When Little H arrived.

I’ve read loads of birth stories in the last 9-ish months since getting involved in the mum blogging community. Before I became a mum I would have shied away from reading them because of the scary realities within; post-baby I felt drawn to them. They reminded me of when that fateful day arrived for me. I’ve debated writing my own birth experience so many times but I’ve never really found the words. It didn’t go ‘to plan’ and part of me feels like I didn’t manage to do it properly because I needed help; whilst the sensible part of me knows that’s not true it’s a feeling I can’t shake. On top of that – I don’t really remember a lot of it!

I remember being overdue. It was cold and I couldn’t walk far but I’d enjoyed a relaxed afternoon sitting on my swiss ball playing on my laptop. I spoke to Sam on the phone as he was going for a quick work drink. I was preparing to make fish and chips for my dinner. I had resigned myself to another night sans bebé. I was so sure nothing would happen in fact that when my jeans were suddenly rather wet I assumed my bladder had given out! But no, it hadn’t…

My ‘birth plan’ saw me staying at home until contractions were close together; in my head I would relax on my swiss ball watching ‘Friends’ re-runs. I wish I’d been able to read The Mum Reviews post – Why birth plans are a waste of time for first-time mums – to give me a sense check. From the beginning my labour wasn’t as planned. My waters weren’t clear and I was instructed to head to the Maternity department at our nearest hospital. Yet I couldn’t get in touch with Sam!

I’d like to tell you at this point that I remained calm. But did I heck! I panicked. I rang Sam a zillion times leaving him very stressed voicemails (which we both agreed he shouldn’t ever listen to so they were just deleted after the whole event!) and waddled round the house cursing under my breath. I took all of my yoga breathing techniques and NCT teachings about oxytocin being your friend / adrenalin your enemy and chucked them our the proverbial window. Then I spent who knows how long (I think about half an hour) pacing about packing a woefully inadequate food bag (I forgot the bloody squash) and carrying hospital bags to to front door whilst convincing myself I’d clearly packed far too much (when in fact it turned out later that we barely had enough). Fun times all round. And there wasn’t a single episode of ‘Friends’ to be seen.


Eventually Sam got home, we made it to the hospital (my contractions started in the car) and I was checked into triage. I sat in a waiting room as my pain increased with Wolf Hall on the TV – it was not ideal watching. Sam tried to change the channel and the best we could do was some show about pets with David Tennent doing voiceover on a hamster mooching round it’s cage. I kid you not – it was weird. Eventually I was moved to a bed and monitored; all was good with me and the mini but we needed doctor sign-off to go to the ward / maternity led unit (MLU). The doctor was in surgery. So I was stuck labouring alongside women who were there for mid-pregnancy checks. I was so self-conscious.

Eventually a kind nurse let me use the bed at the back of the triage office. About 4 – 5 hours after we arrived I was finally OK-ed to move to the midwife led unit and I started to relax. Then time started to pass in a blur. I spent a lot of time in the birthing pool and getting a bit high on gas and air. The pain got worse and was killing my lower back (why does nobody warn you that the pain will be in your back?!) and I couldn’t stomach eating anything.

Eventually I remember being encouraged out of the pool. I remember being told to start pushing. Apparently a couple of hours past and there was no arrival. I was exhausted and my contractions were slowing so I was taking down to the consultant led unit. They needed to take me to theatre to try and ‘help’ her out. A rather militant midwife tried to get some last effort out of me but no matter how matronly she was, it didn’t work. I had to sign my name to consent to going to theatre – the scrawl is barely legible on the copy I have for my records! I remember Sam looking tired, exhausted and helpless.


I’m going to pause for breath at this point because almost 12 hours has passed from me entering MLU to being taken to CLU. 12 hours! In my head I can’t understand how that long passed. Apparently Sam had 3 sandwiches from the MLU kitchen during that window. I don’t remember that either. Not knowing bothered me. So when Little H approached her first birthday, I decided to ring the ‘Birth Afterthoughts’ number on a card in her Red Book. It’s a service offered in my area to allow mothers to find out what happened during their labour. For whatever reason, they never got back to me and I let it pass. Then ‘The Second Birthday’ loomed ever closer and I knew that I HAD to follow it up again. So I wrote to the Senior Midwife at the hospital. I irrationally feared they would tell me “No, you’re too late to find out.”. I have no idea why. Aside from the fact that I have a legal right to see my notes, the hospital also got in touch quickly and we’re incredibly friendly. They booked me in for a chat.

Turns out everything was going really well. I was fully dilated by 6:30am but it looked like the baby’s head wasn’t complete clear and she was still sat near the bottom of my spine. After 3 hours of pushing I was transferred to the Consultant Led Unit; mini’s head hadn’t moved down at all. Then another hour passed with no movement, but my contractions had slowed because I was tired. That’s when they took the decision to take me theatre. If her head had been lower they’d have used forceps in the room but there was a chance she’d need to come out by c-section. It’s possible she was in the wrong position because I had such strong back pain by the end but we’ll never know for sure. Apparently it’s not uncommon in first time mums for babies to struggle to turn because abdominal muscles are just so tight. Damn rowing for giving me such a strong core!

