I have been meaning to right this for approximately 4 months and 3 weeks. I was desperate to write this down straight after having Evie so I wouldn’t forget! However I am lucky enough to have had a positive labour experience and I remember every single second. This has been requested so many times and I totally understand why as I have absolutely loved reading other people’s labour stories but at the same time I won’t lie some of them totally freaked me out! I read a couple a while back (before I gave birth) and then I decided if I saw anymore I would save them until after I had given birth as they weren’t exactly filling me with confidence. I definitely think my ‘naivety’ and almost entering the ‘unknown’ helped me in so many ways!! *Another reason I had never watched one born every minute!*
So lets start from the beginning . . It was Sunday 11th September (5 days before DD!) and I woke up from a dream at 6am that I had just given birth to a small baby with a full head of black hair and Lil was sat opposite on the ward with Isla (premonition or what!) I was absolutely bursting for the toilet (I was EXTREMELY lucky in pregnancy and never ever woke in the night for the toilet . . go you bladder of steel!) I got out of bed and thought oh my god I’ve literally just pissed my pants . . this is awkward! When I got to the toilet something made me think that maybe I hadn’t wet myself and it could be my waters? It certainly wasn’t like in the films where you see the woman’s waters explode . . So I just once again presumed I had wet myself (oh that glam preggo life). I put a maternity pad on (I should probably do a disclaimer now this could all be a bit TMI? But after all this is child birth) and I went back to bed! When I got back up at 8am I was greeted by my waters leaking again and my mucus plus also known as your ‘show’ . . However I didn’t really know what it was! I whatsapped Lil and said can I send you a picture? Is this my mucus plug!?! To which she confirmed (thanks Lil!) and so then that’s when I started to think maybe this is it! However; I didn’t hold my breath and went on with my day!
Once my Mum and Danny had woken up I told them about my eventful morning but I also said ‘Google says loosing your show doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in labour’ and obviously Google is the oracle and what Google says goes. Bless me.
I continued to potter about, watch a bit of Dexter and then it started! At 1pm I had my first contractions . . Period pains, getting stronger and stronger and once they became regular they were coming every 3 minutes! PANIC. Panic everywhere. I said no no no they’re meant to start off further apart and get closer together, this is really strange! The lady at the antenatal class said they will be 20 minutes apart at first! (I know realise nothing is ‘by the book’ when it comes to labour) I paced the garden every time a contraction started and whacked up the tens machine *which eventually got launched at about 4cm dilated* as I bounced on my birthing ball. I thought these were strong contractions (naive/clueless first time Mum alert)
Obviously tens machine in one hand, phone charger in the other.
So it was about 3:30pm now and I had been contracting for 2 hours but from the get go they had been 3 minutes apart . . Some of them were 1 minute apart but the majority were averaging at 3. I said oh my god I’m in labour take me to the hospital this baby is coming (hahahaha). We drove to the hospital bags packed, ready to rock and roll and me thinking ‘this is it, this HAS to be it’. We got to the assessment unit I was checked over and BAM. “Sorry hunny you’re 3cm dilated, you’ll have to go home” I nearly lost my shit. I was like WHAT. The app says go to hospital THE APP SAID GO TO HOSPITAL. The midwife looked at me, with pity? Stupidity? And said “ignore your app. Delete it. You need to concentrate on the strength of them, not the time in between them. It’s only going to get a lot more painful.”
YAY. Thank you so much for your positivity. Ugh.
I was heartbroken. In my head I thought, so I’ve got at least another 24 hours of this now if not longer. Everyone I know had been in labour for 30+ hours with their first! I’m not even ACTIVE labour. So off we went back home, where as soon as I walked through the door I ripped off the tens machine and launched it across the room as I muttered ‘what a crock of shit’. By now it was about 5pm.
I lay on my bed. Shut my eyes tight and breathed through every contraction in between getting up and running to the toilet because I thought I was going to be sick. I never was. If my Mum or Danny came into my room I shouted at them and said leave me alone, don’t talk to me, don’t touch me. I was in the zone, pretty focused. I just lay on my bed with Maisie my dog by my side and I huffed and puffed through every contraction.
