Emrys’ Birth Story

Hmm before I forget…

Cheri was getting contractions on and off for a couple of days but they were not at all regular. Eventually at around 4 or 5 pm on the 27th of February, last Wedenesday they started to come with more regularity.

As they were still very gentle at 9.30pm we went to bed but the contractions were much harder on Cheri when she was laying down. So we got up and, leaving Jay with Evan, we walked around the block under the full moon. I wrote down the times that the contractions came and we found they had become regular. We called Lisca our Mid-wife to warn her that we may be getting serious later and require her company. Two more blockies later Cheri was really starting her labour.

Evan was happily snoring so Jay and I rearranged the furniture and got out the “sprog birthing kit” (Hot packs, towels, blankets, pillows, big ball thing, and six tons of other stuff that we never used). We called Lisca and she came, bringing with her a sense of order and calm. Lisca was great she knew exactly what to say to Cheri and what was needed and when. We really needed her. Blokes offering to advise women how to birth is, I think, just plain ridiculous! The night passed in a blur we supported Cheri as best we could with hot packs on her lower back and holding her up when the contractions demanded it. Around 4am the labour seemed to slow down and Cheri, Lisca and I all half-dozed for maybe half an hour, Jay never slept.

The sun began to rise and the baby was positioned pretty near perfectly, Cheri was labouring well. At one point I was thinking I’d have to wake Evan so he could come and see his brother/sister be born.

Cheri and baby never seemed to get past this point for the rest of the day.

Lisca could feel a lip on Cheri’s cervix which seemed to be preventing the baby from coming out. She tried moving the lip and holding it back during a contraction. Cheri hated this, it must have been so uncomfortable. It slipped back over the baby’s head again. At this point Cheri was exhausted and dipirited. Lisca eventually told us she felt that this baby was going to need some help. Cheri was exhausted and needed a rest and the only way this would happen was if the baby got out or if she had some painkillers. This meant we’d have to go to hospital, something we had been hoping to avoid. Cheri was so sad and so exhausted but could see that it was the best choice. Lisca called the ambulance whilst I threw stuff into a bag to take into the hospital.

The ambulance came and Cheri, Lisca and I went to the hospital whilst Jay and the sleeping Evan stayed home. On arrival Lisca and I fielded the inevitable questions about allergies and middle name and home address etc. The hospital midwife got some pethadine for Cheri and eventually an epidural. This gave Cheri a much needed break I had never seen her looking so tired and pale.

She laboured on for a few more hours. Midday came and went but the lip on her cervix still seemed to be holding the baby back. Eventually the doctor, Monica, told us that she felt a caesarean was the only option remaining. We both cried it was what I had been dreading and expecting. After having Evan via caesarean Cheri really wanted to have this one as naturally as possible. So we agreed and the Doctors and nurses began to get prepared for the operating theatre. Cheri’s epidural had worn off and she was drifting into her own world of pain as she laboured on.

Finally the trolley arrived to take Cheri to the operating theatre. Almost simultaneously Cheri’s contractions changed she felt intense pressure on her hips. The doctor gave one last examination and declared that the lip had gone and that Cheri was fully dilated. Suddenly the caesarean was off and the baby was to be born normally.

So Cheri pushed again for another couple of hours and the baby’s head seemed to come down a little further. By about three in the afternoon the baby was once again stuck and so the doctor got a second opinion and they once again suggested a caesarean as the only option.

So finally we found ourselves in the operating theatre which was very cold. Cheri was pale and shivering under the bright lights and I sat by her in those bizzare blue pyjamas and net hat. The staff were relaxed and friendly we had met nearly all of them and the ones we had not met came and introduced themselves. Everyone in the operating theatre was guessing the baby would be a boy Cheri reserved judgement but I reckoned on a little girl, I also asked that noone tell usthe sex but let us find out ourselves. I asked Shiva the pediatrist to take off his mask so we could see his face. He did not really want to but I persuaded him. He had a friendly face which I guess is always an advantage in his job :)

Cheri began to stop shivering and the anaesthetist chatted to us explain what the operation entailed and was genarally reassuring and distracting. Then he happened to mention that the Monica the surgeon was just getting the baby out now. Some hands passed the purple/blue baby legs first over the sheet there was a a moment of expectant silence until peering round the umbilical cord Cheri laughed, “It’s a boy!”. Then they all laughed too, I think I heard Monica saying, “I told you!”.

The baby was handed to Shiva who put him under some bright warming lights on a small table close to and within sight of Cheri. Emrys was laying on the table with a big mask covering almost the whole of his face. Shiva was squeezing a bag attached to the mask which seemed to be helping Emrys start to breath. After what seemed like an age I heard Emrys mumbling. Shiva took off the mask and started to check Emrys’s out. I put my hands over his eyes to keep the lights from dazzling him. He immediately opened his eyes and looked out with beautiful deep dark baby eyes. Shiva asked if he could put some green tubes up Emrys’s nostrils for some reason or rather but I said no. He then asked about giving a vitamin K shot but I said no. Cheri and I had discussed this and wanted as little interference as possible. Cheri had been taking lots of Chloryphyl to supplement the Vitamin K near the end of her pregnancy. All of this took what seemed like an age but was actually a few minutes.

A nurse wrapped Emrys in a warm blanket and I took him back to Cheri and she nuzzled him and held him whilst she lay on the operating table being stitched back together. Then I sat with them and it was lovely to finally have him with us. I took these photos at this point:

(Tragically, I have since lost them)

After some time the staff wanted me to take Emrys through to a neighbouring room to be weighed. I took him through and we got that over with as quickly as possible so that I could go back to Cheri. We came back to Cheri and then left her again to wait in the recovery room, where I found Lisca waiting. Cheri came out soon after and thats the story.

She is now recovering very well after having escaped the hospital the next day.