Mystified Mum

And So It Happened…

by Helen Livsey

 Alex Cowland and his partner Helen, welcomed baby Theo into the world in May 2018. Here in a piece taken from Helen’s blog ‘Mystified Mum’, she gets ‘down and dirty’, giving an honest account of a rather tricky birth.

This is it! It’s what I’ve been waiting for; my moment to regale my very own traumatic birth story to you all! It wasn’t like the Niagara Falls gush I had imagined; like the ones you see on telly. To be honest, I just thought I’d had a bit of a wee. But it kept happening throughout the day. I’d been doing my pelvic floor exercises like the midwife had recommended, so couldn’t understand why I kept wetting myself uncontrollably before birth. Wasn’t this supposed to happen afterwards?! Mine and Alex’s parents came over that night and kept telling me to call the hospital, but I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time with tales of my weak bladder. The next evening though, after leaking all day, conducting several Google searches, and reading blog after blog about labour, Alex insisted I give the hospital a ring. It turns out my waters had broken, and because I’d left it over 24 hours they offered to induce me right then and there. No way! I wasn’t ready for this. I hadn’t packed my swimming stuff for the glamorous water birth I’d been told I’d be having (well, minus the ‘glamorous’ part). I hadn’t even done my bikini line! Mainly because I hadn’t been able to see my ‘what-not’ for several months. And this was all because I chose to believe everyone of you that told me I’d go over my due date. In your face! You were wrong! We left it another 12 hours instead, but it was obvious nothing was going to happen, so after a blind attempt hacking away at said bikini line, and shoving loads of stuff into a suitcase, we went to the hospital to be induced meaning no glamorous water birth.

It was horrific. Not just the constant contractions it brought on. They were to be expected. It was the other patients I was surrounded by. Now I’m very aware I’m beginning to sound a lot like my
grandmother… I knew people like this existed in Burnley, I just didn’t realise in what quantity. The woman in the next bay to me was a candidate for The Jeremy Kyle Show; 23 and pregnant with her fifth baby (I know. I’m a cow. But where did she find the time?). She insisted on having her bedside TV on as loud as it would go, blasting out Olly Murs, while having a slanging match with her equally putrid boyfriend during a consultation with the doctor. After listening to her go on and on about how slow her labour was progressing, and her constant to-ings and fro-ings to the smoking shelter, my contractions were worsening. I couldn’t hold it in any more and let out a slight whimper of pain. In her finest ‘Burnley patter’, and loud enough for the whole ward to hear loud and clear, she said that she “couldn’t stand listening to that all night.” In the end I was progressing far quicker than her, and was whisked off to the delivery suite, taking her place in the queue (haha!).

Mystified Mum

The first family photo

I took all the drugs I could get hold of. Gas and air was crap. As if you didn’t feel bad enough with the horrific pain of the contractions, try adding the feeling of wanting to vom’ everywhere into the equation. I chose to have morphine. It was amazing. Life was amazing. I loved everyone and everything until I fell asleep and it wore off. ‘Splodge’ had gotten into an extremely peculiar position during my power nap, resulting in bloody horrendous pain. I was talked into having an epidural, and thank God I did! If I thought morphine was good, it was nothing compared to that concoction. I certainly felt better in the end than Alex did, who passed out with all the stress while the anaesthetist administered it, taking the midwife down with him. All I can really remember after this point was crying and apologising for him fainting. (Sorry babe, I had to put it in. It makes for a better read).

It turns out I really did need an epidural. ‘Splodge’ wasn’t for budging, even with forceps, so I had to mark an ‘X’ on the dotted line to agree to a Caesarian. Now I definitely don’t have a bikini body, but I’m OK with that. ‘Splodge’ turned out to be an 8lb 7oz baby boy with loads of dark hair and he’s perfect. So perfect I don’t mind being pooed and puked on daily.