I want to share my birth story with you all, you lucky bunch! I’m going to explain my birth in quite (mundane) detail because I always felt reading birth stories when I was pregnant helped me. Also, I’m going to try keep details to a minimum but what’s a birth story without some mucus talk?
A week or so before I had Jack I stared feeling miserable. I was so uncomfortable and ready to meet our little one. I was downing raspberry leaf tea (I highly recommend this) like it was going out of fashion and eating too much pineapple. I spent a lot of time researching pain relief during birth, I tried to get into hypnobirthing because I’ve read so much glowing reviews on it but I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe the first-time nerves took over, I don’t know. For my next one I’m going to try again though. Really, I didn’t have that much preferences, I wanted to avoid an epidural only because I wasn’t keen on the idea of not being in control but I knew I would just have to play it by ear and take each moment as it came.
I always read about these women that had a massive burst of energy the day they went into labour, I thought to myself how impossible that must be. I was feeling sick and tired and a burst of energy seemed like the last thing that could happen, but on the 23rd of July I woke up feeling pretty good, I was so sure I was going to go over my due date so it never even occurred to me that labour was impending.
This is going to sound ridiculous, but I spent a lot more time than I’d care to admit planning about my eyebrow appointments in the last few months of pregnancy. (I have major brow paranoia) I didn’t want to have messy brows in the labour room – what a dope. So, I booked an appointment for the 23rd, I figured it was close enough to my due date they would still look semi neat. So off I went to benefit, I don’t know if anyone has been but those little stools are hard enough to get up on at the best of times, let alone with a 39+3-week bump. I was feeling super good, after my brows appointment we wandered around town for a bit. We decided to go out to Ellon to the Brewdog distillery, Michael is a little Brewdog fan boy and I knew they did pizza and alcohol-free beer (which is really yummy) so I was happy to oblige.
Looking back now, knowing what was coming I can spot the signs labour was near. I honestly think I peed about 15 times in the space of 2 hours. (Glamorous eh) and I just felt different. On our way home, we nipped into Asda to do our weekly shop, by this time we had been out the house about 9 hours and I was still feeling brilliant. The previous week or so I couldn’t sleep at all, I couldn’t get comfortable but as soon as I got into bed that night I felt so content. I remember saying to Michael before he fell asleep “I’m going to sleep so well tonight” (ha yeah) about 10 minutes later just as I was drifting off I heard and felt a loud pop inside my tummy. It never occurred to me it could be my waters, I thought Jack had maybe hurt himself. (Paranoid mum already) so I woke Michael up but as soon as I sat up and that’s when I knew it was my waters. Cue full blown panic mode. I slowly stood up and any doubt it was my waters were quickly diminished (sorry, too much info).
I phoned the hospital trying to hide the fear in my voice, I hadn’t seen my midwife for a few weeks due to staff shortages which meant we weren’t sure if Jacks head was down and engaged so off we set to get that checked. Grabbing the hospital bags just in case I didn’t get back home. Sitting on the car on the way to the hospital was surreal, I don’t think we spoke very much. We didn’t need to.
After sitting in the hospital for a few hours I was told it was better to wait at home, my contractions had stared but they were so light and I hadn’t began losing my plug yet. This is the point all my energy disappeared, I was exhausted. I think it was a mixture of being super worried and doing a lot more during the day but I was ready to lie down. My body had other ideas, it’s like a switch was flicked and my contractions kicked in. Ouch. It was 3am by this point. So, onto my birthing ball I went, this helped a lot but the pain wasn’t easing enough. I couldn’t get comfortable no matter what I did, except for the bath. What a godsend! I fell asleep in it for half an hour or so which was nice. Anyway, after my 4 or so baths it was about 6am. The rest of the morning passed SO slowly. Throughout the morning I had my show which was a good sign. I knew labour wouldn’t be a walk in the park but bloody hell contractions are nasty. I know each one is step closer blah blah blah but it’s very easy to forget that when they are happening.
I lasted 12 hours at home, by half 2 my contractions were coming every couple of minutes and lasting 60 seconds. They also began making me stop what I was doing and double over. So, we called the hospital to let them know we were on our way. Sounds silly but I sat (or tried to) and did my hair and makeup. I wanted to feel as normal as possible. I always wanted my mum there, it’s something I couldn’t imagine doing without her so we grabbed her on the way. I instantly felt calmer when she got in the car, maybe because I wanted to make her proud. Once we arrived we were shown to the room I would be in, can’t explain the feeling walking in knowing that’s where we’d first meet our baby. (It wasn’t that room, haha)
By this point I was really struggling, paracetamol just wasn’t hitting the spot anymore. I couldn’t lie down or sit all I wanted to do was stand. My contractions were never across my stomach, only in my legs and back so I rallied round the troops (Michael and my mum) they became the back and leg rubbers. Lovely. A smiley midwife came in and checked me to see how far along I was, I was imagining about 7cm (wishful thinking) so imagine my disappointment when she said three. THREE. Three centimetres. Now any dilation is to be celebrated, you’re getting closer but no. I was so deflated. In comes my dad, sometimes all you need is a dad cuddle.
Anyway, not much happened for an hour or so. I was given a painkiller which did absolutely nothing. I was offered to go into the pool. Now I’ve always wanted to have a pool birth but I said no, I couldn’t imagine anything worse. Fast forward ten minutes and I changed my mind. What a hassle I am. I wish I could have seen myself trying to get into this thing, like a drunk elephant splashing about. Attractive! Michael and I sat alone in the room. The lights were dimmed and it felt surreal. I felt like I was dreaming it all and I would wake up in bed. It did nothing, I couldn’t get comfortable and I was starting to go into panic mode (this was a sign Jack was close) I got some gas and air which I’m not 100% sure helped the pain but it made me focus on my breathing which made a difference.
My contractions had really intensified at this point. I suddenly changed, I couldn’t control my breathing no matter what I did. I got out the bath and couldn’t stop screaming. Not even out of pain, just sheer panic. I had an urge to push then my body started spasming. Apparently, jack had turned slightly and my body was turning him back. (I only found this out after) Clever body!! After this the pushing didn’t stop, every contraction my body would start pushing for me. Sounds silly but I didn’t know it was pushing at the time, I thought it was just contractions so I was begging for an epidural. I was told to lie on the bed so the midwife could examine me so she could work out if I could have one. I was told not to be disheartened if I hadn’t moved forward much. Well I was 10cm and Jack was well on his way out. Cue 2 other midwifes running in and gathering around. It was time! Too late for an epidural.
The next part is a blur. It was all so quick. I was exhausted but my adrenaline was through the roof. I remember the midwives spurring me on. Then all I felt was relief. Jack was born at 8.12pm. It’s true what they say, the pain instantly goes away. He had swallowed some mucus so he was taken away for a couple of minutes to get it sucked out then he was placed on my chest. I had a boy! I knew it! He was perfect. My mum and Michael were standing over me with the biggest smiles and tears. I felt so proud of myself.
I needed some stitches but I wasn’t worried, I had my baby in my arms. I was completely overwhelmed with love. He was finally here. The next few hours were filled with cuddles, tears and shock. We were parents!
Also, the tea and toast afterwards is AMAAAZING.
My birth story isn’t that exciting. To be honest it was straightforward and quick. I went in at half 3 and jack was born less than 5 hours later. I was told to have a home birth next time as they are usually quicker, not sure how I feel about that to be honest.
I hope this story can maybe put at least one expecting mother or fathers mind at rest. It really wasn’t as bad as I built it up in my head.
Lots of love x