After watching One Born Every Minute on Channel 4 I was quite worried about how labour was going to go for me. Although I hoped they were edited and probably looked more dramatic than it actually is.
On my due date, which was a Saturday, I went for my stretch and sweep and the midwife said she could feel the babies head and that she was pretty sure I would be having this baby in the next 48 hours. So I went home and bounced on my birthing ball, and I had a couple of twinges but nothing happened that day. I went to bed both nervous and excited that I may wake in the night with contractions. But Sunday morning came and nothing had happened. Sunday evening about 5pm, as it was a nice summers evening we were sat in the garden, I was getting very mild cramps about every 15 minutes but they didn’t feel strong enough to be contractions to me, so my husband and I joked about me being in labour but neither of us really believed I was at this point. About 7pm my husband was watching football downstairs and I was upstairs in the bedroom, the cramps were coming about every 10 minutes now and were a little bit stronger, so I shouted downstairs to him and he came up and started timing them on the app he had installed on his phone.
By about 7.30pm we had realised this was the start of labour, and we were timing the contractions and they were about every 6 minutes so we called the Labour ward and they said take paracetomal and have a warm bath and stay at home as you will be several hours. I didn’t feel like getting in the bath so I just used a warm hot water bottle for my stomach and took paracetomal. By 8.30pm the contractions were every 4 minutes and were too painful for me so we called the labour ward and they said we could come in.
I arrived at the hospital at 9pm and the midwife examined me and said I was 3cm dilated so was not classed as active labour until I was 4cm dilated. I asked for something stronger for the pain and she suggested I have pethidine, I was concerned about taking this for 2 reasons, firstly I had heard it can make the baby drowsy, secondly I heard it can make you sick. But she assured me that it would only make the baby drowsy if given close to giving birth and she said I would be hours away from that and she explained they give you an anti sickness injection. I asked about having an epidural and she explained I needed to be 4cm dilated for that, and she said it could take me another 2 hours before I was 4cm dilated as this was my first labour. So I agreed to have the pethidine, this was about 9.30pm, I didn’t really feel that it helped me with the pain but it relaxed me and made me feel drowsy which she said meant by labour would progress quicker as I had been tensing up everytime I had contractions.
About 10.30pm my waters broke, and at this point the midwife agreed I could have an epidural. So they took me through to another room for my epidural, while she was getting everything ready for the epidural I started to feel some pressure, so the midwife said she would get the doctor to check me first before giving me an epidural. The doctor came and examined me, and said I was fully dilated and ready to push, this was about 11pm. The pushing took just over half an hour, and at 11.51pm my baby boy was born. The midwife quickly cleaned him up and then she laid him on my chest. I felt so drowsy from the pethidine I didn’t really feel totally with it. Then my husband had a cuddle with him, while I delivered the placenta, and then the midwife dressed him. I had a slight tear from pushing which she said is normal for a first time, and so she sewed me up. Then she showed me how to breastfeed him, and then I went for my shower. He was drowsy from the pethidine so he then fell asleep. He just looked so tiny and perfect, I was so tired but very happy.