Monday’s child is fair of face
Name: Sophie Amelia
Date of birth: Monday, 6th August 2012 at 12.58am
Birth weight: 6lb 4oz
Hours in labour: 8.5
Sophie was born four days early in the early hours of a Monday morning. My water never broke with Sophie, but from 39 weeks I began all the fun things to induce labour; pineapple, bouncing on a ball, long walks etc. I was in slow labour from 3rd August – having irregular contractions and being sent home from the hospital twice (once at 1cm, then at 3cms). In the end, it wasn’t until I was doubled over barely able to breathe that I allowed Husband to call a cab to get back up there.
I went to the hospital on 4th August thinking ‘this is it’ and I was wrong. My contractions were every 4 mins but petered off due to a dose of co-codamol. Incidentally I will never take co-codamol again as it stopped labour! After I was discharged from hospital on Sunday (5th August), we went for breakfast. Contractions started again while I ate and were every 10 mins but I was so pissed off at the false starts I ignored them. We decided to take the midwives advice and went for a long walk into town. To distract me, we went to play crazy golf (I won while in labour :D) then we went for a 2-3 mile walk. Got home, ate half a pineapple and had 2 slices of chilli pizza that Husband found too hot to eat to try and speed things up. I then got on the ball and started timing when contractions were 6 mins apart. Kept bouncing til they were 2 mins apart and lasting 2 mins. I still refused to go in having been sent home twice already!
When I started to cry due to the pressure in my bump and because the contractions were SO powerful (4.30pm), I had to go in, no choice as Husband made me despite my protesting they would send me away! We got to the hospital and midwife examined me and during the exam I BEGGED her to tell me I was further than the 3cm I had been on Saturday night – Huzzah! 4.5cm! I was in proper real labour! The midwives were great, and left us to labour in peace, coming in sporadically to check Sophie’s heart rate and offer me tea and water.
I was given the gas and air sucker (oh, I want some in my house!) and proceeded for four hours contracting heavily while trying to walk and eat and have gas and air. I remember Hairspray being on the telly and with my eyes shut, singing along to focus on something else. I was starving, so between contractions I was scoffing down tuna sandwiches and cold water. Husband was brilliant; he sat in a chair next to me, and I laboured on all fours on a mat. Whenever my contractions had a break, I would sit on a chair, then when one hit I’d be on my knees. I kept trying to breathe normal air between gas and air puffs, as I didn’t want to get too dizzy. Husband was texting updates to my Mum and best friend during the labour so they knew how I was doing. Four hours later, the new midwife came in for the second exam to see where we were. I told her no matter where I was, to break the waters (as mine hadn’t gone yet!) and that would speed it up. I was at 5.5cm and she busted the water bag… now the fun bit!
In the space of 20 mins, I went from 5.5cms to EIGHT cms. The speed of the dilation was painful and unexpected so I got onto the hospital bed and kneeled upright facing the headboard. At 11.30pm I started pushing (they mean it when they say you can’t help it!) and I got SO tired SO quickly because stupidly, I was pushing when I wasn’t having contractions. It got a bit uncomfortable on my knees so I lay on my back instead to push. This was also so I could use the stirrups to brace my feet. Three days of barely any sleep then had to push out a baby…!
The midwife checked and there was still a bit of cervix caught around her head, so she helped me while I pushed. I was SO hot, SO tired and SO thirsty from the gas and air, that when Husband told me to push a little harder to get her head round the bend, I told him ‘if it’s that fucking easy you do it!’ Otherwise, I’ve been told that I barely made a sound and yet kept apologising for yelling that I wasn’t doing! The only trouble, was that while I was pushing, my calves kept seizing up with the effort and the pain of that was actually worse than pushing out a human, so I kept stopping and starting. Sophie was so calm during all this, and her heartbeat stayed consistent.
Anyway, just as I got to 1hr30 of pushing and she wanted to put a trace on me and get the doctor in for some assistance as I was getting too tired, I found second wind and pushed harder than I ever thought I could. The most annoying thing was that the midwife got a little frustrated with me when I had to breathe – she kept saying breathe IN and push, and when I had to breathe OUT Sophie would slide back a bit! Anyway, I found a second wind and pushed very hard just as the midwife left the room to get a doctor. Out popped her head!!! Husband yelled for the midwife to come back in and she guided me to push gently so I didn’t tear. In three small pushes and one more big push, Sophie was out!
The first thing I said to her was ”I know you!”. Husband was in tears and cut Sophie’s cord. She was yelling ‘Bah, bah, bah’ but no tears as she took her first few breaths. I held her close and she stared up at me with these big blue eyes and she had a shock of dark hair, which accounted for the amount of heartburn I had! Once I birthed the placenta, Lorna (our lovely midwife) took Sophie to be weighed, have her Vitamin K injection and cleaned off. Husband got her clothes and blanket ready as well as a feed in her bottle. I had a rest and a drink while the midwife showed Husband how to dress her and I called my Mum to let her know. While I was on the phone, Lorna told me she weighed a tiny 6lb 4oz and her APGAR was at 10. I had a second degree tear as Sophie had arrived with her hand by her face, so while I was getting high on gas and air and being stitched up, Husband fed Sophie her first feed. I was gabbling on to Lorna that I was exhausted and thanked her for threatening me with intervention with a doctor!
I couldn’t get over how tiny she was – 6lb4! After I was stitched up, Husband burped Sophie and put her into the perspex cot all wrapped up and she went to sleep. I hopped into a very much needed shower (FYI, never again will I wear a long tshirt in labour!!! Vests ALL the way!). We were transferred to the maternity ward at 4am and I sent Husband home in a cab for a sleep for a few hours. I remember looking at this little bug all wrapped in those blankets and thinking… Now I have to keep her alive! I changed her first nappy and did another feed. Husband came back at 9am the next day after some sleep. I hadn’t had any as I couldn’t stop watching Sophie while I was alone with her. I lost 150ml of blood and next time round, I’ll be asking for iron tablets after labour. I struggled to breathe while on the ward so the nurse gave me some tablets to help me. Husband brought the pram and balloons as well as a McDonalds breakfast for me. I was discharged from hosp at 3pm Monday afternoon (12 hours later) and since then have loved every single minute of being Sophie’s mummy.
A lot of people ask me why I didn’t have any photos taken in the hospital or the hospital room. My logic is that those few hours were so precious and I didn’t want to share those with anyone except Husband. No one else was there at her conception so no one else needed to be there for the moments after birth. Her first visitor was my Dad, who came from London to see her and brought her a teddy bear.
Now, Sophie is a thriving and beautiful ten month old little girl. She is so smart, and so funny to watch and we are so proud of the little girl she is becoming. She’s at an age where she is testing her boundaries but also learning affection and it’s lovely to wake up to Husband plopping her down on the bed so she crawls over and pats my face til I wake up. Sophie is an absolute joy and being her mummy has taught me so much about patience and love I never even thought possible. Not just for her, but for Husband too.
Sophie is obsessed with walking – when sitting on your lap she will grab your hands one at a time then slide down so she can lead you around the house. She loves to dance along to CBeebies and Daddy being a silly singing for her. She sleeps through the night without issues and loves her food. Sophie is a generally happy little girl and will just melt your heart by smiling.
We’re so lucky to have great friends and family around us and in her life, she is as blessed as we are.