Wednesday 4th I went into the kitchen about 10.30pm to make something to eat. This was when I had my first contraction and I remember it vividly. I carried on making something to eat and went into the bedroom. The pains got gradually worse in my back and I sat on my gym ball for a little while. I wasn't sure at this point whether or not I was having real contractions because they felt just like backache. I searched google and James noticed I had typed in "what do contractions feel like" and he said it probably wasn't contractions hehe. Shows how much he knew.
After a couple of hours and pains getting worse I told James that maybe we should go to hospital because the pain didn't feel like anything I had ever had before. We got a taxi to the hospital with our bag and everything ready to have a baby :)
One we were there I was monitored for a while by a really lovely nurse who made me feel really calm about things. They said as I was not dilated any I was not in labour but that it was definitely contractions I was having. As we live so close to the hospital I decided to go home and monitor things myself.
At 3.00am we returned home and got into bed and started timing the contractions. They were every 3 - 5 minutes. James and I must both have fallen asleep soon after because at 5.00am I woke up and asked James when the last one had been and he said 40 minutes ago. I was so disappointed that they had stopped. So on Thursday 5th he went off to work because there was no point in him taking a day when nothing was happening. I went back to sleep and got up at 8am. As soon as I stepped out of bed I had the wildest shooting pain. I knew it was starting again.
Very excitedly I called James to tell him they had started again but not to come home just yet as they weren't bad. I just rested in bed with my laptop and dozed a little. At 9.30am I called James to come home because the contractions were getting bad quite fast.
I have to say that I got a lot of relief from the contractions from my shower. Hot showers really made them better for me and also my gym ball. I found that I couldn't stand through a contraction so I sat and bounced. It really helped.
By the time James got home contractions were 2 minutes apart and very very bad but I was able to manage for a couple more hours. We went to hospital at 11.30.
First of all I was examined and immediately marked on the chart as being in labour and at 2cm dilated. I was so excited to hear this as I was disappointed before when I was told I was having contractions but no labour. I had a lovely midwife come in, check all my stats, inform me of my choices of pain relief and she then told me that she was ready to break my waters. WHAT A WEIRD FEELING! So bizarre having them broken. It felt like I had wet myself.
I tried for as long as I could without pain relief and then opted for an epidural but took some gas and air before the anesthetist could make it round. The gas and air did nothing for me at all which scared me as I'd heard such good reports. It just made me vomit. Such a horrible feeling being sick while having a contraction.
My contractions were very very bad and every 2 minutes. If I had known how bad they were going to get I wouldn't have bothered coming in the night before. What I thought was painful then was nothing compared. I think I asked about a hundred times for the epidural. I was moved to one of the delivery rooms and the student midwife introduced herself. She was lovely and made me feel so relaxed. Epidural still had not arrived and it seemed like forever since I had requested it. I asked for the pethidine injection to take the edge off until she arrived but just as I was about to be given it the anesthetist arrived.
The epidural was SCARY! The woman told me that I had to stay completely still throughout or there was a risk of paralysis or nerve damage if she hit a wrong spot in my back. It took longer than I thought. I thought it would literally take about 2 minutes but it took about 10. I had at least 4 contractions during this time and each one was stronger than the one before and the thought of having to stay perfectly still while enduring the pain or risk paralysis was awful. It was the hardest thing in the world to not move at all but my husband was very good at helping keeping me calm. I remember asking them to just cut him out and really believing at the time that that would be better.
Once the epidural started to take effect I was in my element. It was so weird having the strong pressure of the contractions but not the pain I had been feeling the night before and all morning. James says that is when it got a bit boring because he then was not needed hehe. We just sat and chatted and listened to music on the radio. He took himself off for a break for something to eat and I tried to rest as much as possible. I had regular examinations and was dilating steadily. Apparently I was dilating and things were happening at text book speed with nothing at all to worry about.
I was told at about 8.00pm that I was fully dilated and ready to push and things all happened very quickly. Before I knew it there were 5 people around the bed. I can't quite remember why there were so many people. There was the student midwife, a couple normal midwives, James and a student Dr (who I might add was a bit strange. He was there a while earlier and for a training Dr. he was very easily embarrassed. He blushed every time I was being examined!). The main midwife showed me how to push and I had to hold my legs up myself... so strange when you have had an epidural and can't feel them! The student Dr. and James helped me hold each leg.
Pushing was hell! I won't lie. I was so scared. More than I have ever been in my life, but time passed so fast. The main midwife was yelling at me like she was the commentator at a horse race... "aaaand we see the head, we see the head, just one more push and we will have a baby... come on come on one more push". Bizarre. I had a panic attack during the pushing because I really believed at one point I couldn't do it and there were all these people looking at me. I don't remember much more after this except being able to feel the baby's head myself. The Dr. was then called for and before I knew it the end was off the bed and I was in the stirrup things instead. The baby's heartbeat was dropping rather fast and they were worried about him so the Dr. told me she would have to use suction on him. The suction didn't work so she had to use forceps and also episiotomy. I got very dizzy at this point and with one great big pull from the Dr and a lot of blood, there was my baby on my tummy.
Oliver Charlie James Hughes was born at 8.49pm weighing 8lbs 1oz after 10 hours of established labour.
I remember thinking how MASSIVE he looked and then thinking how identical to the 4d scan he looked also. We did not get skin to skin for very long because he was taken away to be checked and put in an incubator.
I was given the vitamin K injection (it made me sick) and stitched up (now when I feel my stitches I am convinced they didnt stitch me up straight but we will have to see with time hehe). I can also remember asking many times if he was ok, being told he was fine and not believing them.
Oliver and I spent the first night apart. I can't remember why but I think I must have looked distressed and exhausted. It really made me miss him and I think this probably helped with us bonding given that labour was a bit traumatic... I missed him and had to pull out my camera to see photos I had taken a while earlier. He was brought back in his little crib at about 5am and I have been the happiest since. :-) I felt so much love the minute I saw him and the love has only increased each day.
I developed a hematoma on my 'bits' right under the stitches so it was extremely hard to sit up to cuddle him but we found our ways and neither of us has gone short!! hehe. The hematoma meant I had to stay in 2 nights so they could make sure the swelling was going down, but we got home on Saturday.
Were now settled in at home and James and I are loving every minute of being parents. It's really hard and very scary but were doing well. It's not hard in a bad way but in an exciting and fun way. I can't stop looking at Oliver now and have taken so many pictures!!