Being overdue was awful, after trying all the usual methods of trying to bring on labour and having 2 sweeps I was starting to accept that I may have to be induced. I decided to have a little chat with my baby girl to let her know it was time and at 4 am the following morning on 3rd October 2012 (9days over) I woke up to cramping & backache. As the morning went on I started to have more regular contractions which were uncomfortable but manageable.
By 3pm that afternoon the contractions were getting closer and more intense so my husband and I went to the birth centre at Wexham park.
Thinking this was it i even put on my makeup before I left so I would look nice in the ensuing photographs! (those of you who have been through labour will be sniggering at my naivety!) I had my huge hospital bag at the ready which planned for every eventuality (or so I thought!) I had my birth plan, nighties & toiletries galore, an especially purchased swimming costume for the birthing pool, a relaxing cd, lavender oil, food & drinks & a million other things that would never make it out of the bag!
Once at the birthing centre a midwife examined me and I was informed I was only 2 cm dilated and they were sending me home. I could have cried during the taxi journey home, I was so disappointed.
Back at home the contractions were getting increasingly painful as was the backache. Very quickly I couldn’t sit, stand still or lie down & spent the next 3 hrs pacing, going up & down the stairs & leaning over the bed. My husband was frantically following me around with a tennis ball trying to massage my back with it (a tip from Debra’s antenatal class). Nothing seemed to be helping so I just tried to concentrate on my breathing & kept moving. In the end my husband gave up following me around with his trusty tennis ball & decided as I wasn’t letting him do anything the best course of action was to sit next to me and play angry birds!
We phoned the birth centre back & told them my contractions were closer together & very painful but as they weren’t ‘close enough or long enough’ and my waters still hasn’t broken I was told to stay at home. I remember thinking to myself this can’t be right it’s too painful not to be time to go in surely? But as it was my first time & the ‘midwives knew best’ I decided not to trust my instincts & stayed at home.
Over the next 20 mins I made my husband ring the birthing centre 4 times telling them it must be time to go in (whilst I was screaming in the background) but was repeatedly told to stay at home. suddenly I dropped to my hands & knees & felt the most immense pressure. My body had started to push. Another phone call and The midwife said maybe it was now time to come in!
My husband phoned my parents to take us to the hospital but they got stuck in traffic & so he called his friends instead. They all arrived outside the house at the same time but there was no way I could get into a car, I was having this baby now!
As I got to the bottom of the stairs my waters ‘exploded’ drenching me and the carpet. I then started to push again and could feel her head coming! I remembered what Debra had told has in her class about not trying to make it to the hospital if you had left it too late and told my husband to ring an ambulance. Whilst on the phone I could see the colour drain from his face as the phone operator told him to get ready to deliver our baby! Luckily the ambulance arrived very quickly but unluckily in walked in 2 very sheepish male paramedics who told me I wasn’t having this baby here & I should stop pushing immediately! My body had other ideas & no matter how hard I tried I could not stop pushing.
I was taken out to the ambulance & by this point I had acquired quite an audience of parents, friends and concerned neighbours who had gathered to see the wailing, wild haired lady with makeup smeared down her face & just a towel covering her modesty!
We made it to the hospital, blue lights and sirens clearing the way, all the time being told I mustn’t push!
We arrived at the hospital and I was mistakenly taken to the labour ward instead of my birthing pool that was being filled for me, but by this point I just didn’t care.
As they weren’t expecting me I was rushed into the admissions room & told my baby was on her way out and I should push! By this point I was most confused and had to ask repeatedly if I was allowed to push! So without so much as a whiff of gas & air I pushed and within half an hour of arriving at the hospital we finally got to meet our amazing baby girl Mia.
Mia was placed on my chest and my husband and I shed a few tears as we welcomed her to the world, saw her beautiful face and heard her cry for the first time.
So I never did get my pain relief or my water birth, or to wear my maternity swimsuit, or listen to my relaxing cd whilst taking in the calming aromas of lavender, or use my multitude of lotions & potions, & I certainly didn’t look picture perfect ready for my photo opportunity! But none of that mattered because in that moment when we met our beautiful daughter for the first time all was right with the world & for the first time in my life I knew my reason for being. Our darling daughter had completed us & we were now a family….. Little did I know the really hard work was just beginning…….