On Wednesday 7th June at around 2:45pm, I woke up needing the toilet (I was 40 weeks +2 days). I felt slightly wet down below and did wonder if this was the start of my waters breaking. I went to the toilet and when I wiped there was a very slight tinge of pink, so I did think this is the start of something. Before I went to bed I’d thought something may start soon, as I’d felt a lot of pressure down there and I’d felt the same for a couple of evenings previously.

I got back into bed to see if I could get some sleep and thought I’ll phone the Mamas line (at the Hospital) in the morning to let them know. When I got back into bed, I thought ‘I’m not going to be able to get back to sleep.’ I suddenly felt a pop inside of me, which felt so loud to me, I even asked my partner Matt if he’d heard it.

I got out of bed and my waters broke in a huge gush, just like in the films. It just kept coming! I could see there was a slight tinge of green so automatically thought that she must have done a poo. I called the Mamas line and they advised us to make our way in. Matt started getting the hospital bags ready at this point and I was trying to remain calm.

As we got into the car, my contractions were starting but still very manageable and felt exactly like period pains. We arrived at Wexham Hospital and they advised me that I sadly wouldn’t be able to go to the birth centre, as I’d hoped, and would have to go onto the labour ward. We were put into a room on the assessment centre (MAC) and I was asked to show them the pad I was wearing. They confirmed there was thick meconium in the waters. They started to monitor baby’s heartbeat, as well as the contractions, and I stayed in this room for a round an hour before going onto the labour ward.

Once on the labour ward, I was introduced to my midwife and shortly after a doctor came in to scan me to check baby’s position. Baby was head down and wasn’t back to back, so he said she was in a good position for birth. He started to talk about the hormone drip to induce labour, as they wanted things to progress quickly due to the meconium. He said that the midwife would examine me and then we would go from there.

When she examined me, she said I was 4cm dilated and my cervix was thin. I was really pleased that I wouldn’t need the hormone drip. At that point, I really started to relax and could focus on my breathing. Every contraction that came, I tried to think that I would be one step closer to meeting my baby. The midwife offered me paracetamol or gas and air, but I felt as though I could continue breathing through my contractions for now. She even asked if I had been doing hypnobirthing as she felt I was coping very well.

I tried to remain upright, forward and open, I started on the birthing ball and then stood over the bed. 8am arrived and the midwives changed over. I was assigned another amazing midwife along with a student midwife too. The midwife advised me that she would examine me again at 10am to see how I was coming along. After about an hour, they were a bit concerned that my contractions weren’t progressing as they should and baby’s heartbeat seemed to be dipping during a contraction. She asked if I could lay on my side for a while and I asked if I could use a peanut ball. She said this was fine and I changed position.

A little while later, several people came into the room, including doctors and the anaesthetist. They started providing me with information about the meconium in the waters and the risk it could have on the baby – and that they were concerned about baby’s heart rate dropping. The doctor examined me and said that I was 3 – 4cm dilated and my cervix was thick. She advised that the midwife who examined me earlier probably wasn’t accurate, so this really made me feel deflated. The doctors said they would like things to progress quicker and suggested the option of a C-section. They said there wasn’t a huge rush to make a decision and to give it a little while longer to see if things progressed anymore.

After this, my contractions seemed to slow right down, probably due to so many doctors coming in and the mention of a C-section! Myself and Matt had a chat about what was best – and all we wanted was our baby to arrive safely. I spoke to the midwife to see what her professional opinion was and she advised that if the C-section wasn’t chosen, they would need to start the hormone drip. She said in her experience, when a baby is in slight distress, adding the hormone drip doesn’t have the best effects on labour. We then made the decision to go with the C-section, as we wanted our baby to arrive in the safest way possible.

As soon as I’d made my decision I started to relax again and felt really excited that we were going to meet our baby soon. We started to prepare to go to theatre and everything happened very quickly after that. I still felt very in control and the C-section wasn’t classed as
an emergency, I even walked into theatre myself.

At 11:53am our beautiful baby girl Isla arrived and hearing her cry was the best feeling ever. We had skin to skin for a while whilst they stitched me up, which was amazing. The doctors advised us that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Isla’s neck and this was probably the reason for her heart rate dipping each time I had a contraction. I immediately knew that we had made the right decision and I was so pleased.

I can honestly say that the care at Wexham Park Hospital was outstanding and each person I dealt with was incredible. Especially the midwife and student midwife that was on duty during the day. The student midwife didn’t really leave my side all day when I was in recovery, she was amazing!

Thank you so much Donna for all your help throughout my pregnancy. I absolutely loved pregnancy yoga and hypnobirthing and felt it helped me to keep calm throughout labour. Even though my labour wasn’t what I hoped it would be, I still feel it’s a positive experience and all the tools you taught me really helped.