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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Birth Story : Leon

(NB. A typical birth comprises of 3 stages: 1st stage is generally the longest and is when the uterus starts contracting and you can feel contractions in irregular intervals becoming more regular, longer and more painful the closer to the end. 2nd stage is the actual delivery of the baby, 3rd stage is the delivery of the placenta)

After a bit of  'romancing' with my husband, my waters broke at midnight on morning of 5th January 2010 (baby's due date) but I wasn't completely sure it was that until they just kept coming and coming! After calling the hospital the midwife told me to go in so they could assess whether I was in labour but when I went in they only confirmed that my waters had broken and that we should go back home until I started having contractions lasting 50-60 seconds that were 3 minutes apart.

Now, usually you hear of women in labour having contractions coming and going all day and then getting closer and closer together - for some women the waters don't break or are just a trickle. Anyway, as soon as we got back from the hospital I started having contractions - like period pains - low down on the stomach and hurt! after a few hours they became more and more regular and more painful - much more painful. My husband was my pain relief massaging my back on my demand at EACH contraction and keeping me fed and watered. There came a point where each contraction was REALLY painful. I tried my pregnancy yoga positions and tried to 'breathe the pain away' but it wasn't that helpful. Called hospital hoping they would say 'come on in we'll help you out!' but they just said take a hot bath and some paracetamol... unfortunately our bath is rather big but the boiler doesn't like to heat the bath water enough so hubby was boiling pans of water one after another to pour into the bath while I was sitting there wailing away. It did actually help.

I hadn't slept since the night before and was in lots of pain from the contractions and just wanted to sleep but couldn't as each contraction would be better dealt with with me standing up swaying my hips or walking around or sitting on a chair and hubby rubbing my back. That was one of the worst parts - the sleep deprivation.

There came the point where the contractions were now every 2 minutes and lasting about 1minute 40secs so we called the hospital and they told us to come in. Thank Goodness! My parents drove us over there at 4pm ish and I remember still being in a lot of pain in the car and feeling like a proper pregnant lady breathing hard in each contraction and trying not to scream too loudly!

Once in the hospital they checked me for dilation and I was already 7cm dilated! (You need to be 10cm to start pushing) so I was wiggling around the room and hubby still rubbing my back - I had a bit of help of the Nitrous Oxide to breathe in for pain relief but didn't feel it that much... I started pushing at about 5pm and it was not like the films! It took ages to get even the head showing - Hubby could see everything and let me know when they could see the head - though only a tiny bit! After 2 hours of pushing I felt so tired and although there was more of the head showing - I couldn't get it out!! They told me that they call the doctor after 2 hours of pushing as they don't like you to push for much longer than that and the doctor can help with forceps or ventouse suction. I felt relieved that I was going to get some help to get the baby out - it was so frustrating that with every push not much was happening and I was pushing so hard!!! While waiting for the doctor I still had to keep pushing each time a contraction came. I had to breathe in - hold it and PUUUUUUUUUSH out the baby but it was so bloody hard!!!

After 3 hours of pushing the doctor came and helped suck the baby out with a Ventouse suction thing. They injected me 'down there' with some anaesthetic and even cut me to prevent tearing, then she inserted this contraption to suck onto the baby's head and I could feel it all - was not comfortable at all!! I still needed to push even though she was sucking the baby out! (Afterwards she told me that the baby's head was very large anyway and apparently the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's body so even if it wasn't in danger or anything, it was preventing it from coming out quickly.)

The feeling was incredible - I could really feel this huge thing pass out of me and although it didn't last long- I didn't feel like it hurt - I just know I needed to push it OUT!!! Then it was all a blur for a second - I heard "IT'S A BOY!" and this little alien-like being was put onto my chest - I was SOOOO RELIEVED that it had finally come out!!! Huge sighs of relief and amazement at this little baby that I had pushed out. Oh my god. IT was amazing but I was just so tired before and then just amazed and happy that it was over! And happy to have the baby in my arms. He was perfect :D He was a bit bluey but soon turned pinker after some cuddling and then started to cry! His daddy cut the umbilical cord and then they weighed him - I was surprised he was 4.36kg (9.9lbs) to be honest! Big boy!

After they stitched me up and checked the baby, we had some time with our new family then hubby had to go home as he couldn't stay at the hospital overnight, I had my own room and bathroom which was nice (Good ol' NHS!) and Leon slept in a cot next to me. I was pleased to get some rest after the long day but it was so special to have my baby sleeping next to me! Every time he woke up I could just push and pull the cot to rock him back to sleep :D

In a Nutshell

As a new mummy blogger I have missed the boat on posting photos and notes of my pregnancy and birth... a relief perhaps to some - so here is a brief recap and the things I wish I had known or done before embarking on the joys of pregnancy and childbirth:

During Pregnancy
I was lucky throughout my pregnancy to not have morning sickness or nausea apart from when the little Fetus inside me told me that I was pregnant. Not only had I developed a strange distate for smoking, but after a big night out I had what felt like a massive hangover that lasted all week - my colleague suggested perhaps the vomiting in the toilets was a sign I was pregnant - nooo surely not!! Impossible - we're so careful... hmmm. All the illness stopped as soon as I did the test! Little Fetus was finally happy that I found out.

It was a truly perfect pregnancy - until I discovered the ugly purple lines developing underneath my humongous bump. How I WISH that I had listened to the wise women telling me to rub olive oil/cocoa butter/animal fat on my bump twice a day instead of whenever I remembered or was convenient- stretch marks for life are not pretty! They may fade - but they may not and the 30 seconds it takes to moisturise your bump is well worth it!

Having my waters pop at midnight the morning of my due date was exciting, though difficult to determine if they were really my waters as it was after some sweet luuurve-making. Soon after being sent back home from the hospital - the contractions started. And man were they painful. Even though I had the luxury of Mon Amour massaging my back for EACH contraction I wish I had rented a TENS machine to zap them away! I do recall a lot of screaming in the flat before heading out to the hospital and also in the car. It felt like a proper start to a pregnancy in the films - panting away and gripping onto the car seat with the occasional oooooAWWWW!! On arrival I was already 7cm dilated so could soon start with the pushing.

Whilst I don't regret not having an epidural and beating pain with solely gas and air- the TENS machine could have come in handy and I may have been less exhausted for the pushing, which lasted 3 hours before the doctor sucked him out with a ventouse. and out he popped at 8.40pm :) Although I was ecstatic when he finally came out - the ventouse did indeed feel like a "TV box is being shoved inside you" (as a fellow new mother so elegantly described it over breakfast the next morning) and it was more a relief to have the huge 9.9lbs (4.36kg) baby finally in my arms.

It was amazing to take the little babe back home with us- though as we closed the front door Mon Amour and I looked at each other and I felt - OK, it's up to us now- Let the fun begin!