2 hours later I could hardly walk. I could no longer talk through my contractions. I thought oh my god how is this SO strong when just 2 hours ago I was only 3cm dilated!!! I round up the troops, ‘I NEEEEED to go back to the hospital’ so back we went. The long way. It was the weekend of the Southport air show so to avoid getting stuck in traffic we had to go the LONG way. My Mum drove me and Danny followed in our car (still to this day none of us are actually quite sure why we did this) I had to wind the window down and I was hanging my head out of it panting like a dog. *wish I could have witnessed such a spectacle as a passer by*. We arrived at the hospital and I got out the car and started walking to the assessment unit. 3 contraction pit stops made on the way. Also I very nearly smacked one of the hospital porters in the face as she proceeded to rub my back in the lift, thinking she was helping me. She didn’t know I’d spent the last 2 hours not letting anyone touch me or speak to me!
We got to the assessment unit and I don’t really remember a lot. I had my eyes squeezed tight shut for the majority of the time as I was trying to get through each contraction, although I caught a glimpse of that midwife and she looked at me as if to say ‘she’s back again . . Two hours later . . *eye roll*’
The next thing I remember is being checked over and her shouting ‘YOU’RE 8CM’ and running in with the gas and air. Oh my god what what what what. I said ‘GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL NOW.’ She didn’t. She held my hand, she said you don’t need it, you’ve got this far on your own, you’re doing so amazing I had no idea you were 8cm dilated, the epidural will slow you down. You. Don’t. Need. It. She was right, I had breathed my way through my whole labour, I’d done the worst part all on my own, on my bed, with my dog by my side haha!
She gave me the confidence to believe I could do this. I could actually do this. So now it was about 7:30pm and I was wheeled onto the delivery suite. I was given a shot of diamorphine and that was it. I was officially LOVING life. It doesn’t stop the pain, my god don’t think for one second it stops he pain. It kind of takes the edge off, but at 8cm dilated what even is the edge anyway!? More importantly it makes you slightly drowsy and in between each contraction I’m sure I drifted in and out of sleep at the same time as asking my Mum to take a selfie of me in labour to send to my sister . . Gas and air in one hand, peace sign made with the other.
Mum and Danny were amazing! Granted they didn’t do much, but I didn’t want them to! They fed me toast, and held my lucozade I sipped through a straw. And that was enough, knowing they were there sat right next to me. I didn’t need their ‘words of encouragement’ (in my opinion a waste of breath when someone is in labour) or them to stroke me or rub my back. They just kept me grounded and calm.
I casually made my way through 2 rounds of toast and a bottle of lucozade and it was about half 9 by now and I asked the midwife if she could check me again and she promised she would in an hour . . But we never got there.
It got to around 20 past 10 and I said MUM GET THE MIDWIFE HERE NOW. I need to push. The midwife came in and said ‘okay if you feel like you need to push we usually let you push for an hour before we will help you’ I thought WHAT. An hour. What’s she talking about? She’s got to be kidding. This baby is COMING. So I showed her I meant business (I don’t think she expected it hahaha) with my next contraction I pushed and from what I can gather everyone got a good ol preview of Evie’s full head of hair. Then they realised she was coming. I didn’t just need a poo. It was a BABY. A baby was coming!
I pushed for 10 minutes. And there she was. At 10:35pm, 7lb 11oz of perfectness, Evie Grace Manchester was born.
All squishy and hairy. Looking like Russell from ‘Up’ ❤
My midwife was incredible. She was lovely, relaxed, friendly and she made me feel at ease the whole time. For someone who LOVES to stress I was relatively ‘calm’ throughout my labour (as clam as you can be pushing a human out your lady parts) and I am one of those realllllly annoying people who says they enjoyed labour! But I did. 2 weeks after Evie was born I turned to Danny and said I want to do it all again. He thought I was bonkers! That was coming from a person who during pregnancy repeatedly said “we are not having another one until she is 5″. I didn’t hate pregnancy, I didn’t love it either. I had SPD and I was swollen. But I made it my priority to keep any moaning to a minimal. I constantly reminded myself to be thankful. Even if my pigs trotters didn’t fit into ANY of my shoes.
But once you give birth all that changes. You don’t care you gained 4 stone (whooooops), that you looked like an inflated human or felt like someone had booted you in the last parts EVERY time you moved. You’d do it all again. Every second of it. Without a second thought.
People obviously tell you how it will change your life. You can imagine it, envision it, pretend like you know how it’s going to feel. But there are not enough words in the English language to explain or describe how your life changes in a split second. Things you thought you cared about no longer seem relevant. Everything now revolves around this tiny human you created and brought into the world and life as you know it has gone forever.