I am 37 weeks into my 2nd pregnancy, my hospital bag is packed, the baby’s bag is packed, Lottie’s bag is packed and Stuart’s bag is packed (we are well and truly prepared this time!). Everything is ready for this labour except my birthing plan because – to be honest – I don’t see the point in them.
To me a birthing plan is a novelty for first time mothers. I fell in love with having the perfect birth because my midwives made a big deal out of the plan. There were apps and templates so specific, just waiting to be filled in. Little did I know that my well planned birth on paper was just going to be glanced at and questioned in reality. Naively I thought my first birth would be all cupcakes and rainbows.
Labour At Home
Charlotte was due on May 27th 2016, however, on May 22nd my waters broke (well actually they flaming erupted!). Before becoming a mum I always assumed it was like the movies: you are halfway down the street and your waters break. However, at my antenatal lessons I was told that the majority of women have their waters broken in hospital. This was like playground gossip, I had to go back and tell everybody I knew. Neither of these situations happened for me.
At 5.15am, after tossing and turning all night long with lower back pains, I felt the urge to pee (again). As most heavily pregnant women do, I sighed at thought of humphing myself back out of bed but during that sigh I began to pee. Except, I couldn’t stop this mid flow no matter how hard I tried (very unusual for me). I jumped out of bed quicker than I have in my entire life and… WHOOSH!! About a litre of water fell out my vajayjay.
I didn’t really know what to do. Nobody knew how long this labour was gonna take and I sure as hell didn’t want to go through it alone. I can remember saying
“Babe, my waters have just broken”
and a very sleepy, tipsy Stuart replying
“You’re kidding, it’s 5 in the morning, please go back to sleep”.
It still makes me laugh because I warned him not to go out. Somehow I knew I was going to go into labour that night but nobody believed me. They all reassured me most first time mums see their due date.
After waking Stuart, I waddled to the toilet. My waters gushed another two times all while wearing his football shorts that I’d worn to bed (which I still tease him for today). I got changed, put on my maternity pad and waddled back to bed. There were no alarming symptoms so I phoned my mum, told her I was in labour and went back to sleep for a couple of hours.
When I woke I phoned maternity assessment to let them know my waters had broken. They asked me to go to the hospital at lunchtime so I went for a bath and did my make up and hair (for those gorgeous pictures I was going to get after my short labour). I was asked to come in because there is a risk of infection if your waters break on their own. Also, my contractions were about 3 to 4 minutes long every 15 minutes.
Labour In Hospital
At 1pm we reached the hospital, I was taken in and hooked up to a monitor. A midwife checked how dilated my cervix was, that was when we found out I was only at 3cm. They kept me wired and did checks every half hour until they decided to move me to my own room. I was pretty worried about this because the only people I knew to get a private room, never made it back out. Honestly though I think I was just lucky.
My contractions were so close that even the midwives thought this would be a quick labour. How very wrong those midwives were. The rest of my labour was a blur. One minute I was bouncing on my birthing ball, eating mini cupcakes and the next I’m on Gas & Air in the birthing suite getting ready to push a real life baby out my foof.
I know it really did not happen that fast because I remember getting a dose of paracetamol, then a hot water bottle, then a hot bath, then a massage, then a long walk, then a shot of diamorphine, then being sick from that shot of diamorphine, then passing out, then being woken to find myself in the birthing suite with my mum sleeping on the chair next to me and Stuart high on 3 cans of Red Bull.
It was a very long, very painful, very medicated labour and nothing like the relaxed one I had pictured. The only thing from my plan that actually played out was the NO EPIDURAL rule. Finally at 9.44am my beautiful baby girl arrived. That long, drawn out, medicated labour didn’t matter anymore. The memory of it disappeared with the effects of the diamorphine and all that was left was this crazy, stupid, love.