After the last couple of weeks, I felt it imperative to write this blog post ASAP as I haven’t posted anything in the last couple of weeks. I aimed to upload this post on Friday 02nd December 2016, however time does not exist when children are involved and I don’t think I’ve been on time with anything since “little alien” appeared. I must point out that I am unable to remember anything of the day of the birth of my child so I am completely relying on Gavin’s versions of events, I guess this is my body’s way of coping.
Where to start! My due date was 11th November 2016 and as I’m sure you all established “little alien” did not show, in fact “little alien” kept us all waiting an extra 2 weeks! On Monday 21st November 2016 I visited my midwife and was offered a membrane sweep as “little aliens” head was fully engaged. I was advised that there was a high potential that this may work. However they booked me into the hospital to be induced on Wednesday 23rd November 2016.
On the evening of Tuesday 22nd November 2016, whilst watching “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” I had a bloody show. I didn’t think anything of it however and so went to bed with the intentions to call the labour ward at 8.30am the next morning to find out what time to go into hospital to get induced. At 6am on Wednesday 23rd November 2016 I awoke to mild contractions. When I’ve spoken with other people who have gone through labour I was expecting period pains. However these were stronger than any period pains I had experienced before, so I think I may have slept through the earliest stages of my labour.
At 8am I phoned Gavin who was out on the farm completing his normal daily chores. He came round to the house and we decided to ring the labour ward to see what to do as we were due to go into the hospital anyways that day. After talking to a midwife I decided to stay at home to see what would happen. I felt like I needed a wee all the time so mainly stayed around the bathroom, whilst Gavin timed the contractions. At this point I was having two contractions every five minutes. Gavin also strapped the TENS machine to me, however I didn’t think it helped me in any way and it was soon off again.
At 9am Gavin went to run me a bath and when I got in I felt instant relief, just like when you put a hot water bottle against an aching back. By this point the contractions had increased in intensity and I was having one every two to three minutes, so we decided to call the labour ward again and were advised to go in. Gavin tells me that it took me ages to get out of the bath and get changed ready to go into hospital. The journey into the hospital seemed to take forever and I felt every bump in the road, what made it worse was there was a queue into the car park when we got there. When we got out of the car my mother joined us with a wheel chair and we made our way to the ward. We went into a delivery suite straight away to be observed, they also gave me gas and air which was AMAZING! I felt like I was outside the room but listening to the conversation around me, Gavin says that I looked asleep on gas and air. At 10am, the midwife advised me that I was 8cm dilated, my thoughts immediately went to “this baby will be here by mid-day”. I was very wrong.
I had requested a pool birth and after been checked over I was given the go ahead by the amazing midwife who managed to secure the room for me and get it ready for 12 noon. When I got into the room I completely stripped off (I left my dignity firmly back at home!) The midwife had to wrap a towel around me to move me from the suite to the pool room. The pool was every bit what I wanted and needed at that time. I felt like I was in a sauna and together with the gas and air I felt ok (given the circumstances). My mother and Gavin took it in turns to hand me the gas and air when a contraction came and supposedly I hit Gavin at one point (I blame it on the gas and air affecting my reflexes!) After two hours of been in the pool in a squat position I was struggling to hold my weight and I couldn’t keep my belly under the water, so was advised to get out of the pool and onto a bed. I supposedly asked for some stronger pain relief at this point which was denied as it was to late and it was nearly time to push.
At 2pm I was re-examined and advised that I wasn’t pushing into the correct place and needed to get my legs into stirrups to get into a good position for birth. After pushing for two hours with nothing happening (my mother tells me the head kept appearing but going back in) I had to be cut and the head immediately showed. After two more pushes the rest of the body came out and we found out we had a little boy, which I just couldn’t comprehend! I have also since been told that I bit Gavin’s ear when pushing (my question is why was his ear near my mouth in the first place)!
Tobias James Robert Clarke was born at 4.27pm on Wednesday 23rd November 2016 weighing 8 pounds 15 ounces. He came out grumbling for the first hour, but no crying. As I was pushing into the wrong place at the beginning, Tobias was born with a graze on the back of his head, which took a week to scab over and disappear. I remember feeling instant relief when he came and feeling like I was superwoman, I just kept saying “I made that, look what I did”. Tobias was immediately cleaned off and handed to me for skin to skin and to try to breast feed, which he wasn’t interested in. The midwives also delayed the clamping of the cord as there are lots of benefits for the baby if this is done. I was also given the injection to be able to deliver the placenta quickly. When they were preparing me for stitches it was found that I had a tear into my rectum so was advised that I needed to go to surgery. Tobias was given an injection for vitamin k and then handed to Gavin to look after.
At 5.30pm I went into surgery where I had a spinal injection to numb me from the waist down. This was the strangest feeling in the world as the anaesthetist was able to show me my feet without me feeling any sensation of movement at all. The operation took over an hour and at 7pm I was reunited with everyone. My mother left shortly after, so that left Gavin to put on the first nappy and dress Tobias. The midwife kept visiting me on the delivery suite on a regular basis to measure my blood pressure. By 10pm Gavin left to go home and the feeling cam back in my legs so I was able to weight bare and enjoy a shower. Soon after this I was moved onto the maternity ward and was able to concentrate on breastfeeding. I stayed in hospital for a further day to establish breastfeeding and to gain my confidence before coming out on Friday 25th November 2016 – where the harsh reality of being on my own truly sank in!
I have moved in with my mother for two weeks so she can look after me whilst I focus on trying to learn as much as possible about how to care for Tobias. I still cant believe he’s here and he has definitely changed my life by making me a Mummy! I look at him every day, in fact every hour and find that I have to remind myself that I made this tiny person and he is my responsibility. The days just seem to merge into each other (probably because I aren’t getting much sleep) and I am so proud of both myself and my little boy.