I have been wanting to write this for weeks now, funny how you can never find the time with a newborn. So I am taking advantage of Daddy daycare courtesy of the Easter weekend and finally getting round to posting my birth story.
Tuesday 14th March, I didn’t wake up feeling different like a lot of women say they did. However, I did wake up pissed off with the amount of pain in my hips and the mahoosive size of my feet. Seriously, they were ridiculous, even the giant grandma style shoes I had bought could barely contain them. I also knew I HAD to get to Sainsburys and stock up on essentials – just in case.
I had a couple of obligatory ‘any sign of baby’ messages during the morning. At this point I am going to state that these texts do not help at all, so please, please stop it. The last thing a heavily pregnant lady needs is to have to reply to messages like that. Anyway, I digress….
Back from shopping I had lunch and settled down to yet another exciting afternoon of general knowledge starting with Fifteen to One. However, about 2:30pm I rapidly developed horrendous back pain. “Oh how wonderful, yet another delightful symptom of being 9 months gone” I moaned to nobody but myself. I didn’t for a second think that anything was starting. I decided to listen to my hypnobirthing CD but couldn’t concentrate on it. Then just after 3 pm there was a twinge, and 5 minutes later there was another one. I started to wonder if things could be kicking off, but decided to leave it a bit before calling the hospital. When the twinges continued I decided to make the call. Only to be told that it was probably false labour, and would stop soon. Silly lady on the phone…….
Chris arrived home about 5:15 and said that I was very red in the face as I bounced up and down on the birthing ball. That conversation went as follows….
C: Are you okay babe, you look very red?
Me: Yep I’m okay, I’m having contractions
*Cue husband turning into an excited puppy and leaping about the front room*
C: Really? Okay cool, how far apart are they?
Me: Every 3 minutes
*Cue husbands colour completely drain from his face, and no more leaping*
We were on our way to the hospital at 6:30, its about 50 minutes away and we did it a tad quicker oddly enough. When we arrived we went straight up to the birth centre, I had wanted a water birth and the pool was available. I was examined and was 5cm dilated by that point. The midwife said my waters were bulging and babies head was right behind them. In my birth plan I had stated that I wanted gas and air, but decided not to in the end. I didn’t want to miss anything, or be groggy and not be able to follow instructions should they be needed.
I got in the pool at 7:30pm and was immediately soothed by the water. We had our wedding playlist on, and Sheryl our lovely midwife just left us to it. Between contractions I was able to carry on conversations and wasn’t feeling any discomfort in those moments. The contractions got stronger, and I began mimicking a cow by moo’ing my way through them. Just after 8pm my waters went – thank fudge I was in the pool already, I’d had increased fluid around the baby and it would have made a hell of a mess if they had gone on dry land. The force of those waters going were pretty violent, they could have propelled me from one side of the pool to the other if there was room.
I sent Chris to get Sheryl as I immediately felt the urge to push. From that point time went by very quickly, I was still managing the pain myself, and baby’s heart rate was stable throughout, but I knew I didn’t have long to go. The moo’ing got louder and the respite between contractions was down to about 45 seconds. I’m not sure when exactly I started pushing, but it didn’t feel like long at all, and at 9:45pm our little Edward entered the world.
Now at this point I am going to big myself up for doing this without any pain relief, and I know thats probably not popular, but its my story so I don’t care. I am a woman that had a baby without drugs to help, and I am so proud of myself for doing it that way. Thats not a slur against anyone that does take advantage of whats on offer at all, perhaps if I had a longer labour I would have been screaming for the entire contents of the pharmacy to be brought to me immediately. I don’t necessarily think I have a higher pain threshold than anyone else either, I just believed that my body could do what it needed to do, and I just had to have faith and go with it. I also wanted to offer hope and positivity to other ladies out there waiting to go through this process who might be scared. You have so got this, and even when its hurting like hell, keep in mind what you get at the end of it. The pain literally does stop straight away. My boy was 8lb 5oz, so a decent size. I suffered a second degree tear, which I did not feel happen either.
Back to the story, Ed didn’t come into this world loudly, in fact he was very chilled out. He had a cuddle with his very proud Dad whilst I was stitched up (again, not painful). What did hurt was the injection in my thigh to get the placenta out. Chris decided to FaceTime his Mum at this point, not great whilst I’m in stirrups with everything on display, thats not something that anyone needed to see, especially my mother in law.
Just after midnight we went down to the ward, I was lucky enough to give birth at a hospital that allowed Dads to stay too. For anyone thats interested it was St Richards Hospital in Chichester and I would recommend it to anyone. That first night was surreal, we were both knackered, but couldn’t sleep as it was too exciting that we were now a three. We stayed in until late afternoon the day after he was born, and then we were released out into the world, ready to come home and start family life.
As any new parent can imagine, life since that moment has changed dramatically and I have so much more writing to do about my/our experiences already. I’m still working out how to find the time, as first and foremost I want to be there for my son, and everything else is taking a back seat. A month has passed us by already, those early days are all a bit of a blur, I have struggled a lot with my hormones and being very emotional, but that fog is starting to lift and I am feeling more confident as ‘Mum’ all the time.
This post will never do justice to the experience that we had, the day that a couple became a family, the day that our tiny human started his own story, the day that our beautiful Son was born.