18th August 2008 19:35Soooooo sorry this has taken so long …….these babies keep you well busy eh In short I had an amazing experience for 11 out of the 12 hours I was in labour! Which isn’t a bad statistic overall. But the last hour was pretty horrible to be honest. It all started at my appointment with my OB on the Tuesday (one day after my due date 22nd July), he did an internal and surprised me by telling me I was already 2cm dilated!!! I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t felt anything up to that point, no show, no contractions, nothing. He told me he expected to see me that night or the next, but made an appointment for the Friday just in case! Needless to say I didn’t need it! When I got home I had a show (must have been from the internal) and started getting BH for the rest of the day and evening. My DH started timing them and we suddenly realised there was a pattern and therefore we don’t think they were BH now but actually contractions! But at 10pm they stopped and bar waking once that night, everything had stopped. I insisted that DH went off to work, promising to call if things started up again, which they did at mid day, I was contracting about every 20-30 mins lasting 20-30” each. But they felt so mild, I still wasn’t sure if this was labour or if it was just BH. I then had another show, but this was a lot heavier than the previous day (sorry tmi). My contractions started getting longer and closer so about 3ish I phoned DH and suggested he get home early just in case. Once he got home I rang the hospital, explaining that I was managing really well and I hadn’t even put on the Tens machine. They were happy for me to stay at home until things moved along further or until I needed pain relief. All evening the contractions got longer and more frequent. And by 10pm they were 10 mins apart lasting 30-40”. But still no tens machine and still not much pain. I rang again and they suggested I head in once they got to 7 mins apart and 40”+. Around 1am we decided to go in. I was so relaxed and feeling little or no pain…I even insisted on moving my own car out of the way! I was convinced they would send me home. However, once they examined me the MW laughed and said I wasn’t going anywhere as I was 3.5cm dilated. So they sent me off walking the corridors, checking in with them every half hour or so, by 3.30/4 I was 4.5cm dilated and it was time to decide if I wanted an epidural or not. I was still laughing and chatting away with the MW and they couldn’t believe how well I was managing the pain. But I had myself convinced I would need the epidural and had been so petrified prior to labour, I said yes. And to be honest I regret it now, as I think I could have managed without it). I had the epidural at 5am (prior to this I had been contracting every 3mins last 50-70”). Once I had the epidural it slowed everything down and I went back to contracting every 15 mins!! Plus I found getting the epidural extremely uncomfortable. It took quite some time to find the right spot and I found it far more painful than the contractions to be honest. But please don’t let that put you off…I was just unlucky and it’s important to be honest here! Once the epidural took, they broke my waters and kept me monitored. But it was clear we would be waiting awhile for things to start moving again! But after a staff shift change at 7am the new MW realised that my waters hadn’t actually been broken earlier (which had also slowed things down). So once my waters were eventually broken, things started moving again. At 1pm I was told it was time to start pushing and despite pregnancy yoga etc I found it very difficult. The MW was getting me to push differently to the way I thought I should be doing it and I found it very difficult and tiring. Anyway after ¾ hr or so, the baby’s heart rate started dropping. Apparently this is normal enough (once it goes back up after each contraction) but it wasn’t in my case. So the MW called in my OB, and suddenly things started moving very quickly. While they were very calm I knew they needed to get my baby out fast. Up went the stirrups (lovely!!) and with the assistance of the vacuum, an episiotomy, me pushing and the OB pulling, out came our gorgeous, beautiful little girl Abby weighing a healthy 8lb 3. OMG………words cannot describe the sheer euphoria we felt. It was the most amazing feeling I have ever had in my life and as I looked down at our blue, slippery, little girl I knew I would adore her for the rest of my life. Both DH and I were in tears and laughing all at once. She is the most beautiful little angel I have ever set my eyes on and I can not believe how lucky we are to have her. Thanks to everyone who has been around for the past nine months….all the help and support has been amazing….and I’m just sad the whole experience is over. Best of luck to everyone else and I’ll see you all over in M&K.