A Forceps Delivery

My waters broke. Well. Burst.

I initially thought I’d lost the plot and wet myself, but when it kept coming, I knew what it was. While it was happening, I just stared at my husband, P, and when I was sure what was going on I said. ‘Yeah, this is it.’

I went to the toilet and was surprised at how much water was falling out of me. It didn’t stop! P went and got me a maternity pad, which quickly got used up! He called my parents and my sister and told them that our boy was on his way.

Contractions started a couple of hours later, but it didn’t take long for them to be less than 5 minutes apart.

P drove quickly and quietly to the hospital, and even though I’m sure it was a hellish journey for him, I was in another universe by that point. I couldn’t talk during or in between contractions and I kept clicking the wrong freaking button on the TENS machine, so I shocked myself when the contractions had stopped!

When we arrived P shouted, ‘There she is! There she is!’ Because my sister, N, was stood at the door waiting for us. Seeing her was a form of pain relief.

Obviously, I didn’t run, but I felt like I ran to her and grabbed her. She hugged me and told me I was doing amazingly, and even though I felt like I was doing disastrously, I chose to believe her and that made me feel good.

We met our midwife, E, and straight away N or P, or both, announced that we desperately needed an epidural please, immediately, thank you (as requested in my birth preferences).

After an internal examination E announced that I was 5cm and the epidural could go ahead. I was mooing very loudly by this point and trying hard to utilise my breathing skills that I had been learning. Things were getting unbearable, and I was trying to lift my body away from the pain. I read that you need to embrace the pain and accept that it’s happening to you. I tried my best. But, overall, pain isn’t really my thing.

From this point on everything was even more blurry, and out-of-body-like, so my memories are hazy, and I had no real sense of time.

I was sat on the edge of the bed with N and P holding my hands. The lovely anaesthetist explained to us the risks of the epidural. I paid little attention to this and signed away. I just wanted it.

My contractions were coming thick and fast, so they gave me gas and air to help with the pain. This was a low point for me. I could feel it working, so I really went for it on that pipe. However, I’ve never been drunk before. So that feeling of being completely out of my head freaked me out.

I felt like my voice was slurred and in slow motion, and I had no control over my body or what I was saying. I looked at P and he was biting his bottom lip and his eyes were wide. This is the look he makes when he’s worried about something. It doesn’t happen often. So, I asked N to give him a hug. Then the anaesthetist put the epidural in, and I couldn’t feel anything other than a cold tingling in my back.

Afterwards he said that it would take about an hour for it to kick in, so I had to keep going with the gas and air until then.

E said that she would expect things to be close to pushing time in about 4 hours.

So, I lay back on the bed, slowed down a bit with the gas and air and looked forward to having a sleep. P went off to get our things from the car, so it was just me and N. While P was gone the pain had changed from being mega intense to being like my bad period pains again. So, I felt like the epidural was working and I could relax a bit.

However, after a small while the pain moved from the front to the back. There was so much pressure in my bum!

I remember Mum telling me that pressure in your bum means things are getting close. But I didn’t think I was anywhere near close. E had only just left us, and she said she’d be back in four hours to give me another internal examination. N shoved the gas and air in my mouth whenever I started shouting, ‘My bum, my bum!’

When P got back he saw what was happening and said he wanted to get the midwife. I protested because I didn’t want to bother her for the four hours she’d suggested, but while I was protesting P called her. When she came, she examined me, and I was 10cm! She said it was time to push, and I said, “No, thank you.”

I hadn’t finished the build-up yet. I wanted my four hours of epidural time. And the epidural hadn’t even properly kicked in yet! I was 5cm about an hour ago!

Before I knew it, P was holding my right arm, N was holding my left, and they were telling me, “This is good,” and, “We’re ready,” and, “We can do this!”

E told me to breathe and push three times during a contraction. I focussed on this and surprisingly felt relief in the pushing. It felt like I was finally tackling back at these terrible contractions, and I was getting somewhere.

They were going to stop because I was beating them.

I don’t remember what P and N were saying, but at the time I was trying to do everything they were telling me.

E then said she couldn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat because mine was all over the place.

She put a little monitor on baby’s head, which I didn’t feel at all, but at this point I started to worry. She said he was feeling a little stressed in there, so she wanted to get the doctor because we might need some help getting him out.

Forceps were my biggest fear, and I told her that, through my panicky tears.

Then came Dr C. He had a perfectly trimmed beard and shockwaves hair and he hit me with his laidback attitude immediately. He mentioned forceps, and my world came crashing down.

He looked at me and said, ‘Now, tell me why you don’t want a forceps delivery?’ and my mind went blank. Why didn’t I want a forceps delivery? I mean, ideally, I didn’t want a delivery. I just wanted a baby to appear with no need for excruciating pain or everlasting bodily damage. E called me on it. She said, ‘You’ve been watching too much One Born, and it’s just not like that.’

P went off to go and get scrubs on and before I was wheeled into the white room with the audience E said to me, ‘If this was happening to me, I would want Dr C,’ which gave me another piece of comfort.

I started to panic when I couldn’t see P, but he turned up looking like a surgeon in his scrubs. He sat down and put his face right next to mine and I just wanted to look at him.

I was terrified, but P made my heart calm down. Like he always does.

Then it all kicked off. I still had to push, which I wasn’t expecting, but it felt good to be able to help. I didn’t feel pain or discomfort, I just felt tugging. I pushed hard. I pushed my best. Dr C told me to pant, and then for the final push I wasn’t allowed to make any noise. So, I went for it, and out he popped.

They put him on me for 20 seconds, but I started to panic because he wasn’t crying.

Dr C told me to chill out #classicDrC because the cord hadn’t been cut and this was normal. They then took him off me and P was able to cut the cord.

When P had gone, they put my baby on me again, but he was so close to my face I couldn’t really see him very well. I remember, the song ‘It’s alright now, baby, it’s alright now,’ came on and I welled up a little. Very literal lyrics, but very true. Everything was alright now.

Dr C had given me a sneaky episiotomy, and while he was stitching me up, I asked one of the many members of staff in the room to swiftly hold the babe because I was going to vomit everywhere. Which they did, and I did.

In the recovery room I saw P feeding our baby boy, and that’s when I felt happy. That’s when everything fell into place and I realised that the last nine months of misery, and the last 8 hours of insanity were all for this. Me and P had made a person, and he was here.

P looked so wonderful sat there feeding him. If I could re-live any moment in my life it would be that one.

Published by RaisingBoys

I’m Kelly. I’m 34 and I am a primary school teacher (when I’m not mumming). I live in a thin, tall house with my thinnish, quite tall husband and two beautiful boys. I love writing, and am trying to keep it up so I can keep a piece of me.

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