Thursday, 22 January 2015

My Labour & Delivery story



                            

Literally from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified at the prospect of labour. 
I'm somewhat notorious in my family for being the self diagnoser, the hypochondriac. I was always the kid in school having convulsions over the sight of the school nurse. I'm the kind of person that still has the plaster on their arm two days after a blood test. Even the sheer smell of a hospital is enough to leave me feeling queasy.
To think I would be pushing something the size of a watermelon, out of a lemon, as the ol' analogy goes, was extremely daunting for me, and something that was never very far from my mind the entire nine months,

In preparation I watched every Birth and Delivery vlog there was on Youtube. I read books, blogs, websites and trawled through countless message boards/forums online. I lived on Netmums.
I  even watched several series of One Born Every Minute despite my other half telling me it was a bad idea. "You''ll only go and scare yourself" he said,
In true stubborn pregnant woman style, I continued to watch it and continued to scare myself.

Hindsight really is a wonderful thing.
It's been sixteen weeks since I gave birth and I truly only have good memories of the whole labour and delivery experience, in fact I don't have any bad ones (just somewhat embarrassing
Over the last four months i've been able to push those not-so-glamorous memories to the back of my mind and are only brought up after a few  weekend drinks with the Mr, when i'll sheepishly ask
"How much did you really see?"

Being stripped down by my midwife and lowered into the birthing pool wasn't one of my most finest moments. It was like a scene reminiscent of Free Willy. 
You know, that infamous scene where Willy is released back into his natural habitat?. That was me.
Only I didn't have a big happy-faced audience clapping and cheering me on. I had my partner who (bless him), was telling me how beautiful I still looked (My foundation had melted off in the heat, my fringe was sticking to my forehead.....) 
He was what really got me through the experience. He didn't once leave my side and just seemed to know exactly what to say and had me laughing the entire time- particularly when he came back from the canteen wearing a hair net. "What the hell are you wearing?" - ' It said on the door you had to wear them' he said.
'Yes! if you are staff!' I don't think i've ever laughed so hard imagining him walking the hospital corridors in his hair net.
I've came to the conclusion that if you're concerned about what your partner see's or doesn't see in labour, you're most likely with the wrong person.
The whole experience just soldified what i've always known, he is both my partner, and best friend.

I had my first experience of pain relief at 37 weeks when I spent the night on the maternity ward with an infection. The pain was horrific and at one stage had me on my hands and knees.( I'd make an excellent extra on Holby.)
I was given a shot of pethidine before attempting to settle down for the night, and less than twenty minutes later, it hit me.
It hit me hard.
I informed the other half with a soft, dramatic whisper, that I was in fact dying, and he was to take good care of our baby.
"Don't talk like that" he replied.
It was like something out of a soap opera.
An extremely low budget one.
Or a sequel of a film, one that goes straight to DVD and you can't even recall any of the actors in it.
Had I been the midwife present I would have been roaring with laughter, retelling all my colleagues on my tea break.
If this was anything to go by, I was going to be a nightmare.

Fortunately for me, and everyone else around me, I found my labour surprisingly manageable. I sucked hard on gas and air, and watched The Great British Bakeoff in between contractions. We didn't have a birth plan but made our  midwife aware that we were happy to go along with whatever was best for our baby. 
I requested a shot of diamorphine towards to the end, when I was convinced my supply of gas and air had been cut off, and a few  bottles of lucozade sport later, my body informed me I was ready to push

                                


You grow up watching horrific labour scenes in soaps and films. Chaotic scenes in the labour room, women screaming so loudly they can be heard down the corridor.
I feel so fortunate that my experience was in a relaxed atmosphere, the lights dimmed with only my partner and one supportive midwife with us, who guided and helped me into different positions to make the delivery as easy as it could be.
There was no medical apparatus on display (I was in the home from home unit so all the equipment was carefully concealed away behind cupboards-not unlike ones you'd have in your own house) and while it wasn't remotely painless or easy, it was relatively quick and the end product was well worth any amount of pain I endured.
Eva made her entry into the world at 3.46am.
The greatest moment of our lives.
I hadn't really ever thought about having children before I found out I was expecting, but watching my partner cut the cord I knew this is exactly where I wanted to be in life.
We were a family.

                   

No two labours are the same, each is unique in it's own right. Whether it be a straight forward delivery, planned Cesarean, or an emergency one. It really comes down to what you make of it, like anything in life
I haven't met one mum that wouldn't do it all again if they had to, no matter what the circumstances of their labour were.
Life, what a little miracle.

           


           












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