Save the Children's campaign "Build it for babies" looks to raise £1million to help build seven life saving health clinics in Bangladesh. Mammasaurus' Blog it for Babies is one way in which Bloggers can help increase awareness and funds. Share your birth experience, attend an event or simply donate - go on!
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Here is my birth experience in support of Blog it for Babies.
The arrival of our little bundle of joy was quite unexpected. Unexpected in that everyone was convinced he would be early - to the point where every health professional we came into contact with during my pregnancy told us to have our bags packed come the start of the third trimester. Who were we to argue with that? We didn't. My hospital bag was packed as soon as we had our twenty week scan no less! Of course that did not mean that every few weeks I would not unpack and repack just to make sure I had thought of everything. Looking back now, I hardly used anything but as a first timer I liked to make sure all our bases were covered.
So, where were we? I had saved all my holidays from work to take before my due date - the first two weeks were relatively easy as I treated it like a holiday. The third week and I was wishing Munch would hurry up already, as although being off work was nice, being off work AND being on my own bored me senseless. There was nesting to do but I could not get motivated as my brain felt like it was turning to mush. What did I do? I put the sheet on the Moses basket and got the blankets washed and ready. That, it turned out was the extent of my nesting instincts. It was a Monday and the funny thing was I had only been complaining that Munch was going to make us wait and be overdue seeing as we had been ready for such a long time.
Monday 7.40am, I make my usual trip to the loo having taken an age to drag myself out of bed as my hips had started to become painful. Whoop whoop, I had my show which meant that things were going to happen. I mean, it could have been days before the real thing started. I had had no Braxton hicks at all so figured my body was not practising any contracting of any kind so it must be a way off yet. Sprout left for work and told me to ring him if anything significant happened.
It was high time I got the TENS machine and the instruction DVD out before the fun stuff began. I had my shower in the usual manner and then boom! My first contraction. Nothing exciting but enough for me to wonder if things were really starting. I had no idea at what rate my contractions were coming at - I had downloaded an app on my phone for this but to this day I don't know how anyone can concentrate on starting and stopping the darn thing as I could not focus on anything.
Imagine if you will. Me hunched over a coffee table, contractions getting increasingly regular and more intense and all the while trying to figure out the blasted TENS machine. I started playing the DVD and heard none of it. Tried again, nope nadda. I needed to figure it out so I could get it on. Cue the frantic opening of instruction leaflet and slapping on of pads and then just doing whatever worked to ease the pain by twiddling the various dials and pushing the red button!
I got to around 1.00pm and was disappointed in myself as obviously my pain threshold is absolutely pathetic. They told us at the antenatal classes that labour could take 12 hours or more with our first. I had decided that I would only use gas and air but I now wanted whatever they would offer me - even a C-section. If this was only the start, I was not going to be pretty during full blown labour without all the drugs I could get my hands on. I rang the delivery ward to be told that if I went in too early there was a possibility of being sent home but the choice was mine and they could tell me how far along I was. I decided I would wait for as long as I could stand but rang Sprout as I needed someone to be with me at this stage.
He arrived home and asked me how long had it been between contractions. Me - no idea. OK, so he would time them for me. Start the clock - he ran upstairs to change - here came another. Panic stricken other half as the time elapsed was all of two minutes. Mad rush getting his trainers on - all our things had been in his car for weeks so we didn't have to worry about bags etc. He told me to get in the car - I needed the loo. No he wanted me in the car - I waddled painfully slowly to the loo while he waited.
It was a good job all the lights were on green as we made our thirty minute journey to the hospital. I was on all fours in the back of the car, my waters broke halfway there - I wanted to push, he told me not to. We got to the hospital and the midwives on the unit took their time sorting paperwork until I told them I needed to push.
We're now at around 2.30pm. I needed IV antibiotics because I had shown to be GBS positive - the midwife told me I needed to hang on as much as possible so that they had time to get into my system - a minimum of two full hours. They waited for the doctor to sign it off whilst they checked how far dilated I was. I told the midwife I wanted the diamorphine if that was at all possible. I was too late. I was 9.5cm dilated. Too late? Nooooooo. I got gas and air and was dubious as to whether that was working other than to force me into concentrating on my breathing. I never realised just how hard it is not to push when your whole body wants to do just that. Two hours of breathing through the contractions - I kept my eyes on the time obviously.
Hurray, 5pm - let's get cracking. Who knew I could sound like a whole herd of cattle? The most useful piece of advice I got given was from my mum when it came to labour. She said it was like doing a number two, so use those muscles. It worked a charm. Little man's head got stuck on the way out and the midwives wondered if they would need to make a cut to help him along. I had three midwives and a student midwife at this point as there was no-one in labour on the unit. I was tired and no longer wanted to push. Sprout 'encouraged' me to push. The release of pressure once the head passed through was something you cannot describe. The rest was relatively easy in comparison.
Our little boy arrived two and a half weeks early weighing 6lb 1oz at 6.15pm with a cone shaped head and was dressed in clothes that were far too big for him. I swore not once (very proud of myself I was) and the whole thing was nowhere near as painful as I had imagined. We spent that evening and night, in hospital, fuelled by adrenaline and looking down at this perfect little being that we had created between us. A perfect baby created by his not so perfect parents - magic!