So, we all know that everyone's birth is different and not everyone wants to hear about other people's labour and birth. Equally this may not be to everybody's taste - i.e. I will hold nothing back. Except photos. Don't have any of 'those' shots.
However, I am partly writing this for myself, to look back if/when the time comes to have sprog numero 2. I had a horrible recovery, for which I will blog about another time, and suffered with post traumatic stress disorder, so have huge mixed feelings about having another baby. Lots happened that sent me in a downward pit. Pregnancy sucked too, did not enjoy that. I know I should be thankful that I had a 'successful' pregnancy, and a wonderful little boy - and I am, believe me! But that doesn't mean it was not hard.
So... my pregnancy was horrid. I am one of those people that HATES being ill. I therefore of course suffered with literally every sodding 'side effect' of pregnancy. Oh joy. (also a post for another day! Lucky you.)
I was asleep when my contractions started, and it was 4 days prior to my 'due date' I was glad as had Had Enough By This Point Thank You Very Much. I felt a weird pain, unlike any Braxton Hicks, or tummy aches and instantly knew the difference. Oh those smug people that tell you this, and it's true.
I staggered to the toilet and thought my waters broke, quite a large patch of wet was on my floor - I later learned that possibly this was my hind waters (did not know there were two!) as the midwife broke my waters in hospital and it GUSHED out. No mistaking THAT.
I went to the toilet and some mucus plug came out. Oh right, better call my other half home from work! EEK! THIS.IS.IT.
Paul rushed home from work as my contractions were consistently five minutes apart.
I had my mahoosive maternity bag (suitcase) packed for ages. So off we went, and shoved the inflated gym ball in the car.
Hooray, our son will come today! Yay!
I was surprised that I could manage the contractions and I definitely had worse period pains (my periods also sucked, much like pregnancy) seeing as I am a pain wuss.
We got to CUH (previously Mayday) and I was examined by a midwife. She told me I Was Not Dilated Enough and to go home until my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute each. GREAT. JOY. What an anticlimax.
We went home and I pottered around for ages up and down, bouncing on the ball, on all fours, Paul rubbing my back, taking paracetamol (whoop!) and deciding I wanted a bath then not wanting it once in it. The usual labour stuff. Indecisive and agitated.
I Skyped my older brother who was living in another country at the time and he couldn't grasp that I was home but in labour, he thought it would all be blood, screaming and pushing in hospital.
I went to bed that night, still the contractions were 5 minutes apart. ALL FRIGGING DAY. By 1am I woke Paul (how dare he sleep!) and said I was too tired and wanted some gas and air. We went back to the hospital and we called my mum as both her and Paul were going to be at the birth.
The midwife examined me and said I could stay (yay!) I wanted a natural, water birth and so asked for the pool and birthing centre.
I had written out a lovely birth plan, don't you know!?
I was big-fat-DENIED a birth pool. I wailed. A lot. Why not?! I hated the thought of being in a bed, I wanted the water. My star sign is the Crab. I was destined to be in the water! Apparently if you ever go in during the 9 months to be monitored for any reason, you are not allowed. Forbidden. I was never told this during the 9 months and now was not the time to tell me I could not. Panic set in. Nooo. I woefully walked to the labour ward, in tears.
We were lucky the time that Jack was born, there were hardly any others giving birth, so it was quiet and we had plenty of staff. I even had the ward to myself after he was born. Nice touch.
I walked into the labour room and was pleasantly surprised. I was bought a birthing ball by a midwife (where was mine? in the car still!) and encouraged to walk around, bounce etc. and try not to lie down. I had some gas and air and it was horrid. Vile. Ok so that wasn't going to happen. Eau-naturel then it is.I kept going for a while. By now, time eluded me, literally no idea from going in at 1am (after labour starting at 9am the previous morning) until Jack was born the next day at 6.33pm (To Be Precise).
I managed for a while then caved and felt very tired, I just wanted to lie down and sleep, I had a sleepless night the night before my contractions started too. YAWN. I had packed some Very Helpful Things in my hospital bag such as lucozade and gummy bears but couldn't bare to eat a thing except water.
