This one is going to be quite long, do bare with me. My labour wasn’t the easiest. In fact, I was completely traumatised by it and it still impacts me today. But I’m ok and can at least talk about it now.
I remember it so vividly, mostly because I still have nightmares about it.
It was a Friday morning and my partner stayed home with me as we were going to hospital that morning to talk about being induced. We arrived at 10, and were waiting almost 2 hours to be seen because the midwives claimed they weren’t sure why I was there. After my partner explained, they saw me pretty quickly and we had a long chat about why I couldn’t be induced early. I questioned this because I was incredibly anxious and it was impacting my health, but the best the midwife said was to just try and relax and do something to take my mind off it as baby will come when it’s ready.
She was lovely and also let us listen to his heartbeat (we didn’t know what we were having) for about 20-30 minutes to reassure us it was all ok.
We got home at 1:30pm and had some lunch, before my partner was going to leave for work.
I should mention that I remember the times purely because this was D-day. My partner left just before 3pm and had popped into the garage to get me out a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle to try and help me relax to take my mind of bubs.
As he shut the door, I wandered over to the dining table and opened the jigsaw puzzle. In that moment, I thought I had wet myself and ran to the bathroom. It was there I discovered my waters had actually broken. I wasn’t sure what was going through my mind at that moment. Panic, excitement, where the fuck was my partner and phone!
I sorted myself and ran out to get my phone and ran back in the bathroom and text him. About a minute later I heard the front door open and a voice ask where I was. I came out the bathroom and wandered how he came home so quick. Turns out he was in his car outside checking his emails before he went into work. That was lucky.
So we sat and ran the birth centre to inform them my waters had broken. We went in to get checked and I was terrified I was going to just leak everywhere. My waters breaking was like a water slide. Constant gushing every time I moved. As I got out of the car when we reached hospital a bit more came out and had to sort myself before being seen.
Finally getting in to see the midwife, checking blood pressure and down there, my waters had definitely broken. Getting dressed I sat back down and we had a chat, asked how I was feeling and reminded me to just go home and relax as much as I can and if I don’t deliver within the next 24 hours then I would need to be induced… remember the morning? My chat about wanting to be induced and get things moving? Yeah, didn’t need it!
So, all was fine and we could head home. The second I moved off the chair it was like a waterfall gushing out of my vagina. My everything soaked through, including the chair I was on and it went all over the floor. I was incredibly embarrassed; any partner commented “Jesus that’s a lot of baby wee!” Obviously that made both me and the midwife burst into laughter and it also made me leak more.
Eventually when we got home, a friend came over to keep me company for a bit and I was toying whether to tell her or not, but I was acting a bit weird so decided it was best to let her know.
After she left we had some dinner and went to lay down for a bit. It was about 7:30pm when the contractions started.
It wasn’t so bad to begin with, I had 1 every 10 minutes for a few hours which was manageable, until they started to get really painful. Think about being punched incredibly hard in the vagina every 10 minutes for one minute. Fuck.
As time went on my contractions did pick up and had 3 every 10 minutes for about 2 hours. This was about 11pm. I had felt things kick in so was bouncing on a medicine ball and every time I had a contraction it was only manageable when I stood up.
We went back to birth centre to get checked and discovered I was only 2 cm dilated. That was ok at the time. I figured it would be a little bit slow, but there was a small part of me that wished it was over as I was starting to get incredibly tired.
We went home and the contractions continued; and eventually slowed down again to 1 every 10 minutes. For hours.
I was about 3am and I had tried to sleep but was just in fits of tears because I was exhausted and couldn’t take the pain anymore. I just wanted to get some rest but every 10 minutes having a punch in the vagina for a minute was just awful.
At 4am I called the birth centre crying saying I couldn’t take the pain and there was nothing they could do and told me to just rest as much as I can.
My poor partner stayed awake with me the whole time and I pleaded with him to try and get some sleep because he was knackered. I’d rather one of us was ok and I just couldn’t sleep.
It wasn’t for trying though. He managed about 3-4 hours sleep before he woke with me in tears again.
I should mention throughout this whole period I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink because I felt incredibly sick with anything I put in my mouth. It wasn’t for trying though.
At around 9am I was so much in my head that I just couldn’t focus on anything else.
Again I rang the birth centre in tears and still there was nothing they could do. They suggested sitting in a warm bath and try anything I can to relax as I was clearly very stressed, anxious and upset but nothing worked.
Eventually at about 11am I rang again in fits of tears desperate for and epidural and they told me to come in so they could check me. I was still only 2cm dilated and by that time I was so exhausted I couldn’t barely walk.
The midwife said I was too early to have an epidural but suggested a pethdine injection to take the edge off and I said anything to get rid of the pain. I was told that it wouldn’t stop the pain, but it would take the edge off so I could get some rest. She tested my urine and went to get the injection.
