This blog post is very long overdue. I’ve wanted to write this blog post for a while but I was waiting until I got back to blogging properly again. I also found my pregnancy journal from when I was pregnant with our first baby so I thought this would be the perfect time to write this post.
My contractions started at home. It all started with me just feeling super tired the night before. Not a ”I need sleep” tired but the kind of tired where your whole body kind of just aches for no reason at all. By this point I was already overdue so I was expecting something to happen soon but I didn’t associate this with labour at all. I also had no appetite for the whole day before my contractions started.
When my contractions started, they were super mild. I had gallstones throughout pregnancy and the pain for that was excruciating so I just thought I was having braxton hicks at this point because the pain was nowhere near what I had experienced all pregnancy with my gallbladder. I did 30 hours of these kind of contractions at home, I called the midwives at the place I was going to deliver my baby but the pain wasn’t too bad, I was still being able to wash dishes and clean around the house in between contractions and the contractions weren’t insanely close yet so they assumed I wasn’t dilated enough to go in yet.
Then the contractions got worse and worse and carried on this way for about 6 hours at home still. By this point, I was 100% sure it was labour. Even though I hadn’t noticed a ”bloody show” or ”plug” go and my waters hadn’t broken. We kept calling the maternity unit but my contractions weren’t close enough so they assumed I wasn’t dilated enough. They wanted me to go in once I was 2cm dilated as I needed to have antibiotics. I eventually just called them to let them know I was coming in, I grabbed everything and off we went. By the time we got there, they still didn’t think I was dilated enough so were about to send me home again but then a midwife actually listened to me and checked and I was actually already 4cm dilated so they got a room ready for me and I stayed there from that moment onwards.
Even though my labour in hospital was a total of around 12 hours, it actually felt super fast. But that could have been because I was on gas and air having the time of my life. When I reached 6cm, the contractions still weren’t ”unbearable” but I decided to ask for the epidural in case it got worse and then it would have been too late. They warned me that due to me being a large girl, the anaesthetist could struggle to get the epidural in the right place so there were high chances it wouldn’t work. BUT HAHA IT WORKED! I was quiet scared of the epidural but I honestly didn’t feel a thing. The guy waited for me to have a contraction and actually put the epidural in during a contraction so I actually didn’t even feel it go in. I remember him saying ”all done” and me replying ”what? that’s it?”. So I’m 100% going for that again!
We got into hospital sometime before 6am so my husband went to get some food for himself as we didn’t grab breakfast before heading to the hospital. By the time he came back, the midwife had decided she was going to break my waters as they just weren’t breaking on their own. She waited for him to come back and then grabbed this thing that literally looked like a knitting needle, it had a little hook on the end and everything. She reached in and POP. I genuinely felt like I peed myself but at the same time it was like a balloon had popped inside me. It was so weird. Within milliseconds my waters were everywhere. I was hooked up to the drip and antibiotics the whole time so bouncing up and down on a birthing ball was not really an option.
I was at 6cm dilated for a good few hours but I think what really got it all moving along was having my waters broken. My husband went out of the room again as his mum and sister came to drop something off for us that we forgot to pack when we were rushing. By the time they came into the room, the midwife had already said that within the next hour I would need to start pushing. Now, I was very high on gas and air, everything was hilarious, I also had the epidural so couldn’t feel ANYTHING from the waist down so when she said it was nearly time to push my first thought is ”how the hell am I gonna push if I can’t feel anything?”. But relax. Turns out you sure as hell are able to push even on the epidural.
So by this point it’s around 4pm and they want me to push by 5pm. So I sit there chilling on my phone, updating my friends and family because the phone kept vibrating on the side all day, and all of a sudden I get this urge to push. Now it’s 4.20pm and they want me to try wait a little longer. So we get to 4.40pm and by this point I just feel like I need a really long poo. I couldn’t feel any pain, just an insane amount of pressure. I couldn’t hold it any longer as I hadn’t pushed once yet by this point and you could already see part of the head so they gave me the heads up I could start pushing and then everything just happened really fast. I started the first push at 4.42pm and he was born 4.52pm. Which is insane because I thought the pushing would take forever but nope. It really didn’t.
I chose to do skin to skin from the very start so baby J went straight onto my chest. They injected something into my thigh. They explained what it was at the time but I was so emotional and so excited my baby was in my arms that I didn’t really listen I was like ”yep, do it”. Turns out it was something to help with the birthing of the placenta. Like I said, I was too excited so I wasn’t listening properly at all. My husband was cutting baby’s umbilical cord while baby was still on me and all of a sudden I feel this cold feeling and I feel a balloon just pop out. Literally. It was the weirdest feeling I have ever experienced in my entire existence. `
Everything went amazingly with labour, however, I had a nasty tear. Baby decided to come out with his hand up against his face so I ended up having a third degree tear. So my husband cleaned him up, dressed him and sat with him through his jabs whilst I was wheeled off to theatre to have my stitches. There were like 7 surgeons in there. I had two down there, one at my head constantly talking to me to keep me awake because they gave me something through my canula that made me sleepy but it didn’t knock me out or anything. Again, this felt super fast but I was actually in theatre for 30 minutes. Before I knew it, I was in a recovery room with midwives desperately trying to force breastfeeding on me. But that’s a story for another day.
And just to think this was all 2 and a half years ago and in under 20 weeks we will be doing it all over again. I’m really excited to see how similar or different both labours are, especially at the pregnancies have been so different throughout. Baby A does do something that Baby J did all the time though, at every scan they both have their hands against their face all the time. So considering Baby J came out with his hand against his face, we shall see if the same happens this time.