Well as you know I was having lots of irregular contractions for a couple of days and they kept getting stronger but then stopping again! (Grr!) Well by day 5 of this going on I sent Ross to work despite having contractions every 7-8mins all morning.
I had a midwife appointment that afternoon which Ross was taking me to so I felt relatively calm and just pottered around the house, looking after Ryan and basically being in denial about the contractions I was now having every 4-6 mins. They were making me go "oooh" lol but still I thought I wasn't in labour!
Went to midwife appointment, but this point I couldn't sit down during each contraction. I sat down in the midwife’s office she said "Hi Laura, how are you?" and I bent over, shut my eyes and started mooing like a cow as I dealt with another pain. The midwife then laughed and said "looks like you're in labour". So she checked me and I was 3cms and 100% effaced! Baby's head was "as far down as it can be without being born!" as the mw put it!
Still I didn't believe I was in labour! LOL
So went home, put Ryan down for his nap and proceeded to time the contractions (thank you contractionmaster.com!)
So then I watched Friends - ironically enough it was the episode where Rachel was in labour! Haha. By this point Ross was frantically answering emails and phone calls from work and trying to tie up some stuff so he could take me to hospital Then Ryan woke up from his nap, we sent him across to April’s house and then the contractions upped a notch. (I think it was the relief of knowing he was safe and out of my hair that made things progress)
Before we know it I start to whimper and scream with each contraction and they were coming every 2 mins! They started to feel “pushy” as well. We jumped in the car and Ross was racing up to 120mph on the dual carriage way honking at cars to get out the way - while I screamed the place down during each pain!
We got to the hospital, had to climb 4 sets of stairs to get to the labour ward! (Lifts were taking forever!!) and a kind midwife saw me leant over the banister and crying so she held my hand and took me straight into an assessment room. They checked me and I was only 3-4cms!! I was devastated!
The contractions slowed down - perhaps it was the nerves of being in hospital. But I was taken to a delivery room (which had it’s own en suite! Nice) got changed into a nightie and they gave me the gas and air! (hello old friend!)
This is where things start to go crazy. Basically I started taking the gas and air for each contraction and having a break in between - then the contractions decided to come one after the other. I remember crying out through gritted teeth “I WILL do this without an epidural!!” at that the midwife and Ross laughed at me. I had to stay on the gas and air as the pains were coming constantly. So then I was in a cloud of confusion - I was no longer aware of time or my surroundings. I felt encased in this horrendous pain that seemed to take over my whole being and everything around me (Ross by my side talking to me and the midwife checking baby’s heartbeat) was all being registered in my brain a few seconds later than when it really happened. I began to feel like I was watching my own birth from a different viewpoint.
The pain was entering this “fog” that the gas and air put me in and was of such high intensity and so constant that I could no longer breathe it in. I was purely screaming - the sound brought me right back to Ryan’s birth just before I started to push. I knew despite only being 4cms dilated that Alex wasn’t far away. I felt wild and screamed and screamed - It was as if my whole body had been set on fire - this deep burning, ripping pain started in my core and radiated throughout the whole of my body (literally from my head to my toes!) But I hasten to add that it didn’t last long! Before I knew where I was, my body started to push! “Tell them I’m pushing” I grunted to Ross before closing my eyes and sucking in the gas and air again. There was only one midwife in the room as she didn’t think I was that far along, before you know it I’m being shouted at to “stop pushing!” and the midwife is yelling at Ross to press the emergency button as she struggled to get her gloves on! Then my beautiful bundle of joy flopped out onto the bed in his water sac. I literally “breathed” him out whilst on the gas and air - my body did all the pushing. I didn’t feel any pain either, no ring of fire this time round!
Midwife popped the waters, and threw my son onto my chest. He was completely blue and slippery but crying - tears flooded my eyes as I just wailed “oh baby! Hello baby! Oh! Oh!” over and over again. He felt so tiny in my arms! There was a such an overwhelming rush of warmth and love that flooded my senses - all that pain became a distant memory, instead I felt whole and safe and overjoyed! (Not to mention dang proud of myself! Woman Power eh! Lol)
I didn’t tear or graze and I’m pretty sure that was down to me not actually forcefully pushing the baby. Oh boy was it painful but my beautiful Alex was worth every moment of it.