It has taken a while to find time to piece this post together. And each time I sit down to do it, the little man decides to wake up/cry for food or just want Mama cuddles. The last few weeks have been the worst and most rewarding of my whole life and it just keeps getting better. I have never known love like it, it's unconditional and I really wasn't prepared for the rush of love that hit me four weeks ago on Mother's Day morning.
It all started way back when I was 38 weeks pregnant - feels like a lifetime ago now. One evening I started getting awful back pain that didn't seem to ease. What I didn't realise was that this was going to last for three and a half weeks until Hedd made his appearance nine days late.
On the day I actually went into labour I was on my third sweep had being having a show for five days and I was convinced my waters had been trickling since the Tuesday. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon and I was at my house for the first time in weeks. I had been to the supermarket the night before and stocked up for the weekend, easy prep meals and some yummy treats to gorge on before it was all over and back to the diet.
I'd had a pretty uncomfortable nights sleep and throughout the day I was having what I assumed were Braxton Hicks but at about 4:30pm I noticed that they were getting more and more intense and becoming rhythmic. I grabbed a cuppa and took some time out from cleaning (nesting) and rested on the bed. I downloaded a contraction timer app and lay there waiting for the next one to come. There it was! Just like that I began to panic.
After just half and hour they were coming every four minutes and lasting about 50 seconds. I called my Mum and she reassured me that if I was having contractions at that rate I would be climbing the walls and be in established labour, so I grabbed my over night bag and jumped in the car. My Mums house is only a five minute drive away so I thought the sooner I get there the better. As I was driving along, there it was again. This time the pain wrapped around my whole middle and I was having to concentrate on the road so as I didn't crash into a hedge. Note to self - DO NOT drive when having contractions, it's dangerous!
The contractions became stronger and longer over the next few hours and by 9pm I was finding them more than uncomfortable and called Labour Ward - who suggested I come in to be checked over. I was put on the monitor and the lovely midwife Kizzy examined me and gave me the devastating news that I was only 1cm dilated and the best thing for me to do would be to go home, have a bath and keep moving. Inside I was sobbing. Truth be told, I was scared. Scared we wouldn't make it back in time, scared the pain would get so bad that I'd end up delivering on my Mums living room floor. I reluctantly agreed to go home but an overwhelming panic came over me as soon as we got in the car.
I lasted all of an hour back at home. I didn't manage to get in the bath but instead spent that time writhing around in pain using some choice language and taking it all out on my lovely Mother.
If I don't stop rabbiting on this post could rival War & Peace so I'll get to the good bit - established labour.
When we arrived back on the ward I was still only 2cm dilated so I got my cossie on and hopped into the pool. I couldn't believe how much the water helped me through the contractions. I'm not sure if the water was a bit too hot but after a while I started to feel really sick and dehydrated and when it came time to be examined again, I decided that I would get out and have a little break from the water, not expecting to have progressed to established labour. But then Kizzy said those wonderful words, "You're 4cm, you're now officially in labour." I could have kissed her, but first I needed some damn pain relief. I started puffing on the gas & air and decided - as it was now 3am and I hadn't slept for what felt like two whole weeks - to have some Dyamorphine. For the next two hours I was pretty spaced out and was using the gas & air to breathe through the contractions and I felt pretty relaxed.
Then all of a sudden the next contraction I had hit me with a vengeance and I screamed out and almost frightened my Mum half to death. Another one came within seconds, this time more intense and I started to panic. I looked my Mum straight in the eyes and screamed for an epidural. I hadn't anticipated to feel this way. I was so anxious and I felt out of control for the first time.
I was transfered to Labour Ward but once we arrived and I was examined there was bad news. I was fully dilated and the panic I had been experiencing was in fact the transition stage. Minutes later my contraction changed and the overwhelming urge to push came over me. After only a few pushes the midwife was concerned about Hedd's heart rate as it was dipping every time I pushed. When the doctor came in and I saw the forceps on the trolley that was enough to get me pushing and before I knew it - after having an episiotomy and feeling every cut - there he was! All slippery and wide eyed lying on naked on my bare chest.
His little eyes stared up at me, taking all of me in but before I knew it everything changed and we had an emergency on our hands. (I'm saving the negative part for another post)
Our birth lasted just five and a half hours and was everything I hoped for. I'm so glad I didn't have an epidural and that I did most of it with just gas and air and the pool. Yes it was painful and at times I doubted the ability in myself and my body but afterwards you feel like a bloody super hero. If I over think it, my mind boggles and I well up. The emotions are powerful and now one month into motherhood I can honestly say taking the leap into this alone has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Was your birth everything you hoped for?