Daughter2 is nearly five. I will soon be clear of the “young children” phase, which I have found very difficult and I am looking forward to the school-age children phase which is on the horizon. To celebrate this milestone, I will repost an ancient blogpost from the archives detailing the birth.
Apologies if it contains “too much information”, but a heavily pregnant young friend did ask…
Too Much Information
Well – it’s bound to be isn’t it. I think it must be some kind of inbuilt compulsion to go over the birth story as therapy. Although it went very well and was horrible but highly comedic all round. Thanks to the NHS as usual. Great service.
So I went in on the Friday night and got rigged up to a 1960’s looking gadget for a while, while listening to some poor woman refusing all pain relief and being in full labour. Then her waters broke and the midwives turfed her out of the ward to go and have it somewhere else.
Then I went to bed – although in late pregnancy, you don’t sleep as such – more just go to bed and wait until morning. They expected me to labour over night and I did think I was pretty close but I held myself back from the brink until my tea and toast came at 6am.
Tea and toast had, I was banned from having the real breakfast at 9am and then was taken to the labour ward. They broke my waters and joogled me like a hot-water bottle ’til I was all empty. I was then NHS gowned and sent for a walk to bring on the contractions. So I went to the foyer to phone husband and paced about and paced about. Half and hour later husband arrived and we paced about together and I started to puff and blow but when asked I was still in denial about the contractions. It is a rock and a hard place thing. The last thing you want is to go into labour. But from my perspective, I wasn’t going to get any lunch until I had the baby.
So eventually it got pretty painful and puffy and blowy so I asked for some kind of pain relief. And they suggested I have a bath. For someone like me who is big on intervention and total sensory deprivation, this should have rung alarm bells that this was a cunning plan on their part to sidetrack me away from my epidural strategy and hoodwink me into a “natural” birth. However, for some reason I felt the need to be obedient. I was handed a gas’n’air trolley and headed off to the bathroom.
Getting in that bath was the BEST THING EVER. Just brilliant. Every ache and pain disappeared. In previous labours I have HATED the gas and air – but maybe I got the hang of it this time. So I contracted away, all alone, sucking on my gas and air and putting my head back on the side of the corner bath (Sarah Beeny would have something to say…) – I felt just like a stoned celebrity and began an internal monologue.
I knew if I didn’t get out the bath I would progress too far to get the epidural. So I kept thinking I should get out. But then I would have a contraction, suck too much on the gas and air and get stoned and forget I was planning on coming out. I kept promising myself I would come out after the next two contractions… and another two… and another two.
Eventually I rubbed my remaining neurons together and heaved myself out of the bath, back into the gowns and trundled back to the room to campaign for the epidural.
I thought I’d be about 8 centimetres by this point and banned from the total sensory deprivation – but I was only 5 centimetres – Hurrah – they called for the anaesthetist!
It was the same chap as the last time. Unfortunately for him I was still gas’n’airing and thinking I was DEAD FUNNY. Oh how I laughed. True to anaesthetist form he started with the random questions and the anti-getting-sued speech. I made it quite clear, as per two blogs ago, that I was not a bit interested in the speech but just wanted a needle in my spine and some hard drugs going up it. All through his wee speech I was going “Yup yup yup uhuh headaches…. Yup yup damage your spine… heard it …yup yup… you need to get this speech going a bit faster…. Yup yup yup ….. I know I know I know….” Repeat to fade, while gesticulating a “Wrap this up”.
He said afterwards it was the fastest he’s ever given the speech. I don’t know why he wouldn’t keep talking through the contractions – I wouldn’t have minded. I don’t know why they don’t get you to sign a disclaimer promising not to sue. Well I do know – it is all a ploy to keep you from having the blinking epidural.
Meanwhile, inside my own wee head, I was perfectly aware that things were progressing in the centimetre department and I was having to try real hard not to make that primal grunt that gives you away. So I tried my very best and it worked for a while.
Then – horror of horrors – my gas’n’air ran out. They said – “I’ll get you another one.” So she trundles out of the room. All my days I have really, really not wanted ever to feel pain like that. A whole contaction at the height of labour with not a jot of pain relief. Felt like crying and had a face of misery. It was sore. So then she comes trundling in with my replacement canister. And I am thinking, “WHY ARE YOU NOT RUNNING, WOMAN???” but I managed not to say anything and concentrate on getting stoned.
Mr anaesthetist then saunters back with his gadgetry and sets about sellotaping bits to my back and putting the needle in. It was pretty hard to concentrate what with my intake of gas’n’air and my resolve not to give away the fact that I was pretty much ready to deliver – thinking ‘there is no way I won’t have had a baby in the next twenty minutes, before this gadget has been fully cranked up’… So we got it all sited and he put the test dose in…
Then I grunted.
Nightmare. All the midwives eyes lit up, they clapped their hands with glee and said “I think there is a baby coming.” The anaesthetist said – ” I have only put it one test dose – shall I do the other?”
“Get it in, get it in, get it in.” I begged, at speed. But the midwives sent him away with a flea in his ear.
So the midwives set about putting their master plan into action. Because of my previous deliveries they wanted to deliver it quicker than the usual way. So they contorted me around like a turkey getting unstuffed crossed with a fish getting dipped in batter. And then, with some very loud roaring that left husband black affronted, I gave pretty much one long continuous almighty push – and out she came. A very beautiful baby girl.