Waddling towards the hospital doors felt very intimidating at this point. I was really hoping that the next time I exited those doors, a little human would have exited me. Sorry to be crass.
No longer than thirty seconds of being in the hospital, it dawned on me that I really needed a pee. I gave Ross and my mum a reassuring nod that I was capable of doing this on my own. I mean, I had managed pretty well for the last 26 years. I remember this part vividly, as just before washing my hands, I had a bastardly sharp contraction and ended up bent over and leaning on the wall. I was praying no one would walk in on me as they would have thought I was giving birth right there and then! After composing myself I waddled back out and found our way into the lift to find the maternity ward.
Whilst in the lift, which consisted of myself, my birthing party and three doctors, I experienced a few more of the arseholes. [arseholes = contractions]. I don’t know if anyone has tried covering up arseholes before, but, I think I looked more like I was suffering from life threatening indigestion.
I was taken into a side room with a bed where I was strapped up to some sort of time machine. I had a blue and pink strap across my belly which I thought was very fitting for the occasion. I was also given some paracetamol to ease the pain. The nurse left the room and the three of us were left just staring at the piece of paper being produced from said time machine. Up and down… up and down… I couldn’t take my eyes off those lines.
Fortunately my contractions weren’t too bad during those thirty minutes, I mean, they were still painful, but I had already experienced a lot worse. The nurse (who I have to add was a lovely lady who made me feel so comfortable) came back in and analysed the findings. She confirmed that I was experiencing contractions, but this wasn’t enough for her to think I was in labour. She told me that more than likely I would need to go home and come back in the morning to be induced. She then forced me to eat a cheese roll which I guess softened the blow. The thought of being at home and experiencing these deathly contractions for another 12 hours petrified me.
Before I had time to digest the cheese roll I was summoned to the scanning room for my growth scan. We had a couple of these during my pregnancy as my little one was always measuring small. I was slightly delirious at this point, I couldn’t get my head around why I needed a scan so near to my baby being born but I was in no right head space to question it. I suffered an excruciating contraction whilst laying on my back during the scan that tears were falling from my face. [To anyone that has laboured on your back I salut you] I have never felt a pain like it. I didn’t know whether it was because I had a device being pushed around on my belly or whether I was just in for a massive hell ride. To cut a long story short – the growth scan was a complete waste of time. The midwife couldn’t get any information as apparently the baby was too low down.
Too low down?? What does that mean? I know I shouldn’t have, but, I took this as a glimmer of hope that I would not have to go home.. perhaps?
We went back upstairs to the room where I was previously strapped up and spoke to the lovely nurse. I don’t want to say I begged, but, ok I BEGGED her to let me stay at the hospital. I just wanted to know that I was in safe hands. I did not want to go home if it was the last thing in the world.
My mum was slightly concerned with the state she was seeing me in and asked the nurse if she would examine me before I was sent home, just in case anything had changed since this morning. She agreed, and whilst examining, she smiled at me and said “you will be happy to know that you are 3cm dialated”.
HALLE FRIGGING LUJAH
I knew i wasn’t being a total diva this whole time!!
And even better, she offered me some more medication to ease the pain. I was about to confirm that yes, I did want an epidural, when she said “You can start with some cocodamol or we can get you some diamorphine, but we recommend at this stage, you have the cocodamol”.
At this stage?? How many flipping more stages were there??
I felt like I was being really brave when agreeing to take the cocodamol instead of the diamorphine. I just told myself that I had an epidural to look forward to. That sounds bad doesn’t it, but I was really looking forward to anything easing the pain.
No longer than 20 seconds after swallowing the tablets, I felt something more horrific than I had felt before. It was a contraction so severe that my knees buckled and I collapsed, luckily into my husbands arms. And there it was, my first loud scream in the hospital (I like to think that I had composed myself well until this sudden outburst.) “I WANT THE DIAMORPHINE, NOW!”
I had pure panic in my voice yet my mum and Ross thought this was the funniest thing they had ever witnessed. To my dismay, I was refused the diamorphine as I had only just taken the blasted cocodamol.
I was now suffering the most excruciating pain and there was nothing that could be done to help me. All I could do was rely on my deep breathing and keeping calm to get me through these contractions.
Ross was rubbing my back and trying his hardest to help me. I could see that he felt uncomfortable witnessing me like this. I just felt like it was bringing us closer together, knowing that at the end of it all we would have our precious baby.
I was halfway through a conversation with my mum, standing over the bed, when I suddenly felt the urge to push. One minute I was chatting like everything was normal and the next minute my face was turning crimson and I felt like I was in the politest way possible going for an uncontrollable poo, in an open space, in front of two people.
My mum shouted for the nurse and she witnessed me pushing. She asked me how I felt and I told her it felt like I was needing to go to the toilet. Apparently emptying your bowels is common during labour, so I was encouraged to do just that. Whilst sat on the toilet, the urge to push came over me again and I could not stop it. I knew that I didn’t need a number twosey and it was in fact, my baby coming.
I was shocked, my cocodamol hadn’t even kicked in, how could I possibly be pushing?? The nurse saw what was happening and transported me into a wheelchair and rushed me into the labour ward. I felt like I was on “one born every minute”. They started to run the birthing pool as this was what was in my maternity notes and I had to carry on pushing whilst bent over the bed (I know, I spent a lot of my labour in this position!). It felt like an eternity for the pool to fill up. My mum had her hands in between my legs ready to catch the baby, should it fall out!
I was gutted that I didn’t have my pregnancy bag with me, as this contained my camcorder, which I really hoped we would use to record the birth, but everything was still in the car, we had no idea the labour would progress so quickly!
The pushing part was surreal. I kept taking long, deep breaths. I don’t remember there being people in the room around me, I had somehow transported into a zone where it was just me and the baby I was about to meet. I stepped into the warm pool and submerged my bump into the water. I held on to the metal bar and took deep breaths in… and out.
I was nervous to try the gas and air offered to me as my mum had told me stories about how it made her sick but I was open to trying it. I wasn’t allowed the epidural as my labour had progressed so quickly in such a short space of time. I felt like the gas and air was sent to me from heaven. I loved it. It made me feel all light and fluffy.
After around five minutes of deep breathing in the pool, I closed my eyes and gave a massive push, the biggest one yet. With that push, I had managed to get the babies head out. Now that was a very weird, yet wonderfully magnificent feeling.
Ross told me later on that he was silently panicking that the baby was drowning in the water but assumed the midwives would have stepped in. Bless him. I’m so glad he read the baby books.
The midwives told me that on the next push hopefully the baby would be out. No pressure there then. I must have waited at least five minutes before the next push came, but when it did, just like the midwives said, out came my baby.
From that moment, my life had changed forever. I was given my baby to hold tightly to my chest. Nothing mattered at this moment in time. All that mattered was this little human gazing up at me through squinted eyes. I looked at Ross who was bawling his eyes out. He kissed my forehead and held me close. We silently promised to protect and love this baby forever.
“Congratulations on your baby girl”
On the 7th June 2016,at 4.22pm, my best friend was born. She holds my heart and fills me with nothing but pride, love and happiness. Welcome to the world little Heidi Beau Akmenkalns.
Love Charleigh xox