So I was told to just take the pills, read the paper and the bereavement midwife kept coming in occasionally to check. And apart from that I wasn't really sure what would happen. And then at about, after about 5 hours of reading the newspapers and having various pills I began to feel some pain, and I wasn't really sure what the pain was - it sounds ridiculous that we were going in to have a baby and having pain and not really knowing what it was - but I had absolutely no idea.
It was only when my husband said, “You're having, those are contractions,” because he's actually been there before that he... I suddenly thought, oh, and he said, “I'm timing them and they're happening every 12 minutes.” And he'd been doing that for sort of half an hour. I had absolutely no idea that that was happening. So we mentioned this to the midwife and then they became extremely painful. And I was told that, I was told before having the baby that I would be able to have an epi-, have painkillers, and that they advised me quite strongly, knowing the outcome of the pregnancy, to take any painkillers that I could, and not to try and tough it with a natural childbirth. Because their experience is that, in giving birth in these circumstances, the pain is much more acute than it ordinarily would be if it was a normal pregnancy with a happy outcome.
So I was strongly advised to take all of the medication, certainly gas and air and morphine. The pain got so bad I actually moved on to an epidural, which they were extremely reluctant to give me funnily enough, I don't know why. The anaesthetist was not overly keen to give me an epidural. I think the reason he wasn't keen to give me an epidural was one, that they take an awfully long time to administer, and secondly, they are quite expensive, I think. And thirdly, we knew what the outcome was and it was a small baby, and so therefore the pain can't have been too enormous.
However, my husband managed to convince him that he would be well advised to give me an epidural, so he did eventually give me an epidural. And again, I had little, no, I had no knowledge really of what an epidural was, or how it would affect me, terribly until it, until it was prescribed to me.
I was then left alone, again, for various number of hours. I was informed by the, my husband explained that I was having contractions and we were told that, actually, well... I hadn't really terribly dilated so it couldn't really be happening. I got the feeling that a lot of their... they very much felt that a lot of my pain was actually emotional rather than physical. That's how, and I felt that they were treating me based upon that. And that, you know, it was far too early to be having that sort of pain, with your cervix not dilated, and really an epidural wasn't necessary for a baby of that size. And we very much, I very much felt that at the time.
And so my expectations of, well, I had no expectations. There was no management of my expectations or my husband's at all before the birth. I didn't really know what to expect other than I'd give birth and I'd have a lot of support on the day to do it. And I was informed when making the decision that there would be a lot of support - continual support - on the day, and that we were made as comfortable and as lovely as possibly could happen. And that was not what happened at all - totally the reverse actually. Because on the day of the birth we were - everybody around us was nobody that we'd ever met before.
The doctor that we originally saw, the registrar we saw first thing in the morning because she happened to be going off duty, but nobody else was familiar to us at all. And the midwife we actually had was an agency midwife anyway, and so it was a case of, you know, 'Let's keep the good midwives for the good outcome' - that's how I felt at the time. And then you do question your decision I have to say.