Over the weekend I was in a lot of pain with my left hip. To the extent that Sunday morning found me sitting in the kitchen in tears – paracetamol wasn’t touching it and I could barely walk. Family confab was held and it was agreed that everyone else would take over what housework they could, and I was allowed to sit around feeling pathetic.
And that was pretty much how Sunday panned out. I struggled, we got through the day somehow and eventually, at around 1 am, I was in bed with toddler finally asleep. I lay there for a bit, trying to to convince myself that the steadily increasing rhythmic pains I was experiencing were Braxton hicks until suddenly there was the most incredible internal POP sensation, followed by a gush of liquid. (Some part of my brain had obviously prepared for this as I had padded up for the night. Odd.) My waters have never broken prior to labour starting before, but there really wasn’t anything else that that sensation could have been.
After a bit more time denying the obvious I dragged myself out of bed and to the bathroom, and then let Tim know what I thought was happening. He found my notes and I rang the hospital to let them know. First excellent happening of the evening – my own midwife was the assigned midwife on call. Ruth is the midwife who delivered Smallest 2 and a bit years ago, and I have every confidence in her, so that was a really good bit of news, especially as I was so off balance about this happening 10 days early and definitely before we were ready for it!
So Ruth called and agreed to come around and see what was going on, and Tim sorted out the stack of stuff in the bedroom so we’d room to move around, then moved Smallest to a sleeping mat in the children’s room out of the way. I was still in the bathroom when Ruth arrived and we went quickly over what had happened so far, and she agreed that it was waters and that I was probably getting going. We moved to the bedroom so that she could examine me, and although she said that I wasn’t dilated, she was still of the opinion we would have a baby by breakfast. It occurred to me later that I should have asked what time breakfast usually happens…
By this time it was after 2. I was managing the pains standing up and swaying, rotating my hips. This worked for a while then I resorted to kneeling, leaning on the bed when they started to really hurt. I made a couple of trips to the bathroom too – is it weird that the thing that bothers me most about birthing is the idea of pooing in front of other ppl? Bizarre I know given everything else that goes on.
At some point after this I ended up lying on my side on the bed. This is the position I’d been in to give birth to both Small and Smallest, but it just didn’t feel right this time. My whole body kept shuddering and I felt sick – neither things I’d experienced before. I wasn’t happy. And I was in a lot of pain – I felt like I was losing control.
Time for gas and air. I don’t know whether it was tha pain killing effects or having to concentrate on handling it and breathing that helped most. And then I needed a drink (can of pepsi left over from a takeout!) and to get into a different position – up on all fours.
That worked better. I felt back in control, and like I was actually achieving something. Amd then I could work with my body and push, and I could feel that things were happening. The first time I thought it was the baby though, it turned out to be something else entirely 🙁
That felt like a setback, but you don’t really get to give up on labour, so pretty soon I was pushing afain, and this time it was worthwhile. It felt like it took two or three pushes, and then I could feel the baby sliding out, and then I heard that fantastic sound, a newborn crying. At that point I’m not tired, I’m not in pain, I just want to hold my baby. Which is when being stuck on all fours isn’t nearly as good.
But soon I was turned around and holding him, and all was indeed well.
Would you believe I didn’t take pictures? Or tweet? Pathetic, I know.