I’m joining in with the blog hop over at Actually Mummy. It’s sharing birth stories, so I thought Mummy would be better placed to write this one. Have a look at the others here. She’s done me a letter to cover it all:
I had what you might call a ‘text book’ pregnancy so I was hoping the birth would be straightforward, too. We were so excited about meeting you, but then when you were two weeks late it was so frustrating. We tried everything to coaxe you out; pineapple, curry, long walks. No luck.
Then, the night before you were born, Daddy came home in a bit of a grump, saying how tired he was and that you’d better not come that night because he wanted some sleep. I was talking to Auntie K and we giggled thinking it would serve him right if you did decide to make an appearance that night. And sure enough, as we lay in bed, I felt the first contractions. I didn’t tell Daddy for the first hour or so because I wanted to be sure, but I was timing them.
He went to turn off the television at ten o’clock and I told him then that you were on your way. He said a naughty word (in fact, he said a few) and told me to time the contractions and wake him up when they were regular. More naughty words when I explained that I had already, and we got up. I phoned the hospital and spoke to a midwife (a man, do we call him a midhusband?!) and he trotted out the spiel about timing contractions, asked if this was my first baby and told me that it would be hours yet but to call back when contractions were at least 45 seconds long and about 4 minutes apart. Ok, I said. I was at that point within an hour so rang him back to say we were coming in.
Daddy had had our bags ready for ages, but we still didn’t on the road swiftly. He was making sandwiches! It was quite a surreal moment, me pacing round the table in the kitchen with Daddy asking me if I wanted mayonnaise on mine.
It took us about three quarters of an hour to get to the birthing centre, which was in total darkness, as if no-one else was there. In fact, it was just us and the mid-husband. It was just after one in the morning. He wasn’t that keen on coming to see us, or at least it felt that way; we were interrupting a quiet night for him. At least we had the place to ourselves.
Daddy and I had been to NCT classes and had a very rose-tinted idea about what the birth would be like. I thought it would be lovely to have a waterbirth, with calming music playing and gorgeous scented candles filling the room with relaxing smells. They’d told us that if the water became impossible, then on no account was I to end up on my back, because that’s absolutely the worst and most difficult position. Daddy knew that, and he knew what I wanted in the way of pain relief, too.
As it happened, the mid-husband tried to persuade us to go home, saying it would be hours yet as I was only 2cm dilated. I didn’t feel totally happy with that because it’s such a long drive, and because Grandma and Auntie B both had very quick labours. Daddy was trying to help me, but felt that the professionals would know as they had far more experience than us, so we were discussing getting a cheapy hotel room up the road. The mid-husband offered me bath while I made up my mind, but once I’d had it, the contractions were coming so hard and fast that I told Daddy in no uncertain terms we were going nowhere.
I was walking around all the rooms in the birthing centre, because I could and because I couldn’t really stay still by that point. I wandered past the birthing pool, annoyed that it still wasn’t being run for me, even though no-one else was there, and I’d been told it could help with the pain. It had been my plan all along.
Then my waters broke. Everywhere. A massive whoosh, and suddenly mess all over the floor! There was blood and meconium in there too, which put paid to the water birth and meant we’d be on our way up the corridor to the main labour ward.
What happened next was completely unexpected for me. I went completely primal and went off into the bathroom on my own, looking for a quiet corner I could lie down in to have my baby in. I sat in there, rocking, and suddenly had a huge urge to push. “Overwhelming” doesn’t quite cover it! Daddy came in with a lady and a wheelchair to take me up to the hospital, but they were just getting in my way! I did go with them, but I really didn’t want to because I was convinced you were minutes away.
It did all happen quite quickly upstairs. A nice lady came in to see us and told me not to push. I believe I said quite forcefully that I was going to, so she agreed to have a look, and lo and behold, 10cm, ready to go. Suddenly, the room was full of people, amazed at how quickly this first time mum was doing, and finally someone gave me some gas and air! Entonox is wonderful stuff! In fact, I wouldn’t give it up. The midwife who took over was brilliant. Scary, but brilliant. She took charge straight away and looked a bit like I imagine a military matron would look. I remember her saying, “Baby’s distressed,” but she acted very quickly and I trusted her, so we did as we were told.
I was on my back by now, with my feet in stirrups, (about as far from my birth plan as I could get!) The cord was stuck around your neck, so the pushing was tightening it. She had to make a bit of a cut, to help you out quickly, and suddenly, there you were! 5:21 in the morning. Only six minutes for the second stage! I bled quite a lot, so the midwife ordered Daddy to take off his shirt and he did the important skin to skin time with you while I was fixed up.
Daddy’s version of this bit is quite funny, but not something you need to hear until you’re much older. Suffice to say, I was caught by surprise when the midwife had to check that she hadn’t sewn through anything she didn’t mean to!
We took you home that evening and from then on, we have been the proudest parents you can imagine. We love you so much, CB!