Oonagh's Story

I was due on September 4th 2013, and throughout the whole pregnancy I had been worried about the actual giving birth part. I did Nerissa's yoga class to help prepare me for dealing with labour when it eventually came. My waters broke the day after my due date and when I spoke to the midwifes they asked me to come in to be examined- I went in and because I hadn't had any contractions they sent me away- I expected that the contractions would come any time soon- as it was my first baby and I didn't know what to expect I felt really anxious and found it hard to rest or sleep constantly waiting for something to happen-I spent most of my time listening to Nerissa's incredibly relaxing voice on cd which really helped. When my contractions hadn't come by the end of the next day I was getting even more anxious but really using the breathing techniques we had practiced for actual labour really helped to keep me calm.The midwives asked me to come in next afternoon to be induced as nothing had happened by day 3- this was over 48 hours since my waters had broken and both the midwives and I were starting to get worried about infection and how things what would happened - by the time I was assessed by the midwifes and the doctors it was 8pm on a Friday night and the medical team decided I needed to go straight for the drip to be induced- I was happy with this decision but I was quite anxious and worried about how I would cope with the pain- the staff told me that going straight to full blown contractions with the drip without my body having had time to build up gradually with its own contractions might be quite painful. So as it was late on a Friday and there was only 1 anaesthetist on duty I opted to have an epidural straight away. I had 9 hours of strong contractions, thankfully feeling very little pain but with each contraction my baby's heart rate dropped-I was examined and despite the 9 hours of contractions I had only contracted to 1.5 cm, the decision was made to have an emergency Caesarian section. This was one of the scariest moments I have experienced as I was wheeled down the corridor on my own leaving my husband to get changed and ready for theatre. Throughout the operations the staff were wonderful calming and reassuring but I still felt really panicky and scared- the only thing I found helpful was focusing on my breathing just like Nerissa had told us. My son Ruairi was born at 4.15 am on 8th September, 57 hours after my waters had broken! He needed to be taken away straight away to see the paediatric doctors to make sure he was ok- thankfully he was fin. My husband held him while I was being stitched up- this felt like a life time but in reality was only 5 minutes and we got the first skin to skin contact and started feeding shortly after.

In my birth plan I had said I wanted to keep things as natural as possible but if I needed help I would be accepting of whatever the medical team needed to do in order to keep me and my baby safe.I didn't quite expect things to work out like they had- with no natural contractions, no pain and not to dilate at all- although not a typical delivery I really felt that everything I had learnt with Nerissa was really crucial in helping me stay calm most of the time.