labour & birth

8:40 pm

I never imagined I'd want to tell people about such a traumatic event that took place in my life, but I do, because although it was very traumatic, it was far more beautiful. I bought our baby from one world to another with my physical body, how f***ing awesome is that.
So what happened? Well, I was 9 day's over due impatiently waiting to meet our unborn child, impatient and anxious I've never been so terrified in my life. Always thinking the worse in any situation. I was excited but obviously still scared. I probably didn't let on how scared I was... you probably think I was scared of the pain... not at all that didn't frighten me - all I wanted was to know that our baby would be born safely and healthy, and of course that I would be safe and healthy at the end of this dramatic event.

I have never been so prepared for something in my life, every single thing on my check list was ticked, I'd cleaned the house and bedroom about 1000 times. Baby's clothes had been re-arranged so many times I'd lost count. But nothing could have prepared me for labour. I wanted everything to be completely natural of course. I was scared that I'd need to be induced and I wouldn't get my water birth like I had longed for!
The morning of Saturday the 4th of July 2015, I thought my water had broke, a little gush of water had leaked so I rang the hospital right away - they asked me to go in so they could check my cervix as I was having contractions but they were irregular. I was monitored for some time, eventually they checked my cervix... 'It's tightly closed I'm afraid, it's not time' disappointed I asked how will I know when it's labour? 'when your contractions are like clockworks' the midwife replied. She assured me that it could still be a few days.

We arrived home and I felt kind of disappointed I then ate two pineapples (I heard it can kick start labour) by the evening I was having kind of regular contractions they were coming every 10-15 minutes. After a few hours they got very painful and they were happening 8 minutes - I tried hard to watch a movie and 'forget' about the pain. We went to bed about midnight, Curtis fell to sleep instantly. Myself on the other hand ended up being woken up every 8 minutes in pain. 'how the f**k am i supposed to 'forget' about this pain'... I downloaded an app to monitor my contractions as I wasn't really sure if it was labour or braxton hicks! I had them a lot during pregnancy.
The entire night they got more intense and more regular 'this is it I thought' I talked to myself I let myself know its ok to be in labour and I told myself I can do this. By about 3am they got super intense 'should I wake Curtis?, NO! deal with it yourself' I decided to sing my 'A B C' to help me get through each contraction by 4am I needed a hot water bottle they were coming every 5 minutes and I needed comfort! I tried to sleep but I just couldn't it was too intense. At about 6am Curtis woke up. 'whats the matter why are you being sick?' I let him know this was it, I was in labour. He rubbed my back through each contraction and comforted me whilst I was vomiting. At about 10am Curtis mum woke up. 'El are you ok, how long has this been happening, I thin you need to go to hospital you cant suffer like this' by this point my contractions were every 4 minutes.

Curtis mum called the hospital to tell them what was happening, they said for me to take paracetamol and get myself to hospital sooner rather than later. I couldn't keep paracetamol down it made me sick more to be honest. I wanted both Curtis and his mum to be my birth partners, however who would have Lucas? His little brother. We called Curtis father to come over and look after him whilst they both came to hospital, I needed Jo in the backseat with me somebody had to rub my back! It felt like 5 million hours before Curtis father arrived. I was getting rather impatient. 

After a super long car journey to southmead. I finally arrived at the hospital at 12.30pm! I was then sent to the wrong bit and my pool that was supposed to be kept for me was just taken by another women who has just gone into labour, I couldn't believe it they said they'd get it ready for when I arrived. Eventually I was offered a pool but in a different section of the hospital whilst waiting for it to fill up my midwife checked my cervix to see if I was dilating, I was 4cm dilate. Then we hit a problem the pool water was cold... turns out the hot water had broke down! I was devastated this meant I couldn't have a water birth. She suggested I do my labour in the bath so I decided that would be a good idea. Off we all went to the bathroom.

I had Jo flannelling me with cold water whilst Curtis firmly rubbed my back. 'harder, more water' I couldn't believe how painful labour was I was so sure I had a good pain threshold! I said so many times this would be the first and last child I'd ever have totally couldn't go through this again. Good news arrived an engineer had come out to fix the hot water. Off we went to the birthing pool at about 4pm. I sat there on a birthing ball waiting for it to fill up. I wanted it to be natural and held out for as long as possible until I eventually asked for gas and air. I inhaled the entonox and immediately shunned it 'its rubbish its not working' my midwife laughed 'Eloise you've only taking one puff you need to do it through the entire contraction' so I tried again, it worked... yaya the pain was bearable I felt a little high I started to waffle on about endless crap and started to laugh a little, bouncing on the ball whilst waving my arms in the air calming its like being in a rave. Curtis and his mum found this funny but nice they could relax a little as I didn't need so much rubbing and watering. The sickness finally calmed down a little too.
The pool took forever to fill as it wasn't a fast fill pool. But I finally got in. Curtis also got in an comforted me I then stopped with the gas and air as I found the water very soothing along with massage. After many more contractions I told my midwife I feel like I need to push. She said your waters haven't broke... I knew this but I insisted I needed to push, she told me to just go with my body and to do what feels right. So I gave a little push and then broke my own water! I was so excited I assumed this would be the really quick bit an hour or so baby would be here. So wrong! Almost 3 hours of pushing and the little buggers head got stuck. I was so exhausted I couldn't push anymore. I couldn't even move to let her check the heartbeat. I was trying so hard. Another midwife came in and said that I would need to be cut. This meant no water birth. By this point I just wanted him out my vagina and in my arms!!! I couldn't stand they had to all lift me and drag me to the floor where I would birth my baby. I had gas and air whilst she cut me I already had a second degree tear and that final cut was fucking painful. One push and little Romans head was out, it felt so easy, one more push and the next thing I know hes on top of me trying to nurse. This little purple boy squealing at me. It was magnificent the feeling of giving birth is like nothing I have ever felt. Overwhelmed with love. I looked at Jo and said 'I cant believe it, I did it jo' I was so proud of myself in that moment. Everybody was telling me how well I'd done. We had skin to skin for a good hour and I birthed my placenta naturally ready to take home to have it capsulised you can read more about that here. He was born at 7.14pm and weighed 7.14lbs. Who would've thought that pushing them out such a tiny little hole would eventually be these easy less painful part?!

Curtis was the most incredible birthing partner I could have ever wished for as well as his mum. But I don't think there are many men who are as wonderful as Curtis. He helped me through every second of the labour he made me feel strong and brave. Always reminded me how well I was doing and how proud of me he was. He loved seeing Roman's head almost out, but hated telling me 'one more push' for the 459th time...he wasn't squeamish at all, he understood completely when I said horrible things to him. That day I realised just how much I truly appreciate and love him.
I didn't sleep much that night. He didn't cry once. I just couldn't stop starring at him and cuddling him. He was just beautiful. Curtis got to stay in hospital with me we had to stay for about 4 days because we had trouble breast feeding at first. It was very emotional going home I was happy but I also felt a little sad because that was where my baby came into our world so I felt a deep connection with the hospital.

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