I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling quite emotional. My hips were aching, I’d been contracting on and off and I felt thoroughly fed up. I decided to ring the midwives and ask if they would consider doing a stretch and sweep, only to be told they wouldn’t consider it before 40 weeks (I’d been told 39 the week before). I hung up the phone and burst into tears before finally pulling myself together and deciding that I needed to get out of the house for a while. I rang my friend’s hair salon and made an appointment to go in and get a long over-due chop and to get my crazy eyebrows tamed at the first time. Good timing too because when I got home I started to have contractions again. I kept an eye on them for a few hours, but they were still fairly irregular. When I had an hour of them coming five minutes apart I decided to ring Fetal Assessment to get checked out. The husband and I headed up and the minute I set foot inside the place everything stopped, the midwife examined me and the conclusion was I had a UTI so all I could do was go home.
On Wednesday, the husband and I went for dinner as I was figuring it could be our last chance to do something before we became a family of six.
I felt very niggly that evening and certain that something was going to happen. I woke up several times in the night convinced my water had broken was about to break just to discover that, no, of course it hadn’t.
On Thursday morning I looked around my bare kitchen (I hadn’t managed to go grocery shopping the previous weekend so we were running on the dregs). I decided what I needed to do was a big shop and lots of batch cooking so the family would be well taken care of when I did eventually go into labour. I text my brother at about 2.30 to ask him if he could watch the little ones while I went to Tesco and I was sitting on the sofa waiting for his reply when I felt an almighty pop and a gush.
I’d been told to go to hospital straight away if my waters broke because of the GBS so I rang the husband to tell him he needed to come home from work. I started to panic a bit because I’d gotten behind on the laundry and the only trousers I had that were dry were the ones I was wearing when my waters went! The Squishy one was following me around while I was making phone calls and heard me telling the husband that my waters had broke and I was going to phone my mum, she looked at me all earnestly and asked “are you going to phone Granny so she can fix your waters?”
My waters have always gone in labour before so I couldn’t believe how much there was! I left a trail from the kitchen, all down the hall and a huge puddle in the bathroom (Squishy at this point was following me with a mop!)
Once the husband and my mum got home, I managed to find a dry pair of leggings. I put on three pads to try and contain the never-ending fluid, and we headed up to fetal assessment. They examined me and said I was about 4cm. Contractions hadn’t started yet so they wanted to take me to the labour ward and start me on the drip. I was just gobsmacked, everything I had read had led me to believe I could have a totally normal labour with the gbs, the only difference was I would need the antibiotics but now they wanted to stick me on the ctg for constant monitoring and were pushing for me to take syntocinon. I started to panic a bit, I had such a bad experience getting induced with my first, that drip is a hateful invention and I could just see the situation spiralling out of control. I said to them I wanted the chance for contractions to start on their own, and for the next two hours I had a parade of doctors and midwives coming in telling me how I was putting the baby at risk and it would probably turn transverse if I didn’t start the drip and I needed to make a decision right now. They also left a student midwife in the room constantly so I could get bugger all privacy to discuss the options with the husband or my mum. I finally started to have contractions on my own but the machine wasn’t really picking them up so the midwife was very dismissive that anything was happening at all, it probably took her an hour to believe me. They moved me to a different room and at that point they started to accept that I had gone into labour on my own and stopped hassling me about the drip. Being on the ctg was a total pain in the arse though, my movement was restricted and they kept shifting me around to pick up the heartbeat, in the end the put a clip on the baby’s scalp. When the contractions did start they came thick and fast and I was holding on to the gas and air for dear life. I was sitting on the ball, holding the tubing and I found it really helpful at the height of a contraction to lift my head up. The entonox made me a little giggly, I got this image in my head that I must have looked and sounded like a trumpeting elephant every time I lifted my head up into the air.
It didn’t seem like long before I started to shake and I said to the husband “I think I’m in transition”, then I totally lost it. I had been kneeling over the back of the bed but suddenly I flipped myself over (apparently I almost fell out of the bed, it was just the judicious pressing of the husband’s knee into the small of my back that stopped me hitting the floor). It took about two pushes that I had no control over and she was born with me letting out an almighty roar. I was just shaking repeating thank god that’s over thank god that’s over. I got the major shakes again and it took me about 20 minutes to calm down and stop shaking and gibbering.
Arya Beibhinn made her debut appearance at 9.20 pm on the 28th of June, weighing 7lbs exactly, after a recorded labour of 1hr 45 mins. She started feeding straight away and it seemed like not long passed before they moved me to the postnatal ward and chucked the husband out. I didn’t sleep a wink on Thursday night even though Arya slept well, but I was just too wired and it was too noisy.
We are home now and settling in nicely. She’s a little bit jaundiced so we are having some issues with her being quite sleepy and difficult to feed, but I feel so blessed to have her here.