My adventures into Motherhood
At 2am in the morning, I was rudely awoken by a wet feeling……YIKES – I’m paying for not doing my pelvic floor exercises religiously and I’ve peed the bed! I jumped up and ran to the bathroom – well, as fast as you can when you’re 34 weeks pregnant anyway. In the full glare of the bathroom light, I realised that it wasn’t pee, it was my waters breaking! Or was it? Is this what it was supposed to feel like? It’s too early?!?!?! I sat down on the toilet to gather my thoughts and with a plop, the show dropped out…….a definitive mucus jelly thing with a little blood. OK I thought – that’s 2 of the first signs of labour.
I hopped in the shower, and reassured myself that labour comes on slowly, it can build up over the course of 24 hours, so there’s no need to panic – I had plenty of time. In the shower I thought about all the things I hadn’t gotten ready; my maternity bag wasn’t fully packed, I didn’t have my nursing wardrobe ready, my seamfree underwear was still in it’s packaging! My thoughts were interuppted by my first contraction. Now, I know I’m a wuss when it comes to pain, but I really thought the cramping feeling was quite strong. When I hopped out of the shower, I had another one! Weren’t they a bit too close together? I thought they were only supposed to be well spaced out in the beginning??
I rang the hospital and let them know how early I was, they told me to come in straight away. So I went to wake Nath up by switching on the lights full and announcing “My waters have broken”. Blinking at the news, he gallantly recovered within seconds and asked what he needed to do, then he helped me pack my bag and ordered us a taxi. I quickly threw on a load of washing so that Nath could bring some clean clothes to the hospital later. Luckily, we were only going to ChelWest which is very very close to our house!
By the time we were ready to go and the taxi had arrived, I’d had several more contractions and they were only minutes apart. I kept thinking that my ante-natal teacher had lied to me! She’d said they would be mild and that you could sleep through the first stage of labour! My contractions were nothing like I expected and there was one that hit me in the lobby of the hospital so bad that I had to stop and wait for it to pass before I could get into the lift! Nath helped me up to the Kensington Wing, where they were expecting us and showed us straight to our room. The midwives got me settled in and I let them know that I was supposed to have a scheduled C-section in a month, so could they please get the Obstetrician and the Anaesthetist – like RIGHT NOW. I didn’t get my usual Obstetrician, as he wasn’t on-call, so after a little bit of a wait, getting into a chic hospital gown and compression stockings, sucking on gas’n’air, I was introduced to Nick Wales who promptly gave me an internal examination. Hello!
I was already 3-4cm dialted, and Nick thought I might be able to deliver naturally given how quickly my labour was coming on and the fact my baby was so early and would be smaller. But I was not mentally prepared to push, all along I’d been discussing a C-section as my chosen birth plan, and hadn’t prepared at all for a natural birth. The anaesthetist came in as well, advised that I “should go easy on the gas’n’air because it can make you sick” and then explained the difference between the surgical epidural and a normal epidural. I didn’t hear much of what he said, cause I was like “Great, lets go – I’m ready for some pain relief”. They both wanted to check that I was entirely sure I wanted a C-section, so after some insistence from me and a quick scribble over the consent form, I was being wheeled to theatre! Just as well, because I don’t think I would have lasted much longer if I’d had to put up with those contractions for another couple of hours, and then had to push. It feels exhausting just remembering that time to write about it!
Once inside the theatre, I felt relieved and relaxed watching all the experts work quickly and efficiently. Everyone was very nice and came to introduce themselves, then went back to their jobs. The epidural was quick and painless, and then I felt my whole body relax as the anaesthetist checked that it was all working correctly. I almost fell asleep I was so relaxed! Nath was seated next to my head in his scrubs, and 10 mins after we started, we heard our baby crying as she was lifted out. I saw Nath’s eyes mist over, then our baby was checked over, and handed to Nath in her swaddling. The time was 5:48am on the 11th January 2011.
Welcome to the world Sofia Lyn Anderson!