It’s currently 3:30am on Sunday morning and I’m sat with my son in my arms because every single time I try to put him down in his bed, he squirms around and starts crying within a few minutes. Woah – I just wrote that – my son. My son. I’m a mamma. To the most perfect angel ever. I’ve never felt instant love like it before – there really is nothing to compare it to. I’d do anything for this little guy, and he’s only been a part of my life for 2 weeks (well technically it’s around 8 months and a few days – but we won’t count the pregnancy!).
I disappeared from social media at pretty short notice too because of how it happened ! I guess I’ll start from the beginning ey? So – it was Saturday the 31st – the day of my baby shower and the first weekend after I started my maternity leave. I’d been running around the day before (Good Friday) getting all the bits sorted for the shower. I’d also booked myself in for a treatment at the Lush Spa for the following week as a pre-baby treat, as well as getting myself booked in for waxings too (yep you can already see where this is going right?). So we had my baby shower as planned – which was SUCH a lovely day – and most of the guests had left. It was around 8pm and I went for my hourly trip to the loo. Everything went ahead as usual – until I started to feel something that wasn’t wee trickling out of me. And it wouldn’t stop. Oh. I stood up and it just continued to trickle down my leg, and every time I wiped to stop it, it kept coming. I shouted for Saj and told him I think my waters had broken. I’ve never seen the poor soul look so wide eyed & scared. He shouted for my sister who called the maternity assessment centre up and told them what happened. They advised to pop on a pad and come down to see them. Luckily we’re only 2 minutes from the hospital so I stayed pretty chilled and went to get my hospital bags together. The whole time – leaking like mad through the pad I’d already put on – I had to change it twice before I even left the house (which wasn’t more than 20 minutes). Bloody hell was there a lot of water! My mum & dad drove me & Saj to the hospital – and I lovingly left a puddle of my waters on the backseat of my mums car – soz mum.
I waddled to the hospital (joggers were absolutely soaked might I add) and had a million thoughts running through my head. I wasn’t full term yet (36 weeks 3 days), I had no pain whatsoever, so how could I be having a baby? Don’t your waters breaking mean you’ll have your baby there and then? I’d only been on maternity leave 2 days – where was my chilling out time?! Me and Saj were pretty convinced we would have our baby that night!
The midwife checked my pad and confirmed it was definitely my waters that had gone (no shit Sherlock), and told me I’d have to be seen by a doctor but I’d most likely be staying in the hospital to be monitored. This midwife was the only one with a bad attitude – not sure what had been up her bum but she was pretty miserable. Anyway – I had the normal checks done & then the doctor came round to see my how my cervix was getting on. This was the unpleasant part. It felt like a wide tube being inserted then stretched on the inside. Bleugh. Because my waters had broken this was the only way they could check me due to risk of infection. My cervix had closed up (which was what they wanted) and they advised me that I’d be staying in hospital and closely monitored for 48 hours in case labour started. If it didn’t start within that time – I’d have to be induced. My heart sunk. I’d had an image of a relaxing water birth and plenty of time to chill before baby got here. Instead, I’d had only 2 days of my maternity leave and was told I’d have to spend time in hospital and may even be induced (I’d heard horror stories of induced labours lasting forever and being even more painful than natural births). I quickly put those thoughts aside and put on a brave face – at least I’d see my baby soon. I then got taken up to the ward I’d be staying in and had baby monitored for a while. It was around 11:30pm and as much as I wanted Saj to stay with me – I sent him home to get some rest – especially if we’d be having baby soon! I remember crying myself to sleep after he’d left because I wanted to be at home with him, not on my own.
The next day was just a mix of having baby monitored, having my family come to see me, and watching Friends. It got to the afternoon and I’d started to have mild, period style cramps – and I wished this meant labour was coming! Around 7pm, I was having these mild cramps around every 5 minutes, but it was nothing I couldn’t cope with, so I still had no idea how long I had left. I was getting pretty fed up of being on the ward at this point, and the diva in me got Saj to request a private room. I just wanted to be on my own. Boy am I glad I had that room!
