It’s 5am Thursday 25th October 2007. I am 2 days overdue with my first full term pregnancy.
I am demented, excited, and huge and to top it off I have an odd feeling at the bottom of my bump.
This does not go away.
At 6.30am I am woken with a cramping in my tummy and back. Intuitively I know it is time. Smiling I prod the Hoarder awake to tell him. I love this memory, we sit snuggled in bed, the soon to be three of us, talking and timing my contractions until 8am. 15 minutes apart, we have plenty of time.
My mum comes over and paints my nails whilst I gently rock and bounce on my birthing ball, my tens machine on and the boost button firmly in my hand.
By 8pm my contractions start getting closer together and my mum starts pacing the floor. I’m happy to stay home and the hospital is happy for me to stay home as long as I want to. Just as I planned it so far.
My contractions reach every 5 minutes and the tens machine is turned up higher…I’m in love with my boost button and my mum is pacing the floor…faster.
I dress for hospital, no sign of my waters breaking yet but mum is still pacing the floor and now wringing her hands as she tells me my contractions are every 2 minutes, a glance at The Hoarder tells me they are more like 3 ½ (bless her)
At 11pm I am 3cm Dilated and can have my water birth. I’m handed the golden goblet of Gas and Air which along with my boost button send me into fits of giggles at my mother and her hip flask. The hoarder takes a sneaky puff on my drugs of choice and is caught in the act.
Totally oblivious to the strangers in the room I strip and climb into the huge white bath…ahhh instant relief, mid contraction the pain just disappears. I laugh and joke between contractions and ignore the conversation during them.
From this point and starting to push my baby into this world the events and goings on are in a fog of pain.
The amazing midwife rubbed my back as I eventually gave up with the gas and air after it made me sick.
Finally the midwife demanded that I turn and sit with my back to the bath and my feet were to push the side opposite. Every time I moved a flood of pain spread over my lower back. It was agony but my body took over. This was the most amazing feeling ever! My body and I working together to move my baby through my body and into my arms.
The conversations sound far away, I don’t want to feel my babies head, I just want her in my arms “What a lot of black hair she has, Emma I can see the head.” You would think my mother had not had three children the way she went on.
“One last push”
“That’s it, keep going, good girl”
Suddenly I feel so empty…there is no pressure, no pain it’s 7.40am Friday 26th October 2007. Have been in labour for 12 ½ hours (according to the medical notes!)
I suddenly remember what I am doing “get your baby Emma”
I reach into the water and lift my new, not so tiny baby to my chest. Her smooth, soft skin on mine and we stare into each other’s eyes. Oh she has the biggest eyes I have ever seen. They are like huge pools I could just dive in.
“Is that mum or baby?”
“I don’t know”
She didn’t cry, my big beautiful girl. I thought they cried immediately. What a good beautiful girl I have.
I see the midwifes hand gently rubbing my babies chest, we are trying to get her to take a deep breath and cry, I join in.
“Does daddy want to cut the cord?” I tell him he will regret it if he doesn’t. Then we are separated, in every sense of the word.
“Baby just needs to be checked over, she has done a wee poo” I can’t see her, there are loads of people in the room now and all the lights are on.
This was not in my plan, the lights need to be low, I need skin to skin and I need to breastfeed my baby, then daddy can have skin to skin while I clean up. We need to be together, we three need to cuddle. I can’t see my baby. Everything happens in short bursts and in slow motion like I’m shown snippets of my life.
I notice the water in the pool has gone and I’m sat naked, covered in blood…I notice the varnish on my nails has smudged.
A sharp pain in my thigh tells me my midwife is back with me. She holds up my placenta and says “Nice and healthy, good girl” I feel oddly proud of myself.
I still can’t see her.
I’m walking across the room to a bed now, apologising for leaving bloody footprints on the floor. The midwife is trying to torture me; I’m offered Gas and Air which makes me sick again, Like that first alcoholic drink after a drunken night before.
I scream, I’m offered Diamorphine
I’m woken as my daughter is wheeled away in an incubator. I’m told she needs oxygen.
(find out what happens to us in my next post)