‘Babe… I need an epidural…’


An epidural isn’t something I take lightly. I’m petrified of needles. I don’t want a blood test never mind a tube placed into my spine, so you can appreciate how delirious I must have been from the pain to agree to something like this..
My nearest and dearest also know how independent and determined I am.

I’ll do it myself, thank you very much.

The idea of begging is totally beyond me, however every ounce of pride, or what was left of it considering when you give birth people see more than they should, was washed down the drain! ‘Please, please, please, please… I need this! I can’t cope.’ And I’ve suddenly started weeping! Moaning, then weeping. Then moaning a bit more. Weeping again.

‘I’m sorry Sophie, the anaesthetist is dealing with a morbidly obese lady and currently, they can’t find her spine! He’s already been trying for an hour or so, therefore I can’t guarantee when he will be available.’

Devastation is the only word I can think of to describe how I felt. It makes you feel completely vulnerable, because people give birth every day. You know that people deal with the pain, and the medication to help isn’t a necessity. I was frightened but didn’t have a choice so had to wait it out.

Okay so if you’re not going to give it to me, I’ll make a stand. I put the gown and sat at the edge of the bed waiting his arrival. Absolute refusal to lie down! I told you I’m driven… I will do what I need to!

‘I’m not moving. As soon as he gets in here, I want it in! Puurrrllleeeeaaaassseeee’ (of course there was begging!)

So, I’m hanging at the edge of the bed holding my husband’s hand. I say holding… I’m pulling him towards me, then I’m throwing his arm back again. I’m writhing around, hanging off the edge of the bed, so much so that after I’ve given birth I end up with a huge bruise going from the elbow crease of my arm up my bicep, from the IV drips. Well done Soph! My mum’s trying to remind me that if I continue, I may fall off the bed.

My midwife heads off for a break and in that time my contractions become even more intense. Normally, as all women know who have given birth, contractions slowly build, hit a peak then waiver off. These were not as such! My mum and husband were watching the monitor. My contractions would go up…. And stay up! No breaks. Constant tightening and pain.

Suddenly, in pops the anaesthetist! Lovely chap, but too friggin’ happy considering my state of mind. They hand me a piece of paper for me to read about the risk of an epidural and ask me to sign to say I am comfortable. You can honestly ask me what it said; I couldn’t tell you! I could have agreed to sign away my soul; I would have given up my limbs for some relief. 

They prep me and the anaesthetist, I’m gonna call him Annie, advises me that it takes a bit of time to get the epidural in. What is really important is once the tube is in, while he’s getting it positioned, if I get a contraction I MUST NOT MOVE. I laughed. I honestly thought he was kidding. I’ve been writhing around, are you joking that you’re expecting me to keep still? To be fair, it’s that, or paralysis. I choose to keep still.

I’ve got a pillow underneath my arms as I hang off the edge of the bed and my husband is holding me still so I don’t jolt backwards. Annie starts with cleaning my back, and giving me some anaesthetic so I don’t feel the tube.

‘I’m about to start Sophie, as I said before, if you get a contraction you must not move.’

Suddenly, I start to feel the build up again. I vividly remember saying ‘no please not another one now!’ But it most definitely was, and despite it being the hardest thing ever, I did manage to keep still.

Annie gave me a small dose of epidural to check whether it helped to numb my stomach, and it started to travel down just one side of my body. This has happened previously to others in my family, so it made me pretty concerned. He suggested that I tilt slightly to see if that helped! Not only that, but he starting using a can of cold spray to check that it was acutally… I wasn’t that numb, geez! Once he’d finished prepping, he left me for around 15 minutes to let the first dose travel down my legs in the hope that it stopped the pain in my lady bits. My midwife decided it would be an opportune moment to examine me.

I was fully dilated! ‘Sophie, it’s time to push.’

Woah woah woah! This epidural has barely done its job. I’m not ready to push! And this is when I started to cry for r reason other than pain. I knew that my son was on his way! Out come the stirrups and fortunately, I can still move my legs so no need for the extra help!
And I start to push. Harder than I’ve ever pushed in my whole life! Seriously. When they say it’s like trying to push out a watermelon, they got it spot on. The pressure you feel is unreal. 

During my earlier contractions, Theo had swivelled and was therefore no longer back to back! Thank god for that you would say. But I was pushing, and pushing and pushing. Nothing! From what the midwife said, he was coming down my birth canal but it was as if he was just stopping there. I’ll be honest. I started to get worried. Then, with each contraction his heart rate was dropping below 50. I’ve never seen so many people rush into a small room at one time. I had 3 doctors, 4 midwives, one that kindly removed the end of the bed so that my bum was hanging over! What a sight it must have been.

The doctor advises me that we need to get bubba out now, he’s showing signs of distress. At that moment his heart rate was recovering once the contraction subsided, but they said it may not continue on that like that. He also tells me that it’s time for an episiotomy, so that they can get the ventouse on Theo’s head to help me get him out. Great! More needles, more stitches, more pain. I was lucky. Although the epidural hadn’t numbed me fully, it had taken the edge off the contractions and they used extra anaesthetic around my lady bits to help when giving me the episiotomy.

So just a little advice out there, men. There is nothing more painful than childbirth. Let’s get that straight! A knock in the nads does not count.

So I’m pushing while they pull, and out comes Theo’s head along with his shoulders.

‘DON’T PUSH!!!!!’

The doctor screams. Hold up right there. Two seconds ago you’re telling me to push like I’ve never pushed before, now you’re telling me to stop.

The cord was wrapped around Theo’s neck, twice. And if I continued to push, it may have suffocated him!

Suddenly, all pressure has gone and lumped on my chest is my gorgeous little boy. Pretty darnn clean, if I do say so myself, and crying! In that moment, every stress and worry about my labour/pregnancy left me. We were complete!

‘Babe… HE’S HERE!’

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