Well, hello there blogosphere! I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve not had a blog post up for about a month now and if you follow me on any of my social media channels, you’ll know that that’s because on Thursday, February 2nd at 3.19am, “little” Tyler John Corbett arrived into the world, weighing a super healthy 9lb 5oz! I kind of can’t believe that I’m sat here with Tyler laying next to me about to write out this post! It’s going to be a really, really lengthy one, so if you’re still up for a read, I highly suggest getting comfy and grabbing yourself a hot drink!
I didn’t make it public knowledge at the time, but due to my spd/pelvic pain, I was booked in for an induction on January 29th, 4 days after my due date. On Thursday, January 26th we had an appointment with a consultant at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to see what they could do to ease the pain I was dealing with. I was lucky enough to only suffer with spd in the last 3ish weeks of my pregnancy, where as I know many women suffer with it for a lot longer! Upon meeting with the consultant she was shocked to know that I wasn’t on any pain killers(I honestly didn’t think there was anything you were allowed to take during pregnancy apart from paracetamol) so she quickly wrote me out a prescription for codeine phosphate which we were to collect from the hospital pharmacy. I was also given a stretch and sweep to see if that would kick start things(spoiler alert, it didn’t). I was pretty nervous to have this procedure done as I had read so many conflicting opinions on it online from different women’s experiences. Thankfully, it wasn’t so bad, just uncomfortable, but not painful, so if you’re booked in to have one any time soon, I really wouldn’t worry about it! Just relax as much as humanly possible, which I know is easier said than done, but it really helps!
That evening I went home and practically started praying that our little boy would want to make his appearance that night! Of course, Friday came and went and there was still no sign of me going into labour any time soon and before we knew it, it was Saturday night and I was still very much pregnant and not feeling any different at all!
As per the consultant’s instructions, on Sunday morning at 11am, we called the hospital to find out what time they would like us to come in. I spoke to one of the midwives and she informed me that she would call us back as soon as they knew what time we should head in. Four hours passed and obviously, being sat on the edge of our seats with our coats on, we decided to give them another call just to make sure we hadn’t missed their call or they’d forgotten about us or anything! Thankfully, they hadn’t forgotten about us, they were just a little too busy for us to come in yet! Eventually, after a few more nail biting hours, we were told to arrive for just after 7pm.
So off we popped for the lengthy five minute drive.. it really felt like one of the longest drives of my life though, knowing that the next time I would be getting back into the car would be with our son. Despite being told on the phone that a bed would be ready for us around 7pm, we actually ended up sitting in the little “living room” area until 11pm! We were finally taken to a bed on the maternity ward shortly after 11pm to start the induction process, hallelujah! Like a lot of maternity wards, partners aren’t allowed to stay with you past 9pm. I had read about this prior to being at the hospital but I kind of just assumed that Jack would be able to stay with me whilst I had the induction started, but Jack was told to leave almost as soon as I sat on the bed.
Once I got over the anxiety of staying on my own until 9am the next morning, bump and I were put on the heart rate and movement monitor for half an hour before having an examination and the 24 hour pessary(propess) inserted. I’m not going to sugar coat any of this blog post, so I’ll just start by saying that this first pessary was extremely uncomfortable when it was first inserted. The midwife that was seeing to me at the now ungodly hour of almost 12am said, “sorry, I just want to make sure it doesn’t fall out,” so you can imagine the jabbing about she was doing down there. Following this, I was put on the monitor for a further half an hour before being told to get as much rest as possible. Being the anxious mess that I am, I had a pretty rough night, waking up almost every hour and then being woken by the midwife to have my vitals checked every couple of hours too. But this was only the beginning of what would be a further long four days.
(how friggin huge was I?!)
Monday, January 30th arrived and at 9am, Jack was allowed back on the ward. He bought me two magazines(bless him, I’m still yet to read them!) and a Tesco’s meal deal with juice, a flapjack and a falafel and hummus wrap, my favourite! I didn’t feel any different body wise to what I had felt like the night before, but I still had a further 14 hours to wait to see if I would need another pessary. We basically spent the entire day twiddling our thumbs and scrolling through social media, just waiting for something to happen. But sadly, 9pm came and Jack was once again told he was to leave the ward, which, just as the night before, left me feeling even horrendously anxious all over again! But the one thing that helped me to keep it together was knowing that at around 11pm, I would be being examined again and seeing if I would need the second, but now 6 hour pessary, which would hopefully actually get things going! But sadly, things don’t always go to plan and there are certain things that are out of our control. So instead of being greeted with some good news at 11pm, I was told that my induction process would be paused and not continued until further notice as there was no space available on the labour ward, meaning that if the second pessary did get me started with my contractions, there would be nowhere for me to labour. Great!
