Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I've finally got a few minutes between feeds whilst the boy sleeps. I could either eat breakfast, go to the toilet or type and (madly) i thought i'd type whilst i've a few minutes.

So, the labour started at about 2am on Thursday 30th, the day he should have been coming out via C section. I woke with contractions about 5 mins apart. I didn't wake Mr G who was asleep in the next door room, where he'd been sleeping for the last few weeks as my nocturnal wakenings were keeping us both up.

By 6am the contractions had calmed a little and were more widely spaced. They carried on all day, sometimes close and sometimes up to 20 mins apart. They were just in my back so I wasn't sure that it was really labour pains.

A friend sent an e mail saying she'd been having similar pains for the last week!!! I cried at the thought I could be stuck with those pains for that long! It wasn't the pain so much as it was bearable but the thought i'd have to wait that long and probably would be housebound for that time as I had to stop and sway etc each time to get through them.

Anyway, I decided to put on my TENS machine at 9 or 10pm ish and I asked Mr G to help fix the pads on me. We had a bottle of alcohol type stuff to put on me to help the pads stick. He couldn't get it to come out and squeezed so hard the lid flew off and the stuff went in his eyes, down my trousers and in my underwear. It STUNG!!! He was running around shouting it was in his eyes and we both had to rush to the bathroom so I could shower it off and he could splash his eyes. It was all a bit Benny Hill.

I stood in the shower for ages and decided to use it to run a bath for the pain. I lay in the bath - my 3rd that day - and watched my tummy moving. I thought it was Barney moving but now I think it was contractions making it all move. When I got out the contractions were a minute on and a minute off and I couldn't even get dressed it was so uncomfortable. I had Mr G put the TENS on and that really helped. That, breathing and very loud music. I also moaned a lot - goodness knows what my neighbours must have thought!

So I rang the hospital who said I should wait a couple of hours before going in. Mr G was rushing around packing bags and showering etc while I swayed and moaned. AT 12am, we decided to get in my Mini to travel as I couldn't face going in a taxi. It took me 3 contractions to get in the car. I had to kneel on all fours on the back seat. We took a route to avoid speed bumps as I definitely wasn't up to them.

The contractions eased a bit once I was outside and in the car, so I suggested we drive around a bit to delay going to hospital. Mr G sensibly ignored that clever suggestion and drove us straight there. We slowly walked in and got up to the labour ward. They examined me and said I was 3cm and the cervix was nice and soft and well effaced.

I would usually have been sent home but they said I could stay as they were quiet. I was left with gas and air, my TENS machine and my ipod in a cubicle to progress. What they didn't tell me was that they were going to leave me for 4 hours until they came to examine me again!! Mr G went to bring in our luggage - which i'd made him leave in the car in case we were sent home. He also moved the car into a car park.

When he arrived he sat in a chair and snoozed whilst I moaned, gyrated and sang (quietly) to Madonna on my ipod. I found it really hard to go to the bathroom as if I sat, it brought on major contraction pain, so I had to try to stand.

At 5am they came to see me again and let me go into a delivery room. I was 4cm by then and decided to have an epidural. Had I been able to use the pool i might have tried that as water really helped relieve the pain. But the fact I couldn't plus the fact that if I didn't go for it then i'd have to wait another 4 hours before the opportunity would arise again (hospital policy not to examine more than every 4 hours). A lady anesthetist turned up and fixed me up. Marvellous.

By now, the sun was rising and I was having a good time! Mr G went out for bagels for breakfast and I was allowed to eat one but told no more food now in case i needed surgery. Mr G snoozed on and off and I chatted to our new midwife - Kirsti from Finland - who'd started her shift at 8am. As they were quiet, i had her to myself all morning which was fantastic. I walked around and tried to make things move faster and they broke my waters to push things forward. When they ramped up the contractions with Syntmetrine I really started feeling the pain as the epi had worked only on 1 side. Suddenly, I was 8cm and feeling contractions down one side of my body. OWWWWW!!!!

The anesthetist was called - a new one now on the day shift - and they tried to wiggle the needle to get it to work fully. It didn't, so they had to take it all out and start again whilst i puffed on gas and air again like it was going out of fashion.

With the epi sorted a new problem arose. Barney was starting to show signs of distress on the monitor so, after a series of Dr's had had a good look up my undercarriage, the most senior Doc - a consultant - said they felt they should get him out asap. I was rushed into theatre double quick. I seem to remember being stripped and put into a hospital gown. At some point earlier they'd had me peeing into a tub thing as my bladder had got so huge it needed draining. I was held up by one nurse whilst the other held the tub. How humiliating! After that they put a catheter in.

The pain relief was ramped up although I didn't believe it was properly working at all. They check by spraying a freezing cold spray on your upper body and then on the anesthetised bit to see if you still feel it. I was sure I could feel it on the bits that hadn't been properly sorted before. I was told to pinch my own flesh to see if I felt it and I couldn't. Mildly upsetting was that pinching my leg felt like pinching a comedy fat suit. Nice...

I was still arguing that I could feel on my left when the anaesthetist said 'well they've started' which shut me up. Minutes later, whilst Mr G and I cried, Barney was pulled from my tummy. I had tried to hold back the tears in case they thought i was being a bit baby about the birth. Mr G was sent to cut the cord and give them clothes for B whilst I was stitched up. I started feeling really light headed and sick as well as impatient to see my little boy - who was screaming and rooting on Mr G looking for a feed! He still screams like a loon when he wakes and only wants to feed.

I'm sorry for such a long post and i'm sure most people will have given up by now. It's as much so i've got the memory straight and recorded.

We're still good and Barney is 3 weeks old tomorrow. It has flown but has been pretty hard work - NOT that i'd ever, ever complain for a second. I really do appreciate how lucky i am.


Clio said...

congratulations again on your little boy.
I loved the picture and the story in the newspaper. :)

sarah said...


Bea said...

Hey! Look at you on the front page!

Nice to hear your birth story. Glad it all went well in the end - sounds a bit harrowing at points!