Our estimated due date was the 21st of November 2017. My sister had planned a baby shower for me on the 26th of October, good job she didn’t plan it a week later as Isla decided to make an appearance way before she was due.
I hadn’t had braxton hicks, I hadn’t had my show, and my waters definitely hadn’t gone. One thing I did have was excruciating back pain, I hadn’t been able to sit comfortably for over a week.
I woke up at 5:00AM on the 30th of October, my back was in agony, it was a constant pain and I couldn’t get back to sleep, I took some paracetamol and got up for the day. I made a coffee and got on the sofa with a blanket. The pain stayed and four hours past, I decided to take some co-codamol. I was moving between living room and bedroom, drinking water, I couldn’t lie down, I couldn’t stand up, I would walk around for 5 minutes, the daylight wasn’t helping, I had the curtains shut, I could’ve cried, in fact, I did cry.
I called my Mum, who said to ring the hospital if the co-codamol hadn’t helped, I did just that, the midwife on the line asked me how far along I was, “36 weeks and 6 days” I replied. They asked me to go to the maternity ward to be checked over, so we rang a taxi. I took my notes, my phone and my purse. I wasn’t even full term, there was no way I would need my hospital bag…
I was shown to a room and the midwife asked if she could examine me to see if I actually was in labour. My Mum was already on her way, she was one of my birthing partners. As it turns out, I was 2cm dilated, and strangely hadn’t felt a single contraction, just a continuous pain. Since I was not 37 weeks (yes only by a day!), I had to stay in the hospital and have babies heart rate monitored for two hours, as well as the contractions. I had these funny round things on a belt strapped round my big belly, which meant I couldn’t move very much, as every time I moved, they slipped a bit and we lost the babies heart rate. I am kind of a little bit glad that I got to stay on the ward when only 2cm dilated, as it meant I got to use the gas and air!
Two hours flew by, and the midwife came back to examine me again. She told me and my birthing partners that I was now 5cm (which is the size of a Babybell, did you know??) I thought to myself, “wow this is going pretty fast, I am actually going to have a baby really soon…” And then I got all soppy and told my Mum how I have never loved anyone so much as I loved this baby, and I didn’t even know her yet, I had never seen her or held her, but she was the most important person to me in the world.
Some more hours past, we listened to Ed Sheeran and Adele on Youtube, I tried to eat a chicken and bacon sandwich. The midwife let me take the funny belts off my bump and get in the shower for 5 minutes. I drank a ton of water and went for a wee several times in a bedpan. We watched the sheet coming out of the monitor I was strapped up to, wondering what all the scribbley lines meant.
I was now at 6cm, things had slowed down. But we kept our spirits high, we laughed and talked and sang songs. More hours went by, and I was still only 6 hours dilated, a doctor came in and I was asked how I felt about an oxytocin drip as we seemed to be at a standstill, I was really terrified about having the drip in my hand, it was actually the thing that scared me most about labour. The drip was put in my hand, and oxytocin slowly trickled into my bloodstream. A doctor spoke to me about stronger pain relief, I felt a little bit pressured by him actually, which is when I remembered what I had learnt in my NCT antenatal classes, about a positive birth, taking control and making it your own. My birthing plan had been to have a lovely relaxing water birth, with just gas and air. So, when this doctor started telling me to “have an epidural” I firmly but politely told him that was the last thing I wanted. I asked for him to tell me a bit more about the Diamorphine, how it worked, how long it lasted, the pros and cons. Let me tell you right now, I wish I had never had the Diamorphine.
I was told by the doctor I could be in labour for another 12 hours at this rate. Oh, how wrong he was. The Diamorphine is supposed to take about 30 minutes to enter your blood and take effect.
I couldn’t lie in that hospital bed any longer, I was up and down, sitting on the birthing ball, but nothing was helping. And then all of a sudden, I really felt as though I needed to poo. I was saying to the midwifes “I’m going to poo myself”, obviously they knew that the baby was coming… I didn’t!
I got back on the bed, I think I only pushed 4 times, and there she was… At 1.25AM on the 31st of October.