Not only is this blog about here and now, but the past and the future. Birth stories are out there, everyone who has given birth has one. I think it helps to share them, to read them and Little Lion, this is yours.
Nine days overdue and I’m getting fed up. It’s hard, for so long I’ve waited for this day and now it’s been and gone and still no sign of you. My friend, due after me has had her baby. I’m jealous and excited at once. Everything hurts, walking hurts and I’m just so desperate to meet you. To hold you in my arms and know it’s going to be ok. Have you here, see you, smell you, love you more than I ever thought I could.
Those nine days were hell. Hard to sleep every night, my pelvis hurt and walking was difficult. Id wake every morning thinking ‘is this it? Is there anything?’ Then have a crushing disappointment when there wasn’t. I’d toddle into town, slowly and sit wherever I could but I couldn’t stay home alone just hoping, waiting for a sign. It wasn’t your fault, not at all. You wanted to stay inside, I don’t blame you as it was cold out.
I cried on my due date, the day the midwife said she couldn’t even do a sweep, sat there sobbing my eyes out. So impatient, a trait I now see in you. She told me to have a glass of wine and relax. A small one, of course, but this late in the day it wouldn’t hurt you and might make mamma calm down.
I counted your kicks every night. I’d lie on my side, relax and count how many in 10 minutes. I had a range, but tonight it felt different. Slower, less sharp movement. I panicked, then decided I was going up to be checked. I was booked in for an induction on the Thursday, 3 days time, but I’d spent nights panicking all was wrong and not getting checked when I should have done probably so into the car we get, at 2123 and after ringing them we head off to hospital. So sure was I that I was being ridiculous I didn’t pack our hospital bags in the car.
We get to hospital and in the car I notice my bump getting tight, then relaxing. Braxton Hicks I think, finally. There was no pain, I could see the bump going rigid. Onto the monitor and I notice the contractions on it, starting with a little pain now. The midwife comes in and looks, rips off the trace and says ‘I’ll be back’. She comes back and says your heart rate is decelling but it’s ok. Another lady has just come in so she’ll sort her, then come back so I can have another twenty minutes reassurance.
She comes back in and looks again. Does some counting. Asks again when I’m being induced and if I’m getting any pain with these ‘tightenings’. They’re just starting to get painful so it suddenly clicks this could be it. A quick chat with a doctor, I’m staying in to be induced if not in full labour by 4am. They’re happy if a babies heart rate drops a little with contractions up to 50% of the time. You were doing it about 75-% of the time now, and as I was being induced Thursday anyway it made sense.
I moved up to the ward, luckily to my own room. I had nothing. My phone had 8% battery, only the jeans I was wearing. Daddy got sent home, not needed. I got given a gown and tried to sleep, but sleep was impossible. So painful. I had paracetamol, then 20mg oramorph. Then diamorphine with the second lot of monitoring. Contractions were coming thick and fast now, so at 5am downstairs to delivery we went. I rang daddy, told him to come in and drop the dog off with the dog sitter.
Was off my head on gas and air and diamophine when daddy got there. He peeped round the curtain, a big grin laughing at me being an idiot. I honestly was crazy, woozy, hallucinating, oh and then sick. I was stuck on a monitor; you still weren’t happy. I had an epidural, the pain was getting to much and they were planning to start the syntotocin soon. It was either then, slightly early or may not get one. My waters were broken, not a pleasant experience at all. I didn’t feel it but everything was damp for ages.
It took an age, and the midwife didn’t tell me until afterward I couldn’t eat with an epidural in. She let me finish my crisps, salt and vinegar discos I’d craved but then no more. Was told to rest, they wouldn’t examine me until the contractions regularised. I tried to rest but couldn’t. Daddy slept, our lovely midwife made him a bed. I chatted, played on my phone, read a magazine, and just lay watching your heart rate on the monitor. I persuaded Charlotte, the midwife to have a break and another midwife came in to check every now and again.
I don’t really remember the next bit. I was asking them to examine me, but they said not until contractions regularised which they weren’t. A doctor came in and said they may as well as it won’t hurt. 8cm, which no one believed but you were getting more distressed now. A fetal head clip thing was put on you to more accurately monitor your heart rate and an abg (blood test) taken from your head. It dropped and I was given a choice as now 10cm, push you out in next half an hour or they were pulling/cutting you out.
I was scared, so scared and so tired but I tried. I did not want a c-section. I had wanted a water birth but that had gone so I tried but it was so hard. I was so tired, I had barely slept and not eaten since breakfast. They decided to pull you out with a venteuse, by this point I didn’t care and just wanted you here safe. I pushed and tried and they pulled and out you came, with a very short umbilical cord. I asked them to delay clamping the cord but you didn’t cry, so they left it as long as they could with you on my tummy then whipped you away to the incubator and within a couple of minutes you were crying at me. Those few seconds were overwhelming, I was overcome with emotion, desperate to hear you cry, desperate to cuddle you, hold you and kiss you.
You were handed to me for a cuddle, then taken away quickly to weigh. 7lb 14oz, or 3.57kg and born at 1831.
Those figures will be etched on my mind forever. I won’t forget that elation, that pure joy at holding you. At seeing daddy hold you. At hearing you cry, helping you feed. I loved you from the day I found out I was carrying you but this was new and so so powerful.
Love you Little Lion x