I started getting labour pains at 5am Friday morning. They were fairly mild so I did question whether they were just false contractions; but as they continued something inside me told me this was the real thing. I woke my boyfriend up because the pain was starting to get worse. He rubbed my tummy which, let’s face it mums, doesn’t really take any of the pain away! But it is a nice comfort and that’s what I needed. The labour pains still felt manageable, so when the morning came around I told everyone to go to work as normal and that I would call them if anything developed. That Friday felt like the longest Friday ever!!! The labour pains became less frequent and I felt slightly saddened by the fact that things weren’t progressing. It was 6 days before my due date but I was so ready to get this baby out! I decided to try and do things to keep myself occupied and pass the time. I ended up doing a 1000 piece puzzle of the New York skyline to keep myself distracted.
Anyway the day eventually came to an end and the long night came (cheeky Game of Thrones reference!) Up all night. No sleep. And period pains x 100… I spent the night trying to find a semi-comfortable position and failing. My boyfriend also suffered from my pains as I constantly kept poking him to complain. He was still tired from the night before, as I woke him up at 5am, so he didn’t stay awake for long. I made sure however that he knew every time I was having a contraction, as I couldn’t help but let out a little squeal. I was so happy to see the sun coming up. I remember bouncing on my pregancy ball and thinking well at least I surrived the night… I had a feeling today would be the day.
I spent Saturday day time doing whatever I could to get my labour going. I had Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie on repeat. I think what really got it going however was my trampoline (my tip to anyone trying to get their labour going, dancing and jumping works!) That’s when the pain really started to ramp up. Oh my it was painfull! It was like someone punched through my uterus and then twisted their fist inside before pulling it out and doing it again. I knew I would probably have to go into hospital fairly soon so I called my Mum to help do my hair. I decided on french plaits for my labour hairstyle – they’re easy to keep in and meant my hair could be kept out the way but also still look stylish and cute for photos!
At 4pm I eventually decided that it was time. So I rang the midwives and told them, through my contractions, that I was coming in. Moments after I put the phone down me, my mum and my boyfriend just looked at each other with a strange excited/bewildered look as this was really happening. After that it was a rush to get everything ready and get into the car before another contraction came. Luckily I only live 5 minutes from the hospital so the journey was short and sweet but as soon as I stepped through the hospital doors a killer contraction started. The lady at reception saw me leaning over the wall (probably looking slightly zombified actually). She told me not to worry and to take my time and that she would go ahead with my notes and check us in. I power-walked to the delivery suite after my contraction finished and my scrunched up, in pain face was now replaced with an excited smile. We were shown to our room and introduced to the midwife who was going to be with me until the shift swap. I was pretty relaxed at this point trying out the comfy cushions in the room. It wasn’t until she came back in the room 15 minutes later and said she would have to examine me to see what stage I was at, that I started to feel nervous. I suddenly thought, what if I wasn’t dilated enough and they would have to send me back home? I really didn’t want that. Or what if I was just being a big wuss and I wasn’t even in labour at all. Anyway I didn’t have to panic because when she examined me I was already 5cm dilated!! Wooo! (Yes I did have a little cry I was so overjoyed). Imagine I hadn’t even had the baby yet and I was already crying!
So once she had told us the plan my mum, who was my second birthing partner along with my boyfriend, announced that she was just popping out to take my sister to a party. I mean priorities! It did mean that she could get us some food though so it wasn’t all bad. While she was gone they started my antibiotics as I had GBS which meant I was pretty restricted now as I had to have a canula and drip. By this point it was about 7pm and the new night shift midwife came back with the doctor as she was slightly concerned about the baby’s heart tracings and suggested we get things going by breaking the waters. I couldn’t really feel it to be honest but my oh my did I feel the contractions after that! Having resisted any sort of pain relief for the first few hours, gas and air felt like it could be a good idea…it took me a while to get used to it but the wooziness and feeling of being drunk on a Saturday night was not too unpleasant! When my boyfriend suggested he joined in, he was given the death stare by the midwife (who seemed to have lost her sense of humour!) The next few hours were a bit of a blur to be honest and things seemed to be going ok until they started to get increasingly worried about baby’s heartbeat – it seemed she kept getting over-excited when the contractions came and then super-chilled in between. This seemed pretty normal to me, but they insisted on keeping me strapped up – so I couldn’t go into the bathing pool or even move around into my chosen birthing positions – and moved me to the special care unit and kept me in the one position I said I wasn’t going to give birth in…flat on my back in bed!
Her heart beat still seemed to be getting increasingly faster, so they decided they were going to stick a trace on her head. This took them a while to get organised and didn’t seem to be working, so by this time baby seemed to decide she wasn’t having any more of this and started to push her way out! That got rid of the doctor! The violent burning sensation in my bum told me it was time to push. All I remember about this was excruciating pain and a vague recollection of Rihanna’s Take a Bow playing in the background.
Pushing was the most amazing part as I felt I was in control of making this miracle happen. For the first time in this labour it was down to me. The first burn was such a shock that it made me scream, but as soon the midwife suggested I should shut my mouth and focus my energy on pushing (for her sake as well as mine!) things went quickly. I was vaguely conscious of the time…it was 11.50pm and I was reminded of the bet me and my boyfriend had. If I gave birth on Saturday he had to buy me a new pair of trainers; if she was born on the Sunday I would have to buy them for him. That was incentive enough to push…
With a final push her head appeared and with a whoosh the rest of her body slid out – it was 12.01am! My boyfriend had the new trainers – but I had my new daughter!