Today Sonny Jim is one. ONE. I’m going to have to drink a lot of Prosecco to cope with this fact. But anyway. His first birthday has got me thinking about my first (giving) birth day. And as every woman’s birth experiences are so different I figured I’d share my own little labour of love…
9pm, March 21 – six days before baby’s due date: I’m making chocolate Ferrero Rocher balls, having painted a patch on the kitchen ceiling earlier in the day. My belly aches a bit, but I am TOTALLY DETERMINED that I must make these chocolate balls. I don’t know why. It doesn’t occcur to me that I am displaying the classic nesting-overload-so-baby-must-imminent signs, because I have NO desire to clean the kitchen floor. Or rearrange cupboards.
10.30pm: Go to bed and actually sleep for more than two hours without needing to pee.
3.30am: Wake up with an odd feeling. Sleepily figure I must need a wee. Go to loo and realise I appear to have wee-ed without weeing. Don’t make classic mistake of assuming I have wet myself, but waddle back to bedroom to tell snoring husband that I’m pretty sure my waters have broken. A little bit.
3.40am: Call hospital. As pregnancy was classed high risk we’re told to come in. Not having any pain except for ache that’s been there for hours, so decide to have a bath and shave my legs. Because, well, priorities right?
5am: Arrive at hospital. Hurting a bit now. But I’m quietly confident that I have this.
5.15am: Check in and shown to nice room with a sea scene on the wall. Jump on bed feeling excited.
6am: Midwife examines me to check the situation with my waters. Have changed my mind about this whole giving birth thing now. The woman feels like she’s Edward bloody Scissorhands. I’m literally inching up the bed whimpering while she has her hands, so it feels, up somewhere near my ribs. Husband looks rather pale now too. She tells us, it was probably my hind waters as there’s still some water there. Asks about contractions, which I’m now sure I’m having. She seems a little unconvinced so hooks me up to a machine. I *am* having contractions. Feel smug that I am doing so well.
8am: Midwife and consultant have a somewhat animated discussion about what to do with me. Midwife thinks I could go home for a couple of hours. Consultant says to give it a couple of hours and see how I progress (I’m inclined to agree with consultant lady. I don’t much fancy moving now things are starting to feel a bit, shall we say, pinchy.) So we stay. Or I stay. Husband rings work to say he’s not coming in and goes home to feed the dog after I tell him I’m *totally* fine.
10am: I think I’m actually dying. Waters have definitely gone now (there was a big, er, gush) I’ve thrown up twice. Husband is back from feeding dog. He missed our NCT class on massages, and I am like something out of the Exorcist when instructing him on exactly where he needs to rub. HARD. Am bouncing on a big ball. It’s doing sod all.
10.15am: Midwife suggests walking about. We walk at snail’s pace (stopping to pant a bit every few steps) to reception where there is a Costa. Husband buys me a hot chocolate. While he orders it I sit with my head on the table trying not to moan out loud with pain. I decide we need to go back to the room – I need to be able to make uncivilised noises.
10.40am: Examined again (for the love of all that is good, why does it hurt so MUCH?!) am convinced I must be at LEAST 6cms dilated. Am told I am 3cms. THREE CENTIMETRES. Am stunned. And need to be sick again. Am offered liquid morphine. Told it’ll take the edge off. Doesn’t pass through the placenta. Accept it greedily.
11.15am: Feel slightly better, kind of hazy now alongside the pain. Want a water birth. Told a suite is free and we can go there soon. Sick again.
12pm: We relocate to water birth room. You’re only allowed in there once you’re 4cms and in “established labour”. I take small comfort in the fact that they must think I’ve got a centimeter further on.
1pm: Moaning. Sicking. Try to eat something. Manage some chocolate. And a bag of crisps. Can’t face a sandwich.
2pm: Keep getting told off for not breathing when I get a contraction. IT HURTS TOO MUCH TO BREATHE. They suggest gas and air. Yes PLEEEEASE.
2.15pm: Oh thank the LORD for gas and air. It’s amazing. It’s like I’ve drunk a bottle of Prosecco. I feel happily woozy. It still hurts, but I feel like I’m drunk and I don’t care so much about the hurting. I am never putting this down. It is my only friend.
2.30pm: Throw up all over husband while midwives are on tea break. He doesn’t even grumble.
2.45pm: Decide I’d quite like a swim in the birth pool now. Somehow I’m totally naked. Don’t even care.
3pm: Gas and air. Splashing. Hurting. Gas and air.
3.30pm: Gas and air. Splashing. Hurting. Gas and air.
4pm: Gas and air. Splashing. Realise print on the wall is the same as our placemats. Keep meaning to say this to husband. Can’t keep thoughts in head long enough between breathing. It’s hurting quite a lot now. Again.
4.45pm: Midwife examines me again. I must be 8cms now. I must. If I’m not at least 6cms then I don’t know what I’ll do. I just won’t have the baby. I’ll go home and do this another day.
10cms!! 10cms. I can push if I want.
5pm: Pushing. PUSHING.
5.30pm: Baby doesn’t seem to want to come out. I CAN’T DO THIS.
6pm: Still pushing. Why won’t baby come out? WHY? This is never going to end.
6.30pm: PUUUUUSHING. They can see baby’s head. But baby still won’t come out. WHY WON’T THE BABY COME OUT?
6.45pm: Midwife suggests maybe baby wants to be born on land. Why does baby want me to climb out of nice warm pool? Why? Husband and midwives help me balance huge, shakey-legged self on steps. Need to push at top of steps. Fear baby will come out on steps and bang its head.
6.55pm: Out of pool. No baby. Just worked out I haven’t peed for about ten hours. Midwife says bladder may be blocking baby.
7pm: Catheter fitted in between pushes. Bladder emptied. Catheter removed.
7.05pm: Pushing. Have actual foot on midwife’s shoulder. Can’t even feel bad about this.
7.23pm: Ohmigod, Ohmigod. It’s a baby. Oh baby. My boy………. BEST MOMENT EVER!!