As far as pregnancies go, this one was pretty perfect! Aside from some mild morning sickness and tiredness during the first 3 months, I felt fantastic! I attended my routine antenatal appointments, along with my 2 scans and it was all complication free! My baby was due on 18th March, and we had no idea what we were having 😊 although I always had strong suspicions – a mother’s intuition as they say!
So, it was the morning of Saturday 15th March and my contractions had started! They were still pretty irregular and bearable, however by around mid-day they started to become stronger (I could really feel these ones!) They had got to around 5 minutes apart so myself and my partner decided to make our way to my mum’s house who was going to be my other birthing partner, just incase things decided to progress quickly! I was at my mums for around an hour when I was considering ringing delivery suite for some advice as to whether I should start making my way there or hold off a little and bam – they stopped! I decided to go upstairs and see if I could get a little rest just incase they started up again and I was in for a long night! Two hours later, I woke up and had felt absolutely nothing, that confirmed I was definitely not in labour so back home we went to begin the waiting game again! Nothing exciting happened that night, and the next morning my partner had his project car (the one that was supposed to be finished before the baby arrived) booked in to be painted. So off he went, and I took a shower – Had to make sure the hair was clean of course!! It was around 11am and I got up off the sofa to go and make myself some crumpets when all of a sudden, I felt some bodily fluids escaping from me, but it was just a trickle, not the huge gush that you always hear about when your waters go! I took myself to the bathroom to check, genuinely wondering if I had pee’d myself (anything was possible at this point) and decided to put a pad on incase any more came out……and it sure did! When I checked my pad, I noticed that the colour was a yellowy/brown which automatically made me wonder if this was normal……So before ringing my partner (who was a good hour away to panic him) I decided to call delivery suite, who straight away told me to make my way in.
It was around 2pm by the time I got to the hospital and was seen and after examining the me the midwife confirmed that it was in fact my waters that had gone and the naughty little baby had pooped, explaining the colour. So, there went my hopes of having a waterbirth in the midwifery led unit. At this point my cervix was only 2-3cms dilated, however the contractions were back…. with a vengeance! This time I could tell they were here to stay! I was taken to delivery suite fairly swiftly and put on a drip to help speed my labour up. It was important to get the baby out as quickly as possible, due to the presence of meconium.
From this point onwards things were going pretty smoothly. I was unfortunately succumbed to the bed as the midwife was struggling to maintain a consistent monitor of the baby’s heart rate as I moved around, and it was important to ensure the baby was not showing any signs of distress. But it was fine, I developed a rocking motion which, combined with the gas and air was keeping me feeling in control of my contractions. Infact, it wasn’t actually the contractions that were bothering me the most, it was the continuous feeling that I was peeing myself from my waters trickling out. Yes, believe it or not this actually bothered me more than the pain! Things seemed to be progressing well and I remember my partner asking the student midwife how long she thought until the baby would be here, to which she replied “I think within the next 24 hours” …….24 hours!! I thought to myself there’s no way I can carry on with this pain for anything close to another 24 hours. I was hoping she was going to say within the next few hours! It must have been around 9pm when I asked the midwife if she could examine me again as by this point my contractions were becoming unbearable and were literally on top of each other, the gas and air wasn’t even touching the sides! So, she did and delivered me the terrifying news that I was only 5cms! I was thinking there is no way I can continue without any other pain relief if I’m only 5cms, so I asked to have the pethidine injection. The pethidine was administered and before I could even feel its effects, I felt such a strong urge to push. I remember seeing the midwifes face and her thinking “really?” when I told her I felt like I needed to push. She checked me again, as I was pushing and there was no stopping me, and sure I was fully dilated! Within an hour I had gone from being 5cms to fully dilated…. This was a relief! With every push I could feel the baby moving further and further down, it was such a surreal but amazing feeling! And then the one word I had feared about the birth came from the midwife’s mouth…. Episiotomy! “Lucy, I am going to need to perform an episiotomy, is this ok with you?” Aaahh this was something I was really scared about having to have done, I have no idea why, but I just imagined it to be absolutely horrendous! But strangely enough even though its something I was so fearful of, at that precise moment in time I just didn’t seem to care! I just wanted this pain gone and the baby to be here safely and it was no where near as bad as I had imagined (the pethidine may have helped to mask that part). Seconds later and the baby’s head was out and my mum said to my other half (who was staying up the top end) “look Billy!” and with the next contraction out came our beautiful, healthy baby boy, Bobby, born at 22:58, weighing 8lbs 2oz two days early! I did incur a 2nd degree tear, which along with the episiotomy required several stiches and the gas and air came in handy for these too! I found the whole experience from start to finish just incredible and would have done it again in a heartbeat……Which I did 2 and a half years later………
So, you could say this pregnancy wasn’t quite as straight forward and easy going as my first. Numerous growth scans, hospital visits and a low-lying placenta were all added into the mix this time round. However, it could have been a lot worse and fortunately by my 36 weeks scan the placenta had kindly moved up and out of the way, so I was given the go ahead for a vaginal delivery – wahoo! We decided to keep the sex of this baby a surprise as well, much to my disappointment as I was so eager to find out this time round, but the other half just would not budge!!
