It’s 2009, it’s 7th June and I am awoken at around 2am in desperate need of the toilet. Sorry, but yeh, I needed a poo.
I noticed my tummy was contracting, so without waking my partner, I went into the lounge of our one bedroomed apartment and began jotting down the times I contracted. I was 40+3 and knew I could go into labour any day now. The contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds each. Some longer, some shorter.
I was beginning to feel a little more uncomfortable, and scared, so I woke up my partner who helped with the timing. I rang the hospital and was told to come in for an examination. After all, this was my first baby and I didn’t really know what to expect. We arrived at the hospital at about 4:30am and I was only a couple of cm dilated. At this point I felt deflated and more scared then ever. If the pain was this bad at this early stage, how bad was it going to get? Oh naïve young child….
I was offered pethidine but declined. I was moved onto a ward surrounded by women in labour or women cradling babies and cooing. I didn’t want to hear either. By 10am I was rolling around on the bed in agony (if I’d known what was to come I wouldn’t have described it as agony), but at the time, it felt like agony. I was eventually moved into my own room at about 11am and given some gas and air to use. I was re-examined and was reaching 4-5cm. Slow progress.
By 2pm the midwives suggested they broke my waters with what appeared to be a knitting needle. With a quick prod and a pop I was emptied out like a water balloon. I bounced on a birth ball and water trickled down it like a water feature. I remember the water looking a little…..gritty?! Perhaps in hindsight I should have mentioned that.
Anyways, the lack of cushiony fluid certainly made my little mans head bear down like a pestle in a mortar….GRIND, GRIND, GRIND.
It was finally time to push, chuffing away on the gas and air I squirmed and squealed. I remember trying to shuffle up the bed in agony, trying to get away from my own vagina. It burnt, why is my baby giving me a Chinese burn? Swearing and moaning like those annoying women on OBEM I pushed and complained that I couldn’t do it.
Eventually, much to everyone’s delight I’m sure, I squeezed the little man out at 17:35pm. The relief was quite literally the same as having a poo. Funny how my day started needing a poo and ended with the relief of having had one. I hadn’t but you what, some people do. Its A-OK!
He was perfect in everyway and latched on for a feed and skin to skin. It was total love at first sight. Until I saw the placenta and wanted to spew.
So that’s the story. I could do on and moan about the care in the hospital but that’s just a bit dreary so I’ll spare you.