I haven’t yet braved writing Austins Birth story, but I know that my husband Mike wrote about it from his perspective for his personal journal and was happy for me to share it with you. There are many birth stories on the internet that you can read, but I thought it would be interesting and a bit different to hear from the Fathers perspective.

I apologise in Advance for all the steam train talk!

Mikes Story

False start

Lisa and I find ourselves in possession of a hale and hearty baby boy weighing in at 8lb 3oz.

The story started on Friday night. Lisa had contractions all evening and into Saturday morning but she went back to bed about 08:00 Saturday and by 12:00 the contractions had ended. Lisa felt devastated and completely exhausted. We were both so disappointed because we were sure that the baby was coming.

I had always planned to go to Temple Meads to see a steam engine on Saturday afternoon and as the baby wasn’t here it was still possible to pop down there and see the steamie with Hayden.

Lisa resolved to try and salvage some of the day and get over her disappointment with a bit of retail therapy. She dropped us at the station before heading to Cabot Circus.

Steamies and Diesels

Hayden and I got a return to Stapleton road and then rushed to platform 10 where the loco was due to arrive in 12 minutes. There weren’t any loco geeks there which worried me so I started thinking and realised that because of the curve of temple meads station you didn’t get a very good view of anything arriving to the left of the platform. I quickly jumped into the lift to move onto the other platform where I finally started to see some loco geeks. Unfortunately the train was 5 minutes early and we didn’t make it to the end of the platform before the train was upon us!

It was at this point I that I realised that I was now on the wrong platform and if I had only waked to the end of platform 10 then would have still had an amazing view. We still managed to cross to the correct platform and see the loco which Hayden absolutely loved. In fact you can see he was enjoying it so much that he refused to look at the camera and when he finally did then he used his trademark scowl.

Hayden an I then went to look at some Intercity 125 diesels before heading over to get our train to Lawrence Hill. We were lucky enough to see the steam engine again before getting our train.

From Lawrence Hill we walked up the Bath To Bristol Cycle path for 45 minutes to home.

The raver isn’t dancing

When Lisa got back from the from Cabot Circus she was exhausted, hurting but most importantly she hadn’t felt the new baby move all day. Considering that she thought she had contractions the night before this was a big worry. Lisa followed the guidance laying on her side, drinking a glass of cold water but the baby still didn’t move. We called Lisa’s mum and she jumped in the car and headed down to Bristol whilst I quickly loaded our car with Lisa’s hospital bag, the baby’s hospital bag, my hospital (carrier) bag, the camera bag, the ball, the pregnancy pillow and the maxi-cosi car seat.

Before long we were in the car and off the RUH…

At the Hospital

Lisa was hooked up to the baby monitor and despite him not moving he seemed happy and healthy. Lisa was examined and found to have a favourable cervix, whatever that means, and so the decision was taken to break Lisa’s waters and give Lisa some syntocinon to start the contractions.

We moved into the birth suite and the contractions started but quite slowly and gently. Every time Lisa had a “tightening” the baby’s heart rate dropped and it became clear very quickly that baby didn’t really like contractions. He recovered well once each contraction had finished but as the intensity of the contractions increased he was less and less happy whilst one was going on. Lisa was desperate to have a vaginal birth but I was getting more and more worried about the whole situation. I wanted to respect Lisa’s plan but at the same time it would have been so easy to switch to a Caesarian. We decided to carry on as we were for the moment despite the worry.

If the syntocinon was stopped the contractions slowed down and got weaker and the baby perked right up but it was clear he didn’t want to come out. Kerry the midwife said she thought the cord was probably around his neck which was making things difficult for the baby.

So Lisa pushed and pushed and pushed but every time she did the baby’s heart rate dropped. If the syntocinon was stopped the contractions slacked off and the baby cheered up again but as soon as the drip was started again he got unhappy again. Thinking the cord was around the neck made this whole part extremely scary. Every contraction saw the baby getting worse and I really didn’t know what to do for the best; I felt really powerless.

Decision for Theatre

It clearly wasn’t working and we had agreed with the obstetrician that we wouldn’t persevere with a vaginal birth forever because it wouldn’t be fair on the baby so we decided there and then that the best thing to do would be to change to a caesarean section to get the baby out.

The only problem was that we couldn’t go straight to theatre because they were already doing a c-section but Lisa was by this point in agony. Because the anaesthetist was in theatre too Lisa couldn’t have an epidural and she couldn’t have anything opiate based because the baby was in distress. So Lisa just had to hold on as best she could. She was amazing.

Out the sunroof…

Eventually it was time and Lisa was whisked away to the theatre with me following close behind. I got changed and then nervously waited to be shown into the theatre. About 10 minutes later someone came and found me to take me in. Lisa was sat up on the table having her spinal block with about 5 people all fussing around her. I was shown to a plastic garden chair by the head of the table and sat waiting for them to get prepared. Once they were ready they laid her down and set up a drape between her head and her body. It’s weird but I didn’t feel worried at all at this point.

After another 20 minutes of fuss they were finally ready to start and it could only have been 10 minutes and the theatre staff invited me to stand up and walk around the drape where they were just pulled the baby out of Lisa. He had the cord tied around his neck twice but as soon as the staff took the cord off he started crying really loud! The sense of relief was palpable in the room.

I then got to cut the cord and watch him being weighed. Eventually he was passed to Lisa for her to do some skin to skin but it was really awkward because of the drape so I ended up holding him.

It took quite a long time to stitch Lisa up before we could go out to recovery; there, finally, Lisa got to hold the new baby.

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