On Friday the 13th of January, 5 days before his due date, we welcomed our beautiful little boy, Adam A. A. to the world. From the second you were born you changed our lives completely. Thank you for making us the proudest parents ever to have graced this earth, I’m being a little biased here but we’ve been blessed with a great kid! At 6.50 on that friday morning the midwife placed my tiny 6lb 3oz perfect little baby on me for cuddles I knew that things were never going to be the same again. Labour and birth didn’t quite go as I’d planned or hoped and to be honest I think my husband got the good end of the deal as he got to experience it all from a non-painful, not so high as a kite point of view whereas I was still coming down from the Gas and Air and didn’t fully enjoy the experience as much as I’d liked.
The whole labour and birth story is a little bit dramatic and TMI so prepare yourselves…
After the most mammoth lie in on Thursday 12th January I dragged my heavily pregnant self out of bed and went to the bathroom. Without being too TMI, this is when I noticed my bloody show and I actually got butterflies. I’d googled early signs of labour enough times to know that this was it! My labour was beginning! So I calmly waited another hour or two and the bleeding continued alongside losing my mucus plug. I called the Antenatal unit knowing full well that my pregnancy was high risk and because the bleeding was a little heavier than I’d expected I just wanted some reassurance that things were ok. She talked me through what I should look out for and that if the bleeding got heavier I was to go straight in to hospital. She also told me to expect contractions in the next day or two. So I pottered around and thankfully the bleeding stopped and I got the faintest of cramp like pains but nothing to write home about so I carried on as normal, made some lunch and sent my husband a text to tell him we would probably have a baby in the next day or two. As the day went on the pains continued very faintly and I remember thinking it’s probably not going to happen any time soon…but by the evening I was having noticeable contractions even though they weren’t lasting that long and weren’t very regular. I remember settling down on the sofa with the hubby while watching The hunger games and casually timing my contractions as they came which by now were like mild menstrual cramps and coming every 6-7 minutes or so. Once the film had finished we made our way up to bed. I took mine and baby’s hospital bags into the spare room and told hubby to try and get some rest while I made sure everything was ready for when we had to go into hospital. By 1.45am my contractions wrre very noticeable, lasting about 45 seconds and coming every 5 minutes so I called the labour ward. They took down my details and told me to wait until the contractions were lasting well over a minute and coming every 3 minutes or so I reluctantly carried on, hoping for the time to go by quickly and that’s when the contractions really cranked up in intensity.
By 4.30am I was humming (moo-ing like a cow!) through the contractions so loud I woke hubby from the other room and he called the antenatal unit again. The contractions were coming about every 3-4 minutes but only lasting about 50 seconds so there we were thinking there was still a while to go yet and even though the midwife at the unit did tell us to go in we took our time, wanting to spend as much time at home before being admitted to the ward. I remember glancing at the time in the car and it was 6.27 exactly when we arrived at the hospital. I don’t know how I made it up to the ward but the short walk from the car up to the fourth floor was the longest of my life.
I remember being greeted at the entrance to the ward by a student and thinking ‘No, I don’t want you, I want someone with drugs!’. So there I was groaning through what I could only describe was a constant cramping pain now which wasn’t going away. The midwife was screaming at me to get up on the bed so they could put the CTG monitor on and see how baby was doing and I just remember perching on the end of the bed and feeling this intense overwhelming need to push! I looked at the midwife and said I think the baby’s coming right now, the next few minutes were a bit of a blur, I remember somebody helping my legs up on the bed, being given some gas and air and being a little bit away with the fairies as they examined how far dilated I was. At this point I didn’t really care too much, I was enjoying the relief of the gas and air from the pain. The midwife looked me dead on and said he’s right there and I was having this baby now and all I could remember feeling was the dread and disappointment of having to do this without an epidural!
I could feel the bed moving as they all rushed me onto the labour unit into a labour room and the gas and air being plugged back in. I took a few breaths and remember the midwife telling me to push. I felt my waters go and someone trying to take the gas away! I was using the mouthpiece to bite down on so I had a firm grip on it and with one more push he was out. I entered the labour ward at 6.40 and he was born at 6.50, possibly the quickest delivery in the history of mankind! In hindsight I regret being so out of it from the gas that I didn’t really get to experience fully the birth and even the skin to skin after but my body also went into shock as soon as he was out, I just remember lying there afterwards shaking uncontrollably and not having the energy to move. The midwife told us this was normal and it was the release of all the hormones from giving birth but looking back now I was so exhausted I didn’t get to feel that instant connection with my baby or even get to hold him properly for a while after he was born. Also the fact I had a second degree tear which needed a Dr to stitch it meant that I had to wait even longer to hold my baby.
There were some really precious moments during the birth and after. Hubby, who was adamant he would not cut the chord, actually cut the chord! And I think the moment will stay with him forever. He also shed a tear or two which neither of us were expecting and he got to hold little Adam first which was beautiful for me watching them bond while the midwives cleaned me up and prepared for the Dr to stitch. Hubby got to make all the phone calls to family and sat with him in the chair taking pictures. I was back on the gas, high as a kite as the Dr stitched me up and once I’d come back down again I could finally enjoy our newest member of our perfect little family…