I had stopped working at 36 weeks and had great plans for
my 4 weeks of maternity leave. However things didn't go to
plan as my son had other ideas!
I woke up on Thursday Oct 11th with a mild tummy ache and
jokingly said to my husband that maybe labour was about to
begin. This ceased to be a joke half an hour later when I
had a show and the ache was still there. I was only 37 weeks
and had not banked on such an early arrival. My husband was
dispatched to Boots to collect a TENS machine whilst I defrosted
the freezer, did two loads of washing and ironing and caught
up on some overdue paperwork. For the next 36 hours little
happened although the pains got gradually worse. The TENS
was worth its weight in gold though in getting rid of these
pre-labour pains and I got a better night's sleep than I'd
had in weeks.
I was woken at 4am on Saturday with contractions and as I
got out of bed I realised my waters had gone. It was finally
happening. I pottered around the house for a few hours (being
upright and mobile really helped the pain) whilst my husband
fretted and panicked. We got to the hospital at 7am just as
the contractions started to get stronger and more frequent
- every 2 minutes at that point. I was assessed and was disappointed
to be only 2cm dilated. I had planned to try the water pool
to labour in but my blood pressure had shot up and the pool
was already occupied. My midwife ran me a deep aromatherapy
bath but it did little to help the contractions which were
coming fast and furious. After an hour I felt a right wimp
as I started muttering about an epidural but this was already
being organised in view of my blood pressure.
I don't know whether it was because of the pain of the contractions
but I can safely say I hardly felt the epidural go in. Putting
the cannula in my hand was more painful! The anaesthetist
gave me a low-dose mobile epidural which meant I could feel
and move my legs and even stand up. Unfortunately it only
numbed the left side of my tummy. After several top ups there
was no change so the epidural was resited. By this point I
think I must have emptied the drugs cabinet of top up! Even
so the lower part of my tummy was not numb but it was much
more bearable. By now my legs were totally numb so I had to
sit upright in bed. Shame because the mobile epidural would
have been great if it had worked first time.
At 4pm I was found to be fully dilated and the baby's head
was a fair way down the birth canal so I started to push.
That was when things went a bit pearshaped. The unnumbed area
in my tummy suddenly became excruciatingly painful particularly
when I pushed, the contractions began to wear off and baby's
heartbeat started to drop. It was really terrifying hearing
the beeps on the monitor slow down for what seemed like an
eternity. A forceps delivery was mentioned and suddenly the
room filled with doctors. I had worked with the Obstetric
Registrar in the past and he got the shock of his life when
he walked into the room to find me lying there in stirrups.
Not very dignified but by that stage I didn't care. I had
yet another top up, was put on a syntocinon drip and found
I was able to push more efficiently. The baby still had to
be delivered but at least now just with a ventouse. By this
point there were 2 obstetricians, 2 paediatricians, the anaesthetist
and 2 midwives in my room to witness the grand finale. I think
we certainly emptied the labour ward of medical staff for
half an hour. As the head was born the cause of the foetal
distress became apparent as the cord was wrapped tightly around
the baby's neck and had to be cut there and then. With the
next contraction the body came out and Adam was born.
He gave a little wimper and was passed to the paediatricians
for a check over before being placed in my arms. His eyelids
were a little ugly from where he had effectively strangled
himself with his cord but otherwise he was lovely. I cradled
him in my arms as the Registrar stitched me up and we caught
up on old times. Looking back now it seems a bit bizarre -
me legs akimbo having a gossip! Adam and I were both cleaned
up and taken off to the ward.
That night I spent hours holding him and marvelling that
he was my son. He spent hours gazing around and looking into
my eyes. I never realised how intense a love I could feel
for this little mite and my eyes brimmed with tears several
times. He was perfect. He was mine.
Life is full of ups and downs. Breastfeeding was tricky but
when it works it is fantastic. I still can't believe I'm a
Didn't realise something so small could be so
hard work or noisy. He's worth every minute of it!