Jade's Story

A letter of congratulation to... me. 

Dear me,

You may not remember the she-woman that you became in the early hours of 26th October 2017... so let me remind you. 

Hmmm. Ok well - it didn’t quite go as “planned”. 

Suffice to say that you went against every point made in your everso funny birth plan (we’ll come back to its hilarity later)

This involved: 

No vaginal examinations - check, I think several times. 
A birth pool - no check in. 
No manual breaking of waters - check and pricked. 
You forgot to mention: No back to back births! Those surges... surges? No, surge sounds too delicate. These were... intensifications, fusillades - (I googled that one, you can have it for free.  ) “the pain’s in my back, no my front, back to my back... oh help!” 

The noises that came out of you resembled a walrus. Ben, through trial and error, had managed to find a way to bring relief. 

‘It’s amazing, (cue David Attenborough voiceover)….watch how the partner too instinctively explores  to ensure as much discomfort is removed.’ 

The scarf around your tummy pulled super hard and his foot in the lower of your back - like he was putting you on as his boot. God bless him, he pulled and pushed like his life depended on it and you were so very grateful. 

Ok, so as unplanned, you’d had several uncomfortable hours riding the ‘surges’ (doula noting that she thought it was back to back quite early on). 

You insisted on going to hospital for relief. You deliberately avoided the concern on doula’s face.... Problem was, despite the pains and squeals you were not h’actually in labour. Right. (Drums fingers - if this isn’t labour then I’m tapping out now. ) 

Ok so here’s the thing….when you arrived at hospital, the midwives huddled round, giggling at the wit of your funny birth plan. 

It wasn’t a list of orders. It was just a request to be treated like a woman becoming a mother for the first time. A human being. And the way you got that was to speak to the wives and nurses as humans too, respecting their personalities and knowledge. 

The relationship between patient and midwife had been strengthened. It’s got the same give and take as a teacher and parent relationship: 

the teacher holds the experience, knowledge and qualification; the parent knows more about their child and when the two work together, you get a positive learning experience. 

On the day of birth, you knew your body... what it could and couldn’t do and (most of) the midwives believed in you giving you their knowledge to guide. 

Anyway, the nurses certainly knew more in your situation. An early epidural (at only 3cms but following on from some pethidine to try and get some rest) and the nip of your waters and your baby began to cooperate and swivel to a more practical position to give birth. 

You rested and chatted through the night feeling like a different woman; you could take on the world. The labour then progressed beautifully and before you knew it was time to push. 

“Oh right... I’m not sure I’m ready for that part. I’m ok where I am thanks. In fact, I’m good to go home.” 

You’d forgotten about that part hadn’t you? With all the excitement you’d forgotten about the actual journey through the canal of no return. 

The pain relief and rest had done its job and gave you energy and drive to push your baby. 

The time came. You managed to flip yourself onto your knees, monitor in sight, facing the clock, you rhythmically pushed with the rises of the monitor. 

One midwife came in and swiftly left after admiring how well you were pushing. Oddly, not long after, the chief midwife came...twice even, insisting stirrups were necessary. 

Why? Why when you were progressing so well, completely under control and with baby’s heart rate showing perfect and normal? 

It seems you weren’t the only one facing the clock. It felt like there was urgency everywhere. Obstetricians, kiwi cups, student midwives... 

You complied, warily, to the insistence on cuts and cups and put your faith in the knowledge around you. 

This is the one time you questioned your control but you did some insisting too – pushing, and being fully part of it. Playing an active part in the delivery of your baby. 

So… despite the journey’s derail there’s not one thing you would change. 

Well perhaps the Zambuka flavoured Gaviston to help with heart burn - but then we wouldn’t have had the comedy power spew. 

And perhaps dad using the same wipe you used to clean the muck off baby’s head, to wipe the tears from his eyes. 

And definitely be better prepared with thicker sanitary towels next time. 

Your experience showed that cohesion, instincts, medics and understanding can work together to deliver life positively into the world. 

Love, me.