Every amazing mummy who has shared their labour story with me has had a completely different tale to tell. Whether it be length of labour, where the baby birthed from, choice of pain relief (if any) or how far along their pregnancy they were when it happened, each and every detail so different from another.
I was in labour for a whole bloody week (early stages that is). Hadn’t even got to my 36 weeks midwife appointment to find out how many stages there were! We hadn’t yet had the discussion of a birth plan or what I was to expect. I always loved the thought of a water birth, i’d already packed my hospital bag with some pretty fairy lights to create a tranquil environment for our baby to arrive in. Well all that got blown out of the water when I lost my mucus plug on Monday morning at 35 weeks! The first lot of blood I had seen for almost 8 months, drove me straight into panic mode. I phoned the hospital and blurted out my findings, expecting to be rushed into hospital and in full blown labour within moments but low and behold I was calmly told to take a couple of paracetamol if I had any pain, it’s completely normal and doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go full term.
From then I had no pain or anymore bleeding and a long week went by. I got through and Saturday came round. I started getting pains and so again phoned the hospital in hope that this was the moment we had been waiting for. I hadn’t felt Smeckle move as much as normal which I stated to the midwife and with her concern she asked me to come in so that they could check the baby’s heartbeat and make sure all was ok.
Off we went to the hospital where I was examined and told that I was two centimeters dilated with the head being extremely low. I was then strapped up to a monitor to be kept an eye on. At first Smeckle’s heartbeat was really quite slow then it jumped to the other end of the scale and was going at a pace. I was put on the labour ward so that they could keep check on us both and there I remained for most of the day. As I was still working and we were finishing the finer details on the house it was the first and only day I’d had where I got to put my feet up (reading a couple of mags daddy to be had kindly purchased for me). There I was surrounded by the moans of poor women who were quite clearly in pain. By this point my pains had stopped and I felt rather dramatic in among these ladies who I can only image were further along their journey than me. Once the docs were satisfied with Smeckle’s steady heartbeat, me and my magazines were sent on our way with the familiar words that I could still go full term. Really?! I was two centimeters dilated with a head in between my crouch and I could barley sit down, how the fuck was I meant to survive another 4 weeks of this?!
The next day we headed over my parents for a BBQ and only managed to last a couple of hours there. I was fidgeting like anything and simply couldn’t get comfortable. I popped to the loo and whilst sitting on the throne I began to wee without feeling like I was weeing. Did I wee? Or did my waters just break? I announced my episode to the family and after a short debate and a couple of chicken drumsticks we decided it was best to go home. At around 8pm the pains returned and by about 9pm daddy to be and I decided they were contractions and started to count. They were coming so sporadically, differing from 2-3 minutes to 8-10 minutes so we phoned the trusty hospital to be told yet again to take a couple of paracetamol and then see if I could get some sleep. To my surprise by about 10:30pm I managed to doze off and sleep for a nice couple of hours. From about 1am onwards i’d had enough, I struggled through another hour or so, jumped in the bath to ease the pains and phoned the hospital yet again in hope that they’d just tell me to come in. Thank the stars and universe beyond, they agreed to see me! So off we went along with my bags.
Why the hell is the maternity ward as far away from the main entrance of the hospital as it possibly could be?! I waddled for what at least felt like a mile to the assessment unit. Thankfully I was seen straight away by a doctor who again had a good route around. His verdict being that my back waters had broken (who knew you had two waters?!) and the baby’s head was extremely low. He assured us we wouldn’t be leaving now without our tiny person to take home with us. They were allowing a few hours for nature to run it’s course and if my body didn’t want to know then they would have to induce me due to of risk of infection where I’d lost the back sack. Oh the excitement! After a slap of reality and a couple of tears I was admitted to the labour ward.
We had the luxury of our own room so I was able to make as much fuss as I liked. The pains were strong so I made sure daddy to be knew exactly what I was going through! A couple of hours went by and midwives would occasionally pop in to see how I was doing but mostly just left us too it (poor daddy to be was a bit lost with how to help by this point) so I just rolled around the room some more and shed a few tears. Due to the water leakage the midwives were unable to keep examining me, again in case of infection, so I had to hold out until 10am for the next poke about. The pains were coming thick and fast when it finally got to that time, gloves on, then the shock of the fact I was already six centimeters dilated. The midwife herself was surprised (think she just thought I couldn’t handle it) but I was in fact in active labour, the second stage, which had started two centimeters ago! I was then shown to the delivery suite where things started to get messy.
Without getting too graphic, after a couple of bed pans full of sick and the odd bounce on a gym ball we were in full flow. I’d lost a lot of fluids so I was bed bound for the rest of it, attached to a drip. I’d opted for gas and air as pain relief and was sucking on the canister like no tomorrow. I personally think I was the original founder of what became the Kylie Jenner challenge with my new voluptuous lips that were as dry as anything. Luckily, I had read somewhere to pack lip balm for such matters, so daddy to be took responsibilities on board and became the lip lubricator. As I hadn’t eaten since the chicken drumsticks the day before, he was also there to delve back into my labour supplies, to produce Belvita biscuits. What the fuck was I thinking packing Belvita biscuits?! It was like putting cinnamon in my mouth after one bite, each little crump gripping on to any amount of saliva left after the gas and air abuse!
By this point we were waiting for another examination at 2pm. The time came round and in she went. I was 8cm dilated now with the front sack bulging with no budge so out came the turkey baster! After a big pop and a small flood my body lost all control. Contractions just didn’t stop and the gas and air got a good seeing too. After just over an hour of unbelievable agony, I was ready to push. The finale stage! There was so much support from the midwife and daddy to be down the bottom end as I literally burst blood vessels for another hour, trying to get my baby out. The head could be seen but was just bobbing in and out with every attempt. The frustration! After my hours allowance to push another midwife came to join the party. She decided the only way forward was to intervene so a few injections down there later and the butchers chop I was in a much better position to get this shit done. After a couple more pushes my body gave way and our beautiful baby was here. The midwives did what they had to do then laid our little Smeckle straight on my chest. It truly was the happiest moment of my life. We sat their in amazement and complete and utter ore of our beautiful human being, still not knowing whether we had a boy or a girl, it just didn’t matter, we were in love.
I guess in the grand scheme of things I had a good labour, it wasn’t as long as others and didn’t have too many complications. I was lucky in respects that my body did what it had to do and with a bit of rearrangement it safely delivered our daughter. Every moment of pain, every bit of discomfort was worth it’s weight in gold and without question I would go through it all again to have that unconditional love.