I have been quiet for a while, and the reason being for this is that on Saturday 21st October my little girls was born! 🙂 She was born at 36 weeks and 1 day, so prematurely, but she must have been ready because from the start she’s been doing amazingly well.
My labour started at 6.30am on Saturday when my waters broke. I woke up and felt like something burst inside me, it felt like the baby kicked me in my bladder, just a bit harder than usual, and with a bit of a stingy sensation. Then I felt something leaking out of me. I shouted to my husband who was fast asleep at the time, that I’m leaking and I need him to check. I was so afraid that it would be blood for some reason that I didn’t want to look myself. Once he said it was water I was like “Oh no! But it’s too early!” and quickly got up to go to the bathroom. As soon as I got there there was a gush of water coming out of me, and all I could say was “I’m not peeing!”. My husband went “I know!” and laughed. I rang the midwives helpline then and explained what’s happened. They told me to stay calm, have some breakfast and wait until 8.30am and get to the hospital then.
When we got to Maternity Care Unit we didn’t have to wait at all, which was a nice surprise after the time we’ve spent so long waiting previously, when I was getting checked due to the reduced fetal movement. I got checked and was told that everything is fine and what they suggest is inducing within 24 hours if the labour doesn’t start on its own by then. I was happy to wait until the next day, because I was hoping it would all start and I wouldn’t have to be induced. I was put on antibiotics straight away as well, as waters breaking bring a risk of infection. When I was still in the hospital and in the toilet trying to get a urine sample, my mucus plug came out as well. It was clear jelly like and had a tiny thread of blood in it (apologies for TMI but I want to remember as much as I can from this 🙂 ).
Shortly after we made our way home, stopping by to a pharmacy to get my antibiotics, and also by a shop and once we got there (about 11.30am) I started feeling first light contractions. We got back home and started cleaning the house as we always do on Saturdays, because I knew my baby was coming and I didn’t want to come back with her to an untidy house. I still felt ok at that point. We’ve cleaned the house and I finally sat down after checking my hospital bag once again and repacking some things. From about 3pm my contractions became more regular and frequent. By 4.30pm I was getting them every 5 minutes and they lasted about a minute. That’s when I rang the midwives helpline again and updated them on the progress. Unfortunately I was a bit unlucky this time as the person that answered in her incompetency told me to wait until my contractions are more like 3 minutes apart. I should add that she was polish like me and sounding all “I know it all”. At that point I had to take a break every time my contractions hit and pass the phone onto my husband, so she should be able to tell that it was getting very serious now. But all she said was “I can see you can still talk fine, so just wait a bit longer at home”. This was the worst advise, as after 10 minutes my contractions were already 3.5 minutes apart, and very strong. So strong that I could barely get myself into our car. The way to the hospital was like going through hell, because my contractions were so strong. Once we got to the hospital car park I wasn’t able to get out of the car. My husband just stood by the door asking me to get out and I just couldn’t. Finally I did and we walked all the long way to the maternity ward. It was horrible. I could barely cope and every person that we passed asked if we needed help, that’s how bad it must have looked, me trying to walk between contractions. We finally got to the delivery suite and I was put in a room almost immediately.
We’ve had a little crowd of people in the room almost instantly as well. I was told I was 5cm dilated then. It seemed like so little, considering how much pain I was in already. But from then on everything went very fast, although it seemed like hours to me then. Te active labour lasted only 1 hour and 23 minutes, so it was a fast one. I felt the need to push before it was the time to push though and couldn’t stop it. Then when the actual pushing stage it wasn’t as bad as the contractions before that, but I was already so exhausted that I could barely cope with it. Didn’t feel like I’ve had enough strength left, although I tried to think that it’s almost over, almost over…
They kept monitoring my baby’s heart and told us at some point that baby’s heart rate is too fast, meaning she’s in distress because of contractions. I had to have an assisted delivery in the end, with ventouse. But there was a risk that I will need a c-section, and as soon as I heard this, I pushed as hard as I could to avoid this. And it helped because it didn’t take too long and Mia was out 🙂
What did I learn from this experience? To be humble because no matter how active and healthy you are, nothing prepares you for the actual pain you will go through. I’ve heard of some women experiencing less pain, but I wasn’t one of them. It was by far and pain-wise the worst experience ever in my life, but at the same time the best one, because I got my little girl at the end, and that made for all the suffering. Without hesitation I’d do it 100 times more just to have her! Also, controlling yourself by breathing and relaxation might work for some, but to me the whole process was lacking any control whatsoever, and I know nothing could made it easier at the time.
I’ve had no pain relief throughout, not even gas and air, and that’s something I’m proud of now, but at the time I was in so much pain, and felt like I was useless throughout and could and should have done more. Everyone in the room kept telling me how well I’ve done, but in that moment it didn’t feel like it. I will never forget the pain and myself asking for help, because I felt like I could no longer do it. There’s no dignity in labour, but you are in so much pain and so overwhelmed by the whole experience, that this is one of the the last things you care about. I feel like I have grown and matured somehow by this experience. And I do get now that despite the pain and suffering, a lot of women go through this more than once. You get the best prize ever at the end, and that’s all that counts! 🙂