As I write this I have a very clingy baby on my shoulder. He’s not had the best day, mainly because we went to town and it disrupted his naps and feeds. So, it means I am writing this one handed and it’ll take me double the time but I need to get it written before I forget it all. I know I will forget as I know I’ve gradually forgotten my previous birth stories as the years have gone by (read my first and second stories if you have a moment) It is probably a self preservation thing isn’t it – who wants to remember all of that pain?!
My little boy is now 2 weeks old and the time has absolutely flown! Especially considering the 4 weeks leading up to his birth were the longest 4 weeks of my life! If you have read my Prodromal Labour post you will know I was in some form of labour for a month, getting progressively worse until the final week when it ramped up a notch. Honestly it was hell, contractions for hours on end (painful ones at that) only to result in me still being very much pregnant. Each night around 8pm I would begin to get tightenings, just like Braxton Hicks except they were regular as clockwork and no amount of moving around would stop them.
I must have Googled every combination of words relating to pre-labour possible, only to be met with the same answer….. baby will come when baby is ready.
Boo to that!
By the end I was beside myself with tiredness, I don’t think I have ever been awake for such a stretch of time. I had pain in my back as well as my front and coming every 10 minutes each evening. But why wasn’t it progressing? Well that is the million dollar question isn’t it?
Googling as ever, it would seem that Prodromal Labour is common when you are worried or stressed about something. I had exactly the same with LJ and I know why that was – I was worried about leaving G for the first time. Well it turns out that it was my biggest girlie holding me back again but it is only in hindsight that I know that now. I was worried about missing her first day of school.
As soon as I had taken her on her first day I could feel my body relax, I was free to have my baby knowing she was ok. With the stresses gone and with nothing else playing on my mind baby finally arrived on Wednesday 7th September at 6.31am. This is how it happened…
My last birth story
On the Tuesday night I decided to go to bed at 8.30pm as I was bored of the tv and just exhausted really. Good job I did as at 11pm I woke up with quite strong contractions. Now due to the fact this had been happening every night for the last few weeks I just ignored them and went back to sleep. I only managed to sleep through two though as at midnight I decided that maybe I would just time them and see what they were doing.
I timed 2 or 3 and at that point they were every 30 mins so I decided it wasn’t going to be getting serious for a good while yet and closed down the app. Wrong! The next contraction took my breath away and I decided enough was enough, woke Mr F up and told him I was in labour and was going to go downstairs. Cue him going into a mild panic and heading downstairs to get everything ready for a home birth.
I had prepped him beforehand and told him exactly what would need doing, that sheeting would need to be put on the floor and that I would need him to pop my tens machine on etc etc.. So, while he was off in a panic I decided now would be a good time to go to the toilet. That is when I saw it – fresh blood. They tell you to ring if you see fresh blood or if your waters break so I calmly went downstairs and rang the consultant led unit.
I knew what they were going to say before they said it. I would need to go in. To be honest, I didn’t care at this point. I had never been particularly bothered about having a home birth, it was just the easier option in my mind. While I was on the phone to the midwife my contractions had gone from 20 to 15 to 5 and were staying at 5 mins apart. So the girls were packed off to my mum’s house around the corner and we made our way to the hospital.
At about 2.30am I walked into the CLU while Mr F parked the car and told them that I would need to be seen to immediately otherwise the baby would be born on the floor then and there. I think by the look on my face and a quick look at my history they could see I wasn’t messing about. I was rigged up to a monitor to check everything was ok with baby and then once that was clear I was examined. Thankfully the blood had just been the beginnings of my show (just without the usual mucous) and I was told that I could go home if I wanted.
At this point my brain kicked in and told me that for whatever reason, I was meant to be in that hospital and so decided to stay in. Things had slowed down with the stress of it all but the midwife examined me and to my relief I was at 4cm so was allowed to be admitted. At one point they told me I could have him on the maternity led unit but I then overheard them saying it was full. I was then told that I needed to stay on CLU. When I announced that I had heard that MLU was full they looked a bit sheepish but their hands were tied. I agreed to be admitted as long as I would be left alone and they were happy with that.
After a bit of a wait I was finally taken to a room. Part of the deal was that I would be attached to a monitor but the midwife was amazing and fetched a wireless one so I could still be mobile. Amusing really as after the fuss I made about wanting to be able to move around, I spent the whole time either sat on a ball or on the edge of the bed! Haha! Soon after arriving in the room I was sick – such a glamorous time of life isn’t it? Luckily I was able to grab one of those cardboard bowls so kept some of my dignity!
The contractions remained at 3 minutes apart for about an hour and I was completely exhausted. The gas and air had sent me a bit crazy too but despite being tired I remained in a good mood throughout. My tens machine definitely helped with the pain too and I will write about that when I get a minute. I spent the majority of the time having a good old natter with the midwife and rambled on about my blog (after Mr F apologising for the fact he was filming everything like a weirdo).
At 5.45am the midwife told me that my contractions were beginning to slow and I would need to get active to give them a kick start. I am far too lazy so opted to have a swig of my isotonic drink instead!! It did the trick and the contractions soon sped up. It was at this point she asked whether I would be interested in having my waters broken. Once she had confirmed that baby would arrive shortly after I agreed and so at 6am she examined me. I was 7cm dilated and she said she could feel the waters blocking the head from descending. Once they were popped I went straight to 10cm and it all happened very quickly from there.
At 6.10am I was delirious with the gas and air and from the pain. It was only through reading my notes that I was reminded about what happened next. With being strapped up to the monitor I could hear baby’s heartbeat the whole time and then suddenly it was gone. I remember looking at the midwife and seeing her face.
I knew I needed to get him out.
After what seemed like an eternity (but according to the notes it was minutes) his trace came back. I don’t know what happened but I remember the panic I felt, the fear that something terrible was happening. Maybe it was just the fact he was making his way down, turning around or something else, but he frightened the life out of me. She noted that by 6.15am his heart rate was back up and no other decelerations occurred.
At 6.25am I began to push and at 6.30am his head was born. Those 5 minutes felt more like 5 hours and of all my labours his was the most painful. Turns out he had a massive head at 37cm so no wonder!! Such a burn! The girls were born all in one go but he took his time and his body wasn’t born until 6.31am – again that minute may as well have been an hour it was so painful!
And then there he was, my beautiful baby boy. A month of contractions, 8 days overdue, all forgotten the moment he was plopped onto my chest. I loved him immediately and in that instant my heart grew that little bit more.
Once I had given him his initial feed (which he was an absolute pro at!) I was able to go take a shower. I felt surprisingly good compared to my previous experiences and was dressed and walking around in no time at all. I had escaped with no more than a graze – which considering he was half an ounce off 10 pounds is an absolute miracle!! 10 pounds though – what a lump!! G was only 6.11 and LJ was 8.12 so I have been on the increase each time! The midwife joked that the next one would be a 12 pounder….. just no. No, no, no.
After a couple of hours we were allowed home and I was desperate to escape. I hate sitting around and just wanted to get on with our life as a family of 5. I was so excited to show him to the girls, for them to meet the baby they had waited so many months for.
Here is my birth video… Mr F was so nervous filming such a one-time-only event but I think he did a brilliant job and it makes me cry every time. You’ll see the girls meeting him at the end, it just melts my heart and I wish I had filmed their birth stories too.