I feel I should just add this warning.. The rest of this post may be triggering for some people.
Following on where I left off. Little was placed on my chest immediately after delivery, after what I experienced all I wanted to hear was that little newborn cry. Thank god he did cry just as he was being passed to me. I was now laying on my lounge floor in some form of post-birth adrenaline rush, trying to take in what had happened.
Anyone that knows me personally, would know that I wanted my birth to be intervention free. I kept positive thinking throughout my pregnancy in preparation for a positive birth experience. I practised breathing techniques and listened to some hypo birthing. One of my wishes was a physiological third stage. In every day terms, I didn’t want the injection to help deliver the placenta following the birth. After a natural birth, I was happy to let it come away on its own while I breastfed Little.
Because I opted not to have this injection we waited until the placenta came away, I can’t remember how long it took but it didn’t feel too long, I was too busy bonding with my gorgeous little squish who I had waited so long to meet to care about anything else. Another of my wishes was that Little had an umbilical cord tie instead of the plastic clip, the midwives were happy to put this on. But did use a plastic clamp also as they didn’t quite understand the instructions.. We bought our cord tie from Umbilical cord ties by heartstrings on Facebook. We had a basic tie, navy blue with a star. You can find her page here!
Things seemed fine briefly immediately after placenta delivery. My placenta was huge! Everything was intact and all seemed well. I was laying down still at this point and kept feeling gushes. The midwives looked each time I felt a gush but were not alarmed at this point. After more and more of these gushes the midwives took away the inco sheets to the kitchen for weighing.
While waiting for the sheets to be weighed the midwife wanted to check for any tears, I remember how incredibly painful this was from when I had Big. So I asked her to hold off for a while. Second midwife returned to the room and I heard the weight of the inco sheets. 1.75kg I had no idea what this meant, but quickly from the midwives tones I could tell something was up. At this point I still felt okay in myself. I had a feeling this meant I would be transferred to hospital and then the 2nd midwife phoned 999 for an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance to arrived I was examined to find a small 2nd degree tear but this was not actively bleeding. Although I was still bleeding from somewhere. It felt like the ambulance arrived very fast, Husbot and a student midwife had taken little to the bedroom to get him dressed ready to go in the car to the hospital.
As the midwives started to get me up I suddenly felt dizzy and collapsed. It’s weird, I don’t faint often but the times I have done, I always have a little dream. I was only out for a few seconds, and I don’t remember what I was dreaming of but I remember I had a dream. I come around to a lovely student midwife Tania calling my name. The ambulance technician came into the room with a chair to get me down the stairs and strapped me in with lots of blankets. From here things are pretty sketchy. I remember the lovely female paramedic telling me that I would be okay as we got to the bottom of the stairs, I don’t remember her name but she had brown hair and told me she had a 2litre pph when she had her daughter. It was reassuring to hear that and she rode in the back of the ambulance with me and the midwife. I don’t remember much from the journey to hospital. But the bits I do remember haunt me. I vomited quite a lot, but the midwife told me that was normal from the medications I was given to stop the bleed.
Something that plays over and over in my head is something that you hear on TV in these A&E programmes. The paramedic called the hospital and I just remember her saying
“I’ve got a 22year old female, post partum haemorrhage 1750ml loss, ETA in resus 7 minutes”
At this point,I panicked. I didn’t realise we were going to resus. Resus? Why? I’m not dying am I? Someone phone my husband! Please please phone my husband tell him were going to resus not labour ward. Make sure he knows where I am, he’s got my baby with him!
It was just after 6am we arrived at hospital. The resus team were at the doors waiting for me. They had time to source a team up on labour ward for me so I was taken straight there, which is what I had expected. It was terrifying to be honest. Bought into a room of what felt like 15 people. The paramedics handed me over and the doctors and midwives set to work. I had a catheter inserted which I really didn’t want to agree to, but I knew it was for the best and I didn’t feel a thing.
I was put on oxygen and according to one of the midwives (a family friend who had been waiting in the room for my arrival) I was very very pale. It was reassuring to hear a friendly voice, and someone who knew me as Chezz not Cherise. I cannot stand my name! The team continued to work on me and a doctor removed another handful of clots. I saw a lady walk into the room with some blood ready to give me. But the doctor decided to hold off and sent it back.
Over the next few hours, midwives changed from night staff to day staff and my care was taken over by another lovely midwife. I was so hungry and no one would let me eat incase I needed to go to theatre. As soon as I was allowed food she made me a huge plate if toast and a cuppa. It was much needed, I hadn’t eaten since our McDonald’s dinner the night before! I had blood results back, and it was decided that I didn’t need a blood transfusion. I have no idea how much body had avoided that one!
Later in the day I was examined internally by my midwife to check my tear, I declined any stitches for this due to the pain. It was 8hours post delivery and I was not being messed with any longer. She agreed she probably would have left it to heal naturally too. Personally I felt the recovery was much less painful than when I had stitches with big!
Mostly it ends there. I was lucky enough to be discharged from hospital the same day. The staff would have preferred me to stay in for the night, but did agree to let me go because I was so stubborn.
Some bits of my birth I had little recollection of. I attended a ‘birth after thoughts‘ session at my local hospital a few months ago, I really helped fill in some gaps. I had some questions I needed answering. I found out details of the shoulder dystocia that Chase experienced. He was stuck for a total of 5minutes after his head being delivered. This is quite a long time, and during the debrief the midwife was quite surprised that Chase did come out breathing. I was so so lucky he didn’t need any form of resuscitation. He has no lasting damage. No broken shoulders, and generally was in a very good condition for a baby who was stuck for so long. Some babies with SD aren’t quite so lucky. After narrowly avoiding a blood transfusion I count myself very lucky. I had a total loss of 2000ml – Basically half the blood in my body, and what the midwives classed as a ‘castatrophic’ haemorrhage.
Some points I have been reflecting on over this time though mainly come back to “what could I have done?” In fact, nothing is the answer. The shoulder dystocia would have occurred had I been in hospital anyway. My midwife had no reason to believe I would have a large baby as I always measured spot on, I even had a growth scan which was hugely out. I always knew he would be big though.
The PPH, well.. that is debatable if it would have happened had I been in hospital or had different midwives attend my birth. Following a shoulder dystocia, fast labour and a large baby I should have been advised to have the injection for the placenta, this may not have completely prevented the pph, but it likely would have lessened the amount. Although I didn’t want the injection, had the benefits of it following my delivered been explained I would have accepted willingly.
Following Chase’s arrival I’ve been left with pretty terrible anxiety, and probably post traumatic stress disorder. I regularly get flash backs, but that’s for another day. All in all, I would still recommend a homebirth to anyone considering it. I was just unlucky but so many ladies go on to have perfect, peaceful homebirths so don’t be put off.
Baby Chase Elliott. 30th January 2016. 9lb 8oz. 4.37am