My birth Story (written 2015)
Mother to Johnny (2) & Jack (1).
Throughout my pregnancies I was ridiculously excited.
Every visit from my wonderful midwife was a highlight, every blood test, scan, and hospital tour just getting a step closer to meeting our baby.
Both pregnancies went smoothly (not counting a couple of days when the baby caused sciatica or I cried due to piles! topped off by living in a building site - meaning midnight trips to the loo were made more difficult- by trying to get off a mattress on the floor!) But no high blood pressure or any worries.
I walked our dog briskly every day making sure that I felt fit enough to tackle my next challenge… the endurance test of labour! I also managed to work right up until I gave birth (we have a B&B and I convinced myself that being on all fours cleaning bathroom floors would get the baby into the right position). I understand that everyone’s pregnancy is different & I felt lucky that it was all going smoothly but also convinced that remaining positive and excited was helping.
Then the day came…. I had watched every episode of “one born every minute” and I had my idols that I wanted to be like! I had read every book about what my body would be doing at each stage & why. I had my birth plan…. I was prepared.
I was prepared to prove to my family wrong. They said I would be pathetic… they laughed and described scenes of a first twinge where I would be screaming for an epidural.
I also had moments of doubt on the run up to the birth… thinking “will I manage?”, “Will I need an epidural?” but then I convinced myself I could and that letting negativity in would let panic set in.
Think positive and all will be positive.
Again… I would prove to my family that my pain threshold was higher than we all thought.
The day Johnny arrived I had been at a horse show, (watching- just to be clear!) and having tightening’s, regular tightening’s, reassuring tightening’s. It was happening. Hourly.
I didn’t want to get anyone excited so kept quiet. When we got home I went to bed, it was 4pm and I was just uncomfortable my belly was tight- nothing was hurting. I just couldn’t get comfortable. Then I remember saying to my Husband- That the cramps & tightening’s were worse and I needed the loo- then I heard a “POP”, an internal sound that no one else would hear & I stood up- my waters!!
I cried!! I was overwhelmed with realisation that “This was it!!”
My mother arrived- I rang the hospital knowing that even if I had hours or days ahead of me- I would need to be checked! YIKES.
I showered. Shaved my legs. Between contractions (every 6/7 minutes) I could get ready. It was a Sunday night 6pm by now & we were getting checked out at the hospital. I was happily sent home even though I had to hang onto the wall/husband/car at least 4 or 5 times on the way home! (we live 3 or 4 miles from the hospital) But between contractions I was practically power walking to the car to get home. I knew I would be more relaxed.
My entire family (mother, sister, brother, stepdad, husband) ate Chinese & watched X factor from 6pm until 9pm while I endured my biggest ever challenge. My old aunt told me that every contraction would be like a wave, rising, rising, rising & building to a crash… then a lovely lull before the next rise.
I concentrated on each wave… looking forward to the lull when I could tell my family how to time the F**king contractions!! Much to their amusement. I had prepared myself for a lengthy labour- thinking when it’s unbearable we will go back to the hospital & run the big bath… bliss.
Sweat was running down my brow. My mother was trying to tell me to go to hospital.
Then…. An unbelievable change…. an overwhelming desire to push! I was still at home. I stood up…. “I need to go. I need to push”. I never wanted to be like the wild animal moaners on the telly, I wanted to be silent. But a guttural groan kept escaping. “GRRRRRRRRRR” haha.
We (myself, husband & sister) arrived at the hospital, at 9.15pm, the door was locked as it was late and Sunday so I pressed every button and my animal like noises meant that more than one midwife helped me in. We only got to the assessment room- little skinny bed, no cot, no gas and air… but two fabulous reassuring ladies.
“can I have a baby here?” was my question between contractions. Answered by- “babies can be born anywhere”. Phew. No bath, no space to be on all fours, no birthing suite, but all calm, all confident & GRRRRRRRR’s.
Bizarrely – even though I kind of knew the baby was imminent I left the baby things in the car and only took the picnic I had packed for my spectators who literally sat and watched!!
5 contractions, one quick go on the gas and air (that arrived in a tiny canister along with a cot and a few other bits & bobs) and Johnny arrived just after 9.30pm.
Unbelievable. Overwhelming. Amazing.
Pain? The pain of contractions was for me manageable, remembering to breath- how can this giant muscle contract if I don’t breathe deeply? (…and stay calm & listen to advice)
The pain of the baby’s head emerging was 1 minute out of 9 months of waiting for your baby- so although that point has many description i.e. Ring of fire etc.! Its forgotten seconds after the baby’s head is out.
I did need stitches as Johnny had arrived quickly… But I was EUPHORIC!! Legs in stirrups in the air, random people doing a little repair & me … A Mammy. The fabulous midwives doing what they do & see every day.
Did I poo when pushing?? Who knows?? If I did… the ninja nurse swoops it away without you even knowing. They are pros.
Baby number 2. (Jack)
Here we go again…. Within 3 months we were pregnant again. We literally had sex once or twice with the intention of having a second baby as quickly as possible.
We were lucky!! But when I did that test…. I cried!!! Oh My God. This one was due just after Johnny’s first birthday.
Again I worked up until about 3 days before he was born. I told the same midwife that this baby would be born at a convenient time!! She thought I was mad (or she knew I was nuts!!)
Sure enough…. The body & mind as well as hormones are amazing things. I got past Johnny’s first birthday party…..and relaxed…..
The tightening’s started and were on and off for 3 days …. But stopped if I got stressed… for example meal time with a fussy 1 year old. By the time he was tucked up at 9pm (a second attempt at bed time that night) I relaxed… My mild contractions that I had been having for 3 days went wild! By 10.30 pm my waters broke at home… this time I wasn’t coming home from hospital… warned the second could be quicker!
My husband had taken a sleeping tablet that night prior to my waters breaking. I told him the baby would arrive that night but obviously he knew my body better than me?
The two of us were at hospital by 11pm. I was relaxed as baby 1 was sleeping. Granny had arrived. We had one or two guests at the B&B that Grandad could deal with (as long as no one ordered scrambled eggs).
….. I was examined… only 3 cm’s. I felt disappointed but wasn’t going home. Again no birthing pool as it was a busy night at the QE – I fully accepted this and now also knew what to expect and was looking forward to a bath once the baby was here.
By 2am …. (3 & a half hours after my waters broke)… I felt calm. Did I need to push? No? Confused and feeling ready I pressed the buzzer. Examined I was only 4/5 cm’s dilated.
But only 45 minutes Later…. Jack Arrived. I had 45 minutes alone bent over the bed with a sleeping husband on the chair… fast and furious contractions and then found myself on the loo, A poo or a baby???
Again I sounded like a wild animal. “GRRRRRRRRRR”. Fortunately my husband managed to stir from his slumber to press the buzzer. I was stood near the loo- Within seconds a midwife was looking up my bum. “Anal bulging” was a description called to the other midwife before I hobbled from the loo back to the bed… fortunately anal bulging meant the head was crowning and within 10 minutes… Jack arrived.
Unbelievable. Overwhelming. Amazing.
Pain? Worth every second. Stitches? Not this time- yay. (Because I listened more carefully (?) & was calmer again?! Who knows?)
My Family – complete. The trials of pregnancy, labour & birth only partly prepare you for the real test of parenting. The love is indescribable.
Then the family life and my parenting blogs will follow... eeek.