But I don’t remember that. What I do remember is that I never wanted to have an assisted delivery. I definitely didn’t want to have pain medication administered through my spine (I HATE things going near my spine). But yet I found myself sat bent over having a needle pushed into my spine. I found myself not caring as I wanted some relief. That relief quickly came. And then not long after (and on the doctor’s third attempt with forceps I’m told) Little H was here. She was here and everything that had taken place before didn’t matter!

But it’s still nice to know what happened.

I’m not sure if the service open to me is available throughout the country. However, if you have unanswered thoughts and questions about a birth experience, I would strongly recommend looking into speaking to a consultant midwife about it. We all legally have a right to see our notes and asking for a short meeting to be taken through them could be enlightening / help to bring some closure. It was a massively cathartic experience for me and I’m so glad that I followed through with it. All I did was write to the Senior Midwife at the hospital and ask for their help…


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19 comments On When Little H arrived.

  • I had my first baby at 20. I read as much as I could read about labour. But on the way to the hospital when I was having my contractions I got shooting pain through my thighs. I was really scared as I have never heard of this before, but as soon as I got to the hospital they told me it was normal. I have since had 2 more babies and learnt that every birth is different and you can’t really know what to expect #DREAMTEAM
    Natasha Mairs recently posted…January’s Degustabox Unboxing and ReviewMy Profile

  • I also read everything the first time. My birth plan was like yours. It didn’t work out that way! Well done! #familyfun

  • Our birth didn’t quite go to plan either – I was the same I didn’t want an assisted delivery but I ended up needed a little assistance in the end. It’s amazing how much you will go along with during birth when you were so adamant not to previously…the intensity of it all floors you! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x
    Talya recently posted…How can we empower girls to love themselves?My Profile

  • Having only done it once I know it’s scary stuff giving birth. The unknown and all that. I suppose looking back it is a bit of a blur for me too but what I’ve come to realise with reading all the birth stories is that once baby is in your Arms it doesn’t matter what happened!!
    ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…Let’s Get Flushing with #FamilyFunLinkyMy Profile

    • You’re completely right – once your little one has arrived safely then it is all irrelevant. And I’m told every single birth really is different! Thanks for reading xx

  • Oh goodness, so not quite as planned then. Well done you! Oh course, once the bundles are here, we tend not to look back that often. Everyone’s experience is so varied and it’s interesting to read you had some blanks as to what happened. What a lovely service to be able to go back and find out what did take place. Thank you for sharing your birth story with the #DreamTeam x
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#DreamTeam Linky 41My Profile

    • It was amazing to have that focussed time with the midwife to discuss it. I’m so glad I did it. I’m sure anyone could get it if they asked, but I wouldn’t have thought to if the service hadn’t been available. I feel like I’ve put the whole thing to rest in my head now! Thanks for reading xx

  • Sounds like not too many complications which is good. But really tough nevertheless! We had a similar problem with the head not moving near the end. When he did come out he had a bloodshot eye from being stuck for so long, so the three of us looked terrible (but happy). #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Yes, I’m relieved nothing went wrong because it could have. Credit to the medical staff for intervening before she got too tired really. I wonder if anyone (aside from the rich and famous) has an attractive first family pic?! We look knackered in ours. But happy too! That’s the main thing right. Thanks for commenting xx

  • aw it sounds scary. and 12 hours is such a long time but I imagine it just kind of goes by in a haze. three sandwiches made me chuckle. i had a planned section with my son but i started getting a lot of pain the day before in my back and i had a show. when they put the spinal in, it was a relief then! #fortheloveofblog

    • Yeh, we’re a very food orientated family! It’s astonishing how quick the spinals work isn’t it. I can understand why people opt to have them! Thanks for reading xx

  • Ah I think it’s so good that this service is offered to mums. I was fortunate enough to have a very straightforward labour, but I know many people that have been left traumatised by what they went through. I hope you feel better now. You are definitely not a failure, it sounds like you did amazingly!! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…Pack up your Toddler in your Change BagMy Profile

    • Thank-you, that’s sweet. It’s so easy to think you did it ‘wrong’ when things don’t go to plan. I definitely feel better now. Glad you managed to have a straightforward labour though – it’s nice to know people who do as it reminds me each birth is different! Thanks for reading xx

  • Thank you for sharing your story with us, that must have been hard to write, but I hope it’s helped. It never goes to plan, I barely know a single person who stuck to their birth plan. At the time you just need to go with the flow and make sure that you and the baby are OK, that’s the important thing. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x
    The Pramshed recently posted…Gifts for a newborn babyMy Profile

    • Yes, a safe outcome is definitely the main thing! It’s taken me 2 years to reach the point I wanted to write this post but I’m relieved I have done. Thanks for reading xx

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About Me

Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (5 & 2). I'm a Gardener, am houseplant obsessed and addicted to tea. By day I work in tech and also look after my littles. I'm trying to get our family to live a more sustainable life. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Twitter so you never miss a post. Hope you enjoy reading!

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