Oh god, it was awful. So bad

Where did you give birth or where was the birth you witnessed?
Manchester

Can you describe where your/the birth was?

I was induced at 38 in a high risk ward as I have epilepsy and my baby was suspected of being a “whopper” (she wasn’t). I spent around five days in hospital and went through a chain of many midwives – I forgot their names as I just seemed to go through one after the other. I progressed through three very impersonal rooms with my mother and husband. There’s a posh food supermarket near the hospital which helped, but on the whole the food was pretty poor. However I was so bored that I was pleased of it – it helped me navigate through each day.

Who was present at your/the birth?
My mother and my husband.

Can you describe the experience of giving birth or watching the birth?
Oh god, it was awful. So bad. After all that waiting, birth came slowly. Contractions suddenly upped after a drip and they spent over half an hour trying to get the tube into my back to help with the pain. Contractions were coming every 45 seconds so I did jazz hands to indicate when they were coming. Except I worried that the hands weren’t enough so I also yelled “JAZZ HANDS”. Writing that now, it’s funny. It wasn’t.

The moment the epidural went in and I came off the gas and air, I was violently sick – the pain was gone. Then it came to pushing. I thought I spent ten minutes. It was much, much longer. Suddenly many people rushed into the room and I was told forceps were needed. A doctor cut me, and then he cut me again and again and my daughter was born. They told me I lost 1.3l of blood, but I didn’t care. I had my daughter. I also got a free husband stitch. Yay (sarcasm. Huge amounts of sarcasm).

I spent the night staring in wonder at my beautiful, beautiful daughter. The next day my in-laws marched into my high risk ward (which I shared with three other very ill women/babies) with my husband’s two grandmothers in tow. They didn’t care that I had lost so much blood that I’d nearly needed a transfusion in the ICU, or that I wanted to be on my own and rest. They wanted to see my daughter. They stayed as I was desperately trying to get myself discharged and nearly chased off the doctor. I remember my mother in law leaping forward and nearly pushing the doctor out of the way as my daughter was undressed to be tested.

My mother was a health visitor for 30 years and she recently told me it was the worst episiotomy she’d ever, ever seen. The biggest cut. Later I got an infection and was re-hospitalised with my baby. The aftercare instructions were to use tea tree oil in a bath and I put too much in – and, again, was hospitalised in extreme pain.

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