I was sat having a mocktail on the Thursday night at TGI Fridays with my hubby. I was almost 40 weeks pregnant and we were having a final meal out before chaos was about to ensue. It was warm and sunny so we were sat outside making the most of it. We moved in to have some food and I just suddenly felt odd; really tearful and a bit sick. I felt completely pathetic having a mini cry in the restaurant but I put it down to hunger. I’m a bit like that Snickers advert when I’m hungry, a right Diva!!! However, when looking back I wonder if this was the start of my labour. It was on the Saturday morning, hubby and I were getting into our gym kits (yes I went to the gym right up to the end of my pregnancy; I’m a nut) and I nipped to the loo for about the tenth time that day. There it was; the show, a bit of the mucous plug. I quickly Dr Googled what that meant, getting all excited, until I read that that it could mean nothing and I could have 2 weeks until full on labour! After getting a complete lecture from my Mum to hang up the gym kit we decided to do some sorting in our garage, I’d had braxton hicks for weeks and I mean WEEKS, so when they were coming with a vengence when tidying I just ignored them. It was only when I went food shopping alone later on that I started to feel really uncomfortable. I decided to start timing my crampy pains and the time between them using an app on my iPad. Hubby made a lovely tuna pasta bake and he’d listened to our NCT classes and put a comedy film on. Laughing = relaxation = oxytocin hormonal release = labour progressing.
By this point the contractions (I started to call them that now) were every 10 minutes or so and I was convinced I was in labour. I was determined throughout my pregnancy I was going to stay at home for as long as possible. After hearing so many stories of people going in and being sent home at 2cm dilated I had visions of that being me. So, we went to bed. Hubby passed out and I spent most of the night awake having contractions! I did manage to stay in bed and try and sleep but my deep breathing; in for 3 and out for 4 from NCT, were starting to come in handy. We got up, usual breakfast and I decided I needed to get in the bath for a bit. My Mum and step-Dad were coming over to help hubby cut the hedges in the front (rock and roll!). The bath was lovely and the pain went. I now realise I wasn’t in active labour at the point. As soon as I got out the pains came back and I was sat on the bed waiting for my Mummy!!
Like true men who weren’t going to let a thing like labour get in the way of plans, the hedges got cut. I spent the whole afternoon with my Mum bouncing on my ball, with a friend’s TENs machine strapped to my back. I managed to eat and Mum kept me company as we half watched TV and half timed contractions. There seemed to be no real pattern. I was planning on going to my local midwifery unit and had been cleared as safe to do so. We called a couple of times and got the usual message I’m sure every woman in labour receives; take 2 paracetamol and have a bath. See if you can stay at home a while longer. I started to feel really uncomfortable, this getting much worse when moving around. My Mum text my best friend who is an obstetrician who advised to go and lie down and try and rest. I have to type this up to actually believe it but whilst all this was going on my hubby was cooking up a BBQ for us all. Well why not? The weather was lovely!
Upstairs I started to get a bit upset. What if this was going to go on forever? Another night with no sleep? Hubby came upstairs with a small plate of food and I can still remember eating chicken, sausage, salad and hummus between contractions. We called the hospital again and the midwife was convinced I wasn’t in active labour so I decided to try and have another bath. I was a bit worried as started to have some blood stained fluid leaking but I hopped in the bath. This time the pain didn’t go and I was started to feel very odd; a pressure. My Mum by that point had enough and said time to go to the unit; we called and said we were coming. This was a mission. The contractions were coming fast. Getting dressed was a slow process and I can remember leaning over the wheelie bin praying for my hubby to hurry up!!! I can also remember being sat on the loo moaning for my Mum in so much pain whilst she held my hand. The journey was horrible. It was only 10 minutes but I wanted to lie down, not be sat up. The unit was pretty good and you can park by the door. A lovely assistant met me and took me to my room. This was great; huge pool, bed and very spacious. I recognised the midwife immediately from my 36 week check so that was lovely. I needed to be examined and again this took forever, I’d lie on my back. Contraction. Lie again. Contraction. I could only get comfy on my side, holding my hubby’s hands. Finally, whilst the pool was filling up she checked me; 8cm dilated!!! The relief was indescribable, My Mum cried. I cried and hubby gave me a high five.
Getting in the pool was amazing. I just felt so calm and relaxed. I finally got some gas and air and remember that floaty, giggly feeling. I was a bit disappointed as I didn’t get to have much as the urge to push came over me very quickly and the midwife said go with it. It was an amazing sensation; I’m still in awe of what the body can do. I stayed on my back and just pushed. I remember between contractions it was so quiet. I had a few sips of water and fizzy sweets to keep me going.My little one was also very chilled and her heart rate never changed. The midwife told us she could see our baby had tonnes of hair; I was a tad miffed it was black. I’m a redhead! Hubby still tells me he can see the hair floating in the water before the head appeared!! We didn’t know what we were having but I was convinced it was a girl. Getting the head out was probably the worst bit and “ring of fire” is so true! A horrible burning sensation but it was out. After that a few pushes more and out came our gorgeous baby into hubby’s hands at 12.36am on Monday 26th August. They were quickly passed to me and I moved the cord to discover a woman’s intuition can be very accurate. We had a beautiful baby girl. She screamed in my arms; this little purple bundle with tonnes of black hair like her Daddy, and was taken to be wrapped up where she calmed down.
I luckily needed no stitches and delivered the placenta whilst my hubby had his first cuddle. My little one latched on and had some milk before falling asleep. My step-dad visited (he’d driven back home, a 30 minute drive, as thought no sign of the baby tonight!) and had a cuddle and he and my Mum left, leaving me and hubby with her. We all managed to get some sleep. My labour had been just as I wanted with my hubby and Mum present. I am just so grateful for the experience and being able to share it with others.