So, the evening of the 13th July 2012, I decided to have a curry from our local Indian takeaway, a nice old chicken tikka masala – lovely! Who would have thought that I’d wake up at 4:30am on 14th July 2012 to mild contractions! To be honest, I didn’t think much of it until I got out of bed. I had an extremely itchy rash all over my body so I just did my nightly routine of putting calamine lotion on and when I was doing this, my mucus plug fell straight on the floor – yuck! This is when I thought – this could be it?!
7:30am came and the contractions were 4-6 minutes apart, I thought I’d better call the hospital as it’s 40 minutes away. They told me to wait at home, take a bath and some paracetamol and see how they are in an hour. I sat in the bath for near enough 3 hours, with my mum bringing me tea and toast as Scott was at work. the contractions were 4-6 minutes until 10:30am when they changed to 2.5-3 minutes apart so I called the hospital again which is when I went in. by this time, I had already called Scott to get home quickly as he works an hour and a half away.
The hospital sent me to the assessment unit which is when they told me I was 4cm dilated. They told me I’d have to wait for a bed in the delivery unit as they were all full so 4 hours later I was shown to a room. It was the darkest, dingiest room I’ve ever seen and I was really upset when I couldn’t have my water birth. My contractions started to slow down again, every 4-6 minutes and to top it off the midwife was horrible. She turned around and said I wasn’t in established labour meaning I could go home. I asked if she’d like to examine me to see how dilated I was but because my waters had broke at 11am there was possible risk of infection. In the end the midwife said I could go home, but surely there was more risk of infection there? I was quite reluctant as my contractions were still coming, all be it slower but they were still there and the hospital is a long way away.
I decided to go home as the midwife was really getting on my nerves, she had an attitude and I really didn’t feel comfortable being in the same room as her. She wasn’t professional at all and seemed like she didn’t care for her patients one bit.
it was typical, as soon as I got home the contractions started coming thick and fast again but as I wasn’t really progressing when I was in hospital I didn’t bother ringing them until they’d get to below 2.5 minutes apart. BIG mistake… I suddenly had the urge to push!
I’m so glad Scott knew what to do, straight away he called the ambulance and I was told to lay on my back – I was on all fours to start with – as laying on your back slows things down a bit. The ambulance got to us in about 10 minutes and we had blue lights going to the hospital, I was desperately trying not to push but it was so difficult. The kind paramedic gave me gas and air, all I can say is AMAZING STUFF!
We’d got to the hospital in about 20 minutes but the paramedics had taken me to the midwife-led birthing unit instead of the delivery unit. Luckily the midwife said I could go in and she examined me, I was 8cm so too late for any pain relief apart from gas and air! She asked me what type of birth I’d like and I said preferably a water birth and right there and then she filled up a pool and in 40 minutes I was in!
The time was now 11:00pm and it was time to push! For an hour and 40 minutes I was pushing, it felt like an eternity! My mum was wonderful and was putting cool flannels on the back of my neck between every contraction. She was really getting an earful from me whereas Scott was getting all of my love, even if he was reading the paper while I was giving birth to his first child! (MEN!) Luckily it was only between contractions!
The last push had come and here she was, our beautiful princess, Francesca Elizabeth, a huge amount of love rushed over me but she didn’t cry for about 5 minutes which worried me. She was in shock so the midwife rubbed her down with a towel on the bed and that’s when she bellowed! The proudest moment of my life!
The following 4 months after Francesca’s birth, I noticed my hair started falling out in clumps. During pregnancy my hair had never been thicker so when my hormone levels dropped after having her, my hair started to disappear. I couldn’t do anything about it and it made me feel very uneasy. It’s only been in the last 6 months that its really started to grow back and look relatively normal. Although, it’s still worth it!