I woke up in the early morning – about 4am, with cramping in my belly – it felt like period cramps that came and went every 5-10 minutes or so. I knew this meant it was early days so I just chilled that day – watched a few films and made a chocolate cake!
The next day it was a bit more intense… but it was only that evening that I knew things were getting going! I had a bath and then later on I used a Tens machine. I found it suprisingly effective in relieving the pain – and also distracting me.
“We were shown through to the birth suite”
By midnight the contractions had started to come fast – every couple of minutes, so we called the hospital and went in. We were shown through to the birth suite. But now things were slowing down – my contractions were less intense too. Our midwife suggested we went home. I was devastated and remember feeling like I had “failed at labour”. I had felt so calm and prepared, that I just thought as soon as we got to the hospital it would be smooth from then.
We headed home but as soon as we pulled up at the house, I felt like I desperately need to push. We headed straight to the birth centre and were advised to go to the delivery suite.
“I felt my waters break”
Once in the delivery suite the urge to push was so overwhelming I got straight onto the bed. I clearly had been able to control the urge to push, despite my body telling me to, but once in a ‘safe place’ I couldn’t hold it any longer. I felt my waters break – like a warm water balloon exploding between my legs!
I began to use gas and air only once on the bed and I’d started pushing. I think I was pushing for about an hour or so, and I know I spent most of the time on all fours on the bed, and for a while on my side with my leg up. I was quite stubborn about wanting to push as I was just so exhausted. The benefit of this is that Ivy came out so slowly, so there was no tearing . I remember being told to feel between my legs at one point, and felt the head hanging there and an amazing feeling of her hair! This was such great motivation, and it only took another two or three pushes for her to come out. Her arrival is a blur, but I know I turned around then took her in my arms and then just sobbed.
Having reflected some more on the entire labour process – all two and a half days of it – I am pleased with how calm and in control I was throughout, and think I should give myself more credit. It’s certainly made me truly appreciate the amazing power of the mind, and strength of the body.