I had a chat with my partner and really didn’t want to have the injection and at the point the midwife came in asking if I had had anything to eat or drink. In my floods of tears I said no as I was not ok much pain and everything made me feel sick.
She at that point told me off saying I had dehydrated myself and needed to eat something as well as drink something and no wonder I was exhausted.
In hindsight I was so exhausted I didn’t think, but looking back I think how rude to say something like that to a lady in labour. I do understand that I should have kept hydrated but she could have said it in a nicer way.
Anyway, eventually I had the pethadine injection (I hesitated to have it as I didn’t want tot to impact the baby, but I was still in early labour so it was fine, it’s later down the labour line that it can make Baby drowsy), and instantly felt a little better. The contractions were still there but it did take the edge off a bit.
I managed a bit of rest and I encouraged my partner to rest as well.
3pm came around and I hadn’t delivered in the 24 hour window so would have to be induced. It was at this point I didn’t care anymore and just wanted the pain to go away so I could sleep.
The labour ward was busy so had to wait another hour to even go up to the ward.
4pm: Finally getting into a labour room I cried and cried at how tired I was at my new midwife (who was awesome).
The head midwife came in and talked about what is going to be done. She checked my notes and asked my other midwife to check my dilation. Low and behold, I was 3cm! She could also feel baby’s head and said direction Baby was facing was ok (it wasn’t, more on that later).
Omg this labour was so slow I just cried and cried.
However, being 2cm dilated I would only be able to have a pessary style induction. Being checked and finding out I was 3cm meant I could be put on the drip and… HAVE AN EPIDURAL!!!
It also meant I would permanently need to be monitored therefore my awesome midwife got to stay with me. I had to wait a while as you do as things were going on and the anaesthetist was busy. But it was ok.
Again I tried to encourage my partner to try and sleep a bit but he stayed awake with me. Finally when it was time for injections (epidural) and being hooked up to the drip my partner had to leave the room (more for his well-being bless him, he’s not needle phobic but sleep deprivation does weird things to you). The anaesthetist was a lovely guy, talking to me the whole time, explaining to let him know when I was having a contraction and how often. He said all ok, and started the magic. I had a contraction and it was horrible. Then after 10 minutes began to have another one but felt it fade incredibly quickly. In that moment you have no idea how much I wanted to give the anaesthetist a big hug and kiss for taking the pain away, but instead I just cried repeatedly saying thank you in relief and totally overwhelmed, the midwife gave me a hug and Dan came back in.
Finally I could get some sleep. Also I made my partner have a small sleep too.
The next couple of hours were a bit of blur as I was in between sleep and awake a lot of the time. I managed to be able to drink a bit and eat a bit and sleep too so that was lovely.
At around 8pm they checked my dilation again and I was still very slow (about 4 or 5 I think so they ramped up the drip)
I was constantly being monitored as was bubs heart rate.
Again the next few hours were blurry and I don’t remember much. What I do remember is getting a temperature and having to be put on an antibiotics drip, which also meant baby would need one when he came out.
At around 12am (Sunday morning) I was checked again and I don’t remember much of it. Conversations between the midwife, head midwife and I think a Dr at this point but I don’t remember much as I was in a sleep state. From then on I was a bit more awake and started to worry a bit as the Dr had come in a few times.
At about about 2am my midwife called another midwife and explained to me and her that I was having 4 contractions every 10 minutes but on and off, not consistently. The head midwife and Dr (who was also called) said to monitor me very closely.
It was a bit of a blur but I remember hearing that baby’s heart rate was dropping as I was contracting and the Dr said to check how dilated I was and a decision would be made whether I need a c section or not. At this point we discovered baby was the other way around, not breach but he was turned the other way (which also explained why my contractions were so horrible and labour slowed right down)
If I wasn’t dilated enough I would have likely have to have had a c section, but I was 10+1 so had to push. It felt like it all happened so quickly.
Pushing with an epidural means you can’t feel anything when pushing, so I didn’t really know what was going on. It felt like I had been pushing for ages and was exhausted. Baby had gotten a bit stuck so the Dr said she would need to use forceps to get baby out.
Initially I said no I’d rather something else but unfortunately at that point I had no other option as his heart rate was dropping and needed to be out right now.
I had an episiotomy and forceps to get him out (2 pulls and pushes) and there he was!
I was exhausted, emotional; had my partner reveal the gender and then some skin to skin.
I only got about 10 minutes contact as I had lost a lot of blood and unfortunately suffered from a 3rd degree tear. It was a 3b tear so had to rush off to surgery.
I remember feeling completely spaced out and shut off from any emotion as I was being stitched up. I was just staring at the light very quietly with everything that had happened going to through my head.
So that was my labour. I can imagine some had it easier, others had it even harder, every experience is different and I empathise with all mothers on all levels. It is incredibly difficult and we are all winners for doing our best and we should all give ourselves a pat on the back (and perhaps a very stiff drink) as a reward for all of it.
Well done everyone.