With my first baby, we were in the midst of renovating and moving house so I was in no rush for my monkey to make an appearance. Well this time being heavily pregnant with a toddler (who had just learnt to walk), and being more ‘prepared’ (if that’s even possible), meant that I was counting down the arrival of my little munchkin from around 36 weeks pregnant…Do not listen to people who tell you second babies arrive sooner, it will only make you feel disheartened, and the wait feel even longer!
I laboured at home for the majority of my last labour and coped well with a ‘mama’ tens machine and bouncy ball. I got to hospital when I was 9cm dialated which I was quite chuffed about.. so surely second time round was going to be even easier.. or so I thought!
My contractions started on Friday evening but they were short, only lasting around 30 seconds, and very bearable. So much so I managed to sleep okay at night, but woke in the early hours as the pain was increasing and then didn’t go back to sleep. I now know this was a bad idea and I should have got as much sleep as possible…
My husband was home and my mum and sister had come over, so my monkey was well taken care of for the day. I spent the day upstairs, out of sight of my toddler, catching up on eastenders with my tens machine on and half heartedly using the bouncy ball. I kept thinking that the contractions were no way near as bad as last time, but put this down to the fact that last time I experienced back labour and it killed.
By the evening, the frequency and pain had intensified but was still very manageable. But, having had them for 24 hours at this point, I was convinced I must be almost ready for labour, as surely labour second time round is supposed to be quicker?! My contractions were every 3-4 minutes so off we went to hospital to be examined. After allll that, I was a measley 2cm dialated! I was gutted, although I was laughing and joking through the contractions so should have expected it really. The midwife did say that although I was only 2cm, my cervix had thinned out considerably and was in a good position (not posterior if I remember correctly) so I had ‘done all the hard work already’. She said she thought I’d be back by 1am and I’d have a baby by the morning… hmm. So at around 10pm we left the hospital in search of some nice food.
It was not our lucky night and we drove around for over an hour as everywhere we went had ran out of what we wanted or were no longer doing take aways. We settled for a greasy burger and chips and went home to eat it. My contractions were still bearable but were a lot more painful. I had stopped timing at this point as I was just getting disheartened…
I had just finished my greasy meal and was enjoying my coke (sat on my bouncy ball) talking of getting some sleep, when out of nowhere I heard something rupture in my belly followed by a huge gush. My waters had broke, it was horrible, the water kept coming! It was literally like you see in the movies and so unexpected as last time only my front waters broke, until the very end when I was too out of it to notice. Luckily mum and my sister cleared it up, helped me change clothes and off we went back to the hospital.
We joked that we had a mystic midwife as it was exactly 1am when we returned, just like she predicted. My contractions had really intensified now and I was in A LOT of pain. But when she examined me I was only 3cm.. I was SO disheartened, I felt ready to push and had contractions less than a minute apart. I wasn’t allowed to stay in the delivery suite, and could have no pain relief. Apparently even if I wanted paracetamol I would need to be admitted on to a ward… no thanks.
I really didn’t want to leave, and the midwife tried her best to let me stay, but the strict rules meant I had to leave again. I literally wouldn’t leave the room so eventually she suggested that we took a walk around the hospital for an hour then came back. So we walked for five minutes back to the waiting room, where I then told my husband and sister that I wasn’t walking anymore and didn’t want to get into the car and go back home as I was in far too much pain and this baby was coming soon.
We stayed in the waiting room for around 40 minutes while I experienced the worse contractions. I had given up on my tens machine a long time ago so was relying on my sister and husband to rub my back through the contractions. I was getting fed up of going backwards and forwards so I decided we would go back to see if my labour had progressed and if it hadn’t I’d accept it finally, and we would go home and wait it out there.
I could barely walk back to the delivery suite, and when we got there and Betty (my midwife) finally examined me (a long time after we arrived as she said she wasn’t going to this time she just wanted to observe me), I was FULLY DILATED! Woohoo! I felt like saying I told you so, but I knew it wasn’t Betty’s fault, she had tried to let me stay.
Straight away I asked for gas and air, but Betty, (and another midwife who suddenly appreared out of nowhere) said no! Great! They told me I really needed to push and get the baby out… so I tried my best, I could feel a sense of panic in the room so tried to focus on finally meeting my baby, which helped me push. Both midwives stayed in the room which added to the panic and they called for a resus kit… I knew I had to push this baby out and quickly, and 15 minutes later my beautiful baby boy was born. I laugh when I read my hospital notes as I was technically only admitted for 15 minutes… but that’s because I spent almost an hour in the corridor before hand!
My poor little munchkin was very blue and didn’t cry on his arrival but I was told he was fine… he had the umbilical chord stuck around his neck, hence the panic I had picked up on, but we got him out nice and quickly so all was fine. My baby latched on straight away but I was so tired that I was falling asleep whilst he had the world’s longest feed. I kept nodding off, only to be rudely awoken by somebody stiching me up (great another tear, I thought, how unlucky am I). I had lost a lot of blood so was told to shower up then get some rest but that I would be going home by lunchtime.
I couldn’t wait to get home, baby was checked over and given the all clear so now I was just waiting on a blood test and then we could leave. I waited hours and hours for the test and finally had it late afternoon, to be told at 8pm that I had to stay overnight as I had lost a lot of blood and was at risk of a blood clot. I was gutted, I wanted to get home and I knew my toddler would be missing me. I was cheered up a little by the Nando’s the husband hand delivered to the hospital (a Nando’s post labour is turning into a tradition). All was well the next day and we were able to go home and spend some time as a family of four 😍😍.
My beautiful baby boy was born on Sunday 18th February at 4.48am, weighing 7 lbs and 4 oz (much bigger than we were expecting)… I am now officially outnumbered by my 3 boys 💙.