So where shall I start? The beginning! As a first timer I had felt quite an anticlimax when my DD of 13/01 came and went with no baby. And then MW booked me in for an induction on 25/01 which was not my plan at all so I was trying everything I could think of (pineapple, DH hormones, bouncy ball etc etc) and nothing - no twinges or BH. The last thing I tried was a breast pump for 15 mins on each nipple that (weds) night.
So when I woke up in the early hours on Thursday just after midnight with period type pain I didn't think much of it as I thought contractions were like waves that went over the whole bump (where did I read that?) so I ignored them and went downstairs, got a glass of orange juice and watched some TV. At 2am I decided to have a bath as the aching wasn't getting any better and yes that did help. DH got up at 2.30 and tried to persuade me to go back to bed and get some sleep but I knew I was too wide awake. At 3.45 I had a sort of dribble (sorry!) which again was not what I thought a show or waters breaking would be - not nearly dramatic enough! So I called the hospital to check and they said it was things starting to soften up and to keep a check on pains and when they came and went (at that time about 8 mins apart). They seemed most unconcerned really and not to worry that nothing was imminent. They said I had to get to 5 mins apart and lasting a minute before going in or calling again.
Things moved on pretty quick from then, DH came down and we put the TENS on at about 4am and between 4 and 5.30am I started to get real pains - but again all low down where you'd get period pain but I was pretty sure this was labour as it hurt! DH was great at doing some really deep massage on the base of my spine at the contractions which at this stage probably took a good 30% of the pain away so I'd recommend trying that if you can - even if for something else to focus on. Then more waters and strong contractions so off we went to the hospital. Such an unglamorous ride and although only 20 mins it felt like suuuuch a long way with me on my hands and knees in the back of the car watching the steetlamps whiz by.
When we got to the hospital I was trying to zap each contraction with the TENS and vocalise too (this also helped!) but couldn't believe it when a while later I was only 4cm dilated and told to allow an hour per cm to dilate before I could start pushing. BEFORE???? No no no I thought this was far too painful and I wouldn't be able to cope that long. The MW was quite a no nonsense type of person so actually it was quite nice (with hindsight) when there was a shift change and the new lovely MW came in whose approach was gentle and encouraging.
Contractions started to get really painful and I admit I was getting a bit scared. I tried some gas and air which made me feel a bit sick and didn't seem to touch the sides of the pain so I decided quickly it wasn't for me. I was worried about the hours and hours I thought I was going to have to endure of this pain I couldn't control. I found that kneeling on the floor was as comfy as I was going to get and so the MWs brought pillows and sheets and all sorts to make me a great comfy area - they were so fab. Then the contractions got so blooming painful they made me gag. I didn't know the body would make you throw up at this sort of pain so kneeling on the floor and leaning half on the basin and half on DH was very comfy - I was glad I hadn't had a huge breakfast! I was then offered pethadine which is the one drug I had said I didn't want so I had to think about it. 2 contractions later I realised I wanted some help and so said yes and it was fabulous! Thoroughly recommend it. It took the edge off the pain and I didn't have the removed or spaced out feeling I thought I'd have - it was great. I had been worried that it was a drug that people reported feeling like they weren't part of the birth - but that wasn't my experience at all.
I was too late (or too early I can't remember) to use the birth pool but by this time I have to say my little camp on the floor was the only place I wanted to be. The MW brought me a ball to lean across which was nice too. DH was totally brilliant encouraging breathing and getting me to concentrate and just being fab. I squeezed his fingers so hard with the contractions I nearly crushed them I think.
I realised I only had to do 5 or 6 deep breaths to get through each contraction so it really helped to concentrate on that. DH had the TENS button and I just said "now" when one started so he controlled that which meant I could concentrate.
The other thing I didn't know about was the sort of reflex the body has at the end of a big contraction which is a push. I wasn't doing it - my body was. I tried to explain to the MW thinking this was going to make me tear horribly and I was doing it all wrong. She said that maybe the baby had decided it was time to come - and she was right! The hard hard haaaard pushes to get the head out were exhausting and I will admit excruciating. The MWs were really encouraging and getting me to take a deep breath and push really hard, snatch another breath and do it again, and again. But it hurt and I was scared so I didn't do it quite as hard as I could. I think I hoped the fairies would come along and do it for me! By this time I was tired and in pain and just wanted the baby out. The MWs just told me in the nicest way that it was up to me - so I decided that this was it and I had to get this head out - and I did. "Lots of dark hair!" they exclaimed (I'm a redhead so it had come from DH)
The MWs then said it was so nearly over and that with a couple more pushes they would pull the baby up and give it to me. What now?? Is it really nearly over? I couldn't believe it. So I just went for it and there she was - my little daughter - all blue and slippery but OMG a baby! I had done it. It was over. The relief, the excitement, the overwhelming emotion of it all - absolutely indescribable. DH cut the cord, burst into tears as did I I think and the relief was just incredible.
As I had been warned that as the baby was back to back and not completely engaged I was likely to have a long and very painful labour I was shocked that the labour was timed at just over 5 hours in total. So it just goes to show you have no idea what will happen to you and not necessarily to believe all you're told. Lucy was born at 9.23am - 10 fingers, 10 toes and just amazing. As she had turned during delivery she had torn me somewhat internally so I needed some stitching but I just didn't care as it doesn't matter - it was over.
I spent the rest of the day feeling rather shaky and eating (can't tell you how ravenous I was for the rest of the day - never been so glad of tea and toast and all the flapjacks and sweets I'd packed) and we were all home in time to watch the quaterfinal of Masterchef at 8pm. Surreal - very surreal as we were only away for a sort of day trip!
All in all I had a great experience. I was utterly convinced I was having a boy so was rather surprised to have a daughter! At 8lb 6oz she is a good weight and is a strong little thing. The MWs were brilliant and DH was wonderful too. I think DH and I are now totally in love with her :-) To see this little girl lying without a care in the world on her father's chest gives me a feeling of overwhelming love for them both I just can't describe.
So I am a mum. Crumbs. How lucky am I? xxx
BeckyAu has finally met her LO!
BeckyAu · 26/01/2008 20:23
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