Some parts of my story could be off putting of you are afraid of giving birth/hospitals so be warned! Sorry if tmi! Go make yourself a cuppa this ones a long'en! It started at 1.30am on Friday 6th November with my waters breaking in bed. There wasn't as much as I'd thought there would be but defintly enough to wake me! I excitedly woke my OH and waited for contractions to start. They began almost straight away, not too painful to begin with but coming pretty regular, every 5-7 mins. I rang the hospital to let them know I would be coming in at some point later that day (wanted to labour at home for as long as I could stand it). Anyway managed to last until 6.30am when we left for hospital. After showing me to my room (was given a birth pool room) I asked for some pain relief and was given a tens machine. Now I know some woman swear by them but my god, it just annoyed me! Felt like I was getting stung every time lol, but I put up with that while they sent me off for a walk around the hospital. Around 9am was given my first internal and the midwives were surprised I was 3cm already. I don't think the internal was too bad, just slightly uncomfortable. At this point I started on the gas and air, which to be honest was ok, but doesn't really take the pain away, just makes you feel really stoned so you arnt so aware therefore managing it better! At one point I remember sneaking my OH some G&A hehehe! I started throwing up as the pain intensified (lush) and at some point they put me on the monitors and everything seemed to be going well. Now everything gets a bit hazy here as I really was quite out of it from pain and gas and air. I remember requesting an epidural so along comes the anesatist (sp?) I wasn't scared at this point of the needle just wanted the pain to go. So anyway he does it and I can honestly say if anyone is worried about having it done then DONT BE! You feel a tiny prick for the first needle (and I'm a big wimp) and the actual epidural needle is quite a nice feeling lol. Bit of pushing and the odd electric shock down my leg and that's it. The IV cannulars they put in your arm hurt sooo much more. Anyway to cut a long story short the epi didn't work. I ended up going to 8cm with just gas and air. Requested another epidural and recieved it at 1.20pm. Thankfully it worked and almost inmediatly I was painfree. Next thing I know, the room is full with doctors and midwives. Kaiden heartrate was dropping to 50 - 60 bpm and people re putting sterile drapes over me and taking the end off the bed, preparing for delivery. My OH had left the room to make phone calls as we still thought I had a way to go yet. The midwives are running round the corradiors trying to find him while the doctor is coming at me with some forceps. Not the way I expected things to go! She gave me an episiostomy with a HUGE pair of scissors but thank god i didn't even realise or feel it. OH comes bak in just in time, the doc is using the forceps and telling me to push at the same time, I gave it all I've got but don't know if I was doing it right as had no feeling down there. Baby Kaiden was pulled from me at 1.51pm fri. The 'pushing' stage only lasted 15mins, total labour only 4hrs 37mins and 12 hours from when my waters broke. He was lifted screaming straight to OH!!! I got my turn a few mins later and he promptly pooed on me! The first thing I said when he came out was, 'omg, I've done it! He's tiny! Is he ok?' thankfully he was fine, apgar score at one minute was 9, at five minutes was 10. Then they put him on the scales he was a tiny 5lb 6oz and absolutly gorgeous. They gave him his vit k by injection and then I had him back while I got stitched up. I had an internal tear caused by the forceps as well as the episiotomy. I asked about the placenta but it turned out it had already come out! I had no idea! So me and OH had a good look at it - I'm weird like that! Lol. Was about the size of a side plate with 3 big vessels! The birth itself although not how I planned wasn't too bad compared to everything I went through after. (if you are still Reading at this point!) I expected alot of blood loss but never realised just how much! I was soaking the inco pads underneath me. My gran was the first to arrive to meet kaiden. She used to work on a maternity ward and took one look at me and the blood I was loosing and said this is not right! The midwives fobbed her off and left us to bond. A few hours later they transfered me to postnatal where I was still soaking pads. I don't remember much but had lots of visitors. Next day was a bit of a blur but that night as OH was just leaving I felt something between my legs and next thing I know huge clots were falling to the ground. It was disgusting like big livers or kidneys! Sorry tmi! Pressed the bell and the MA took them away and cleaned me up. Sent me back to bed. Later about 3am when I was getting up to feed Kaiden it happened again. This time I was really scared as that was ALOT of blood. And I was still soaking fresh blood in pad every hour. Next day about midday doctor came to see me and transferred me back to labour ward to examine me. So again, legs up in stirrups and gas and air while she did an internal. Unbelievably, noone had done my postnatal checks since giving birth and aswell as my notes not being filled in for two days, my stitches had come apart and were left open! Doctor said I needed theatre asap so they got me prepped and off I went about 3pm that day. Got to theatre just about to have the spinal put in when registrar phoned up and said stuck down on labour ward so had to wait 45mins on the operating table fr her to arrive! They put the spinal in and then a catherter (nice) and began manual removal of the membranes that were left inside, causing the bleeding. As I was led there I could see everything going on as it was a mirrored/reflective ceiling. Now I actually found it quite interesting lol. I work on the surgical ward opposit main theatres so it was odd being on the other side! Oh and while this was going on I was given a 3unit blood transfusion. about an hour later I was stitched up and sent to recovery. An hour later they took me back to labour ward where I was so happy to see Kaiden and OH. The midwives did no post op observations on me and I had to ask for pain relief as they always seemed to miss me out of they're drug rounds. The next couple of days I spent recovering, bonding with kaiden and establising breast feeding. I struggled feeding and ended up having to use nipple shields as he couldn't latch, but we got there in the end. I was put on antibiotics but they missed a dose and then only gave me half the dose I should have had. I was surprised though at how little pain I had 'down there' after everything I'd has done! My stitches were tender but nothing too bad. I found if you lent to one side when you wee it avoided the stitches!! Monday evening I started getting a headache but it was put down to dehydration. Tues morning I was desparate to go home and was discharged about 1pm that day. As I was leaving I informed the midwife on duty my head had got worse, again it was put down to dehydration. I left hospital and saw some of my collegues as I was going out the main entrance, they took one look at me and were shocked by how ill I looked. In the car my head just got worse and worse, I got home and was sick outside my house, crying and sobbing, god knows what the neighbours thought! My mum came over and called the doctor, the gp didn't really know what was the matter either so not much was done. I have never experianced pain like it, give me childbirth anyday, I honestly thought I handled childbirth quite well, no screaming like you see on tv, calm and collected, but this, I couldn't handle it. The only thing that relieved it was to lay down flat, but as I was breastfeeding, it was almost impossible, especially as he wanted to feed almost 24/7. I spent the next 2days in agony barely able to look after my son (thank god for OH) and laying on our lounge floor when I could. The midwife came out Friday, took one look at me and said it's Dural Tap, headache caused by the epi or spinal puncturing my spinal sack and causing spinal fluid to leak into my brain! She arranged for me to be admitted asap and by 6pm that evening I was back in theatre getting it sorted. For this they took sterile blood from my arm and inserted another epidural needle into my back (without the epidural drugs) then they put my blood down the tube to hopefully clot, sealing the hole that was causing the leak. Luckily it worked and relief was almost instant. I'm pretty sure it was the spinal that caused it rather than the epidurals due to the time the headache started. I was so glad to be rid of the pain and could start enjoying my beautiful son again. They discharged me later that night. So all in all not the best experiance but 100% worth it cos now I have my gorgeous boy and just bad luck that I got the dural tap headache I guess. I'll try and upload some pics when I have more time but this has taken about an hour to write! Lol.