This post was recently published on the blog of Emma from www.emmaandalfiesworld.co.uk . A lovely blog by a lovely lady. Emma collated and published a large variety of birth stories. Thank you Emma, it was lots of fun and surprisingly emotional for me to sit and recall all the details of my third birth! Below is my contribution to Emma’s blog.
My third baby was due on 24th August 2011. It has been a long hot summer and I was getting very uncomfortable. With my first two pregnancies the baby had arrived early; so at 39 +6 I was getting very bored of waiting. In the last 3 weeks I undertook a lot of walking, spicy food, raspberry tea and sex…NOTHING!
On the 23rd August, it started. I had just woofed down a plate of my homemade chilli, (with extra chilli), literally as soon as I had finished my last mouthful, the contractions started. Maybe the baby was fed up of me feeding it unnecessarily over-spiced meals. I was over the moon.
And oh boy did the contractions start coming! I know that with each pregnancy, labour usually is quicker; so as eager as a beaver, Hubby and I jumped in the car and drove to hospital (I had rung them first to advise I was en-route). I timed them using the clock in the car, and during the journey, they increased in length and got stronger, much stronger.
I know what you’re thinking. No I didn’t give birth in the car. That would be Hubby’s worst nightmare, and mine as he would be completely useless.
We made it to hospital, and were put in a room on the labour ward for observations. Typically, my contractions slowed! I was only 2cms dilated. But as this was my third pregnancy, they said I should stay and put me in a bed on the antenatal ward. Hubby was unceremoniously dismissed, and so at 2am(ish) he drove home.
The ward was as you would expect at 2am, dark and quiet – no babies in THIS ward. It was full of sleeping pregnant women, probably stocking up on all the sleep they knew they would forfeit once bundle of joy arrived. And I can’t blame them.
Unfortunately, I found this disturbing. I was given a bed at the end of the ward, next to a window with the curtains pulled around, and left. It didn’t occur to me until some weeks later, that I was not offered any kind of pain relief, paracetomol, gas and air. I had nothing, just a bottle of water, a pillow and a buzzer for the midwife. I lay there for what felt like hours and hours, writhing around, doing my deep breathing, taking sips of my now warm water, trying to keep in any kind of noise to prevent waking up the women who were not in pain. I was convinced that things must have progressed. I called the midwife two times, and on each time following an inspection, she whispered that I “was not dilated enough, I was doing well and try to relax”….!!!!! This is the worst thing to hear when you’re in pain, and alone in a dark ward full of sleeping mummas-to-be.
So I endured this torture on my own for what felt like an eternity, until finally I simply could not bear it anymore. For the third time, I buzzed for a midwife – they have the patience of a saint, truly they do! – and FINALLY following a third inspection, she looked at me and informed me I had gone up to 6cm dilated. “We’d better get you down to the labour ward, you’ve progressed quite quickly.” AT LAST!
I don’t recall much of the wheelchair trip down in the lift. I don’t remember being helped onto the bed, and I certainly don’t remember having those horrible itchy uncomfortable oversized elastic-band-type products being strapped around my tight and contracting belly. I bloody hate those things. They don’t help my mood during labour one bit. They get in the way, and are like wearing a bra in bed as far as I am concerned. I DO remember telling everyone and anyone who was within earshot that I had requested an epidural. It was in my birth-plan, so I must absolutely must have one. For everyone else’s safety and wellbeing I must have an epidural. I was not prepared to not have one. It was not even a possibility. I put my hands up, I am a wimp with labour pain, but I also turn into a complete and unreasonable ogre. I swear like a sailor. I am not one of these ladies who can sail through (no pun intended) labour looking lovely and serene, smiling, enjoying and embracing the pain. Not me. I want drugs. Don’t care what type, but after a certain point of the labour I do not want to feel anything. They invented pain relief for women just like me!
So at around 6am(ish), epidural plugged in, belly strapped up, midwife positioned in the corner writing up her notes, Hubby walks in, clearly in a state of excitement and trepidation.
And so the waiting and the vomiting began….my labour slowed right down, thanks to the epidural. It plodded along at a very boring and frustrating rate. So much so that I had a change of midwife three times! But all were absolutely lovely.
You have noted I made mention of vomiting….yes I did. It turns out that epidural makes me sick, literally. Throughout my entire labour I was unable to keep anything down. The only thing that kept me going was fruit polos. I sucked them to death, desperate for something. Was I jealous when Hubby walked back in from the hospital restaurant having just had his dinner, a curry? No, not at all. I was happy for him to have enjoyed something to eat. He needs to keep his energy up. After all a man who is hungry is nearly as grumpy a woman in labour.
Time ticked on; it continued raining; we lost count of the amount of the cardboard sick bowls which had been disposed of; I lost count of how many doctors, registrars, students had all inspected my nether-regions; Hubby had been sent down to the hospital shop at least twice to re-stock my fruit polos; texts were sent advising still no baby……oh my god it didn’t want to come out. Clearly I was destined to be pregnant, strapped up, drugged up and throwing up forever!
At around 6.45pm, the midwives (there were two with us at this point), left the room for a teabreak. They deserved and needed one. I was giving Hubby instructions and about to send him out to get something – I can’t remember what for – but I felt another bought of sickness coming. “Sick bowl” I hollered. This was the worst lot of retching I had (apologies for going into details), I felt like my ribs were about to pop out of my throat. I had nothing to bring up, but continued violently retching over and over. Hubby, bless him, stood there holding the bowl like a trooper.
I didn’t think anything of it, this had been happening ALL DAY, but I did feel a bit tight down below between my legs. I put my hand down to have a feel……I had wretched so much I had pushed baby’s head out! Oops! It was at that point the midwives came back in. And it was all go. The button was pushed and in flew more midwives; my body then chose at that point to start retching again. This of course, made the rest of the baby pop out too!
Baby boy made his unique appearance at 7.07pm on 24th August, his due date! I am sure that the midwives won’t forget that birth, and I will take get joy in reliving the experience to my Son when he is older.