Of course, I 100% understand why they had to pause my induction but at the same time, it was so frustrating, especially since I didn’t know when they would be able to continue with it! Sitting and waiting in a hospital is never fun, especially when you’re nearing a week past your due date and in pain with every step you take.
Thankfully, I had made pals with a lovely girl named Melissa who was in the bay next to me so I wasn’t completely on my own that night, although I did have to call Jack to have a good frustrated pregnant lady cry. At that point, all I can remember thinking is, I’m really never going to have this baby! I tried to get some sleep but once again, it was another night of waking up every hour or so either needing to pee or just feeling incredibly anxious.
Tuesday, January 31st came and it was at this point that I just knew that I wouldn’t be having a January baby after all. After what felt like the longest night of my life, at around 10am, I was having my second, now 6 hour, pessary. We had another half an hour either side of the pessary being inserted on the monitors and were told I would be checked over again at around 4pm. Despite being in pain from my spd, I was determined to get things started, so Jack and I began to take little walks around the hospital.
At around 12.30pm, Jack and I found ourselves downstairs in the canteen on the hunt for vegan food, which surprisingly, wasn’t too difficult! We sat and ate our wraps and chips(nom) but then I started to get these strange, almost like constipation pains at the bottom of my stomach. We continued to eat our lunch and just enjoy some time away from the maternity ward but these pains seemed to suddenly get stronger and more constant, at which point I thought to myself, “crap, I better get to the loo soon!” So we began the long walk back up to the ward. So now walking was not only painful in my pelvis and legs but this weird pain in my stomach was actually making it difficult to walk too!
Once we arrived back at the ward, I went to the bathroom but to my surprise, I didn’t actually need to go.. the strangest feeling when your brain is telling you, this must be poop pains! It was only then that I thought, could these be contractions?! Surely not, as the pain was so continuous and constant and I was pretty sure that contractions only lasted a certain length of time before dying down and rising back up again? Right? We requested to speak to our midwife who offered me paracetamol. I took the two painkillers but in all honesty, they did squat. So we sat there on the ward, patiently and uncomfortably waiting to be examined at 4pm. This quickly became 5pm and the before we knew it almost 6pm. We were finally put back on the monitor yet again, only to discover that I was having five to six contractions every ten minutes! Our midwife suddenly became very vague and distant which made me feel extremely uncomfortable and nervous. The half an hour on the monitor quickly became an hour and we were then told that I would once again be having my induction paused.
Was someone having a laugh with me or what? Surely if I was having all these contractions it was a good thing? Apparently not! Apparently you can contract too much, which we were told isn’t good at all. We were then told that I would be monitored through the night before another pessary or any other medical intervention could be used. Queue breakdown number three. I sobbed my little heart out and apologised for doing so(why do I do that?) and I couldn’t bare having to spend another night alone in the hospital, still not really knowing what was going on. Thankfully, the midwife must have seen how distressed I was becoming and there was a “side room” available so Jack would be allowed to stay with me, hurrah! At this point I gave the midwife the best cuddle that my beach ball self could master! What a babe! Okay, so Jack being there didn’t mean that it was going to make the baby make his appearance, but at least I knew I would be able to get some proper rest, knowing that I wasn’t on my lonesome!
We were then shortly moved to said side room, which was basically a small room with a bed, a sink, a wardrobe(why?) and a chair in, but perfect none the less! I was just still so overjoyed that I wasn’t going to have to spend another night on my own. The pains/contractions continued through the evening and we were monitored once or twice(I honestly can’t remember, eek sorry!) through the night to see if they were continuing as frequently or dropping off at all.
Half an hour after the pessary had been inserted, I hoped in the shower and tried to make myself feel a little bit human. A short while later at around 9am, I was starting to get some really intense pains in my stomach, so intense that I just knew this was the start of my labour.
