My Labour Story 1

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… So my last post ended with me and Andy standing in our hallway while my broken waters pooled at my feet.

We must have stood frozen for all of 30 seconds before I launched myself into the bathroom to take off my (quite frankly gross) leggings and perch myself on the toilet.

I rang the maternity unit and explained what had happened so far, which is to say practically nothing apart from my waters going, meanwhile Andy stuffed my maternity bag in the boot and rang his friends to tell him Poker was off the table.

I then rang my Mum, text my friend to warn her I wouldn’t be here tonight, text my sister-in-law, text my Dad and sent a group message to my girl friends promising to update them but telling them it was unlikely anything interesting would happen tonight, whilst Andy helped me struggle into some sweat pants and a baggy top, then we were in the car and on our way to the hospital! It was 6.40pm and a full 15 minutes had passed since my waters had broken…

At 7.10pm, as we approached the hospital, I thought I felt the beginnings of contractions- though it was so hard to tell as my pelvic pain had, if anything, got a lot worse.

By about 7.20pm we were in the midwife led unit in the maternity department of Reading Hospital. I couldn’t tell you how I got there; Andy dropped me off at the front while he parked the car and I must have got the lift up and wandered in. The protocol at Reading is to check everyone at the midwife led unit and workout what to do with them from there.

By now I was definitely contracting, about every 2 minutes lasting a minute, so one minute on, one minute off. In between contractions the midwife checked to see how I was doing and announced I was no way near close (not even 1cm dilated) and would have to go home. It was 7.30pm.

This did not go down well.

We had been assured by my consultant and midwife that the maternity ward would NOT send me home. Due to what happened last time I was understandably very anxious to even be in labour let alone not be in a hospital. Luckily for me, Mr W put his foot down, told her I was going nowhere and after pointing out that she had said earlier I was the only person even in the unit, she agreed I could have a bath and stay.

We were left in the capable hands of a lovely care assistant, who let us choose between two rooms; the Spring room and the Autumn room (all four rooms are decorated around the themes of the seasons). We chose the Spring room as I wanted something light and airy- I was already hot and I knew from last time I was about to get hotter!

The room was large and newly decorated in fresh light greens and whites; there was a comfy hospital bed almost the size of a double bed with crisp white linen sheets and in the far corner there was a big oval-shaped bath. There was a TV, a radio and tea, coffee and water facilities; all in all it was very pleasant!

The care assistant ran a bath for me- which seemed to take a life time to fill due to its humongous size!- while Andy rubbed my back in between contractions. By now, my pelvic pain was at an all time high, rendering me bend in double, speechless. If I thought it was hurting before clearly I was dreaming! It got so bad I felt slightly light-headed and vomited into a bowl- nice!

The pelvic pain was still worse than the contractions which had ramped up in intensity and were still coming every two minutes lasting a minute, however, they weren’t as painful as the contractions I felt when having Harry- still- I was in too much pain with my pelvis to pay them much mind.

By 7.50pm I immersed myself in the colossal bath feeling no relief- this concerned me, at home if my pelvis was bad every time I had a bath it had helped- alas, tonight, the warm water would not be a comfort to me! I asked the care assistant if pain relief were possible (“Just some gas and air, please, my pelvis is hurting so much I don’t know how much more I can take!”) and she scooted off to ask a midwife.

The water DID help the contractions a lot. I thought back to how I always wanted to try a water birth and decided it would definitely be a positive experience if it weren’t for the horrendous pain I was feeling all across my back, thighs, pelvis, bum… basically everywhere from my belly button down to the top of my thighs! It didn’t stop even for a second, just continuous mind-numbing pain with contractions every minute on top to boot.

The care assistant came back alone to deliver the news- no gas and air for me at the moment, I would just have to sit tight…

30 minutes passed…

At 8.30pm I could take it no more, (“Can I just have some gas and air?!”) So off she went again and this time came back with a midwife who said unfortunately if they gave me gas and air this early it would mean by the time I was in “proper labour” I wouldn’t feel the full effects of it and as a form of pain relief it would be useless to me; however, she recommended that I go down to delivery suite for some diamorphine to numb my pelvic pain.

Although I was sad to be leaving my comfortable room and a little unnerved about returning to the delivery suite, to be honest, as pretty as the room was, the decor was not assisting with the pain and the thought of having my pelvis numbed was too much of a lure!! So Andy heaved me out of the bath and I hobbled onto a wheelchair to be wheeled down to the delivery suite where I would be checked and (god-willing) be given some morphine.

As I was wheeled into the delivery suite I willed myself not to panic. I hadn’t been back there since having Harry and did not want to unleash the scary mental memories that I had kept locked anyway. I had enough to contend with without a full-scale panic attack on my hands! I randomly mentioned to a midwife that I thought I needed to push or go to the loo.

I unceremoniously flopped on the hospital couch and pulled off my sweat pants so the midwives could check me. It’s funny how dignity flies straight out the window when you’re in pain… I had a brief mental flash of how when I was in labour with Harry I whipped off my trousers without a seconds thought of who was seeing what, but before I could get caught up in that memory something I heard brought me back to the room…

Midwife 1- “She’s 7cm!!”

Midwife 2- “How can she be? She was checked an hour ago and she wasnt even 1cm!”

Midwife 1- “No wonder she said she felt like she needed the loo!”

Midwife 3 enters the room…

Midwife 2 to Midwife 3- “She’s transitioning, get a room ready, we’ll wheel her in.”

Midwife 3- “Transitioning??!! Oh God, no wonder she wanted gas and air!”

Midwife 1 to me- “Looks like you’re almost ready to have your baby, Abii!”

Andy (to the room in general)- “Does this mean we’ll have the baby soon?”

Midwife 2- “This means you’ll have the baby tonight!”

Me (to the room in general)- “Can I have some gas and air now?”

*lots of laughter*

Midwife 2- “You can have as much gas and air as you want, Abii! You’re going to be a mummy very soon!”

End of Part 1…

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