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Oh Rachel, "the head is still very high" was what my midwife @annanella told me on Wednesday afternoon. I had woken that day feeling very different, my mood had changed and I felt fed up. This was new for me as I had been so positive and excited throughout my pregnancy. I was 38+2 weeks pregnant with my first baby. Anna suggested I have some acupuncture to try to move my baby down into the pelvis. I agreed and off I went to see Babs. The next day I was at the hospital again for a scan to check on the position of the baby, to my great joy the acupuncture had worked, the baby was finally engaged. Inspired, late that afternoon I went back for more acupuncture and whilst waiting to start the treatment I had a show so I asked Babs to do a full induction treatment..... I started contracting in the car on the way home.

I was full of hope and excitement. My husband had a night at the pub planned with the dads from our antenatal class. As it was only 2 minutes walk from home I packed him off with strict instructions to stay off the beer!


Gradually, during the evening, the contractions got more regular and coordinated. I sat watching the film 'Touching The Void', making an anniversary card for Max, we had been together 5 years the next day....could the baby really arrive on that auspicious date?! Max came home from the pub and we decided he should try to sleep in the spare room, so one of us was fresh.. I got him to help me put on the TENS machine and then it was off to bed for me. In spite of the excitement I managed to doze between the contractions but when I felt them becoming stronger and about 2-3 in 10 minutes I woke Max up. This was the time I felt I needed to go to the Birth Unit. I called Anna to let her know. How lucky I was having my friend to look after me. She would meet me there. The car journey was tricky, all fours on the back seat looking out of the back window. I knew Max would miss a turn somewhere so I had that to concentrate on too!


When we got to hospital there were friendly faces to greet us, the advantage of birthing at your workplace I suppose. After I had settled in to the labour room Anna had a listen to the baby and wasn't quite happy so she decided that I needed to be monitored for a while, just to be sure all was well. To cut a long story short, it wasn't, so my Dr was called. When he came, he decided that he really needed to break my waters, which he duly did, only to find meconium stained liquor (the baby had pooed inside). From that point things all went very quickly and it feels a bit of a blur. The baby's heart rate dropped significantly for a protracted length of time and I knew things were going badly. I felt sick, I was sick and soon there was talk of me probably needing to go to theatre for a caesarean section. The anaesthetist was soon on hand and all my hope for an intervention free, drug free labour flew out of the window. I was scared, though knew I was being well looked after so accepted my situation. The surgery didn't take long and soon my beautiful boy was out. Right then it didn't matter a jot how he had arrived, just that he was safe and in our arms. My love for him was instantaneous and all still is 12 years later.


Unfortunately my Birthtale didn't end there, after spending the day falling deeper in love and showing Linus off to our families I had to be rushed back to theatre. I had a postpartum haemorrhage, I lost about 3 litres of blood. I needed a general anaesthetic in order that the Dr could quickly control the bleeding (I had a 4 unit blood transfusion) and get me stabilised again. This was all dealt with quickly and efficiently, though I know that it was terrifying for Max. He called my brother, who came to support him whilst I was in theatre. He cradled Linus, worrying, but eventually relieved when I came out safe and sound..and so the three of us started to recover from our Birthtale together.

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