Well well well.. Labour... It hurts... Like really hurts... There's a LOT of blood... It's the most un dignified thing you'll do in your life. It'll make you shout, scream, swear, cry, pant, i even re call telling everyone i just wanted to die. Would I do it all again? Yes! 29th august 2010- The day i met my princess, my best friend, my world.
So my due date came and went. But of course it was my baby and realistically was never going to be on time. By this point though i had been 2cm dilated for a couple of weeks (for those who don't know, you need to be 10cm to give birth), was pretty fed up of being fat and just wanted to get it over with.
That morning I stood in the kitchen making breakfast and told Karl the baby was on Its way. Mothers intuition I think they call it. With it being the height of summer and roasting hot, we spent most of our time down at the beach, walking miles and miles. Karl works offshore but luckily we'd saved up enough money for him to take a few months off work. The last thing I wanted, was to be in labour and Karl stuck in the middle of the ocean in Norway. So this morning we thought we'd have nothing better than to go for a long walk down the beach, not easy when your heavily pregnant and weigh the size of a small elephant.
As we were walking along I started getting small period like cramps across my stomach and in my back, nothing too serious, but I did get a little exited! I soon forgot about the pains and it wasn't until later that day when they started getting worse, I thought I'd better mention to Karl. Like me, he didn't want to believe it was labour in case it was a false alarm. Not getting our hopes up too much, we went home and had a good bounce. . .on my birthing ball.
I'd soo so soo highly advise ANYONE to buy one of these. (You can use them during labour in the hospital too, check with your local labour ward first, as most do provide them during labour). Pardon the pun, but a good bounce always relaxed me and made me feel much more comfortable. Nothing major more happened, I wasn't howling like they do on eastenders, bent over in agonising pain, my waters didn't pop in asda like I kept dreaming they would, I just still had "period" cramp. I checked my hospital bag a million times, read my maternity notes, drank raspberry leaf tea. I didn't have a sudden urge to clean the kitchen or wash the bed sheets, scrub the floor or bleach the loo, I'm still to find any mother that "nested" before giving birth. To be honest, I couldn't be bothered, my belly got in the way.
Later that night my pains were more OUCH than just ow. But, my dinner came first and off we went to pick up a takeaway. . .Which I would later meet again. . .Having polished off my Indian, my pains getting a little worse and more frequent, I rang the labour ward. "Take 2 paracetamol and have a bath, relax and go to bed"... Yeah cos thats exactly what I wanted to do?? I wanted to watch X Factor... But I did. . .I lay in the bath for ages while Karl sat on the loo timing my "pains" (still in denial it was contractions as it still wasn't too bad. .) By 11pm that night, I pretty much told Karl too just take me to hospital as it was really getting quite painful. The next time we would be in that car, we wouldn't just be a be a couple. We'd be a family :)
On entering the labour ward, all seemed calm and there was no rushing around like excepted, I explained my symptoms to the midwive, told her how far along I was and I got taken into a room. The room itself was lovely, a water bed, en suite bathroom with a shower, mood lighting, chairs and of course the cot filled with blankets ready for the baba! The pain wasn't so bad now, the excitement took it away a little I think. I was examined by a lovely midwife who told me how well I was coping considering i was 4cm dilated!
This is where the fun and games started and the gas and air came out. Ahh sweet bliss. For some reason everything became funny, everything everyone said was just hilarious! I even remember sitting on the bed in the room by myself, laughing so hard I nearly fell off the bed. No idea why they call it laughing gas? But then up it came, I was about to meet my dinner again, and unfortunate for Karl, who scooped it out of the sink, I'd had a king prawn curry for dinner... Yum Yum!
I needed something stronger by now, and seeing as i didn't want a epidural, a shot of pethidine was perfect, in fact it was lovely! I loved the pethidine and had quite a few shots of it. You don't need a canular either, its just a small jab injection into your leg. It makes you totally relaxed, all lovely and sleepy. It also travels into your babies blood stream and once born, makes them sleepy too.
4cm - 8cm went without much drama, apart from me throwing up literally every 5 minutes and using every sick bowel in the room. By this time my mum was there too. I had two birthing partners, my mum and Karl. I entirely expected Karl being a man to freak out, but he surprised me and was fab. My mum, made me shout a lot, but without either of them, I wouldn't have been able to do it.
Ok. Now to explain the pain of contractions... It's a pain in its own. It's not a stabbing pain, an aching pain or a burning pain. But if I were to link it to something else, it's a bit like when you've got the runs, and you get that deep pain in your stomach. The kind that makes your toes curl, your skin tingle and honestly, I really did think I was dying. BUT I am a huuge drama queen, so maybe take a pinch of salt with that last part.
I was determined not to have a epidural, as a) I'm terrified of needles and b) I wanted to be macho and thought STUPIDLY I'd do better without one, that I'd be a better person. Baaad idea. At this point Lola turned back to back, and if I had of given birth naturally, my midwife told me it would be near impossible because of the pain if I didn't have a epidural. Soo after quite a few tears, shouting and screaming. I gave in. AND IT WASN'T THAT BAD! I leant over the bed "arched my back like a cat" and didn't even feel the needle, just the pure bliss of the pain melt away.
|Having an Epidural was not as bad as I thought it would be...|
By this point it was midday Sunday and i had been awake 20 hours. . .pretty tired yeah. So I took advantage of being whacked on drugs to have a little nap :) not for long though. . .All the drama was about to start again. I had been given too much epidural and it was rising into my chest. I was told if I had anymore it would go into my lungs and I'd be in major trouble. If your reading this and are pregnant or planning to be, do NOT let my bad experience put you off. If I have another baby, I would still most defo have one. It got sorted, I got propped up with pillows and it drained away. Two hours later, I was 10cm and ready to push...
Omg. Pushing. Actually no not Omg. OH MY GOD. Some people don't even need to push. Me? 4 hours. Yup. And i was exhausted. The nurses kept trying to get me into a robe. But nah, I wanted to look half decent and wore a summer dress from new look :) Lola kept rocking back and forward and I just couldn't go the extra bit! Apart from a lot of screaming, a lot of swearing, my legs in stirrups, Oh yes I did tell you there was nothing glamorous about child birth! There's nothing to tell, it doesn't hurt, its just tiring. At my ante natal classes, I got told giving birth, like the actual birth part would feel like a ring of fire. Have an epidural. . .and bang! I barely felt a thing! Except for the biggest feeling of relief. Ever.
The first time I met my beautiful baby girl. Lola-Grace Elizabeth Bruce. I'm a right softy, and as I write this I am welling up already. Amazing doesn't cover it.17.40pm. August 2010. 7lb. She was beautiful. And she was mine. I made her. And I had carried her for 9 months. I loved her from the moment I held her. All the pain, sickness, crying, shouting, discomfort all melted away as soon as she opened her eyes. No one else was in the room apart from me and her - or so it felt.
|Her first night in the hospital|
|And her first day back at home :)|
My love hasn't changed for her since this day. It's only grown. Every morning when I go into her room and lift her out of the cot and she smiles at me, is priceless. Whenever I'm having a bad day, I just need to look at her And she makes it all better. Through all my hospital visits and minor operations I've had she's been my rock. I know I'm only 21 and "should be out partying" I'd rather be with my baby girl any day of the week. Call me boring, but she's worth it. Babies change your life. Lola's changed mine and I wouldn't have it any other way.
For all of you waiting to give birth or fall pregnant, enjoy it. It's amazing. The first time you hold something you made, that you've had inside you, well I'll let you make your mind up on that one. Have fun. . . Your gonna love it!