A lovely birth story from the Rotunda of a first time mum.
My gentlebirth story begins like so…. My boyfriend was away working in Saudi Arabia for the entire of my pregnancy. He left when I was 8 weeks pregnant and returned at 39. While he was away I purchased the gentle birth cd's online. I had contemplated doing the weekend course but felt that it would not be so beneficial as I would be attending alone. I listened to my cd's most nights from around 7 months but fell asleep listening to them every time
My due date arrived along with a fury of flowers and chocolates but it was Valentines Day so he knew that it was more than his life was worth! But other than that it was like any other day. I was due to visit the health centre the following day for my regular weekly check up, who to my surprise suggested that we get things moving along. I thought that they would at least give me a chance – what if my dates were wrong (although I knew without a question of doubt they were correct) and I had been in the hospital for having a baby measuring too small on a few separate occasions. But as the boyfriend was only home for 4 weeks, I knew that I had to preform and produce a baby before he returned to Saudi so (despite my birthing plan notes) I agreed to go ahead with a sweep.
So first thing Monday morning, we trundled into the Rotunda for the sweep… another procedure which was made out to be far worse than it actually was. Best way I can describe my sweep is like a smear test. By Wednesday I was walking and wetting myself at the same time. I mentioned this to my mother who told me I was being “a drama queen” words which would come back to haunt me over the following days. Thursday was scheduled to go back for another sweep, and this time as well as the sweep, the nurse made an appointment for me to be induced on Monday morning if nothing happened. At this stage I was feeling a little bit crampy. At the time I thought it was nothing bad but when I was in the car I made my partner drive extra slow over the speed ramps because of the pain I felt going over them. Friday afternoon, I was out for lunch and mentioned having some minor twinges, like period pains. By Friday evening these were getting worse, but of course not wanting to act the “drama queen” I thought nothing of them and when out to the pub to meet my partners family who were up from the country for the evening (what the hell was I thinking!!!). By 9.30 it was time to head home and I felt that things were starting to heat up. By the time we got home I kind of allowed things to happen. I had been afraid through my pregnancy that I would start to freak out or panic when I went into labour because of all the horror stories I had heard throughout the years but it never crossed my mind.
My partner asked me how did the pains feel and I explained, that it was like a wave. The pain rose up and peaked but when it went I felt spaced like I had taken a drug. Being in labour was actually giving me a buzz!!!!!! I had a shower which was really nice and then I paced the floors around my apartment. By 10.30pm I was starting to worry that if this feeling was to go on all night, I would not be able to sleep and then would not have the energy for the third stage. So I rang the hospital and explained what was happening. At this stage I was having my "wave" every 2-3 minutes. When I explained this to the nurse she told me that as I was managing to talk to her that I was not in established labour yet and suggested that I get into the bath and chill out. So at 11pm I got into the bath and my partner went to bed. The bath was lovely. I have no idea what I was doing in the bath all of that time, I just know that at different stages I would get out, decide that being in the bath was nicer, fill it up again and get back in. At 4am I got back out to refill it and low and behold I started pushing…. I wasn’t expecting that. It was comical waking my partner up whilst pushing; to say he nearly sugar himself is an understatement...
We drove into the hospital pushing, I got out of the car... pushing. I went up to the reception desk pushing - and the receptionist told me to wait in the public waiting area…. Was she having a laugh!!! I just went up to one of the nurses (pushing) and as it happened it was the woman I spoke to on the phone at 10.30 who told me that I wasn’t in established labour - well I had a thing or two to say to her. She checked me and I was 10cm dilated. So there was to be no hanging around for me.
I had written and signed my birth plan and it was in my files. The nurses read this. I asked to give birth whatever way I felt best and I had thought this would be on my knees but this didn't work for me. The midwife put me on my back. They urged me to take the gas and air I wanted to keep a clear head and stay focused. In all my years, I never thought that this is how I would be reacting to labour. I had an hour of pushing and out came my little bundle of joy, my perfect little girl, weighing 6lb 10oz. They told me afterwards that she had been lying face up (or face down whichever is the wrong way) and that is why she took a little bit longer in the end. But she was perfect and in full health.
My birth plan requested that I deliver the after birth naturally – I don’t think they were too happy about this because at one stage a nurse who seemed to be in charge came into the room to tell me if I didn’t get a move on that I would be given the injection.
After this I needed stitches for a tear….. and this was without a doubt the worse part of the whole experience. Keeping focused was no longer on the agenda so I got the gas and air out and proceeded to tell everyone in the room exactly what I thought of them including my partner who was absolutely useless for the whole experience!!!! I was home by lunchtime, on a high from the fantastic experience.