Last week my birth story had left you at the end of yet another day of my long labour. I still wasn’t in what midwives would class as ‘established labour’ and I had been getting pains for over 48 hours. Towards the end of the day I just started to lose it and I was crying uncontrollably, mostly through sheer exhaustion. I was anxious; so sure that something must be wrong for it to be taking so long and scared about where I was going to find the energy from to get through the rest of labour. I was worried I would need some form of intervention to give birth. The student midwife came in and gave me a pep talk, calmed me down and sent me for a bath. She was great and really helped me; James had been amazing too but I know I frightened him when I got so upset.
My midwives changed, yet again, and they shut off the lights in my room and made me lie down to try and get some rest. I remember thinking that there was no point in crying or shouting anymore because it wasn’t going to make anything happen any quicker so I just lay there for hours and concentrated on my breathing and relaxing my body. Around 11pm they came to examine me; when she told me I was at 4cm and ready to go down the the delivery suite – I was so happy! Even if I wasn’t quite as far along as I had hoped the thought of a delivery suite and pain relief was all I needed. I was also informed that my waters had broken, to this day I still don’t know when they went but the important thing was they had which meant my body was finally getting ready for labour.
We were moved and met our new, but not final, midwife. By this time my calm state had left me and I was starting to really feel the pain again. I had gas and air, which at first I thought was amazing, as I slurred away to my husband whilst hanging onto the bed. After awhile the advantages of the gas and air were being lost on me; the midwife started to ask the question, ‘Have you thought about pain relief?’, before she had reached the end of the question I was pleading ‘epidural’. She didn’t question me, I was a woman on the edge! I had originally been against an epidural and my husband came over to double check it was what I wanted, as I had asked him to I might add. I may have growled at him. The epidural worked perfectly and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without it. I have never felt any disappointment that I couldn’t do the birth how I wanted; there was no way to tell how long the rest of my labour would last and the thought of continuing through the pain was terrifying to me. They had me hooked up to monitors the whole time and because they were struggling to pick up our baby’s heartbeat they put a clip on his head. My contractions weren’t always showing up on the trace even thought I could feel them and they still weren’t coming at regular intervals.
At this stage there wasn’t much to do but wait; me and James were both dosing as the midwife kept bringing him tea and me water. She was chatting to us about our baby names and it was all very relaxed; so different to the last few days. I couldn’t believe that I was just sat there talking and even laughing when a few hours earlier I had been shouting and crying. I knew we were on the final bit now and then when the midwife said to us that we’d see our baby today I really started to get excited. The anxiety and stress had mostly lifted and I started to believe that I could do it. We went through another shift change and two new midwives came in to take over; I was examined and FINALLY told I was ready to start pushing. This was it: it was the 30th August 2011 and our baby boy was ready to come into the world.