I haven’t had time to blog recently. Work has been ridiculous, Amelia requires a lot of attention at the moment and in the evening all I want to do is chill out with Kelly on the couch. I’ve been struggling for inspiration as well but Amelia is 19 months old now so it’s about time for my labour and delivery story. It’s a long one so well done if you read it all. TMI AHEAD WARNING!!
On Wednesday 11th November 2015 (this seems like a lifetime ago!) I woke up, went to the toilet and saw a little bit of blood and jelly like stuff on the toilet paper. The previous day I’d been to the midwife and had a sweep so wondered if this could be the start of something. Throughout the day I was having mild cramps on and off but managed to get on with my day and told Kelly to stay at work. That night we went to bed and as soon as I led down I was in pain and so uncomfortable. I told Kelly to get some sleep and I went downstairs and had to lean over the birthing ball rocking back and forth with every pain. We had a brand new wooden floor so I had a towel underneath me as well just in case! I led down in between and tried to sleep but didn’t get much at all.
The next morning when Kelly came downstairs I asked her to stay at home; I wasn’t 100% sure I was in labour but I needed her with me. I rang the hospital and they told me to come in when the pains were every 3-5 minutes lasting for a minute. The pains were getting worse but were very sporadic. I could go for 11 minutes in between pains and then 2 minutes between. I had a midwife appointment at 4pm so I decided to go to that if the pains were still like that and see what she thought. Kelly stuck the TENS machine on that we rented from babytens and it did help, if only to distract from the pain by giving you a different pain! As the day went on the pains were getting worse and closer together. I had to stand up, walk into the kitchen and lean over the side to get through them but they still weren’t regular so I wondered if it was real labour. It got to about 3pm and I was struggling to cope so I rang the hospital and told them I didn’t want to sit in a doctor’s waiting room having what I thought was contractions, so they told me to come in.
We were already packed so we got everything in the car and set off; via McDonald’s! We hadn’t eaten much and I needed some energy right? We got to the hospital and made our way up to the birthing suite. Once we got up there everything hit me and I lost it a bit. I was crying whilst contracting waiting to go into our room. I felt like everyone was staring at me and I was certain we were going to get told to go home. I was examined and I was shocked but so happy that I was 4cm dilated; I could stay and get in the pool! Everyone talks about remembering their midwife but I can’t remember any of them and I had quite a few! One of them explained to me that you usually dilate 1 cm every 2 hours for your first baby. Every 2 hours!!! I thought it was nearly the end, how wrong was I! After 2 hours I was at 6cm; the pool had helped massively but it was time for some gas and air.
For the next couple of hours we were left to it and I was getting quite giddy on the gas and air; showing Kelly how wrinkly my fingers were and then being a bit sick. The McDonald’s might not have been a good idea after all! At one point I got out to to have a wee and they asked if they could examine me. I didn’t realise just how much the water was helping. I was in agony and desperately wanted to get back in! I think it was at around 8cm that my waters went. It was such a satisfying feeling and I think I asked if I’d given birth! From then on everything started to go really quickly, the pressure was indescribable. I couldn’t use the gas and air anymore as it wasn’t doing anything now and I couldn’t concentrate enough. I think this was what they call the transition period where I kept saying I couldn’t do it anymore and wanted it to be over.
I’d now been in the birthing pool for nearly 9 hours and the midwife told me I was ready to start pushing. This is where I feel like I went a bit wild. I really went within myself and don’t remember anything that went on around me. It took me 50 minutes to push Amelia out and they say you forget the pain of crowning…I will never ever forget that pain! Apparently 50 minutes is really good for your 1st baby; I was so tired that I gave it every last bit of energy I had.
At 1:40am after 10 hours of established labour Amelia Rose Roskell-Thomas was born weighing 7 pound 8. This is where it started to get scary. Amelia’s cord was really short so I couldn’t bring her out of the water onto my chest. The midwives had to drain some water quickly out of the pool so she could breathe. Kelly cut the cord and blood went spurting up the wall which I don’t really remember but Kelly thought it was hilarious! I was asked whether I wanted to let my placenta to come naturally and I wish I’d opted for the injection straight away. After an hour my placenta still hadn’t come out. They’d had me sat on the toilet to try and get it out but no luck and even after the injection it didn’t come out. The midwife examined me and asked if I needed a wee. I said I didn’t but she told me I needed a catheter as my body was holding water so my placenta couldn’t come out. I’d just given birth but I was terrified of having this done. Turns out I really did need a wee and a whole bucket load came out! The midwife then literally wrapped her hand around the cord and pulled my placenta out. It was disgusting!
The midwife explained that she didn’t know if I had a 3rd degree tear or a 2nd so I had to go up to the ward to be looked at by a doctor. I was took up on my own and a worried looking Kelly was left holding Amelia. I was in a room on my own bleeding loads for about half an hour before Kelly came in with Amelia. I was white, shaking and didn’t want to hold Amelia as I didn’t feel strong enough. We had no idea what was going on and whether this amount of blood was normal. After about 1 and a half hours finally a doctor came to see me (there was only 1 doctor for the whole ward). She said she could sew me back up there as it was a 2nd degree tear and got me the gas an air and injected some local anesthetic. She started and I could feel most of it! I kept saying that the anesthetic hadn’t worked everywhere but she told me to use my gas. The gas just made it worse because then I was like a drunk apologising for being such a baby when someone was literally sewing my bits back together.
Looking back on my birth it wasn’t exactly what I wanted; I didn’t feel like I got that special bonding moment as soon as Amelia was born but we were both safe and healthy and in the end that’s what matters. Nothing prepared me for what labour was going to be like but women are built for this. We are stronger than we think and I am totally in awe of what our bodies can do, we are amazing.