, and any tiredness disappeared, I couldn't stop looking at her and how perfect she was. I was able to breastfeed her as soon as they took me to the recovery room and we were all very happy with the whole experience. I feel that I had the full birth experience, even if it did end in needing to have drugs and a c-section, the end result was what mattered, a happy and healthy baby. Thank you Nerissa for preparing me so well.