Throughout my pregnancy I had PGP/SPD which meant I could barely walk without my pelvis feeling like it was about to break. Needless to say I couldn’t wait for my baby to come so I could get some kind of relief! Two days before I was due I woke up with what felt like period pains and after drifting in and out of sleep I realised that the pains kept coming and going just like contractions would! The pain gradually got worse and after timing them on my iPhone app I noticed they became regular and more frequent. I had my show at 1am Monday morning and as the pain started getting really bad we went into the birthing centre, only to be told I was just 2cm dilated. I was sent home where the contractions died down, one hour I couldn’t manage to walk down the garden path and then next hour I had completely stalled which was really disheartening! Thankfully the contractions started up fast again at about 1am Tuesday morning so again we went to hospital. I had only dilated by another 1cm to 3cm which was so frustrating so after much protesting I was sent to the antenatal ward alone as OH was not allowed there as it wasn’t visiting hours. I had a shot of diamorphine which didn’t touch the pain.
Once I got to the Antenatal ward my contractions became unbearable but I was told by a horrible, nasty midwife ‘you’re not even in labour yet so just breathe’!! I could have killed her. I was so angry and was in tears as 1. You do not tell a woman who is having hard contractions that she is not in labour and 2. The pain was unbearable. Two hours passed and she still wouldn’t listen to me but luckily a different midwife came in the room who checked me and I had progressed to 8-9cm! I was later told that the mean midwife would have been questioned about why I nearly delivered on the antenatal ward by the senior midwife and would have had a ‘talking to’ about it. The midwife called OH and he told me later that as he was trying to catch up on his sleep when they called he initially thought it was a dream and started to go back to sleep! Luckily my mum and sister had stayed over and he was woke by my mum making noise which made him realise he had just taken a call!
I went back to the birthing centre and my OH, mum and sister arrived shortly after. I laboured in the pool which was so much more relaxing than lying on a bed. I had gas and air which tasted and felt like cheap vodka but was a lifesaver, and started getting the urge to push which was so strange as I had no control over my body pushing. Got out of the pool after a while as it was taking longer than they thought and I used the rope sling hanging from the ceiling to lean on. The midwifes started to look worried as she wasn’t coming no matter how hard I pushed and one ran outside to get the senior midwife. She was a godsend as she got down on her knees, held my hands and looked right into my eyes telling me I needed to push hard right now. I focused all of my energy and eventually gave birth to my baby girl stood up in this position. OH didn’t get to cut the cord as she was rushed away to be given oxygen as she had a tough time coming out and the cord was wrapped around her neck, leg and arm. I didn’t see her and as OH went to be with her I was left sat on a futon wondering what on earth had just happened! Two mins later my baby was placed on my chest for skin to skin. OH, my mum and sister were all in tears but I was in shock and just stared at this beautiful creature that was now in my arms. I remember laughing as she kept curling her lip up like Elvis and winking at me.
I ended up with a 2nd degree tear which needed stitches (gas and air was my best friend again!) and OH still takes the mick out of me as I talked the doctors ears off in between stitches! I went between jabbering on and on about mundane things and then bursting into tears as I was so overwhelmed! That continued for the entire time I was being stitched up and was the only point that gas and air had a funny effect on me!
We were back home 8 hours after giving birth and it felt so scary knowing she was ours to look after. I didn’t start to feel tired until a couple of days later due to all of the adrenaline and stupidly didn’t eat much either as I barely had an appetite. I fainted in the shower a few days later which I put down to blood loss, not eating and tiredness. I will make a conscious effort next time to make sure I eat high energy snacks to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
I tried to breast feed but she just wouldn’t latch and I had no luck trying to express so eventually decided on bottle feeding. Her foot was bent inwards slightly due to the way she was led in my belly which was a little worrying at first but this rectified itself after a couple of months.
So after having no sleep from 1am on Monday she was eventually born at 10.12am on Tuesday 1 May 2012. OH and I took it in shifts of about 3-4 hours for the first week so one of us could rest as she was unsettled. This was a huge mistake as it meant one of us was always exhausted so next time we will try to get into a routine of sleeping at the same time asap! Lack of sleep/hormones meant I cried at everything especially when OH kept saying how beautiful she is! It just set me off!
I would definitely recommend the birth centre and pool for anyone unsure and it really is true about your body taking over. So surprised I managed to labour with just G&A so I would advise to just have an open mind and decide what you want at the time.
I can honestly say I have never been as proud, terrified and in love as I am with Eva. Theres no doubt birth is painful but it is worth every single second