First time mum/referee/ sleeve snot wiper to a wild toddler. Designated household bum changer. Blogging about this motherhood malarkey from a refreshingly honest and unfiltered perspective.

The Birth

In all honesty, my birthing story is a rather underwhelming one in the sense that it was pretty quick and straightforward (if we don't count being trapped in the hospital lift, on all fours with contractions every two minutes and the inability to just fucking keep calm.) I was extremely lucky to have an overall smooth sailing pregnancy and a natural, SUDDEN labour without any fears or complications.

My expected due date was 02/08/17.  Due Dates are the DEVILWill they be early? Late? On time? I think we are all very well aware that babies will come when they choose and do not follow the schedule of our unwillingness to wait. However, when you spend months of anxiously waiting in anticipation to meet your baby, it's impossible not to OBSESS over when baby will make their debut.  

When will I be able to feel like I can breathe easily again instead of feeling like my lungs are being squished. Or not have to pause my Netflix show every five minutes because I can't stop weeing and spend all night tossing and turning because it's just impossible to get bloody comfy. 

After sobbing with oodles of ice-cream with my unwashed hair and food stained leggings, (Bridget Jones style) watching endless re runs of 'One Born Every Minute' in order to educate myself on the reality of the birthing experience; weeks of obsessive nesting  and 'De-cluttering' i.e. re arranging the soup tins in the cupboard in alphabetical order and making sure they were perfectly symmetrical (which you weren't allowed to use or touch now they were in order); packing and re-packing my hospital bag; bouncing frantically on my exercise ball and constantly complaining to anyone who would listen; 'I WANT THIS BABY OUT.' - I waited. 

And I waited... 

And I waited.

After a first failed sweep at 40+2 days - a sweep is basically where the midwife puts her fingers up your HOO HA and rummages about to try and coax you into labour without purposely breaking your waters (and, yes, it really is as icky as it sounds) - and with no signs of our baby coming on his own, I was given one final sweep at 41 weeks and my induction was scheduled for 8am on Sunday 13th August. 
The second sweep which I assume was successful as I spent the following three days losing globs of my mucous plus (GROSS PREGNANCY THINGS) and experiencing cramps and lower, consistent back pain. finally went into labour - TEN DAYS OVERDUE 

On Saturday 12th August at 6:30am (after I stayed up till 3am watching 'Brooklyn nine-nine' and bouncing like a crazy lady for hours on my exercise ball) I was woken by the achy lower back pain. It felt similar to period pain and was an annoyance but bearable. Sometime shortly after (before 7am or so) I felt a sudden POPPING sensation in my lower stomach and a small gush of liquid. I turned to my fiancé and excitedly, but in total disbelief, said 'I think my waters just broke.'   
It was then as I waddled to the bathroom, that the adrenaline and excitement started to creep over me. I checked and, sure enough, trickles of water were leaking - my boy was FINALLY coming.  

Almost instantly, I started experiencing, sharp, unbearable pains to the point I couldn't walk or sit down. I phoned the hospital to GUSH the news on how my waters had broken and I was ready and waiting. I was greeted with a rather dreary and unenthusiastic midwife (let's call her Mary) who matter-of-factly informed me that I was not in active labour because I was able to talk (through gritted teeth as I winced and squirmed with each stabbing contraction) and that I should go have some breakfast and call back at 9 am to see how I was getting on (it was 7:15am at this point).  
Frustrated, I ended the call and cried to my partner for a following 15 minutes whilst he hurriedly rushed around attempting to get us both organized and helping me put my own socks on - I was crippled by the pain and I could barely move. I called the hospital again and insisted I was coming in.  

After an hour's drive and arriving at 8:30am, I was plonked in a wheelchair given to us by a kind old man and I was whizzed through the hospital in a frenzy. We had no clue where to go and I cried, complained and screamed the entire way to the ward. After being stuck (for what felt like hours but was a mere five minutes) in the lift, my partner had to carry me up the stairs and to the ward. 
I was greeted again by 'Mary' (I say, greeted, more like tutted and huffed and puffed and insisted, 'you're not having contractions' and sighed, 'It can't be that bad' when I clung to my partner as they had me undress to check how dilated I was. 
They finally checked me over and confirmed (to their surprise) that I was in fact NINE CENTIMETERS DILATED and my baby was coming (the fluid pouring out of me, throwing up all over the floor due to the stabbing feeling in my stomach and my countless cries that the pain was unbearable wasn't proof enough. A young mum whose never given birth, what does she know?) 

I was given gas and air (I had said from the beginning I wanted an all-natural birth) as I was too far gone for anything else but with the pain I was feeling I honestly would have taken anything they offered so I'm so glad that I was at the stage that it was the only pain relief option I was allowed. 

Once it kicked in (and it kicked in gooood - I was told I sounded like Darth Vader the way I kept sucking on the tube and barely had it away from my mouth) I immediately felt calmer and more in control. My head felt clearer and I was able to focus. 
Thanks to the gas and air, I was able to enjoy the whole labour experience (yes, I did say enjoy, that was not a typo) and appreciate just how amazing the human body really is and what I was capable of. 
I had consistent contractions for over 3 hours and pushed for 45 minutes. With every push and every contraction, all I could think was, 'one more push till we meet our son'. I felt no pain, only pressure and a very strong urge to keep pushing.  
At 11:10am our precious miracle finally entered the world, weighing 8lb 13oz and instantly stealing our hearts. 
The euphoria exploded through me as they lay him on my chest - he never cried, just gurgled and lay peacefully -  and I cried and cried (although no actual tears came out, I was just in shock - and had WAY TOO MUCH gas and air.) I couldn't believe that I had done it. He was here and he was ours and, wow, was he perfect.  

I regret two things most. 

One - not doing more skin to skin after our baby was born. They took him off me after about a minute which for me felt rushed. They wanted to weigh and dress him. I also still had my placenta to deliver (yup, there's another thing you need to push out. Luckily, it only took 15 minutes and wasn't painful in the slightest, just uncomfortable.) I also had a second-degree tear so needed to be stitched up. 
It basically meant I didn't get the initial time to spend soaking up those first precious moments which I had waited so long for. 
Two - I regret not taking more pictures. I wanted more photos after his birth; my reaction when I saw him, our first cuddle, those kinds of things. It's the one thing I wish I had asked the midwifes and my partner to do for me once he was born but, at the time, the thought just hadn't occurred. 

Overall, my labour was incredible and I am so blessed and grateful that I was able to experience bringing a baby into the world. I'm still so amazed and so in awe of what my body went through. I spent 41 weeks watching my body stretch, change and grow to accommodate this tiny human and it's incredible that it knew just exactly what to do. 

Even afterwards in my fragile state with my deflated, sagging 'pouch' stomach, pain, stitches and bleeding; I had never felt more confident and strong. 
My son is more than I could ever have dreamed of; the sweetest, most adorable, kind natured little soul and I am so proud to call him mine. I am so blessed, and so grateful. 

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