Around 9pm that night – I was convinced my pains were definitely contractions as I was now having to breathe through them. One piece of advice that a friend gave me for labour was to focus on breathing as much as possible, which I found to be so helpful. If I had to describe what they felt like for me, it was a tightening of the uterus, which got more and more intense as the night went on. I called the midwife who gave me some paracetamol & called the doctor to check if I was in active labour yet. This was about midnight, and of course the doctor checked and said I wasn’t even dilated yet. Grrr. So I took my painkillers & tried to get some rest. Obvs that didn’t happen. I dozed on and off but with each contraction I woke up again.
Around 2am I started to experience a different kind of feeling – this was more of an uncomfortable one rather than painful. The kind where you feel like you need to bear down & poo. I was convinced I was going to crap myself at one point. Lol. The most embarrassing thing I did was fart a few times though, ha. I called the midwife again who gave me some codeine & a birthing ball – both of which did naff all. In fact the ball made me feel worse! They then had to monitor baby again which at this point was getting harder because I couldn’t cope with lying down and just wanted to walk around. The pushing feeling continued to get more and more intense, and at this stage I had started to become more vocal too (this is what I meant by being thankful I had my own room!). I was so convinced things were going to get worse though because there was just NOT ENOUGH PAIN. Around 4:45am, a few midwives & the doctor came to see me as this pushing feeling was more or less continuous now, I got checked over and THEY SAID I WAS FULLY DILATED. Holy f***. I had the doctor ring Saj to tell him to come ASAP and I was wheeled to the delivery suite. I remember all 3 midwives who had kept me company that night all came down with me to the suite – I was honestly so lucky to have such amazing midwives around me – especially as I’d spent the whole night without Saj!
So – I remember it being around 5am and being surrounded by a bunch of jolly midwives who offered me water, gas & air and also reassured me that I would only need a few pushes and I’d meet my baby. I was in shock at how quickly everything had escalated. Saj got there just in time as I started pushing. This was probably the least painful bit for me – all it felt like was pushing for a massive poo when you’ve been constipated for a while. It was really tiring though as I was putting all my efforts into pushing. I can only imagine what my face looked like LOL. Now – the worst bit for me was when baby’s head started to come through – I was warned that it would be a stinging, burning pain which MY GOD it definitely was. I still quiver when I think about it. Once his head was out – it was a matter of minutes before he was born – and THAT feeling when it happens. At 6:10am, weighing 5″12, my baby boy arrived. Anyone that has given birth will know the relief that washes over you when you feel them coming out! I just started sobbing when they put him on my chest – Saj was next to me laughing because I was an emotional wreck. I was SO HAPPY. He was perfect. I lay there in shock & running on adrenaline because I couldn’t quite believe I had just given birth – with no pain relief. And no need for stitches. I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of myself.
I was then offered tea & toast – and it was probably one of the best meals of my life. Anyone else agree their first meal after giving birth is like food from heaven? My little boy was taken to be weighed, checked and given a cannula. Because he was pre-term (born before 37 weeks), he and I were more susceptible to infection, so he had to have doses of antibiotics for 48 hours before we were allowed to go home. Yep – more time in hospital.
After chomping down on my food, I took the opportunity whilst everything was quiet to have my first shower after giving birth. Let’s just say it was quite a bloody show. I hadn’t put a pad on after birth so as you can imagine, there was quite a bit of blood on the sheets, floor, walls….. (ok I exaggerated the walls)…. but it was pretty messy. I felt SO much better after showering – again there’s nothing like your first shower after having a baby.
And that’s pretty much it for how my birth went. I honestly feel so lucky that it wasn’t traumatic, and that I had a good bunch of midwives helping me – they honestly are angels and I couldn’t be more thankful for how much they looked after me. I’m planning on writing up a whole separate post on my first 2 weeks as a new mum, so keep your eyes peeled for that! It’s going to be pretty detailed and honest – it’s not been the easiest.