It is long - but I had to get it all down
On Friday 12th Feb I went shopping with my sister, and had a couple of 'strong Braxton Hicks' while we were there... I started to think maybe this was it, but didn't quite believe it.
I knew my due date was 13th Feb because I had been charting so knew when I ovulated / conceived.
After I picked DD up from school, they started to get quite strong, to the point where they were hurting me. DD had arranged to stay the night at granddads as a special treat quite by coincidence, so I told DF it was time to take her. It was about 5pm. DF had a look of horror in his eyes - so i had to explain that no, the baby wasn't coming right now, but that the contrax were starting to hurt, and I didn't want DD to see it in my face.
DF made our dinner, which I managed to eat some of, then I just pottered around the house tidying and generally busying myself. DF was really scared due to the bad experience we'd had with DD's labour and delivery, (quick summary: 40 hours of 1st stage, posterior baby, no urge to push but pushed for 2.5 hours because I was told to when I finally reached 10cm, ventouse delivery without episiotomy resulting in a 3rd degree tear, 2.5hrs surgery to out me back together, subsequent stiches coming out, blood transfusion.) and so was doing anything to occupy himself other than be with me, so I called my sister to come down.
She was brilliant. By 7pm I has having contractions every 3 minutes, lasting about 30 seconds. I called the delivery suite after an hour, and they told me the usual, have a bath and a cup of tea (
) see if they subside. So I did, and they didn't. I lasted another 2 hours by which time they were still 3mins apart, and about 50 seconds long, and I was definitely ready to go to the hospital!
On arrival I was checked, and told I was 4cm. I was really happy - it had taken about 20 hours with DD to get that far. But, baby's head was 'not well applied' - she was posterior, just like DD.
I was taken to our birthing room, DF and my sister with me. I had access to the gas and air, but didn't find it was doing a lot other than making me feel quite sick. I laboured in the bath for an hour or so, but found I was getting shaky. I knew than deep down, as much as I had tried to prepar myself, and tell myself things would be different this time, I was shaking because I was scared of the same outcome again. And the nerves were making the pain worse, but as much as I tried to talk to myself, I couldn't make myself relax..
My midwife was wonderful with the emotional support. At this point she suggested standing in the bath, and she ran a hot shower on to my lower back and it felt soooooo good, really really helped me relax and reduced the pain.
At midnight i said i felt pushy - bearing down really helped. So i came out of the bath and was kneeling up on the bed. I also threw up - and started to think - I can't be in transition already? this is amazing!!
After an hour like this the midwife checked me. Unfortunately she said - you're only 6cm, and the cervix is still quite thick, I need you to stop pushing on it or you risk swelling. I agreed she could break my waters as this may speed things up, even though baby was still posterior. This she did - and then had to tell me that I was actually now only 4cm.
I lost it then. All I could think was I've been having very strong, frequent contractions for hours, and I've made NO progress. And my mind stayed focussed on my last, awful experience, and I knew I couldn't do that again. So I said to the midwife please get me an epidural - my sister was saying to me NO LOU that's not what you want - but I explained that I was always ready to try, but if I was in for another 24 hours of this kind of pain, I'd be better off having the epidural so I could rest - because with DD I was sleeping between pushing contractions and no good to anyone.
Thankfully, my midwife had no intention of letting me have an epidural, and told me straight that wasn't going to happen. After another hour, and me still unable to mentally get into a positive place, we discussed other pain relief options. I agreed to an injection of meptid.
And thank goodness I did. It didn't take the pain away, but it allowed me to relax my brain, and therefore relax into the contractions. My sister and DF were rubbing my back which was agony as baby was still posterior.
I laboured on my left side (had been upright till this point) to try to encourage baby to turn from 2.30 till 4.30, at which point I knew I needed to pee. I tried to go but couldn't, so the midwife did a catheter for me - it was such a relief!
She checked me again then, and said I was now 6cm - so that was 2cm progress in 2 hours, and she was happy with that. I heard her say to my sister 'so perhaps another 4 hours' and I really could have cried again!
MW left the room for a minute and when she came back I was saying 'i'm pushing, and i can't make it stop!' And at this point for some reason she said 'oh well, if that's what your body wants to do then don't worry about it' and I was totally confused - thinking she told me not to!
The pushing got stronger, and it felt SOOOOOOoo good! I was really bearing down with every contraction and it felt amazing. Then I realised, I could feel baby coming down. My midwife had calmly left the room, came back with another midwife and I was aware of them opening surgical packets - and it dawned on me - they think this baby is coming out NOW!!!
Then before I knew it her head was right there, and they were guiding me brilliantly when to push. I gave one big push and they said - one more like that and her head will be out. I couldn't believe it. The pain was intense but so amazing and powerful, I loved every minute. They helped me to take it slowly, with DF holding my hand, and I took 3 contractions to birth her head. I felt so wonderful. Her body was born on the next wave, and I was ecstatic - I couldn't believe I had done it!!!
She was put straight onto my chest (and stayed there, cuddling and feeding, for the next hour).
I delivered the placenta 15 mins later, and my MW checked me - I was STUNNED when she said - no stitches required, looks like a perfectly intact perineum. I could not believe I had been so lucky!
After the first hour I took a bath, cleaned up, and spent the rest of the morning chilling in our hospital room. I read my notes and it said:
4.30 5-6cm, fully effaced
4.40 head visible and descending
4.54 time of birth.
An unbelieveable experience
I'm totally convinced that being able to relax due to the meptid, plus empyting my bladder enabled baby to turn, and as soon as she did, she was ready for the outside!
A week on, I have been totally and utterly fine, and I still can't believe my luck. My MW reckons I deserved it as seemingly everything that could go wrong did with DD