Birth Story, Not Horror Story
There are many birth stories circulating the internet. I’m not convinced all of them are helpful. It occurred to me that I hadn’t told ours before. It’s real, but not filled with horror. I want to share it because it’s the start of our story.
Mama’s Birth Story
- 3am. 39w4d pregnant. Convinced baby will be late. I am very impatient so it would be just my luck to overdue. I feel uncomfortable, so get up to pee, hoping I will go back to sleep.
- Can’t get back to sleep. Still just feel uncomfortable and achy. Ugh. This must be what late pregnancy is like, the next couple of weeks will be fun.
- Become suspicious this isn’t just uncomfortable, it feels a bit crampy, perhaps I am in labour.
- Time the pain, regularly 4 mins apart. Three thoughts; one, OK that seems like contractions, two, that’s good I thought they would be far more painful and three, 4 minutes doesn’t seem far apart – am I going to give birth alone on my bathroom floor?!
- 5am: Call husband (who works – and lives during the week – a good 2 hours away) Tell him not to panic, something is happening, I’ll probably need to see a midwife, it’s Friday so he can work from home anyway.
- Take some paracetamol, make and eat some toast, run a bath.
- Get in bath. Hideous idea, really painful, feels much better to be on all fours.
- Contractions are 3 mins apart alternating between front and back. This is exhausting.
- Throw up toast and water consumed so far. Great.
- 6:30am: husband arrives – how they heck did he get back that quickly?
- 9am: Call hospital “yes, it sounds like you’re in early labour, give us a call back when you feel like you need some pain relief and come in, please don’t come in without calling us first” Hang up phone, then think ‘I’m calling you because I want to have pain relief’!!!
- Call Mum – only logical thing to do!
- Hubs picks up Mum. I start worrying I am not going to be able to get in the car so call hospital again.
- 10:30 – at hospital. Have show (yuck!) ask for drugs – paracetamol – yay! (eyeroll) 3cm dilating (fucking 3?!) must wait until 5 to be admitted to L&D.
- 11:30 – Falling asleep sat on the birthing ball, breathing through contractions but becoming increasingly uncomfortable, can’t see how I’ll be awake to push this baby out given this could go on for days! Midwife appears, checks – 5cm oh and the anesthetist is free should I want an epidural. Yes Please! this is met with a slightly disbelieving ‘don’t you want to try gas and air’? no thanks! I’m aware if I say no now and I want one in an hour they may be tied up.
My arms have excellent veins but apparently my hands do not. Takes a long time to get a cannula in. Ends up in the side of my wrist practically, but who cares? It takes a LONG time to find the right spot for the epidural to go in, 2 people debate where to put it whilst I’m leaning doubled over on the bed with back contractions. This was very unpleasant and painful, no other way to put it, but it was the worst part.
- I’m now happy as Larry sitting around chatting. I have to keep turning onto my left side as Mia keeps running away from the heart monitor. At some point they break my waters with a hook (lovely, but I can’t feel anything) and turn her because she is back to back (explains the horrendous back contractions). I hear this is a very unpleasant thing to have done but I couldn’t feel it so I was fine.
- They tell me they’ll leave me for another hour or so, then we’ll get pushing, so push the epidural button now, then try and leave it alone so you can feel to push.
- About 10 minutes later we decide baby is ready to come now…oh dear!
- They tell me they’re going to cut me. Lovely.
- Next they decide her heart rate isn’t great so we’re going to use the ventouse. Fine by me, but around 10 people then run into the room like something out of ER and that scares me.
- A few more pushes and out she comes! She is absolutely teeny (6lb 7)! I was 9lb 8 so for some reason I thought this meant I’d have a big baby!
- She is perfect.
- Around 3am I get bored. Decide it’s time to come out.
- I was facing one way, but I decide to turn around and face the other, it feels more comfy to me.
- Everything is very dark and it has been mostly calm, now everything’s moving and squeezing and it feels very strange, I’m not sure I like it.
- Now things are getting really weird, I’ve definitely moved, there’s not enough room, I’m getting a bit frightened.
- WOW! What was that! Everything is very bright, brighter than I’ve ever seen before. I have never seen so many shapes and colours. It’s so LOUD! It hurts my eyes and ears.
- I am so cold, but then they wrap me up and put something on my head and I feel a bit better.
- Someone is cuddling me, she kisses me and tells me she is ‘Mummy’
- She is perfect