So I’ve not posted for over two weeks – of course that can only mean one thing… she’s here!!
After moaning in my last post that I had experienced somewhat of a false labour, the real thing got underway that evening!
Although my labour started on the evening of 18th March, Baby E didn’t arrive until the morning of 20th March – so my instincts when I first fell pregnant had been spot on (see my prediction in my earlier post here)
So here’s the rundown of how it happened – I’ll cover it in two parts as otherwise it will end up being a rather EPIC post!
Labour – Part i
18th March – 11.30pm
I’d gone to bed about 9pm that night, and having snoozed for a couple of hours found myself waking up with similar pains that I’d experienced the night before. Knowing that it hadn’t led anywhere the previous night, I declined to wake up hubby and just keep an eye on them and see how they felt. I also started timing them on an iPhone app.
19th March – 2am
After a few hours they had definitely got worse so I decided to wake up hubby and get him to strap me up to my tens machine. I didn’t particularly rate it at first but I warmed to it eventually and it did actually did help me through the first few hours. I believe you can buy tens machines quite cheaply however I had decided to just hire mine.
You can hire them from Mothercare or Toys r Us amongst others, but the site I used was TeNS Medical Services.
I used a Mama Tens unit and it cost £21.95 for a seven week hire period (for that you get the unit, a spare set of batteries, one set of electrodes, a lanyard to hang the machine round your neck and free return postage – which reminds me, I must send mine back tomorrow!) It might not work for everyone but I think it was worth the money for the initial stages of labour.
We monitored the contractions together and at 3am we decided that they were close enough together to give the hospital a call. However they didn’t seem to think I was ready to be taken in, so they advised me to have a warm bath or carry on using my tens machine and call back when I was having 3 or 4 contractions in the space of 10 minutes.
19th March – 5am
The contractions were now much closer together so I gave the hospital another call and this time they said it was okay for me to go in – so in a slight daze we gathered together all our bags, jumped in the car and off we went. We only live 10/15 mins drive from the hospital so at that time of the morning it didn’t take us long to get there.
We got checked in and then taken into an assessment room, where someone came to examine me. I was told that I needed to be at least 4cm dilated to be classed as being in established labour so fingers were crossed that I had reached this stage and wouldn’t be sent home.
Aaaargh, only 3cm!!
However the midwife reassured me that it was a ‘very good 3cm’, my waters were fit to burst and that it surely wouldn’t be long before I was in established labour so they let me stay! My next examination would be in around 4 hours, so they offered to run me a nice warm bath – which I couldn’t wait to get in! Our bath at home is very leaky so I hadn’t really been able to enjoy a good long soak in ages so even a hospital bath felt like a real treat!
19th March – 10.30am
Following the bath, I had some cornflakes and orange juice brought in for me which I munched away on whilst bouncing on an exercise ball. I was determined to get over 4cm before the next exam! The pain was getting much worse at this point, with much stronger contractions so I was so pleased to see the midwife arrive for my next examination.
5cm!! Woohoo!! Baby was definitely on her way!!
They asked me what I had planned re pain relief so being optimistic I asked if the birth pool was free and it was! So off we went across the corridor into a very pleasant looking room, with a giant hot tub!! Well there were no bubbles of course, but with a comfy sofa for hubby and some lovely mood lighting I was actually pretty excited at this point (yes, I know I’m a bit weird). I didn’t have a bikini top or anything with me so I just decided to strip off and jump in… when I got in, it was a bit weird… I couldn’t really get into a comfortable position but the warm water felt good. For some reason I couldn’t quite envisage having my baby in the pool so I just treated it like a posh bath! It’s a good job really as if I’d stayed in the water for the duration of my entire labour I would have been slightly wrinkled!
19th March – sometime in the afternoon…
Having spent a few hours in the birthing pool suite, basically just trying to breathe through the pain I decided that it was all a bit too much and I wanted more pain relief… This was where all my good intentions flew out the window. When I wrote my birth plan, I had obviously been very optimistic as I had planned on giving birth with just the help of gas and air. My mum had done it so surely I could manage it too… my pain threshold is fairly high and how bad could the contractions be??
Well, I’m sure everyone is different but mine were excruciating! Gas and air was never going to cut it this time so I took the next step up and opted for the diamorphine… I have absolutely no idea how long the effects lasted for…but I quite enjoyed the feeling of being spaced out for a time!! Just a pity it didn’t last for the whole birth!!
There’s still a long way to go… I’ll carry on with the tale in part ii!