It wasn’t long before I started clinging onto Jack every time I was having a contraction and saying, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this!” I knew I wouldn’t be checked over again for a while so I really started to panic thinking, “how the hell am I going to deal with this pain?” I think it was around 10.30am when we requested to see our midwife as I was really struggling to even speak through contractions now. At this point, the only things they could offer me for pain relief were suggesting a bath, paracetamol or pethidine. The thought of being in water made me feel nauseous, let alone the thought of trying to get out of a bath with the horrendous spd pain I had. Knowing that paracetamol hadn’t really helped the day before, I sat there really begining to consider pethidine. Pethidine was the one drug that I was really opposed to taking during labour as I had read so many negative things about it online on the effects it could have on the baby. After a chat with both Jack the midwife, I decided that I would try the pethidine. Queue the horrendous guilt! I felt like I’d failed already and I’d barely just begun!
Whilst waiting for the pethidine and anti sickness injections(pethidine can make you feel queasy and/or vomit, lovely), our midwife sat with me and helped to time and breathe through my contractions. I was having contractions that were lasting 45 seconds to a minute long and then having anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute and a half rest between them. Intense. That’s the one word that truly describes how that felt. Fucking intense. Okay, two words. At this point, the midwife informed us that we would be taken up to the labour ward at 2pm, which was still a couple of hours away! The pethidine arrived and it was injected into my leg, followed by the anti sickness injection in the other. Within minutes, my face began to feel really weird. It felt really tingly and heavy and before I knew it, the pethidine was taking effect! Just as the midwife had said, it wouldn’t necessarily make the pain less intense, but it would make me “not care as much” about it. Honestly, the strangest state I’ve ever been in. I was sat on the chair in the corner and when a contraction would come, I would do my deep 4 second breaths and as soon as it passed, I would almost pass out in a weird relaxed trance.
This weird limbo feeling lasted about an hour and half before I started to feel more “normal” again. After what felt like a lifetime, my mum had arrived and we were ready to be on our way to the labour ward! Seeing as I couldn’t stand or speak through my contractions, I was wheeled up in a wheel chair, backwards for some reason? I had started to feel really sick so this really wasn’t helping.
We arrived in our labour room which was nick named “the Peppa Pig pink room” due to one of the walls being painted bright pink! I was quickly told to try out gas and air and despite not wanting to, I gave it a go. I mentioned to one of the midwives that I was starting to feel rather sick so she fetched me some peppermint essential oil to sniff, which she taped to my bra strap so that I could really give it a good whiff. I proceeded to tell everyone in the room that I didn’t find the gas and air was making me feel good at all and before I knew it, I was vomiting into a cardboard bowl, so classy I know. So it was safe to say that neither the peppermint oil nor the gas and air were agreeing with me.
Two more hours passed and by 4pm, I was getting ready to have my epidural, hallelujah! I didn’t really have a birth plan as I knew that things don’t tend to go to plan when you’re labouring and birthing a child, but the one thing that I knew I would request if I was struggling to deal with the pain was an epidural. I was so “unstable” through my contractions that the midwife actually said to me “are you sure you’re going to be able to remain still enough to have the epidural done?” Yes. Yes I bloody was.. and I was! I was laid on my side as the epidural was inserted and honestly, I personally didn’t find it a painful procedure at all! Within 20 minutes, after almost 7 hours of it feeling like there was a nuclear war going on inside my womb, the epidural had taken effect and I honestly can’t tell you the sheer relief that I felt as the contractions started to fade away!
Things progressed and continued pretty smoothly for a couple of hours. I had my waters broken(there was A LOT of water, so much so that when I moved onto my side at one point a whole load more came gushing out and went all over my socks, aren’t I the most glamorous person in the world!) and was dilating well! Around a cm every hour to an hour and a half. but of course, nothing runs smoothly forever and at around 6.30pm the first of many complications began. Due to the intensity of my contractions and the speed of both mine and baby’s heartrate, it was necessary to take a blood sample from Tyler’s head to make sure that his oxygen levels were doing okay!
Thankfully, the results came back almost instantly and little man was doing just fine in there! Although, we later discovered that he was squishing my urethra tubes which meant that even though I had the desire to go to the loo, even being catheterised couldn’t get the pee out! Another odd thing that I’m going to find really hard to describe is that even though I was numb from the pain, I could feel this pressure down in my nether regions, which I assumed was the sensation to push! Of course, we were not ready to push yet but trying to fight against that feeling was so difficult and felt so, unnatural! Thankfully, I managed to mentally block the sensation and after about an hour or so, it seemed to subside.
