So this blog had to have an end. I will join the ranks of parent bloggers out there but I will set up a separate blog for it. In the meantime, this is how it ends.
With the date set for induction on the Sunday, I’d resigned myself. And then woke on Friday morning at 4am to what was unmistakably a contraction.
The advice I’d been given for labour boiled down to: relax. One friend advised not thinking, letting my body dictate and trusting myself. Not stressing. So I lay there, no point waking the hubby at this stage; the contractions were uncomfortable but not painful yet. What no-one tells you about early onset labour is how much it makes you fart. Not surprising when you think about it – your insides are being squeezed – but still. So it was best he wasn’t awake. Or he may have stayed asleep due to the gases…
By lunchtime we were told to go into hospital to be checked out. And then came home again – though not before a spot of birdwatching at the hospital: 2 red legged partridges and a heron being chased by a crow. Back to relax.
I took a bath and lay down to watch the cricket. As Andrew Strauss made 50 runs the contractions got a lot stronger. We were admitted at 5pm – a wristband made it official. 13 hours in and counting.
I started taking gas and air – it makes you feel drunk. I can’t remember the last time I was drunk, a while, obviously, but joked that with this feeling and the wristband, so far it was like Glastonbury. That was about to change.
They ran the birth pool for me and it was lovely. I Am Kloot, Elbow, Sarabeth Tucek and others on the CD playlist I’d made; low lighting; warm water… drifting off…
I said in an earlier post that I didn’t want to write about poo in the bath didn’t I? Oh well.
There I was standing in a pool of it. Not mine – the baby was discharging meconium. The birth plan was scrapped – we both had to be monitored which meant strapping me to a bed with sensors on my belly.
The rest of the process is a little blurry to me. These things I remember. Our midwife – Caroline – was fantastic and stayed with us all the time, calling in support as and when. I stuck to the gas and air, gnawing at the mouthpiece at times, and my husband stuck to me, tending all my calls for water, holding my hand and talking to me. At some point the pain was too much and I asked for diamorphine. They wouldn’t give it to me. “It might impede your progress – we’re still monitoring her but we don’t want to be sadistic so have paracetamol and codeine instead. You’ll feel pain but won’t mind it so much.”
Later, she improved and I was allowed the diamorphine. My overriding thought was how difficult it was to keep my eyes open. In fact, that’s my main memory – worrying about not being able to see my husband, only to feel him or hear him. I didn’t remember details of other things until a couple of days later – the catheters, the episiotomy, the anaesthetic, the numbers of people telling me how good I was at pushing – these things came back afterwards. At the time I must have thought I knew what was going on but frankly I didn’t.
She was sideways and wouldn’t turn round to come out easily so had to be born by ventouse – a suction cap on the head which my husband described as “industrial looking”. I didn’t see it – probably just as well. The midwife’s first words as the head came out apparently were: “look how big it is!” And once that was out, she didn’t stop.
It wasn’t a bad labour – many women go through worse, I know that. My husband told me I was brave but I didn’t feel it. You know that in order to end it you have to finish the job and there’s no alternative. You just have to get on with it. It sounds terrible but my main thoughts during it all were of, and for, him – I kept thanking him for being there and telling how glad I was that we were together.
So now she’s here. And this pregnancy blog must end. There will be more but as I say, they’ll be on a separate page – details will follow. I hope this has been as interesting to read as it was for me to write – thanks to all of you who have commented and contributed thoughts. This is how it ends.
And this is also how it starts.