Whilst going through my old files on my computer I came across my birth stories I wrote a few weeks after giving birth to my children. I wrote both these stories whilst they were fresh in my mind and I’m so glad I did as reading through now there so much I had forgotten. I love a good birth story and could listen to people talk about them forever. To give birth or to be part of someones birth story is such a raw look into someone in such an intimate way. When giving birth you can not try to be anyone else but yourself and you see your partner in a whole new way. My husband was a wonderful support through both my labours, but the person who helped me the most was my sister, but unfortunately I pushed her away before my epidural with my daughter as I wanted mine and my husbands first birth to just be us two.
A couple of days before my due date I had started to have contractions on and off, but every time I went to bed, things seemed to stop. I was getting extremely exhausted and frustrated waiting for things to kick off properly. By the Thursday at 40 weeks 4 days my contractions finally started to get regular at about 4 minuets apart and we decided to leave for the hospital once my husband had finished watching football. I was checked over by a midwife and was told I was 2cm dilated and was sent home. At the time my husband didn’t drive so we went back to my sister’s house and I attempted to get some sleep. By 5am things were just getting too uncomfortable so we headed back to hospital where I was checked again and told I was 1cm! How was I managing to go backwards was beyond me and I was feeling really disheartened. The midwife did a horrendous stretch and sweep and I was sent home with some co-codomol. I spent Friday at home bouncing about on my birthing ball, in the bath and trying to get some rest for the impending birth.
By evening I was unable to cope at home and was feeling so much pain in my back that we went back to hospital where I was examined again and was told I was 3cm and I was admitted onto the labour ward. I was desperate for a water birth, but both pools were occupied so I settled for a bath, but I just couldn’t relax and felt like I wanted to walk about. I was told by the midwife that the baby was back to back and with things slowing down again I was moved to the ward and my husband was sent home.
By Saturday morning I was exhausted, fed up and desperate for this baby to be out. We spent the morning walking up and down the stairs and taking many laps of the hospital. I was contracting well, but all in my back so we went back to the ward and I was given pethidine. By evening my husband had to be sent home again and I was crying in the ward feeling defeated and alone. I was given sleeping tablets and co-codamol, but the pain was just horrendous and all I could do was sit upright and try to breath through the pain. At around 3am I tried to force myself to eat some toast, as by this point I hadn’t eaten properly in days. Whilst eating my toast through contractions I had a spider crawl up my neck and had to be saved by a fellow patient who had given birth earlier that day, I was so jealous that she had her baby already and I was still stuck in this state.
Through the early hours of the morning a mum in my ward being observed, who I actually knew from my clubbing days (not how we had spent 3am Sunday morning a few years earlier), sat with me and helped me through my contractions until my husband was able to get to the hospital. I remember my husband calling me at 7am and asking if I wanted a Macdonald’s breakfast, I told him to fuck off and hurry up. My husband arrived at about 8am with my sister and tried to get me to calm down. I was in quiet a state and pethidine hadn’t taken the edge off at all. My sister was finding it very upsetting to see me in so much pain. My contractions came very 2 minuets and felt like someone was snapping my spine in half. I felt let down by the midwives as I was still in the ward with no access to gas and air and they didn’t seem to have the time to help me. At 9am I kicked up a huge fuss and insisted I was having an epidural, which was something I didn’t really want to have. One of the nice midwives checked me and I was still only 3cm dilated, but she phoned delivery suit and told a white lie that I was 4cm. My sister left me and my husband to it and it really started to sink in that we had a baby coming into this world very soon.
Once up in delivery suit I was quickly prepped for my epidural and I remember them telling me to let them know when I was contracting so they could stop. I can tell you now I didn’t tell them when I was contracting and didn’t move a muscle until that epidural was in. Within 20 minuets I was numb, I was put on a drip to speed things up and I went to sleep for three hours. At 3pm I was checked and was 4cm and they broke my water and I wasn’t checked again until 5pm when I was 10cm. The midwife said that the head still needed to move down so I had another nap until they woke me and told me to push. Two pushes later and about 10 minuets Miss J was born into this world. She was perfect, pink and looked like one of those babies born in soap where they look a good few weeks old already. She weighed a healthy 7ib 13oz and immediately pooed on me. She latched on perfectly at a few minuets old and took her first feed from me. We got a few hours to ourselves in the delivery suit where we took in every second, looking over our beautiful little girl.
The next day we were discharged and we took our beautiful little girl home to start are life as a family of three. Those memories I have us all are so special to me and something I will never forget.