I got to around 38 weeks when I started to experience what felt like on and off contractions. They were very sporadic, but it was a pain I knew I had felt before! Car journeys were almost a no go for me by this point. I don’t know if it was the upright position, the bumps or just in my mind, but every time I went in the car I was so uncomfortable and the head felt like it was literally sitting between my legs ready to pop out! Baby was due on 24th August 2016 and it was Tuesday 16th and my contractions had started. Although they were still around 10 minutes apart and fairly irregular, I called delivery suite to get checked out. Coupled with the fact that this was my second baby, my first baby came two days early, and I was so uncomfortable, I really thought this baby was going to be early and quick so with any pain felt I panicked to get to the hospital as quickly as possible! They do say the second ones usually come quicker don’t they and I did not want to be caught short! The plan was for me to go into the midwifery led birthing unit this time round and I was classed as low risk, so I headed off there where I was examined and only 2cms. As my contractions were still quite irregular and I knew deep down nowhere near strong enough, we were told to head home and wait to see what happens. Good job we did as it wasn’t until a week later that things really kicked off….
It was the evening of 22nd and I had my other half painting my toenails (got to be prepared haven’t we ladies! And there was no way I was mastering that one myself! He actually did quite a good job of them – to my surprise!) Not much was happening, so I headed off to bed with no expectation of being woken at 02:30am with pretty strong and regular contractions! I tried to wake my other half who was not moving in a hurry, whilst ringing my father in law to come around and sit in with my eldest (who luckily was fast asleep and none the wiser.) I then frantically rushed around trying to get all my last minute bits together in between the contractions which were about 5 minutes apart, but I knew this time it was for real! People always say, “you’ll know when it’s time” and you really do! I rang delivery suite to let them know we were on our way and off we headed to the hospital, luckily there was barely any cars on the road at that time of the morning but my gosh it felt like forever!!! I mean I was hating car journey’s as it was, let alone with the contractions as well and the immense pressure. I really thought I was going to be having this baby on the way…. or my waters go at least! Luckily, we made it there on time and I was given a room on the midwifery led birthing unit as planned. The room felt so much nicer and less clinical then the rooms on delivery suite. It was a much calmer atmosphere. Shortly after I arrived, I was examined and although my cervix was only 3cms dilated, because my contractions were coming so regular (around 2-3 minutes at this point) the midwife thought it was best I stayed put. There was no way I was going anywhere fast with these contractions! From then onwards things went pretty smoothly and fairly swiftly as you may expect with the second baby. I did have the pethidine injection again as I found the contractions to be a lot more intense this time round and extremely close together. I wanted to try and get any rest I could before the pushing commenced! Fortunately, I had the pethidine slightly earlier this time so there was enough time for me to feel its effects and although for a mere 30 seconds, or so, I was managing to relax and dose off between each contraction – it was lush!! Just like my first labour I found myself stuck to the bed, which I know is not the most ideal position at all in labour, if it can be avoided, however I think I was just too scared to do much else and again I found the rocking motion worked on helping me to concentrate on the pain. It was around 7am and I was examined again to be told I was only 5cms!!! I remember saying to my other half “the pain didn’t get much worse than this last time!” but just like my first labour my cervix decided to go from 5cms – 10cms in less than an hour – to my relief! So, before I knew it, there I was pushing out another melon……Again I remember feeling the baby moving further and further down with every push and this really helped to keep me going and focused. Then suddenly with a push, POP went my waters and wow was there a lot! Out of the corner of my eye I saw the midwife almost leap out of the way of them – they gushed out alright!! But surprise surprise this baby had decided to poo in me as well – What is it with my baby’s and not being able to hold it in until they are out?! It wasn’t long after that and the baby’s head was out and then……the EMERGENCY button was pushed….” Lucy your baby is stuck and getting distressed. We need to get them out now” and within seconds the room was filled with people. If I’m honest from there everything was a little bit of a blur (probably a good thing!) I honestly couldn’t tell you what was happening down there apart from it hurt…. ALOT! Although at the time it felt like forever, I know it was super quick and at 08:41 my second baby BOY, weighing 8lbs 11oz was out and placed on my chest. I knew from the second he was placed on me that he was not a small boy that’s for sure!
The relief I felt at this point that he was out, screaming and well. I don’t think I even got chance to take much else in. I do remember the midwife saying she needed to check if I needed any stitches and I remember telling her that she would have to leave me for a little bit as I honestly felt like I had been ripped in half. When she did get round to examining me I had another 2nd degree tear, borderline 3rd so she got the doctor to double check if I would need to go to theatre to have it repaired but luckily we were ok and she was able to do it there and then. It turns out I had what is called shoulder dystocia where the baby’s head is out but its shoulders are stuck behind the pelvic bone – if you saw the size of his shoulders (and he’s still like it today) you would understand why that happened! I did find this pregnancy and birth harder than my first, however the midwives were all totally amazing and how quick they acted on that day to get my boy here safe and well I will be forever grateful for.