We were shown to room 8, it was a big room with a few cupboards etc and a bed/chair that looked like something out of fifty shades of grey taking pride of place in the centre of the room. The bed could sit up, lay down, they could take the bottom away to make it an arm chair, it had stirrups connected to it.. all sorts!
So we put our bags down and I got comfy on the bed whilst the midwifes came in, introduced themselves and explained the process. More routine tests were done and a cannula was inserted – I couldn’t look but the warm blood I felt running down my hand confirmed that it wasn’t an easy job!
My sister arrived and I was over the moon to see her. David was absolutely amazing but it’s always nice to have someone else who has been through it all there to comfort you. She was an absolute star, as I knew she would be! She was there every second, encouraging me, holding my hand & just reminding me that I could do it when I didn’t think I could. I don’t think I would have done it half as well without her there!
The midwives were so accommodating to us all, they gave David and Kayleigh a bean bag to lay on each, cushions and a blanket! So they could get comfy! They then gave me some leaflets to read about pain relief and an epidural almost immediately seemed the best choice for me, the other drugs offered seemed to have some sort of effect on the baby which I really wasn’t happy with. After researching epidurals in my 4 days of free time, I knew it was the choice for me. “When can I have the epidural?” Was obviously the first question I asked. To my surprise the midwife said I could have it now if I wanted! “Well, it’s a no brainer! Yes please!!” … The Anaesthetist could take a couple of hours depending on how busy they were, so the midwife requested them for me & we sat back and waited. In my point of view, I was in hardly any pain at that moment but in a few more hours I could be in agony! If they were going to take a few hours to get to me, the sooner we called them the better!
After this the midwife had to examine me, and try to break my waters! Not going to lie, I was petrified! Every examination I had had before this time was a fail, I wasn’t dilated and they couldn’t even reach my cervix.. so how the hell was she expecting to do anything different! … I was handed the gas and air before she started, brilliant – I had to prepare myself! & yes I was right to panic, my god did it hurt!! Bless her, she tried her best whilst I struggled, and breathed in the gas like it was my only lifeline! Eventually I tapped out, I couldn’t take it.. the midwife said that she may have just ‘nipped’ it and broken them but there was hardly any water so we doubted it… just my luck! No way was she going near me again!!
At this point I was sat on the bed in minor pain, hooked up to the drip that starts contractions. I could see them on the monitor and was feeling mild tightenings, but nothing overly painful… A couple of hours passed, the midwives did a handover & eventually the Anaesthetist knocked on the door! Still, I was only in very mild pain so I was chuffed to see her! Within no time at all I was all hooked up to the most amazing drug!! It hurt to put it in, a bit, but it was so worth it once it kicked in! I was handed a cool little button that I could press to keep ‘topping it up’ … every 20mins I could add more of it into my system, only once every 20mins so you can’t ‘overdose’ !! It was great! Don’t be a hero!! If you want pain relief, take it! You don’t get a reward at the end for doing it all naturally!
As soon as it kicked in they re-attempted to break my waters, I didn’t feel a thing and it was a success! Thank god… finally on the road to getting our baby out of me!
“Right, you may as well try and get some sleep now!” The midwife dimmed the lights, took a seat next to me and started writing her notes. Meanwhile Kay and David were already snoring away on their beanbags whilst I overlooked, laying there, counting down the time.. completely numb thanks to the drugs!! I cat napped, had more examinations and laid there contemplating what was about to come but soon it was morning & the midwives did another hand over.
I wasn’t allowed to eat due to the drip I had in me.. yup not allowed to eat from the minute it was put in until birth.. yup that’s a LONG time! So David and Kay took themselves off to the hospital restaurant for lunch – as I would have cried if they ate in-front of me! The time came round super quick and before we knew it, it was around 3pm and I was 10cm !! Whaaat.. we were so shocked & all of a sudden I was terrified. “We are going to start pushing at 4pm, is that okay?” … Oh god. It was actually happening.
4pm came, my legs were propped up next to my ears, Kay and David took positions either side of me and both midwives were in front of me. “When I say push, I want you to take a deep breath & push. When I say breathe, you take a short breath and push again until I say stop” … instructions taken and noted! An hour flew by, nothing happened. I was being told by everyone how well I was doing but I didn’t feel like I was doing well, I felt like I was failing completely! Please do not tell me I need a c-section, PLEASE!
I was told that after an hour of pushing and nothing happening, that I would need ‘assistance’ … the consultant came in along with three others, soon the room was very crowded. I must have looked like a rabbit in headlights, looking at everyone with help me eyes! They fiddled around to move baby’s head inside me – vom – and eventually decided that forceps would be the best option. Thank GOD… I couldn’t feel a thing! Panic took over but I had to let them do what they had to do.. it took a few pushes, a lot of people, a whole lot of worry… & then cries! Baby cries! She was here, laid on my chest (which had a towel over it, cos I’m a huge wuss) crying and grabbing my finger.
There were tears, from me and Kayleigh.. David kept it together nicely. He cut the cord, bless him & he took her for her first Daddy cuddles whilst the nurses cleaned & stitched me up from the episiotomy they had to do – again, vom… Although I’m very happy they did that and didn’t let me tear naturally!
Everyone cleared the room almost as quickly as they filled it, leaving us to stare at our beautiful creation. She weighed 8lbs 12oz and was born at 6:01pm… I was in labour for around 26 hours in total – yes, the tea and toast after giving birth is probably the best meal you will EVER eat! She had a full head of dark hair, long fingers and big teeny feet.. absolute perfection. We are in love, completely and utterly in love with this teeny tiny human.
My mum and dad managed to pop in when they came to pick up Kayleigh. God was I pleased to see them! All I could think was ‘I’m a mother now! I am somebody’s MUM!’ How crazy is that. I still feel like a child myself! I needed David there, I needed my sister there.. and to see my parents too, it just confirmed how lucky I was to have my family around me. Without them, without my sister there holding my hand and telling me how good I was doing, I genuinely don’t think I could have done it. I owe them everything.
Yes. It’s painful. Yes. I cheated with a hell of a lot of epidural. Yes. It’s pretty damn scary… but yes. It’s the best thing I have ever done & the most amazing thing I have ever done. I am SUPER bloody proud of myself for going through the hardest thing I will ever have to go through. I am beyond relief that she is here & so god damn beautiful. Oh & I have the best family in the whole entire world… she is one very lucky munchkin to have so many amazing people around her, not only from my side but from David’s side too! … We did it!
As I look at the perfect sleeping beauty laid across my lap right now, I realise why so many women go through it.. would I do it again in a hurry? No, probably not!! One day I’m sure.. just not so soon!