So like the majority of expectant mothers, I woke up on the morning of my due date wondering where my baby was. It was still cosy in my tummy, I hadn’t really planned on still being pregnant at this point. Nothing seemed to be happening. I woke up, hoovered, done the dishes, had breakfast, had a bath, got ready, and put my feet up. Totally accepted the fact I was going to be pregnant for the rest of my life.. or so it felt. My sister & nephew came round later that day & we all went out a walk, I started having strong pains but was convinced it was just braxton hicks yet again, but they kept coming and coming and coming. I started texting myself the strawberry emoji at each one to keep track & they kept coming, soon every 20 minutes & they were getting stronger. I still wasn’t 100% convinced & just got ready for bed. My partner, Jamie, came up about an hour later & by this point, we were both confident this was ‘it’. Jamie, sympathetic as ever, said “this better be it or I’m going to be bloody shattered at work tomorrow!” It was becoming unbearable very quickly, like what was this pain. If only I knew what was to come.. This was heaven in comparison. Off to hospital we went.
We arrived at the hospital about 1am, after waiting for what felt like 472627 hours to be seen, the midwife came for me. I was hooked up to one of the machine thingys (technical term) to monitor baby’s heart rate. After about a minute on this, standard pregnant lady, I needed to pee. Would the midwife unhook me? NO. I was screaming at the poor woman, after about 5 minutes of jiggling on the bed frantically. She let me pee. After all the pee drama, I was checked to see how dilated I was. I had drank 5 cups of raspberry leaf tea for the last 4 or 5 weeks of my pregnancy, convincing myself that it would ease labour or prepare my cervix at least, so when the midwife told us she couldn’t find my cervix you can only imagine my rage. FIND IT.
I was sent off to the ward for the night (get some sleep they said) and I was to be checked in the morning. So whilst Jamie slept (or tried to through my groans) I bounced the night away & got out my face on the absolute gem that is gas & air.
Morning came & another midwife came to check for my long lost cervix. Again, nowhere to be seen so I was sent for a bath to try and relax for a bit, it was actually the most amazing bath ever (probably because it was my last that wasn’t invaded by a tiny human). I was already losing the will & it hadn’t even been 24 hours. I had in my head that everything would be straightforward & quick, I don’t know why as I guess it rarely ever is for anyone. My contractions were still coming regularly, this baby was definitely coming, just not any time soon..
After a few more hours, the midwife offered to find my cervix (excuse me while I puke), so she did and I’m sure all of Forth Valley Hospital heard her finding it. I can honestly say, this was the most painful part of my labour, she pulled it forward & it was agony. Absolutely HORRIFIC. After all this, I was only 4cm and I screamed some more. 4CM!!!!!!
I was moved to the labour ward that afternoon & spent hours bouncing on the ball, dancing, walking up & down stairs… after all that, still 4cm. I was slowly going demented. At around 6pm, my mum came in to give Jamie a break, even I will admit I was absolute torture to be around & it was going to be another 12 hours at least. As there had been no progress, my waters were broken for me, it was the strangest feeling. It just felt like a very long warm pee, but it definitely helped to get things going. Jamie came back around 8pm (having not been able to sleep, he told me afterwards that he watched The Walking Dead instead!) and things were in full flow, I was contracting every 5 minutes & they were long & they were sharp. Up until this point, I had only had gas & air, it really was losing its effect. I started to go a bit ‘coo-coo’ at this point. I now feel extremely embarrassed for myself & sorry for anybody that came into contact with from this point forward. I was on the ball leaning on the bed, making a grunt & flailing my arms around which my mum & Jamie took as a sign to rub my back whilst I had a contraction. Screaming at my unborn baby that it was ‘SO GROUNDED’ and giving Jamie grief for not bringing me my toast (he did, the night before). I was struggling to cope, I had my heart set on getting through labour with just gas & air, staying as natural as possible because I wanted to remember everything but I was already a bit disorientated & gave into the pain & went for the morphine injection. This was at 11pm & I don’t remember much after this, my mum left as I was falling asleep between each contraction & I was coping a lot better.
I remember waking up & seeing the time as just before 3am feeling like only 15 minutes had passed. I felt really strange, something was happening, all my bits felt like they were going to explode. I was pushing, the midwives were telling me that I was only 7cm on the last check & it would still be a few hours but I was screaming & I was pushing. They then checked me & straight away rushed for their scrubs & told me I was 10cm, yep, baby was coming. This was excruciating, like agony, I am squirming as I write this. I wasn’t doing it, the baby was staying in there, it was too painful. It felt like it was taking hours. They brought me stirrups as the baby seemed to be in a bit of trouble, the heart rate kept dropping and in came a doctor to observe. I was freaking out, I didn’t know what was happening there was no time to explain & I was in no state to even understand. Thankfully, the baby got itself out of difficulty & the head was in sight.
The worst part of the full pushing situation, is by far for me, the head. It felt like burning. Once that is done, the rest of the body honestly feels like cooked pasta coming out your vagina, that’s the only way I can describe it.
But that was it, I had done it. At 3.15am, after 36 hours of labour, our daughter Nora Duncan was born. Jamie telling me we had a daughter was amazing, I am so glad we kept the gender a surprise, it was just perfect. She was 6lb 8oz of pure perfection and we fell in love instantly.
Every midwife we had was great, the midwife who actually delivered Nora especially. I couldn’t have done it without her & not because she had delivered her, but because she was so motivating & reassuring, she was just amazing. I will never forget her.
So you have a baby, and unless you have a c-section it’s all hunky dory. How naive was I! I was very thankful to have had a normal delivery with very few set backs so when they said I needed some stitches I was caught a little off guard. Excuse me, what…? My poor noon.
One of the things that definitely caught me off guard with the full labour situ is how many people will be sticking their fingers about your bits, looking back I don’t know why this came as a shock to me but I was horrified all the same.. I also spent the majority of my labour worrying that the midwives would notice my unsightly bum tattoos that I acquired after one too many vodkas on a girls holiday… never get lemonade + lime tattooed on your arse ladies it just makes for even more awkward times when you need to get your rear out in serious situations like this..
Nobody tells you about your first pee after birth, first shower, first poop. These are all terrifying experiences that I was not emotionally prepared for. My first pee, holy mother, it felt like I was peeing knives, hot knives. I ended up getting catheterised as I couldn’t go. I had to do two pee’s before I could leave hospital & I legit felt like I deserved an award for producing these. It took around 2/3 weeks til I could pee without screaming. As for the number two’s… I’ll spare you as much detail as I can but put it this way, it took over 4 months after birth til I could go normally. Post pregnancy glam.
The stitches took just over a month to heal, after about a week I was able to walk upstairs rather than crawl. I bled for 5 weeks after. Nobody tells you these things.
Anyone reading this would think why the hell we would put our bodies through this time & time again but it’s simple. I would do this every day if it meant I had this little girl in my arms, pregnancy is such a beautiful thing & I am so blessed to have experienced it.