I had two very different birth experiences. The birth of the little one was a really positive experience. I have heard women say that they would do their labour again and I never understood it after having the big one, but now I do.
You can read part one of my birth story, how the big one arrived, here.
Technically the little one was 7 days late. Although when they gave us his due date at the dating scan I was dubious. A little bit of period maths worked out that the date of conception would have been impossible. Being that the big one was 10 days late, this time I wasn’t pinning my hopes on a date. The baby would arrive sometime in March. He actually arrived on the date my ovulation calendar gave me when I discovered I was pregnant.
D Day 8:30am
My friend came to pick the big one up to take him to playgroup for me. With some strange sixth sense she took one look at me and said, “I will pick him up from playgroup and take him back to mine so you can chill out for the day”. Either she knew something was going to happen, or I just looked knackered and she was to nice to say.
As much as I love the big one, it was lovely having the day to relax and not
run waddle around after him trying to pick up toys. It’s no easy task when you are 9 months pregnant. I watched trashy TV all day and sniffed teeny tiny baby grows.
The husband was home and the big one was in the bath when I got my first contraction. You know the proper take your breath away ones. The husband dispatched me downstairs to sit whilst he put the big one to bed. I dutifully obliged and continued watching trash TV whilst the contractions kept coming.
I started using the tens as the contractions were getting stronger and were very regular. I wanted to try and get to 8pm before calling my mum to come over to take care of the big one. I felt the longer I could stay at home the better. The husband decided to cook dinner. I wasn’t very hungry so declined and carried on with the business of contracting. The husband somehow enters a different time zone when he enters the kitchen. It can take him 40 minutes to make beans on toast.
I called my mum to tell her it’s time and I could hear my dad cheering in the background. I started to feel excited and a bit nervous. Contractions were getting to the point where I couldn’t sit down because of the pressure. The husband was still in the kitchen.
My mum arrived at the same time as my husband emerged from the kitchen with a massive plate of food. My withering look was met with “but I don’t know when I’m going to eat again. It’s going to be a long night.” The contractions were getting really painful and I wanted to go to the hospital.
The husband finally finished his dinner and I called the hospital to tell them I am coming in. I am told “We really busy” and “Don’t rush, as I sounded really calm so I was obviously coping well, and it will probably be hours yet. Was I sure I needed to come now?” I was sure.
Things are different second time. Firstly, this time I knew it was definitely labour. Secondly, my husband was a lot calmer. Too calm. He faffed around checking things were switched off whilst I stood puffing at the front door until I finally snapped “get me to the hospital.”
We arrived at the hospital after the second worse car journey of my life. The first being when I was in labour with the big one. Every bump in the road was agony. I alternated between telling my husband to “hurry up” and “stop the @$~*!@# car.”
At last a midwife! Her name was Charlotte. They weren’t wrong when they said they were busy. We took the last room and Charlotte had been called in from another hospital. She checked me over and I was 7cm dilated. She offered me drugs. Last time the gas and air made me sick but I decided to give it a go. With sick bowl in hand just in case I took my first deep inhale and oh my! Gas and Air I friggin’ love you. I was deliriously happy and giggling. “I think she likes it.”
Another midwife came in to insert a cannula into my hand. I had a high blood loss in my first labour so this was a precautionary measure. I don’t remember her name, but she was the midwife I spoke to on the phone so we’ll call her ‘Don’t Rush.’ Anyway Don’t Rush had major problems finding a vein in my hand so went to get a doctor to help.
The monitoring showed the baby’s heart rate was dropping. Flashbacks to my first labour and a sense of deja vu. They decided to break my waters. At the same time the doctor arrived to insert the cannula.
Out came the giant knitting needle. Pop! This time there really was a gush of waters. At the same time as I am leaking bodily fluids from one end, I saw the husbands eyes bulge in horror and looked to my left to see blood spurting out of my hand where the cannula saga was ongoing. Suddenly the contractions ramped up to top gear and I really couldn’t care less about the cannula. I really wanted to do this without an epidural but holy mother of god those contractions hurt. I keep puffing and the husband keeps counting me through the contractions.
The cannula was finally in.
I felt really weird. My body was starting to do something and I had absolutely no control over it. “Claire, are you pushing?” asked the midwife. “Ok she’s pushing. Claire, can you try not to push.” No chance! The only response I could give was a very loud scream. The husband looked shocked and somewhat panicked. The midwife told me to listen to her and breathe. They tried taking the gas and air away from me. I said they tried. I wasn’t giving that up for anybody.
Push and pant. Push and pant. I still remember vividly pausing for breath and thinking to myself there is a baby’s head between my legs right now. One final push and tah-dah!
My baby was placed on my chest. That 8 minutes honestly felt like 30 seconds. I remember being asked if we knew what we had had, and both the husband and I, somewhat shell shocked by the speed of what had just happened, just looked at each other and said “a baby.”
It was of course a beautiful boy. Weighing in at 6lb 9oz. Exactly the same weight his big brother was.
At this point Don’t Rush popped her head around the door and said to me “I bloody love you.”
“Can I take the cannula out now?” Of course the answer was no, but those things are so annoying. And this time round I had minimal blood loss. Honestly I’ve seen more from a paper cut.
The hardest part of my labour this time was the stitches after. Oh the pain! I don’t know how I didn’t kick the midwife in the face whilst she was doing it!
My birth experience with the little one was amazing. I was on a high for days after. I did it! I really did feel very “I am woman, hear me roar.”
And that was it. Our family was complete. The next day we took the little one home to meet the big one (who seemed to have grown 2 ft over night). The big one peered into the car seat and said “I knew it was going to be a little brother mummy.” He followed this up with “I’m so glad, because if you had brought a baby sister home I would have cried”. Phew!
And then the fun began…
This post was first published as part of Quite Frankly She Said’s Beautiful Births Series. You can read more amazing birth stories in the series here.
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