In England, they have this phrase that they use to describe situations that go horribly wrong… ‘pear-shaped.’ After a beautiful home birth without the use of medicine for pain relief, I didn’t expect what was coming next. Things definitely went pear-shaped.

The midwives had thought that I had torn a bit while delivering Asher so they got me out of the pool quickly to examine me. I thought it wasn’t that big of a deal… they would just stitch me up and move on. That changed as soon as I realised how much blood I was losing. (Sorry if you’re squeamish!)

Oh, was there a lot of blood.

I was ever so glad that the student midwife whom I’d seen many times before could attend the birth. For one, it was her first home birth to attend. Two, it was a blessing to have an extra pair of hands in the moments shortly after.

One of the midwives thought quickly (and quite creatively) and had me get up on the dining room table to examine the damage done. Remember how I mentioned having an unmedicated birth? Well, that changed afterwards. I had to use the gas and air to get through the pain of that examination.

To my disappointment, the damage done was too extensive to stitch up at home. To top it off, I was also losing a lot of blood. I wasn’t pleased, but the midwives made the decision to call an ambulance and send me to hospital.

On Asher’s first day of life, he got his first ambulance ride! I was so pleased he got to ride with me even though I couldn’t hold him.

Once I arrived at the hospital, I was whisked away to the labour ward where I would learn that I had torn badly enough to be sent to the surgical theatre to be stitched up. It was so bad that I had to have a spinal, rather than a local anaesthetic, to repair all the damage.

Cuddles with mummy before going into theatre for surgery

At that point I freaked out, not because of having to go into theatre, but because I hadn’t had much cuddle time with my baby yet. I’m so thankful the consultant working with me let us have some family time!

After a little over an hour in theatre, I was in recovery. I actually don’t remember much after that point. That evening, I do remember having a rough time once Leon had to leave. It was hard and very emotional to not be able to care for my own baby due to the spinal and my injuries. I found it humbling (to say the least) to have to call for a midwife every time Asher needed to be fed or a nappy needed changing.

Cuddles and kisses from Daddy

On Wednesday, I had help with getting up and around. I was still quite sore and weak… a lot more so than I expected. I learned that I lost over a litre of blood, which left me anaemic. Once I discovered this, I was advised to have a blood transfusion. At that point, all hopes of going home that day were shattered, and I completely lost it. I knew that staying overnight again would be best, but all I wanted to do was go home.

Once it was time for the transfusion to take place, everything that had happened up until this point began to hit me. Overwhelmed and slightly incredibly hormonal, I broke down into tears—What had just happened to me in the last 48 hours or so? I had a lovely home birth and a beautiful baby boy, and now I’m in hospital with who-knows-how-many stitches needing a blood transfusion.

I received two units of blood, and I was feeling 10 times better the following day (Thursday). Granted, I still felt weak due to the anaemia, but I was up and about before they finally discharged us that afternoon.

We finally got to go home!!

Finally home again! For now…

Or so we thought… (To be continued…)