So it wasn’t the natural, calm, private home birth I would have chosen, but our little MiniRegz arrived safe and well and in the end that’s what matters.
The due date sailed by and although I knew the date was pretty arbitrary really, I couldn’t help feeling impatient. I had an appointment with the obstetrician on the Thursday, three days after the due date, where they told me there wasn’t much sign of anything happening. They booked me in for an induction a week later.
So that weekend was spent downing raspberry leaf tea, eating as much pineapple and curry as I could, walking and getting busy making plans so that baby could spoil them. In desperation I even booked in for a reflexology appointment the day before I was due to be induced. This seemed to do the trick, as on Tuesday, the day before the reflexology appointment my waters broke!
Well, sort of. I was on my way to see the midwife when it happened. It turned out it was just the hind waters that broke apparently. She moved my induction forward so it would be 24 hours after that, with the hope that I’d go into labour naturally in that time. A couple of hours afterwards, my contractions started. Excitedly I started recording them on an app on my phone. My excitement started turning to frustration as I realised, although they were blimmin painful, they weren’t really getting any closer together. I had plenty of time to listen to my hypnobirth CD, practice the breathing exercises I learnt at Daisy Birthing classes and watch episodes of Spaced. But the time for me to go into hospital for the induction drew nearer, with no sign of anything happening.
When I got to hospital I was told I was 1-2 cm dilated, which was just a tad discouraging. To begin with they tried breaking what was left of my waters, but that didn’t do anything. So they put me on the Syntocinon drip. I’d heard this was supposed to make labour even more painful, and I was feeling a bit of a wuss by this point having not slept for a while and the contractions being blimmin painful despite not doing anything, so I opted for an epidural. When I’d seen the anaesthetist beforehand, because of my Long QT, she’d recommended an epidural and I’d been pretty against the idea. But I have to say, it was some pretty good shit! It even let me get some much needed sleep. It did mean I couldn’t really move, which was a bit frustrating (although not as annoying as not being able to eat for 20 hours – when I did fall asleep I had a dream about crisps), but it turns out MiniReegz didn’t seem to like me moving anyway. I tried turning on to my side at one point and little one’s heart rate dropped suddenly.
My view for 20 hours. Moustache sink face.
As it did every time they upped the dose of Syntocinon. This led to a few scary moments where I was nearly rushed for an emergency c-section. Although at the time I remember thinking at least it would all be over with if that happened! The staff were convinced MiniReegz was a boy because of all the mischief he was causing. Luckily, the heart rate kept going up again just in time.
It’s all a bit fuzzy, but this carried on until Thursday afternoon. By the time I was told I had to push I was knackered, and starving. This bit went really quickly though, which was helped by the fact they hurried it along with forceps because they wanted to limit this stage because of the dodgy ticker. I was a bit frustrated by this really, as I think I could have got MiniReegz out without the forceps if I’d been given with a little bit more time. But anyway, it was time to meet MiniReegz, who turned out to be a mischevious little girl! She was born at 13:52 weighing 6lb15oz. I wish our first encounter had been a bit more magical, but if I’m honest I had to hand her straight back as I was going to be sick. Lovely!
Poor little forcep face
We’d have plenty of time to get to know each other properly though. As I’d had a temperature during labour they were worried there was a chance we might have an infection so they admitted us for 4 nights to have antibiotics, with matching mother and baby cannulas. Andy couldn’t stay overnight with us so the nights felt pretty lonely. It did mean I got a chance to ask staff all the stupid questions I had (like, how do I change a nappy when I can’t get out of bed?!), and I got great help with breastfeeding. The staff were mostly brilliant, it has to be said. And there’s no way I could have got through it without Andy’s support, he was great through it all.
I can’t believe that was all nearly a month ago now. It was all a bit fuzzy at the time and even fuzzier now. Nine months of preparing myself for the birth, when it doesn’t seem to matter much at all now, and now’s when the real work starts!