When I imagined giving birth I pictured tranquil music, a tub full of warm water and a very intimate experience with Freddie, my labour was far from what I pictured.
It all started after a sweep I had on Tuesday 15th April, walking home I could sense it had worked because almost immediately I felt period like cramping. I carried on with my day and went to bed at around 10pm to only wake up a few hours later in very early labour. I bounced on my ball, ran myself a bath until Freddie woke up Wednesday morning. My contractions were around 5 minutes apart and lasted about a minute and a half, so I called the hospital. The hospital told me to stick it out until my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting only a minute long. So I carried on bouncing on my ball, we went for a walk and had some lunch. The pain was so unbearable and I could barely walk so we headed back home where I positioned myself crouched over the sofa. All of a sudden during a contraction I felt a large gush of water so I ran to the bathroom. Because I had large amounts of water and prone to a cord prolapse I had to call the hospital immediately if my waters broke so I did. They told me to come in.
Arriving at the hospital I was examined to only be told that the water that gushed wasn't my waters but was in fact my bloody show (to this day I believe the midwife got it wrong and it was in fact my waters) I begged the midwife not to send me home and to give me pain relief. So she showed me to our private room and I had the injection pethidine. I felt like I was floating and it really helped take the edge off my contractions it also gave me a couple hours of sleep.
About 2-3 hours later I felt another gush of water and my midwife confirmed it was in fact my waters and they'd be moving me over to the labour ward as I had requested for an epidural. I went for the epidural because by this point I was tired and just wanted to sleep.
Once I had been given my epi I instantly relaxed and could get some well needed sleep! My midwife stayed in my room the whole time checking how dilated I was every 4 hours. Early Thursday morning around 5am I was checked to only be 4cm dilated so I was then given a drip to speed everything up. Having my checks done my midwife noticed my temperature had rocketed so I also had to be given antibiotics whilst in labour. Let's just say I could tell it wasn't going to go smoothly from this point onwards.
It pretty much went on like this until 1pm on Thursday when I was given a final check and I was fully dilated and ready to push. Even though I couldn't feel my contractions my body was absolutely exhausted the thought of pushing terrified me because I felt like I didn't have energy to talk let alone push a human out of me!
My midwife said she'd give me an hour to push and if the baby wasn't here we'd need to consider other options. Her saying this almost made me believe she knew a natural delivery wasn't going to happen. I pushed and pushed and pushed my heart out but nothing was progressing. A doctor came in to speak to me and said we'd need to get the baby out via ventouse and if that didn't go to plan an emergency c section. I wanted to cry, after 48 hours in labour it had come down to an assisted delivery, I felt deflated. Signing the c section documents I was then wheeled into theatre and was pumped full of drugs which made me shake uncontrollably and also gave me the driest mouth ever. I begged for water but wasn't allowed any as I was now in theatre.
The doctors tried getting the baby out via ventouse and I remember her saying 'no this isn't working we need to push the baby back up' to then be told that they were going to prepare for the c section. I kept asking Freddie and my midwife what was going on behind the screen and if they had started yet and they kept fobbing me off with 'no not yet' obviously saying this so I didn't freak out!
About what felt like a lifetime (only 10 minutes later) out came my beautiful BIG baby boy, Maximilian de Metz, born 4.35pm on Thursday 17th April. As we didn't know the gender throughout pregnancy I remember seeing his manly private parts first and thinking 'OMG I have a baby boy!' I was adamant I was having a girl. I also couldn't believe his size he was massive and so swollen in the face and his poor head from the ventouse was severely cone shaped. I remember him being taken away for his checks and Freddie struggling to cut his cord as I looked on.
It was strange because after this everything is pretty much a blur. I recall Ryan my anaesthetist telling me that I would start to feel drowsy now and I instantly fell asleep. I think the 48 hours in labour followed by ventouse then an emergency c section had finally taken it's toll on me. I woke up in the high dependency unit a couple of hours later with both my boys by my side. I had to stay in hospital with Max for 5 whole days because I contracted a temperature in labour we both had to have a course of antibiotics. Having never stayed in hospital before, it was one of the hardest things I've had to go through probably harder than the whole labour and delivery itself as all I wanted to do was to be at home with my new family. What also sucked was Freddie spending the majority of his paternity leave in hospital and not at home too.
Even though a c section was the last thing I wanted for my labour and delivery. I'm so thankful the doctors and midwives reacted as quickly as they did. I now have a big healthy baby boy and can't believe he's all mine for the rest of my life!
I've also come to the conclusion that there's a very good chance baby number 2 will be just as big so a natural delivery won't be on the cards and that's okay as the recovery isn't bad at all. I'll be posting a 2 month postpartum update very soon so keep an eye out for it!