My first pregnancy was pretty uneventful. Oh, apart from the time I was 7 months pregnant and a pipe burst all over the nursery on Christmas eve. Thank the Lord for insurance.
Physically, I didn’t find being pregnant very hard. I moved house and was putting up furniture at 8 months pregnant and I was attending lectures at university up until the week I gave birth. I remember going in on a Monday and giving birth on the Friday. Glad he didn’t decide to come early.
Bo’s official due date was 17th February – but that was just from a date I made up because I didn’t actually know when I got pregnant. The scan put his due date on the 11th but they wouldn’t change it on my notes. On the 10th February, I had a meeting with the consultant at the hospital. After about a 40 minute wait, for some reason I started to get really anxious and upset so when the midwife called me in and took my blood pressure it was really high – but it was probably because I was stressing myself out. I was like, noooo I think something’s seriously wrong – get this baby out of me!
The consultant agreed to do a sweep but I think she only did it to stop me crying. “There is about a 90% chance this won’t work. This will only work if you were going to go into labour anyway….Oh… I can feel the head. You’re going to have a baby this weekend.”
The midwife called my husband because I’d been crying, he came to pick me up and we drove home. But before we even left the hospital car park my back really started to hurt. Oh dear. I think I’m in labour.
At home I tried to relax. The contractions weren’t too bad at first and I could carry on breathing and deal with it. My husband, being the gentleman that he is, told me, “I’ve got work in the morning so I’ll probably sleep in the spare bed tonight.” Things slowly progressed, so while I was writing around in agony he was fast asleep, blissfully unaware of the horror being unleashed in the other room.
I made myself a bath and this felt amazing; I was clearly still in labour but it really dulled the pain I felt in my back. Just after I got out of the bath my waters broke. And my hair had got wet but I was in too much pain to do anything with it. So now I had frizzy hair. Damn, so much for looking good in labour.
At midnight I went into hospital because I was convinced I was about to die.
No change since earlier that afternoon.
So, back I went to try to get some sleep while also feeling like my back was breaking several times an hour.
Around 6am we went back to the hospital and this time they did admit me. I learned that when you THINK you’re going to die – you’re not there yet. You can only get admitted to hospital when you KNOW you’re going to die.
“We’ll get you some gas and air in a minute,” said the student midwife (who had clearly never been in labour), “just breathe through the pain.”
Once I had gas and air I felt SOOOO much better. I just laid on my bed with no clothes on. “Do you want a blanket over you.”
“Nooo I’m fiiiine.”
“Erm… I definitely think I should put a blanket over you. EVERYTHING is out.”
Dignity well and truly out of the window.
I got another heavenly bath but to be honest, the main thing I remember from my labour was that it was LONG. After about 12 hours of being on gas and air I think I was so high I just couldn’t get any higher and the feelings of being about to die came back. The midwife said I could have an epidural but about 2 hours later I still didn’t have one so they gave me pethidine, which I didn’t really want at first but I also needed to survive.
I can’t remember much after that, I was pretty much passed out – but I do remember getting very excited and telling everyone about the bargain I got at Sainsbury’s the day before – 4 Kit Kat chunkies for £1!!!!
Eventually, and I really do mean eventually as it seemed to take flipping forever, I was ready to pop him out. I was not ready for how this would feel – I thought you just pushed and a baby popped out. But it was sooo weird. His head kind of came down, then went back in, then back down again. And being in my semi-conscious, off-my-head-on-drugs state I thought, “it’s like a pirate ship at a theme park.” Absolutely the weirdest sensation ever.
So anyway, after a little bit of pushing, he popped out and I was like, “What the heck is that?” Newborns are U.G.L.Y. And it’s not what I imagined it would be like where you have your baby and it’s just all amazing. The room then fills with people looking at your baby and the bits of you that nobody should be looking at (did you really need to get 2 students to watch you do the stitches, doc?) and I just thought, leave me alone!