This has been a requested post by several people and I’ve been umming and ahhing about doing it. I didn’t know if it was too personal. I didn’t know if I wanted everyone to know. But then I came to the conclusion that I don’t have to go into all the gory details (you don’t need to know them!) and only Rob and I will know how it really was. And not only that but in time to come, it will be lovely for Ethan to read about how he came into the world.
So here we are. This is a bit of a long post, so be warned. You can’t rush these things!
It’s been nearly five months yet it feels like yesterday. I’d been on Maternity leave for just three weeks. As those days passed by, I became more and more anxious knowing that soon I was going to have to deal with all kinds of pain. It was all a little bit surreal really. I think maybe throughout the whole pregnancy I’d avoided thinking about the inevitable finale. I hadn’t gone to antenatal classes because in my mind what I didn’t know, couldn’t hurt me and I stand by this to this day. It was right for me and it was the right thing to do.
It was strange. As the days went by, I got more and more uncomfortable. I wanted this pregnancy over and I wanted to meet the little miracle that kept kicking me from the inside. See the tiny feet that kept digging me in the ribs, and see if the cause of my horrendous heartburn really was a full head of hair! I’d hoped not because I wanted to tell my Mum that her old wives tales were silly! But at the same time as I wanted all of this, I didn’t want it either. I’m not going to lie. I was a little bit frightened. The unknown is a scary thing. But, I have broad shoulders and on Friday, 14th December, I knew I wasn’t going to have to wait much longer.
It had been a normal day. Well, as normal as a day of being nine months pregnant can be. I’d got up, had a visit from a friend and spent the day sat on the sofa watching everything that ITV had to offer me. I was far too uncomfortable at this point to go anywhere or do anything and my Mum and Dad had been coming to spend the afternoons with me. Today was no different. However on this day they had a Christmas party to go to. An early evening thing. Mum really wasn’t up for going, especially as that afternoon Rob had called home and told me not to panic but he’d been in a car accident. Don’t panic?! What a silly thing to say. He was stuck in Birmingham and had no idea what time he’d be back. Needless to say, Mum wasn’t going anywhere. Poor Dad was sent off to the party on his own.
Shortly after, I started to get back pain. The back pain didn’t go away and so the bouncing on the birthing ball commenced. And let’s just say I stayed there for the rest of the night.
Rob finally got home via a recovery lorry at around 9.30pm. It had been a chuffing long afternoon and evening. I needed my bed. But I had a hinckling that it wasn’t going to be a proper nights kip. I wasn’t wrong.
I awoke to the bizarrest of sensations. I’m not even going to try and describe what it feels like when your waters break. I can just remember nudging Rob and saying “Errrr, I think my waters have just gone!” Low and behold they had and so the phone calls began to the hospital. I wasn’t expecting my waters to go. It’s not overly common apparently. And there was me worrying how I’d know when I was going into labour. It’s laughable now really. The midwives on the labour ward told us to head over within the next couple of hours, but not to rush or panic. Again, what a silly thing to say. Did these people not realise I was having a baby?!?
We arrived at the hospital at around 8am, having gone via Tesco for essentials. Flapjack and Shloer, I believe. There’s only one person who will find this amusing 😉
After experiencing an ‘off the telly moment’ of my second lot of waters breaking in the lift, yes – things like that really do happen! I was hooked up to the machine that records baby’s heart rate and monitors any contractions and got examined by a midwife. What a bloody horrendous experience that is. Possibly worse than labour. For me anyway. I was 2 cm dialated and contractions had only just started. You can guess what’s coming. Yup. Sent home.
Lovely. So off we toddled. It was here I spent the day leaning over the birthing ball, or the sofa, or against the door frames, gritting my teeth through the contractions, which were getting closer and closer together. I kept phoning the hospital to find out what to do. They just told me to hold on and stay at home for as long as possible – take some paracetamol. I ask you. This wasn’t a bloody headache! Not really what I wanted to hear. By the time I’d had enough, my contractions were coming every three minutes and lasting a minute and I had the serious shakes. I even frightened my Dad. It was time to go.
We got back to the hospital at around 9.30pm. It was here at hospital I was then told for the first time how to breathe through the contractions. That helped. A bit.
After another examination I discovered I was now 4cm dialated. Was that ALL?! I was petrified that she was going to send me home again. They put me on the monitor again and after a while they called a doctor because every time I contracted, baby’s heart rate was dropping. The doctor didn’t appear too concerned and they helped me move him by turning me on my side. He was very low down and this was causing the drop in heart rate every time my muscles contracted around him. This was monitored the whole time but thankfully didn’t become an issue.
It was around this time that there was talk about pain relief. I’d come this far without so much as an Anadin and I’d started to think I’d had enough when it was unnecessary. I had no idea what kind of pain relief I wanted. I was prepared to take anything if need be. I wasn’t about to rule anything out. I was going to have some kind of oral pain killer – I can’t tell you what, but it didn’t happen. It all happened so fast. The next thing I knew I was in the delivery room and gas and air was being brought in for me. God that stuff is good shit. I was examined again and I was now 8cm dialated. I’d gone from 4 to 8cm in one hour. My midwife was impressed to say the least.
A good few more contractions came and went and I waffled on about god knows what under the influence of the entonox. Much to the amusement of Rob and my midwife. Then the urge to push came. So this is how you knew what labour was. Before I knew it, it was really happening.
The rest is a bit of a blur if I’m honest. I know I wasn’t on the gas and air by this point. My midwife had advised against it as she didn’t want it to affect me pushing as it made me quite drowsy. I was doing this birth the hardcore way. I pushed and pushed and pushed. What a lovely vision for you all. I can remember feeling very, very tired and telling them I was tired. My midwife said that so was baby and we had to get him out soon. That was enough to spur me on. A couple more grunts, groans and screaming and then suddenly I wasn’t the only one screaming. There was another person in the room. I’d done it. Baby Ethan was here.
They handed him to me and and he instantly stopped crying. What a moment. Our eyes connected and we bonded instantly. Even the midwife was shocked by the connection we had. When they took him off me to weigh him and measure him he cried again, until he was handed back to me. Then he stopped. A mummy’s boy from the beginning.
He was eventually born at 12.51am on Sunday, 16th December 2012 weighing a dainty 6lb 4oz with a head very much full of hair!
I’ve never been one to blow my own trumpet but if I’ve not done anything else in this world to be proud of, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy on just gas and air. To this day I can’t believe I did it. But I did and if I could high five myself I would.
My midwife was amazing. Kept me going when I felt low and told a joke or two when I needed to smile. But the real praise should go to Rob. The poor guy nearly had his hand snapped off on many an occasion and almost needed stitches from where my nails dug in him. I couldn’t have done it without him. He was my absolute rock and I will be eternally grateful. I raise a glass of Shloer to you my darling husband! 😉
So there we have it. Five months on and we have a smiling, giggling, happy baby boy who brings us so much more than happiness everyday. There is a stencil on his bedroom wall that sums it all up and is the perfect way to end this
“First we had each other, then we had you, now we have everything….”
**I apologise again for the length of this post, but it’s not something you can cut corners with. I hope you understand. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.