Friday, 24 July 2009

Labour Story - Part 1

Friday, 24 July 2009

Well, here I am and my gorgeous boy was 2 weeks old yesterday. I thought I’d spend a little time writing about how the labour went – in the few moments I have where he is not attached to either one of my boobs.

I tell ya; I am a smitten kitten – I can’t believe how beautiful he is! Every minute on top of the previous one brings a new level of astonishment at how handsome he is. He has us all charmed, to be sure. I look at him and my breath catches in my throat while the boil within my soul’s cup rolls and rolls with the enormity of it all. It’s as if I’m wandering through an extraordinary dream – weird and beautifully I find I’m a mother of two. Is this real? Doesn’t that just blow your head right off?

So it all started not long after we went to bed – as strangeness would have it, we’d stayed up a bit later than normal writing our birth plan, if you can believe it! And in the early morning of Tuesday 7th July 2009 things started happening. About 1am I got out of bed for my 328th visit to the toilet that night, and lo and behold (sorry – gross alert) out plops my mucous plug into the toilet. Hurrah! When I had Ben, the MP (can’t bear to type it again, it’s too yucky!) fell out onto the bathroom floor on the Saturday, and I had Ben on the Monday night. So, excited that things were obviously a-movin’ I came back to bed, told Jason the news and we snuggled down, hoping to drift off to sleep with the happy thought that things would probably start happening within the next couple of days. Happy thoughts mixed with a little bit of smugness – “I totally knew that I would go early,” I mused, and true enough there I was 5 days before my official due date sans the ol’ MP, safe in the knowledge that things could start any day now.

But – would that we had the luxury of a day! Not ten minutes after I returned to bed did I have what I thought was a little contraction. I dismissed it straight away – didn’t even mention it to Jason – as in the last couple of weeks especially I’d experienced all manner of twinges and twangs and tickles and tweaks. But then about ten minutes later another one came.

“Jase, “ I tapped him on the shoulder, “I think I might be having a contraction.”

“Mmphff,” I think was his initial sleepy response. When I had another one in another ten minutes, he was all action stations, leaping out of bed to make coffee for him and tea for me, to sit and wait to see what was going to happen. We assumed we had quite a bit of time to deal with the early labour stuff – I knew that second babies tend to come a bit quicker, but I was 39.5 hours from start to finish with Ben so we were quite relaxed at that point. Jason hooked me up to the TENS machine (borrowed from the lovely and generous Leanne – thanks Leanne!) and I electric-shocked myself through each contraction without too much fuss. It was painful but manageable, and as long as I was upright and walking, I was able to endure them tolerably well.

Incredibly, over the next two hours my contractions increased in intensity and the time between them was dropping and dropping... 7 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 4 minutes. I couldn’t quite believe it!

“Should we go to the hospital do you think?” Jason wondered.

In total disbelief, I said, “Surely not already!” but sure enough, things were getting so painful that I knew we had to get to the hospital. We woke up our friends next door (thanks Tracey & Craig!) and Ben took Jason there, and then we got in the car. To divert myself from worrying that I would deliver our child in the front seat of a Citroen, I timed my contractions with the stopwatch on my iPod. All the way to the hospital, the contractions were lasting about 30-40 seconds and I was only getting about a minute and a half’s break between each one.

Wansbeck General Hospital, incidentally, is 16.5 miles door to door, from our house. Google Maps says the journey takes “around 27 minutes”. I can quite categorically say it was the longest 27 minutes of my life... I was a little frightened in the car as the pains were coming thick and fast, but Jason made good time and soon enough we arrived at the maternity ward. We were quickly installed into a really lovely labour room, popped the iPod on shuffle on some speakers and I changed into my PJ’s.

I laboured mostly on my feet leaning over the bed... I still had the TENS machine on but to be honest I don’t think it was really doing much by this point so I took it off in exchange for the Entinox: my friends the gas and air. Oh, bliss! That stuff is great; I got all the way to about 6cm dilated with it, before I had a shot of Pethadine (Demerol for those of you across The Pond) to help dull the pain. Jason was brilliant – rubbing my back, encouraging me and telling me I was doing really well. Despite the obvious discomfort, it was really good; very relaxed, a really lovely atmosphere with the music on and everything. I felt reassured that I was in really good hands, and safe in the knowledge that Jason was “overseeing” everything to make sure things were going the way we’d discussed. However, not long after that was when things started to veer off plan.

2 people had something to say about this...:

Lis said...

OOOOhhhh I want part 2! :)

Angie said...

Don't leave us hanging!