I was used to waking up in the night by now. Bump wriggling around, needing the toilet, uncomfortable, you know the drill when you are eight and a half months pregnant.
But I was half awake and I didn’t know why. Bump wasn’t wriggling, I didn’t need the toilet, I was reasonably comfy considering. I tried to nod back off to sleep. Then came the Oooooooooooo. It made me sit straight up. It was a ‘mild’ contraction when I look back now. But it didn’t bloody feel like it at the time I’ll tell ya and it lasted for what seemed like forever, but again looking back it was probably more like 10 seconds, ha!!
This really was it now. I looked at the time and it was about 4am. I tried to nod back off thinking I need my sleep, I need my sleep. But I just tossed around moaning and groaning quietly to myself so I didn’t wake Hubby. I eventually got into a really comfy position on my front with my legs under me, bum in the air. I knew what was happening, my body seemed to know what it needed to do and all of a sudden I didn’t feel so scared anymore.
Hubby did wake up and he rubbed my back for me whenever a contraction came. Eventually though they were getting more and more painful and frequent. I decided that I needed to move around so we got up.
Hubby made me a brew and then set about setting up the tens machine. We then started keeping a record of the contractions. At this point they were about 10 minutes apart.
The real morning eventually came and I went with Hubby while he gave his brother a lift to work. I just wanted some fresh air and I was also intrigued to see how I would cope in the car when it came time to go to the hospital.
Back at home I sat straggled across the computer chair and hugged it resting my head on the cushioned bit when a contraction came. They were getting stronger and stronger now. Id taken some paracetamol and it did nothing!! I couldn’t have a bath as I had the tens machine on, so I started walking around hoping that gravity would lend a hand.
By now, my contractions were 4 minutes apart and lasting up to a minute each. I was really struggling to cope now so I called the labour ward again.
At 2.30pm we were on our way to the hospital.
That car journey was unbearable. The walk from the car park to the labour suite was more so. I was in agony. I had to be nearing the end now. Surely?!!
Once in our own private labour suite, I got into something a little more comfortable and the midwife sorted me out with the gas and air. Perfect!! Just what I needed. It got a little bearable.
Within a few hours though I was getting tired. Contractions were coming thick and fast. Surely I couldn’t have much longer to go. My midwife examined me, ‘you’re 2cm’ she said. WHAT?? Only 2? Are you sure. Surely not!! I couldn’t keep going I was exhausted. The midwife suggested some diamorphine.
Wow. Now that shit is good!! But this is where everything seems to blur together with no clear recollection of anything. I know I slept… In fact I slept for the remainder of the labour!!
I can remember Hubby saying he was hungry, he’d not eaten since this morning. We agreed he’d call my Mum and she would sit with me while we he grabbed a bite of food and some fresh air. I don’t recall her arriving, she was just there at one point when I came round temporarily. She was great, she held my hand and she never let go. When Hubby came back, despite me previously being very insistent I wanted just me and him at the birth, I wanted my Mum to stay.
The next thing I can recall with any clarity was waking up shouting through gritted teeth, ‘I NEED TO PUSH!!!!!!!!!!’ Hubby went and got the midwife. This was a different one to the one who gave me the diamorphine. She examined me and said I still wasn’t quite ready. I vaguely remember seeing that it was about 11pm (ish).
I’d had enough now though. I was struggling to breathe properly, I was getting panicky and shaky. As a contraction came again Hubby was telling me to breathe but I couldn’t. I remember saying ‘help me’. He gripped my hand and guided me through that last leg. All I could hear was his voice saying ‘in and out, in and out’.
I was finally ready. I have no idea what time it was. Before I knew it. I was gripping Hubby’s and my Mum’s hand for dear life and going for it…. Again I slept between contractions only waking to push. I was completely exhausted. This went on for a very long hour.
I don’t remember much at this point. I could hear them saying my baby was distressed. His heart rate had plummeted. The next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and the room was full of doctors and midwives in scrubs and they were going to deliver my baby by Ventouse, NOW!!