Ok ladies, so here it is in all it's gruesome glory. The birth. You never know what you are in for until it happens. The questions like What does a contractions feel like? How long will labour last? Will sex be good again? Well I will do my best to answer all this.
I went into labour on a Friday night at around 8 o clock. I was staying with my mother in her lovely house in the country side and had a week of false labour. A week you ask? Yes. Combined with dreadful heartburn, haemorroids and painful kicks to the ribs, I think I didn't get more than two to three hours sleep that whole week and was absolutely miserable. I couldn't do much at all. Walking had become painful, when driving in my mother's car ( which is a horrible sportscar) I could feel literally every single twig that we passed over. It was desperately uncomfortable. The haemmoroids were inches long and exacerbated the pain that seemed to coarse continually through my body. I was terrified of having to push with haemmoroids that were already agonising. However, the one bonus was that I knew I was going to have an epidural and that I hopefully wouldn't feel it.
I had three hours worth of, what I thought were, contractions every night for a week. I now laugh at thinking that they were anything like contractions. They were very mild period pain like cramps. I thought at the time,' This isn't so bad.'' Well, let me tell you, I had no idea what I was in for.
So here we are at 8 oçlock in the evening and it starts to kick off. My mother thought that I would have labours like she had. She had a four hour labour with me and a 2 hour labour with my sister so she was adament that I hot- tail it to the hospital. We went at about midnight and were told that it was my choice whether I stayed or left, but heard all these women moaning in the labour ward, and thought, it was the last place I wanted to be, so I went home.
Twenty minutes after I got home, I lost the mucous plug and then the actual pain started to kick in. It is so sharp, unlike what I was expecting. It feels like something blunt is punching your soft squishy internal organs. When you think of it though, you have the delicate tissue of your uterous contracting against the bones of your baby to push him out.
2 a. m Saturday We went back to the hospital. Ron was sent home until it was time. I was having contractions every 3 minutes. In the beginning I used the TENS machine. It was ok for about two hours. Then it just became annoying. On the low settings I think it was helpful, on the higher settings I think it exacerbated the pain. It got to a point that all I wanted to do was throw it against a wall.
There was one woman in the ward that just said "'Shit' every time her contraction started. I understood. There is no way you can't make a noise. I found myself almost mooing like a cow. It was much more painful than I had expected. Any of these classes you go to where someone says that it's like a pressure that slowly gets stronger, bollocks, it's like someone whipping a baseball bat around your lower intestines. Why the planet is so overpopulated is beyond me. Labour is no fun.
6 a.m. I asked for an epidural. The midwife told me the baby was back to back, which apparently is the most difficult and painful position. The midwives took me to a room and put me in a birthpool, the weightlessness helped a bit and they gave me some gas and air. Now I have always been a massive fan of gas and air, I had used it when I had a bad kidney infection and it worked wonders. Now, it helped a bit, but after a while I may as well have been biting down on a spoon. This panicked me a bit, I thought, if this is not working and I have been in labour for 10 hours already, how am I going to make it through?
The midwives at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital were fabulous, from the time I got into the pool to the time the baby was born, I wasnt left alone for one minute. The midwife talked me through every breath told me to breath in deep at the start of every contraction which were now every two minutes apart, and told me to drop my shoulders, which helped a lot. It got rid of a lot of the tension I was holding in. The pain was incredible, I asked when I could have an epidural. I was informed that the baby hadnt fully engaged and that they couldnt give an epidural until he had or there would be an increased risk of c-section.
Ron was brought in. I wan't sure I wanted him to see me in this state. What if I pooed in the pool? I had heard of this happening. Luckily nothing like that came to pass. But the pain was really getting on top of me. I put my head on the side of the tub and said to the midwife " Ï dont think I can do this." It was horrible.
Saturday 10 am. Finally I had an epidural. A short Chinese man came in to administer it. Now normally this physicality is not my type, but I challenge you not to fall a little bit for your anaesthetist when he takes your pain away. I said to him 'You are about to become my new best friend.'' He laughed. When he put it in I felt an electric jolt go up my left side and then slowly the pain started to get less and less, but was not quite gone, I still had a lot of pain in my stomach, he came back to reposition it and I was in heaven.
Sunday 2 am I don't remember a lot about the next few hours, when I finally dilated to ten centimeters at 2 am on the Sunday morning, I started to push, and push I did for two hours. They said to me, there is nothing wrong with your pushing, but your baby is getting stuck and is getting tired, we are going to have to get a doctor in here to assist you.
Sunday 4.a.m They brought in the doctor. She said to me, we are going to do this by ventouse and I will most likely have to do an episiotomy. I said to her, I specifically requested in my birth plan ( which by the way, I don't think any of these people read - Just put in something brief like GIVE ME DRUGS) that i don't want an episiotomy. She said, well, we are going to try by ventouse, if that doesn't work we will try forceps and then we will use episiotomy. If all this fails we will go for c-section.
Now this sounded like way too much for me. I said to her. I don't want episiotomy because I know that if you tear it heals better and that episiotomies can often cause more complications.
She said to me 'most women don't argue.'
I said, 'Most women don't do the same amount of research that I do. You don't sound confident in your own procedure, If you think c-section is the likely outcome, take me into theatre right now. I don't want to distress the baby any more than I have to. What is your track record of success with ventouse in the room and not in theatre?"
She said, "What,? Mine or the hospitals?"
I said," YOUR track record."
She said "It's very good."
I said "Is it 50%? 60% , 90% ."
She said, "it's good."
I said "Good is a relative value. What is your track record? "
She dodged the question again and said " I don't know if ventouse will work though and I want to have all these options."
I said to her, "' If you are not confident and don't trust yourself with your own procedure and can't give me a straight answer about what your success rate how can I trust you. I want a second opinon." There was a sharp intake of breath in the room as I effectively dismissed the doctor.
However to their credit they got the head doctor in. I asked her the same question and said. "I don't want an episiotomy I would rather tear and I want to do this by ventouse, do you think this is possible?"
She said. " This will work by ventouse. We will do it in the room, and I have a 100% success rate. If I say it is fine here and not in theatre it will work".
I said " Fine. Let's go." And that my friends is how you fire and rehire a doctor in about three minutes ;)
Sunday 4:30 am Now I had been having a ton of break through pain during the pushing because the baby was so enormous. I couldn't beleive how much it hurt WITH the drugs. I felt every bit as I pushed and he came out. It''s like having your internal organs ripped out of you. Awful. And then next thing I knew he was there. Now some people say they have this overwelming feeling of love the second the baby is born. I didn't . My feeling was just being overwhelmed and concerned. Everything felt so surreal and I was terrified because he didn't scream. The cord was cut by the doctor quickly without it throbbing which I really wanted to happen to ensure he got all the good stuff from the placenta, and Ron missed out , which I didn't even realise for many weeks after. This is the only thing I'm still upset about it. He was whisked away to a resuscitaire to make sure he was ok after being born into 2nd degree meconium. They had to ensure he was breathing ok.
Finally after a few minutes he was handed back to me, and I had this baby handed to me, mewing a bit like a cat and I got it into my head what had happened. I had a baby.
The hospital stay. Because after a 32 hour labour he was born into meconium, they were worried about jaundice, I couldn't feel my legs and was on a catheter, they kept us in the hospital for a couple of days. I didn't have the baby sleep in his own bed, we cuddled up together in my hospital bed and were inseperable for those next few days. I actually couldn't sleep for another 24 hours, maybe too much adrenaline. We stared at each other, taking the time to really bond and realised that from this point onwards we would be together forever and it was the nicest feeling in the world.