– This post was originally published on 22nd August 2015 but I wanted to re-publish it for you in line with my Labour and Delivery Story going live on my Youtube Channel –
On the 22nd of August 2014 my life changed forever. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. My daughter. Here is the story of how my little one came into the world.
Disclaimer – I’m not going to hold back here, this may be a case of TMI but this is for me, so that in 20 years time when my daughter asks how my labour went I can tell her. You have been warned. As far as labours go mine was a pretty good one so don’t hate me!
My waters broke at 2am. At first I wasn’t entirely sure if it was my waters. I woke up with the need to pee, waddled over to the toilet and as I did some liquid escaped. It was quite a lot as it made a loud splat noise as it hit the floor. To be honest my first thought was that I had weed on the floor. I thought ‘Well, there goes my bladder!’. I continued to the toilet and did go for a wee and whilst I was peeing I felt more liquid falling out of me. I called Nick from the toilet and described my predicament (Nick was on a night shift at work). We decided I should call the spires to see what they thought.
I called the spires, the midwife led unit at my local hospital, and explained what had happened. They asked if I had had any contractions and at this point I hadn’t. They advised me to go in to hospital in the morning so they could check to see if it was my waters that had broken. They asked me to wear a maternity pad and to bring any wet pads to the hospital with me so they could see how much liquid I had lost. As it was still the middle of the night they advised me to try and get some sleep. I phoned Nick back and told him what they had said, that we needed to go in to the hospital in the morning. There are lots of road works going on, on our route to the hospital and so we decided we would set off early at around 6am to beat the traffic. Nick decided to come home from work then too to try and get some sleep before we had to leave in the morning.
Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep. My contractions did start but it was very hard to work out if what I was feeling was a contraction or not. We started to record them on an app on nick’s phone but I still had trouble trying to decipher if they were contractions or not. They were rather sporadic some were strong and longer, others were short and not so bad. I went through A LOT of maternity pads so it became obvious that my waters had broken. We had a carrier bag full of soaked maternity pads by the time we were ready to leave. When it got to about 4.30am Nick had had enough and decided he would start to get ready. He showered and got dressed and annoyingly tried to keep packing all my maternity bags into the car before I was ready. I decided to get ready too. I was adamant I didn’t want to go to hospital too early for fear of being sent away, I also wanted to be in hospital for as little time as possible. I thought I’d have a bath as if I did go into labour I wasn’t sure when I would be able to wash again. I got dressed and put on a little make up, much to Nick’s dismay! Once I started moving about my contractions got stronger. By the time I was ready to leave they were every 5 minutes or so and I couldn’t talk through them. It was a hairy car journey to the hospital to say the least.
As we had phoned ahead to the spires to let them know we were coming in they told us to go straight up to the midwife led unit on the 6th floor, which once we got to the hospital we dutifully did. By this point my contractions were every two minutes and they were stopping me in my tracks so it was taking me a while to walk anywhere. Once we got up to the 6th floor we were told that someone had just come in and was being assessed there and that we needed to go back down to the maternity assessment unit to be assessed on the GROUND FLOOR! I was not amused, back to the lift that takes a hundred years to go down we trundled and I hobbled back to the maternity assessment unit. On arrival I was told to take a seat in the waiting room. By this point I could not sit anywhere! I went to the toilet and there was now blood falling out of me as well as my waters. I asked Nick to find out what the hell was going on and when I would be seen. They told us that someone would be along in a minute so we waited. I was finally shown to a room, but still no one came to check me over. I didn’t know what to do I couldn’t sit or lay down so my only option was to stand. I didn’t know whether we would be staying in the room, whether I should take my shoes off or not. After a few more painful contractions I asked Nick to go and find someone again. Eventually I was seen by a midwife who said I was 5cm dilated already. She confirmed there was a room in the spires free (they only have 3 and we were luckily given the last one!) and so we were led back upstairs to the 6th floor.
Once there, we were shown to our room by this point it was 7.30am. Once in, I kicked off my shoes, knelt on the floor, and draped myself over a birthing ball. I asked Nick to get me some gas and air which a midwife then brought in. I was then off, puffing away through each contraction. My mum arrived soon after we did as we’d called her when we were in the car on our way to the hospital. I was in my zone and wasn’t really talking to anyone.
