Thursday, October 14, 2010 9:18:55 AM
On Tuesday the 21st of September at 11pm, just as I was getting ready for bed, my waters broke in a spectacular and dramatic fashion all over the living room and bathroom floor (I had no idea it really could happen as suddenly as it does in the films!). My boyfriend phoned the hospital to find out what we should do, while I stood hyperventilating in the bathroom with shaky knees. We were told to head straight for the hospital, so we phoned for a taxi and scrabbled around trying to remember all the last minute bits and pieces to put in my hospital bags (much harder to concentrate when it's all happening for real!)
The taxi arrived within minutes, and we were whisked off to the Royal Infirmary (cobbled roads are not fun while in labour, I discovered!). When we got to the triage department of the hospital around midnight, my contractions had started. We were sat down in the waiting room for a short while (timing my contractions using my bf's handy iphone app!) until I was eventually taken into a little room and hooked up to a machine which recorded my and my baby's heartbeats for half an hour.
I was examined by a midwife, told that I was 3cm dilated, and given a couple of paracetemol. I then stayed in that room for apparently 4 hours, although at the time it felt like less than an hour to me! I walked up and down the hospital corridor as instructed, and eventually begged to be given something to help with the pain, at which point I was given the lovely tank of entonox (gas and air).
Contractions were not what I expected at all, they were a different kind of pain to anything I have experienced before, and were definitely the worst part of being in labour! (the birth itself didn't actually hurt!) I had taken lots of snacks and nibbles with me, thinking that I could take my mind off things in between contractions, but at the time food was the last thing on my mind!
I had been left to get on with things as I was considered to be only at the start of a long labour, it being my first baby. I sent out my bf to hunt out a midwife for me though, when the contractions were suddenly happening every minute and I was by then almost constantly frantically sucking on the gas and air (makes you very light headed and drunk feeling! Would have been nice if it wasn't for the pain bit!) It made a slightly alarming honking goose noise every time I breathed it in, and whenever I heard that noise in the hospital after that I thought about the poor woman who was currently going through what I had just gone through!
The midwife examined me and found that I was suddenly 5cm dilated (this exam was possibly the most painful part of labour for me!). I was taken up to the labour suite on the next floor (not easy walking by this stage!) and into a little room of my own with a big plastic covered foam bed, and a giant bath. I asked the midwife if she could give me more pain killers (I had changed my mind about the natural birth by this point!) but she persuaded me to try the bath first.
I hadn't planned on using the birthing pool, but I was very glad I got the chance to in the end! It made the time in between contractions almost nice, as the water was nice and warm and soothing. I was going to try and deliver my baby in the water, and stayed in there for what must have been two or three hours, but at the last minute I had to climb out and lie on the bed, as the warm water was slowing everything down and he wasn't coming out.
Once out of the water I was told I had to get the much dreaded snip, as my baby didn't seem to be coming out very easily. I cried when she did this, and then realized that I couldn't feel anything anyway and that it wasn't that bad after all! After a few momentous pushes (I had no idea you actually had to physically push to get the baby out! I thought the body took over and did most of it automatically! ha!) Christopher finally made his appearance at 8:08am on Wednesday the 22nd of September, just as the sun was starting to rise. It turned out that he had been facing the wrong way (upwards instead of down), and also that he was such a big baby (10lb 13oz), so that explained why it had been so hard to get him out! The midwife was very impressed that i'd managed to push him out with no painkillers or medical intervention. Apparently if they had known how big he was, they would have had me have a caesarean!
He was put on my chest for a quick cuddle, and then checked over and weighed by a midwife. I don't really remember much about this time though, it's all a little fuzzy! I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed, amazed and bewildered that the wriggly baby I could see beside me in the plastic bed had actually come out of me! After I was patched up, I sat up in bed, stared in wonder at my little boy, and finally had my well earned post-labour galaxy ripple