If anyone could read minds then mine would have been clogged with all sorts of negative thoughts about labor and what could potentially happen (of course always thinking the worse, I’m my own worst nightmare) My mind was so clouded with “what if’s” I knew it wouldn’t be long until I work myself up that much that I would start to panic about giving birth and the stress this could put on me and our baby.
Having all the social media channels, I came across this group “The Bump To Baby Chapter” I thought I’d read a couple of posts and do a bit of research myself before I sent that first message asking for support and what I could do to prevent all my stresses and anxieties during labor, and what types of deliveries would work best for me being so anxious.
Before I go on, I was determined to have a C-Section because in my head, this was all smelling of roses and would be over quickly, no pain, no fears!! We all know that’s not the case but as my mind was filled with that dreaded anxiety, it was leading me down the wrong path!!
Moving on.. TBTBC offered me the chance to do their online course which contains all sorts of advice and support about labor and how to control your mind and body during labor, what happens and so on. I watched the first video and I was HOOKED, I must have watched 10 videos that morning and started to make metal notes about all the things I can take from these videos and use during my labor. I finally started to feel somewhat more positive about labor and I would walk around the house saying “I can do this” rather than “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to give birth”
Don’t get me wrong, I did have my moments where I had a right toddler tantrum about labor and everything that could possibly go wrong but instead of fearing it and keeping all my thoughts to myself, I started to talk about it, like ALL THE TIME to my partner “she’s in there now and she’s got to come out one way or another” “I want every pain relief going, I don’t want to feel a thing” I soon realised that, I wasn’t scared of the actual labor, I was scared of the pain and possibly tearing and then having to be stitched.. but then I was quite happy to have an epidural to numb me from the waist down.. crazy right!?
On the morning of Friday 24th (around 10am) I lost my plug, now, I’ve never seen “the plug” before and I can honestly say I must have sat there staring at this for almost 5 minutes thinking what it could be before I shouted my parter saying “baby is coming” of course, he ran to the bathroom probably expecting water all over the floor and be their panting like shown in the movies…. not at all.. his response was “ok, what do you mean” “I’ve lost my plug, I think! I’ll have to google it and look at images” it was definitely my plug!!
At that moment we looked at each other in complete shock (like I haven’t just been pregnant for 9 months and about to have a baby, but more like what on earth do we do now) My mind froze and so we wait until my waters break!?.. hours later still no water and no contractions.. I had no choice but to carry on with my day. My partner stayed at home because I knew I was going to be in labor within a few hours..how wrong was I?? Friday passed like it was a normal day, I was frustrated because I thought, as soon as your plug starts coming away, your waters would follow, then the contractions and I’d have our baby in my arms come tea time.
Saturday 25th at 4am I started to get these pains, I can only describe as really heavy period cramps that kinda make you take a deep breath for a minute.. to my surprise I didn’t panic I just went to the toilet and got back into bed still half asleep.. I then had another and then another. I left my partner asleep and casually started to record what time these pains were happening, how long for and how far apart. (I can’t believe how casual I was about this, I would just fall asleep in between each one like nothing was happening) after a good couple of hours, I started to realise that these “pains” were actually contractions and coming every 15-20 minutes lasting a minute and I should wake my partner.
We both sat there in bed recording and making note for a little longer before we called the labor ward to inform them of my progress. Each time I had a contraction they were getting stronger so to me, I was ready to go into hospital and getting somewhat excited. We called the labor ward, they asked me about my contractions and what I’ve done for pain relief.. amongst all the excitement, i hadn’t taken any painkillers. The ward said “keep recording, try and stay at home for as long as possible as it’s better for you and baby.. we want to hear that those contractions are every 3-4 minutes and lasting anything from 1-1.30 minutes” My reply to my partner was “I’m not having our baby in the car that’s ridiculous”!!
By this time it was 7am and I already felt like I had done a days work and ready for bed again!.. we made the call to my mum to make her way to ours (who lives in Tewksbury).. 12pm still no sign of baby! 2pm.. yup still no sign however, my contractions were fluctuating from 7-10 minutes and 3-6 minutes.. we called the ward to update them and again they said they needed the contractions to be regular at 3-4 or for as long as I can last at home. By this time I was trying absolutely anything and everything to help me along, I took a bath, I used my ball, I used my partner for support and positions.. we all even played cards to try and focus on something else rather then the contractions. I was determined to do this as calmly and for as long as possible.
Saturday passed without any sign of baby and waters. Contractions were a steady 7-10 minutes apart but it was me this time who decided to stay at home.. I don’t know what came over me, I just didn’t want to go in to hospital yet! It was like I knew that it still wasn’t time. We got into bed and saw the night through.
Sunday 26th 7am, I was woken up by these almighty pains, I did the same thing, recorded the contractions and waited 2 hours for them to be consistent. 10am we called the ward and said “we’re coming in” I couldn’t continue at home anymore as I was in too much pain to do it alone. When we arrived at the hospital my midwife checked how far along I was… 2cm!!! In nearly cried, I hadn’t just done nearly 30 hours of contracting to be told I’m only 2cm!!! I was utterly knackered and didn’t know what to say.
We stayed at the hospital, waiting and using the bed, the bath and the aromatherapy oils (these are great by the way, so relaxing and comforting) I also ate whatever I wanted for more energy. 6pm Sunday evening, there was still no sign of my waters or baby making an appearance any time soon.. I was checked again and FINALLY I was 4cm.. this may not seem like much of a progress but when you get told you can now have alternative pain relief, like gas an air, you most definitely see it as progress!!!
A couple of hours later, I really started to struggle and I started to feel a panic attack brew.. I tried to hold it for as long as possible before I asked for an epidural. The midwife did another check and told me that our baby was back to back and this is why my labor is very drawn out. I still asked for the epidural as I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue without one, even knowing the risks the epidural can bring I still wanted one. I was determined to keep my panic attacks at bay and continue doing what I was doing.
By the time I had the epidural it was 8pm and I was so, incredibly thankful for being able to have one. I was proud for going this long and being so calm, I thought I’d be a nervous reck having panic attacks and crying, I really did surprise myself and having this feeling really encouraged me through-out the rest of my labor. As soon as I had the epidural I was able to get a couple hours sleep and we even got a couple of episodes of friends in (the epidural is THAT good)
Around 3am Monday 27th, our midwife confirmed I was now 10cm and in the next hour I’m able to start pushing, the relief on all of our faces was one to capture.
When the pushing started at around 4am, we soon realised that there was a minor complication (this was not down to the epidural by the way) our daughter was still back to back but becoming a little distressed, I had been pushing for almost 2 hours with very little progress. The midwife had a chat with a consultant and despite his best efforts to turn her and encourage a normal labor, we made the decision to have a ventouse delivery, this is what was advised and so we went along with it. I was cut to help with the delivery and after hours of pushing our beautiful baby girl Amelia Rose was born at 06:43am weighing a healthy 7lb 3oz. I was given the injection to delivery my placenta as I was so tired they advised this would be far easier, I was stitched and through everything I still hadn’t shown signs of panic attacks like I thought I would do.
I couldn’t thank the midwifes and consultants enough, I even think I said at one point “I’m sorry if I was loud”. I would most definitely have another child despite the length of the labor and the troubles with Hyperemesis during my pregnancy! It just goes to show how much being pregnant and going through labor changes a women and it’s true, your mummy instincts really do kick in at the right time.
If you want to know about ways to have a great birth then…
You can get all the information from our award-winning hypnobirthing and antenatal classes but from the convenience of your own home on your own time with our online course.
Check out our series of YouTube videos on how to make your birth better.