The Previous Few Weeks
According to the NHS my due date was 27th June, which made me 40 + 9 when I had her, I personally think I was due more like 1st July and the midwife said she looked like she was only a few days overdue. We had had a rough couple of weeks as they had been worried I wasn’t growing properly and sent me for a growth scan where they estimated her weight at 39 weeks to be 7lb 8 (+/- 20%). At 40 weeks they couldn’t offer me a sweep as I wasn’t favourable, I was a bit gutted as I had been up for 6 hours a few nights earlier having contractions which the midwife believed was her moving her head into place. At 40 + 5 they gave me a sweep and I was a cm and soft but still quite long. Then at 40 + 9 we had another sweep and I was 2cm but still quite long.
At Home After the Sweep
During the afternoon I had a couple of aches and pains but nothing to write home about. Then from about 7pm they were probably a little more regular but I still wasn’t sure whether they were the real thing or not. We started timing them at 9:30pm and they were about every 4 -5 minutes and lasting 30 seconds but still not really particularly uncomfortable but we put the TENS machine on in case it was the real thing – in hindsight it should have gone on earlier to be fully effective. At 10:30 they had started coming every 3 minutes or so but lasting only 30 seconds or so and again not really overly painful. By 11pm they had started lasting longer (about 50 seconds) and becoming a little bit more uncomfortable so we rang the MLU and decided to go in. During most of my time at home I had walked around and sat on my yoga ball not wanting to lie down as I wanted gravity to do it’s job!
We arrived at Bridgnorth Midwife Led Unit at 11:40pm only for the midwife to examine me at about midnight and her tell me I was still only about 2-3cm but I had now shortened – I was gutted as wanted to be at least 4cm!! My contractions has shortened down to about 30 seconds again and we were told based on my dilated and length of contractions I could go home – I was in too minds as I though if I stayed I could be there till the next night still but they felt strong and the car journey had been uncomfortable so we decided to stay and moved into the air conditioned labour room – which was a bit of a relief on one of the hottest nights of the year! We had said all along I need to keep active in labour and never lie down, I stayed on the birthing ball and walked around the room, got up and down to the loo and made sure gravity was doing it’s job! Mark was just about to call the midwife to take a urine sample when I said I feel like I want to push!! The midwife had been popping in and out to check on me but left us to it. I had mentioned I would like a shot of pethidine as TENS wasn’t really helping the pain (it had gone on too late) as long as the timing was right.
The midwife examined me at 1:30 am and I was surprised to hear I was 7cm!! So she said she best give me pethidine then to time it right, I said right gas and air please now. After a couple of gulps I was then violently sick and wasn’t keen to use it again but I did try as although it didn’t really take the pain away particularly, it helped me to concentrate on something else and made me a bit happier! The pethidine kicked in after about 20 minutes and again took the edge off the pain a little and made me sleepy so I was a lot more relaxed but doesn’t slow down labour, At this point I had been on all fours on the birthing ball but the midwife asked me to get on the bed so she could keep an eye on me better (and unbeknown to me to deliver her as I thought it was still going to be hours away, she knew better!) – so I stayed on all fours on the bed with the backrest of the bed up so I could lean forward onto it. Mark stood next to me to hold my hand and ply me with water when I wanted it – the midwife had turned the air con off as she didn’t want to make the baby cold so I was very thirsty!! Midwife had said if you want to push then push it’s my body and to listen to it, another midwife has to be present at birth and she called her to bring her in.
My waters hadn’t gone and the hardest part was pushing those out enough to try and pop them which they wouldn’t so the midwife had to do that but she needed me to push them out a bit for her to do it as Macy’s head was right behind them! The second midwife walked in at about 2:30 when she was just arriving and a few pushes and she was here at 2:41 and bawled her little eyes out for ages!! I had the injection to deliver the placenta which was done in 5minutes and felt a little strange but didn’t hurt at all. After examination I had no tears, didn’t need any stitches, just a little grazed. Macy was healthy and well too and lay on me for a good hour suckling away. We left hospital for home at lunch time, in and out of hospital within almost 12 hours!
I know it’s a long post but I wanted other first time mums to read about what a good experience it can be. In total I was in first stage labour for 1 hour 55 minutes, second stage for 16 minutes and third stage (placenta delivery) for 5 minutes – overall 2 hours 11minutes to delivery. I do believe that a lot of the speed and ease was down to not lying down at all and staying upright giving gravity a chance to work it’s magic – I delivered on all fours on the bed. Mark was an absolute rock and encouraged me all the way, he was amazing. The midwife said I am the only woman who she has known to smile through labour and stay so happy through the whole process and that it didn’t seem like it was my first time. I am sure this has helped and my baby is so happy and contented.
So for me what helped was to not worry about the birth at all – at the end of the day it’s not a lot of time to be in labour no matter how long yours lasts as just think of the amount of hours in your lifetime – it’s not any length of time really! Keep active and upright, use the ball and walk around, let gravity do it’s job. Before labour from about 37 weeks every other day I had used perineal massage and evening primrose oil, also took raspberryleaf tea from 34 weeks – whether it all helped I don’t know but it didn’t do any harm – look into it and make your own mind up, I am only telling you what I did and not implying you should. I also took superdrug’s own version of Pregnacare throughout as well as Omega 3 as recommended by the midwife. I think I was taking about 5 pills every day for the last couple of weeks as well as Tumms for acid reflux – I felt like I rattled!!
I was one of the lucky ones and didn’t have any stretchmarks, neither did I use any creams or oils on me as I am just too lazy to keep doing it! I did however have quite bad SPD and it got better towards the end after she had moved down but again got a bit worse towards the end. It is still there and I can feel my pelvis is still quite wobbly so hopefully with rest and starting some gentle walking it should get back to normal. Things like the acid reflux have completely gone which is great!