I hadn’t planned on having my mum their too but thank goodness she did turn up. My mum happened to have the day off and so I think when we told her we were on our way to the hospital, she felt compelled to come too. I don’t think she could face being sat at home knowing what I was going through. I’m glad she did join us because if she hadn’t poor old Nick would have been at a right loose end. I was in my own little world and couldn’t talk to anyone and so at least he had my mum to talk to. At around 8am I overheard Nick asking the midwife what was next. The midwife replied that that was it until about 11am when they would check me over to see how far dilated I was. I remember looking at the clock and thinking 3 more hours of this!! It was then that I upped the ante on the gas and air before that I don’t think I was using it properly but after that I made sure I took lots of long, slow, deep breaths through the contractions. I also carried on using the gas and air for a little longer after each contraction. I then laid over my ball with my eyes closed waiting for the next contraction to come along. The midwife kept making me move around, much to my annoyance, so I went on the bed for a while. She also said I needed to try and wee and so I kept trying to go to the loo but nothing would come out. I was sipping water and isotonic drinks throughout my contractions to try and keep my energy levels up but I still didn’t need to go to the toilet. We had two midwifes, a student midwife who stayed in the room with me most of the time and another midwife that kept coming in and out.
I carried on with my gas an air until 8.50am. I could feel something bearing down on me. I had been feeling it for a while, it felt like I needed to do a poo but by this point it was unbearable. I was on the floor hanging over my ball. I shouted to the midwife ‘Her head is coming out!’. I don’t know how I knew it was the baby’s head but I just did. The student midwife had a look and said ‘Oh yes so it is!’ She then went to go and get the other midwife. They asked me to get back on the bed. I was on all fours on the bed at first as that is the position the midwife recommended. I stayed in that position for a few contractions but I couldn’t get on with it and so I changed to lay on my back with my knees up and my feet flat on the bed. They made me give up my gas and air which I did so begrudgingly. It’s recommended as the gas and air can stop you being able to push as hard. I then began to push with every contraction. Soon the midwife asked Nick if he would like to see the head. The baby was crowning. She showed it to him and he touched it. She asked me if I wanted to do the same to be honest I wasn’t that keen but when I looked down you couldn’t miss it! It was there, right there between my legs. It was really quite hideous, and disturbing. Nothing about labour is magical, don’t let anyone tell you any different. Horrifying if anything.
The baby stayed in this position for about 7 contractions. The midwife’s asked me to push harder but I just couldn’t push any harder than I was and the baby wasn’t coming. I asked if I could have something to push against. I was thinking Nick’s chest but they got out some stirrup things for me to put my feet in to. These worked. The next contractions I pushed with all my might. I did make quite some noise through these contractions although I prefer to think of myself as ‘roaring’ through them.
The baby’s head finally came out. I could feel that something wasn’t quite right as I was pushing and I think that was when I tore. After the midwives realised the baby had had her arm up next to her head and so that’s why she couldn’t fit through. I don’t remember this next bit but Nick says that once the head was out the midwife said that I could have a rest and push on the next contraction but then the baby started crying with just its head out! :-O
So the midwifes said I had to push right that second. I roared once more and pushed with all I had and at 9.25am out slid a slippery little baby.
Rosalie June was born. We had already decided on her name although we hadn’t told anyone. The midwife put Rosalie on my chest straight away, without cleaning her off, as this is what I wanted and had asked for in my birth plan. The midwives were really good and followed my birth plan to the letter. This was brilliant as I wouldn’t have been able to tell them what I wanted during the labour. I would definitely advise writing a birth plan as it means that the midwives can just do their thing but you know that they know what you want. We had a cuddle and waited for the cord to stop pulsing (another thing I had asked for in my birth plan). Once it had stopped pulsing, Nick cut the cord. I then gave Rosalie her first feed and she fed for about 40 minutes.
After that they weighed Rosalie, swaddled her and gave her to Nick for a cuddle.
The midwife gave me an injection so that the placenta came away and I didn’t need to push it out with contractions. This was amazing and the placenta fell out pretty much immediately. I was then stitched up, Luckily I only had a small tear along the side and so only needed two stitches. The midwife even stitched me up so I didn’t see a doctor at all.The midwife then came in and asked me what my plans were. I said I would like to leave the hospital as soon as possible. She said I would just need to have wee and then they could discharge me. So I peed and then they started getting all the paperwork together. Whilst they were doing this I had a shower and got dressed. Nick and my mum took it in turns to cuddle Rosalie. They let us home at 1.30pm. We were back home and sitting on the sofa with our baby and a cup of tea by 2pm. Rosalie was in her little bouncer chair and Nick, my mum and I just looked at her for the rest of the afternoon.
What a morning!!