At one point, there were quite a few midwives, nurses and doctors coming in and out of the room to check on the monitor reading of mine and Tyler’s heart rate as his was dropping and mine was rising. Because of this, it was decided that we would try and get a more accurate reading of baby’s heartbeat by attaching a small device to the top of his head. Sadly, this failed but things started looking okay on the regular monitor again so we stayed put for a while.
We tried to use a catheter again but despite now having had almost 3 litres of IV fluid and drinking almost 2 litres, there was still nothing coming out! At this point, a registrar was called to our room to examine me and see if he could make sense of all of these things. He discovered the urethra tubes situation and also that baby’s heartrate wasn’t stable and his head was in a very awkward position. After a lot of talking and another blood test for baby, we were told that we would need to head to theatre to attempt an assisted delivery with forceps and if that didn’t happen we would need to have an emergency c-section. This was when my panic set it. Not only the idea of going into theatre and possibly having to have a c-section, but that I would not be able to bring both of my birth partners with me (Jack and my mum). So Jack scrubbed up, I said goodbye to my mum and before we knew it, I was in the theatre with about 10 people around me, still not really fully understanding what was going on.
I was told that the doctor would be attempting to move the baby out of his awkward position, which felt atrocious not going to lie. Of course, I couldn’t feel pain as I had the epidural which had just been topped up by the anaesthetist, but it was honestly the strangest sensation,, someone was trying to move a baby’s head that was inside of me. I was then told that we would only have three or four pushes before we would have to change from an assisted delivery with a “kiwi” and forceps to a cesarean. Despite being terrified, I was so determined not to have a c-section(for the sheer fear of it) that I was just overcome with this strength I never knew I had. As soon as the first contraction came, I was told to push “like you need to do a poo,” so that’s exactly what I did! I pushed my way through three contractions taking huge deep breaths when I was told to and as if by magic, at 3.19am, Tyler John Corbett had arrived, weighing a whopping 9lb 5oz!
I was instantly shown my gorgeous little baby and I instantly broke into a flood of tears before he, as everyone in the room described it, let out an almighty “squawk“! Things became a little rocky after this moment. Baby Tyler coughed up a little blood, which I was quickly told was mine and not his and not to worry, but before I knew it, he was whisked away and as I was laying down on my back, I couldn’t see him. I began to ask where he was and I was repeatedly told not to worry, that he was okay and just being seen to, but I then saw my midwife run over to an intercom like telephone and the words “paediatric” and “emergency” came out of her mouth before two people came running through the theatre doors and disappeared beyond my view. I was still repeatedly told not to worry and that he was fine but I later learnt that he was “shocked” but quickly came around and was just swell!
I on the other hand, was losing a lot of blood. I had had an episiotomy and also tore upwards(thank god for the epidural aye). All I can really remember is laying there thinking, I’m dying, I’m dying. I hate to sound so melodramatic but I honestly felt like I was going to die right there in that theatre. I do remember saying that I felt a bit weird to the anaesthetist to which he asked “are you in pain?” which I wasn’t, I just felt really, odd. I think I remember asking again and again if everything was okay and for a little while, I don’t remember anyone saying a word, not even Jack.
Before I knew it, I could see Jack holding our tiny(read: huge) bundle of joy all wrapped up in blankets. I just remember focusing on that and repeatedly asking Jack, “is he okay?” which he now, thankfully was. As I was having my stitches done, I was then told that I’d lost approximately 2 litres of blood. To say that the average person holds between 4.7 to 5.5 litres of blood, I lost a fair amount. This later resulted in a blood transfusion to up my iron levels but I’ll be talking about that in a separate post.
It wasn’t until 4.20am that I got to hold my beautiful baby boy in the recovery ward. We shared our first precious cuddles and he had his first feed and we were even made coffee and toast! I still to this day can’t believe that any of this happened! Of course, I know it did in fact all happen as the memories are there, but it all sort of feels like one big dream, I can’t explain it! I am forever grateful for all the staff at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for everything that they did for myself and Tyler and I will forever be in debt to Jack and my mum for being there with me throughout the entire process. I am one very, very lucky lady and I am also now one extremely proud mumma! So, here’s to your life Tyler, I hope it gives you everything you could ever dream of.