Miss 7 turned 7 last Tuesday so I thought it deserved a birth story for my new blog – the first birth is always a good one!
This post was originally posted on ARealMummyDiary.com
My supposed due date was 9th March 2012 but I thought it was closer to 5th or 6th March from my calculations. Anyways, on the 3rd March I ate a particularly chilli sauce covered kebab – this is normal for me. I love chilli sauce. My kebab shop makes their own as opposed to the squeezy container stuff and it’s just beautiful. I make little chilli meat rolls – loads of chilli sauce wrapped in the kebab meat.
Anyways, I wasn’t under the impression it would have any effect as it wasn’t particularly spicy for me – my younger sister was just impatient and trying anything to get this baby out. Saying this, I’d been drinking raspberry leaf tea for a week, tried some Zumba and had grown a little tired and impatient of feeling like an overweight oompa loompa (for those who don’t know, I’m just about 5ft on a good day)!
Earlier in the week, my mum had looked at my bump and stated that I couldn’t physically stretch anymore and that my daughter was going to be early. I hadn’t paid any mind to the fact I’d been getting my only braxton hicks contractions for the past two days – I’d been told it could happen weeks before and I hadn’t had a show so I was still expecting to be overdue. My big sister had told me she had had BH the same time mine started and my nephew (then 8) had been born 2 days later. Again, this meant nothing to me as I had already decided Miss 7 was going to be late. With this in mind, I carried on as usual (usual meaning staying up until 1am, listening to music channels and dancing Hammer Time along with MC Hammer).
Lo and behold, on Sunday morning – 4th March which was my nephews 8th birthday – I woke up at 7am with a full bladder (I’ve never felt so much pressure before) followed by my first contraction. I wasn’t actually sure it was a contraction. I went back to bed, slightly excited but trying to be rational and set the contraction timer on my BabyBump app to see what it thought. Anyways, I drifted back to sleep and woke up 20 minutes later with a repeated contraction – little did I know that this was just the beginning of a 31 hour labour.
Was I excited? No. I was tired and hungry. Was it what I expected? No. This was not the crampy, period pain type thing I’d been told about… This felt more like the onset of diarrhoea – the tight, stomach clenching, aching belly pain that warns you of a long time spent in the loo (which interestingly enough I did on and off throughout the day).
This is where it all started and when I decided it wasn’t half as painful as I thought. Why I thought this was IT is beyond me.
In hindsight, I wish to run up to myself, slap me and say “BITCH you have NO idea! Lie down, sleep as much as you can and pray because this is not even the tip of the iceberg!”.
So, I think I tweeted a few times that day and uploaded a picture of my contraction counter stating I was in VERY early labour. Still thinking this was going to last for days and my child would be late – every midwife I had spoken to had emphasised on first babies NEVER being on time so I genuinely believed I was going to have a late baby.
As the day went on, the contractions continued and I continued. By midnight, I realised the more I moved the more it hurt & even though I had been told over and over again to keep moving, I didn’t want to. It hurt & I was starting to get scared that this was maybe real – So I sat down as much as possible. By 6am on Monday 5th March, almost 24 hours after my first contraction, I was on my way to the hospital. When I arrived, I was checked and told I was only 2cm dilated and needed to go and walk around for an hour. The result of such information? I cried. My mum convinced me it would be fine and to just go for a walk. I needed to get to 4cm before I could go into the birthing centre so off we went – Me & my mum.
By the time of our return, I was having much stronger and regular contractions and had finally got to 4cm – gas & air here I come!
We got into the birthing centre and I was straight on the exercise ball. The midwife returned and asked why I hadn’t used the gas & air yet so on the next contraction I did – I felt so drunk all I could do was laugh and talk a load of nonsense – I do recall telling my mum we needed it at home LOL. I carried on like that for a while until I got to 6cm. As I was drinking a lot of water, I kept needing the toilet and every time I went to the toilet I would have a contraction which is about 500x more painful than having a contraction when not sitting on a toilet! So I had my mum in there with me and a midwife alongside the gas & air every time I went toilet. What a pretty sight I must have been…
Somewhere along the line, I had my show and decided to get into the pool. Between 6 & 10 cm dilated, I became a monster. I abused anyone in the room, I left nail marks in my mum’s arms, I screamed, I shouted, I begged for a C-Section and epidural on numerous occasions and I also found out about double contractions which I now know is called “Coupling”. In a few words, I basically felt like I was basically dying a long and painful death. I climbed up the sides of the pool for a while on contractions, I splashed and lost complete focus on my breathing every time I dilated more and erm yes. I don’t know what I would have done without my mum. At some point I decided I wanted to get out of the pool, stood up and had a contraction and sat straight back down. The water definitely helped. My waters broke at about 8cm dilated in the pool.
So, when I was getting close to giving birth (I was unaware although I had told the midwives I needed to push ages before I started) the midwifes wanted to add some warmer water to the pool. I refused adamantly. I didn’t want anymore water. I have no idea whether they managed to add some or not. I just know I refused and Miss 7 was probably born in the luke warmest of water. By this point, I was exhausted and had actually started to fall asleep in between contractions. On all fours. In the birthing pool. In essence, I was basically drowning myself. I try not to think about what my face was actually emerged in at this point. But it took my mum holding my head up out of the water as I just wouldn’t wake up in between contractions – that’s what coupling does to women and a major reason why midwives don’t like it.
I was exhausted.
Then, out of nowhere, a contraction came like no other – my body pushed of its own accord. I didn’t know I was going to push. I didn’t know I needed to push. I just know the contraction came and my whole body surrendered itself to pushing. One of the midwifes started preparing for Miss 7 and another told me to just go with whatever my body wanted me to. Both my sisters turned up and unfortunately weren’t allowed in the room as it was kind of an inconvenient moment – they were deeply distressed that they missed the birth but were allowed in straight after. At one point, I had to stop pushing (while her head crowned and I screamed that I was going to split in every direction if I didn’t start pushing, and also kept trying to close my legs although there was clearly the top of a head hanging out!) but 11 minutes after the first push, at 2pm on 5th March 2012, Miss 7 was born in water, weighing 6lbs 10.5oz. Her heart rate had kept falling after every push, and the midwifes had tried to reassure me but it turned out her cord had been wrapped around her neck so that was undone and then I was handed my baby. She didn’t cry, just stared around with HUGE eyes. My mum cut her umbilical cord and I checked she was indeed a little girl. Someone cried & I was too high to do much except panic when I saw the colour of the water I was sitting in and ask whether I had torn.
So yes, injections and stitches were sorted, a shower was taken, toast and tea were made (for me in abundance), Miss 7 was given her first feed and by 9pm that night we were on our way home. I love the fact I managed a natural water birth and that it was pretty straight forward. I love that I beat the odds of most first baby’s being late. And I would do it all over again. I’ve been asked if I would have an epidural now I know, but I think why would I unless I had to? I know I can do it naturally now so I guess I will do it again next time, coupling or not. It was the best thing ever. I just wish I’d been less exhausted to enjoy it a bit more. Next time I think I will wait until baby is born to find out the sex also.
This was my birth story, as told by me 8 months after having Miss 7. There’s no baby picture as I try not to share my kids on this blog but trust me, she was cute as hell!