This is a tale that I’ve been reliving a lot lately as Arthur’s 1st birthday is only a few days away. I am constantly thinking, “What was I doing this time last year?” I think it’s quite normal to get emotional at your baby turning 1 but I have another reason…my beloved Mam isn’t around to see it and everything I was doing this time last year, was with her. We were going for long walks, going for spicy currys and she was my birthing partner.
Arthur was due on 1st November 2016 but I was booked in to be induced on the 8th November. I have had Vasculitis for a few years so they weren’t letting me go any longer than a week over. After a failed sweep on my due date, off I went to the hospital to get things going.
I was booked in at 3.30pm and of course, they had an emergency so I had to wait. I finally had my first pessary at about 8pm. The midwife gave me a sweep at the same time and said my cervix was fully closed and quite hard and that it was probably going to take a few tries before labour started. I was on a ward so my Mam was sent home and told to come back the next morning. I managed to fall asleep watching America’s election results coming in (yes, Arthur was born on the day Donald Trump was elected and I’m sure it’s going to be the winning question on a quiz one day) to be woken up at 10pm with my first contraction.
Now, those of you that have been induced will know there’s no gradual build up and that first contraction is bloody strong. I pressed my buzzer after about an hour and the midwife came and offered me some paracetamol and to run me a bath. F*****G PARACTAMOL??????? Anyway I took it and had my bath. My contractions were every 4 minutes all through the night. I was moving around and bouncing on my ball and nothing helped. At 8am the next morning (still only being 2cm) I called my mam and she rushed through and I was moved to delivery. Another examination and I was 2.5cm!!! I cried.
At this point I took the gas and air and everything becomes a bit of a blur. The midwife broke my waters and Arthur had pooped which meant I was now restricted to the bed so Arthur’s heart could be monitored. His head was blocking my bladder so I also had to have a catheter. I was trying to eat breadsticks to keep my energy up then a contraction would come so I grabbed the gas and air which resulted in breadstick been sprayed everywhere. At about 2pm I was 5cm. At 3pm I was 6 and by 4.30pm I was 10cm. During this time I had told my mam if she didn’t organise me a C-section I would never speak to her again and I had shouted at the midwife that it was her fault I was missing my Strictly Come Dancing Rehearsals with Danny Mac.
I started pushing. It was too late for an epidural so gas and air was going to have to see me through. I honestly thought I was dying. 2 hours of pushing and Arthur was back to back and totally stuck. After a tug on that dreaded red knob on the wall 6 doctors/nurses/spectators (I have no idea who the hell they were) came running in to the rescue. Within 2 minutes my legs were been fastened up on stirrups and the bottom half of the bed had gone. I had to have an episiotomy and ventouse. I was in so much pain all over that I couldn’t even tell when I was having a contraction to push so a midwife was holding my tummy and telling me when it was coming. I have no idea where my mam was. She was probably distraught in the corned thinking about what sort of trauma counselling she needed.
Arthur was safely born at 7.11pm on 9th November weighing 6lbs 10oz. And wow! The pain disappeared as soon as I held him in my arms. I was being stitched up, had people shoving things up my bum (I think they said to stop me getting piles from pushing so much) and god knows what else.
I managed to get up and have a shower. The floor looked like someone had been murdered. There was blood everywhere. Once I (and the room) was cleaned up my dad came in. They both left and Arthur had a really bad night. His head was all ripped and so sore from the ventouse so he was given some paracetamol. I was so sore and struggling to get up from the bed to settle him and breastfeed him. My mam came back the next day and I was in and our of sleep. It was so good to have someone there to jut pass him to me rather than me getting up. I was discharged that night and had the best bath in the world.
So there you have it. My labour story. It was horrendous but my, it was worth it!