I asked for pain relief and was offered Pethidine. It made me throw up but then when it kicked in, it was BLISS. I managed to doze and get some sleep. It (too quickly) wore off and I was advised against more due to the side effects it can possibly have on baby if you're near delivery time.
I was strongly advised to have an epidural as was considered Too Tired To Push. I was told it was either that or Jack would be born via C/Section or forceps etc. I reluctantly agreed and the surgeon and anaesthetist came in. I have a history of back problems and saw a specialist whilst pregnant who assessed me and looked at my previous MRI scans and said I would be OK if I wanted one during labour. "Oh ho no thank you." I said. Yet here I was.
The process of the epidural, for me, was traumatic to say the least. I was exhausted and god knows how long it had been going on by now. Paul had to hold me so I didn't move and I chugged on that gas and air during the procedure as it hurt like a MoFo.
Because my back is stupid, it took them a number of attempts (possibly 6?) and I was in a right old state it really hurt. I used that gas and air so much I was dizzy and a bit out of it.
They finally got it in and it was heavenly. Paul broke down crying and had to leave the room to get some air. He said he could see blood keep spurting out my back as they tried over and over to get it in, and I was clearly in agony, but he stayed super calm during for me. I love him.
Once it was in, my contractions started S-L-O-W-I-N-G-D-O-W-N. Goody. They then had to put in the drip to speed me and Jack up. That didn't work, even at the highest settings.
I was determined not to have a C/S and willed Jack out.
Jack had a clip attached to his head to monitor his heart rate. This scared me.
I then (despite the epidural) could feel the urge to push and knew and could feel how to. This. Was. IT. really really this time!
I cant remember how many pushes it took, but it didn't feel like many. Mum was at the bottom end and Paul was at my head end, but when Jack was coming out, he moved down to see Jack being born. They both cried and exclaimed how amazing it was. At last he arrived and we had a snuggle and a nice booby feed for him.
I was delighted and amazed and quite shocked to be honest. I was immediately starving and the midwives bought me tea and toast (how British!)
I said on my BIRTH PLAN - which apparently means bugger all - that I wanted a natural birth, drug free and in the water. That didn't happen - although I did push my son out which was just wonderful.
We also agreed that Paul would cut the cord, and under no circumstances did I want an episiotomy. I heard so many horror stories about it. So imagine my surprise when the midwife called someone in to "stitch me up" - I asked them what happened, did I tear? But was told that no, they had to cut me slightly as Jack's heart-rate was dropping every time he was trying to come out. Glad he was out safely, but at that moment I was in tears. I do not remember being asked for my permission.
Paul also did not get to cut the cord as the Dr that delivered Jack (who I saw weekly afterwards at the 'fanny repair clinic' and was lovely) cut it immediately. Sigh.
I was stitched up and stayed in the room for a while, and my father and sister came to see us all.
We named our son Jack Ewen - his middle name after my dad. He cried when we told him this, as no-one knew we had planned to call him this, except my mother.
A few hours later I went up to the ward and was alone as no-one else gave birth that night apparently. Weird. But lovely. Had midwives to assist me and check Jack's latch and breastfeeding went off to a fine start. I did not sleep that night as kept staring at this wonderful little thing next to me. Jack slept fairly soundly, waking for a feed every few hours.
All in all, it was long but I would 100% do it again. The recovery however is another story and I will post that one day, I am sure it will be healing for me and perhaps for others who have had a similar recovery from what basically was episiotomy(s) gone wrong - yes plural.
So on the 16th November, three days prior to his due date, my little miracle arrived into the world, safely, with his Nana and Daddy in the room too. He weighed a lovely 8lb 1oz and I can honestly say my life has never been the same again. I love him with all my heart and he makes everybody we meet laugh and smile. Paul and I are so proud of our little man.
Jack - if you ever read this (which I doubt as you probably wont want to believe you ever came out of 'there') just know that we love you - always and forever. xxx
|When Daddy met Jack|
|Jack and his Mummy|