39 weeks & 2 days
7.30am: This morning I woke feeling a little wet down there. Popped to the lavatory and didn't seem to have anything to show for it, so decided to clean my teeth and return to bed, however as I stood up a little trickle down my legs led me to believe that my waters had broken, even though I'm having painless contractions.
8am: A quick call to the midwife and a visit was imminent to confirm.
10am: The midwife shoes up, does the usual checks, confirms that it looks as though my waters have broken, but I'm not in active labour. Advises me to keep active, that she'll check on me later and that we'll need to head to the hospital if labour doesn't start on it's own.
3pm: We went for a little walk.
5pm: My contractions are starting to have a small ache to them and Prudie is still kicking away merrily. Waiting is so boring!!!
7pm: Still not much going on. My midwife called and advised that unless I am having three HUGE contractions every ten minutes by 7am, to call the Birthing Centre - so much for our home birth plan. I doubt my gorgeous one is particularly bothered to get anywhere quickly.
11pm: Still not much happening. I've sent Ro to get some sleep and am having mild contractions every 7 minutes. Yawn!
39 weeks & 3 days
1am: My waters have now officially broken...I'm going to try and get a couple hours sleep before heading in to St Tommy's.
3am: My waters are still flowing out of my body at regular intervals. They don't explain that once the brook starts flowing, it will continue at various intervals over several hours - gush!
6am: Still gushing water everywhere and little sleep. I'm a mess - emotionally exhausted and crying for no reason.
8.30am: We've arrived at ADU, St Tommy's, and I am now under observation having passed all of the checks: Abdomen pain? Are all fluids clear? Headaches? Flashing lights? Blah blah blah...
11am: We have met the Doctor and he's booked us in for the next available bed within the Ward; apparently everyone and their dogs are requiring Induction today, so we're in great company, and Tommy's is rammed full! We are officially part of 20% of births that start with the waters breaking and the contractions never showing up - which is nice.
Spoke to the Mothership and discussed how waters breaking are disgusting as you feel like you are constantly pissing yourself and you require a sodden adult nappy between your legs at all times, to which she replied "I've no idea, they were always broken for me", well isn't that nice for her, some people have all the luck.
12.30pm: Our Home Care Midwife has arrived and arranged for us to be moved to the 'Home from Home' unit and will now look after us for the next six hours. Hopefully the induction will speed everything up and Prudie will get her butt in gear, fingers crossed.
2pm: I've had the induction pessary, Prudie enjoyed having her scalp played with by the midwife. midwife. We have until 6.30pm to see if anything gets going, however at 2cm dilated, I doubt it.
6pm: Our midwife has headed off to enjoy her evening and we are waiting to be transferred to the Birth Centre for our Drip Induction, depending on our dilated I am upon arrival. I'm currently experiencing contractions every four minutes and they are pretty uncomfortable. Roll on the drugs!
8pm: There is a shortage of Midwives, so we need to wait for Home Care team members to be called in. I thought having a bath while I wait, might help with the pain. The bath is tiny and badly designed, I struggle to get my belly and knees past the handles and find it very hard to get out; it's comfortable and relaxing but did slow down my contractions, so I opt to get out again - with Ro's help, like a large Welsh crane.
(From this point, it was written post the event, I'm good but not THAT good)
10pm: It appears our room isn't available anymore, I'm guessing an emergency came in. Plus, the pain is getting mighty. The midwives bring me 'Gas & Air' and I ask if it's possible to get our antibiotics while we wait...as they are supposed to be administered four hours before birth climaxes.
11pm: Ro and I have found nice way to relax, listening to "Creedance Clearwater Revival," while lounged on the bed sucking the gas and air...however I keep on dosing off then being rudely awoken by a fresh contraction, not pain free. This sends me flying across the room trying to walk them off. But the rest of the vibe was blissful!
39 weeks & 4 days
12.30am: A new part of the contraction has started and I have a feeling it's the joyous birth canal moment...I fear I'm too late for any additional pain relief and I've no idea how I'll cope.
1am: We are finally being moved to the Birth Centre and not a moment too soon. I hobble around to the delivery room and am greeted by a lovely lady called Isatu, born and raised in Hereford by parents from Gambia - she's an angel. We also have a trainee called Jess from Cambridge, who is just so nice. My crack pipe and I are hooked back up and I'm in bliss again. I ask Isatu for loads of pain relief, however upon inspection I am 9cm dilated and advised that additional pain relief could slow down the rate of my contractions. I guess we are getting this show on the road, as it is.
1.30am: I have a crazy, crazy need to push (in line with a Thunder storm) and discover that I have no idea about which muscles do what and how to push a baby from my lady parts. After lots of dramatics and coaching from Isatu, I've got it, I hope.
The pushing starts and is exhausting, I've not slept in two days and now I need to use my bum muscles to extract a few kilos from my body, through a stretchy hole, and not just that, but I've got to engage my diaphragm and other big internal muscles to do so.
3am: Ro ponders why women in films are always so sweaty when giving birth, which must mean I look serene right now...
4am: The sun has started to rise and London looks beautiful. ..I on the other hand have requested ice for my back and cold flannels for my forehead and back of neck; I think Ro just discovered why ladies are sweaty in films and on TV.
4.45: I've done it, I've no idea how...my final contraction was dying and I heard someone say 'one more push and she'd be out, so I did it, I mustered up some energy and did it and out she popped like a greased up seal...literal - head out the rest will follow. She has a raise lump (around 2inches, in diameter on the top of her head), I assume it led the charge down the birth canal and she's all squished but she's perfect! Fucking perfect, I'm in shock and awe!
I had four tears, mainly internal: three 'firsts', one 'second', Isatu was a master seamstress and I advised her to go on 'Project Runway'. I also got pretty high on gas and air, as the anaesthetic didn't realty work and every time she removed the gauze it felt like someone shaking a tambourine in my lady parts. It took about an hour and a half to stitch me back together and I lost a litre of blood.
I'd say that the grossest thing was seeing Jess check that my placenta was present and correct, it looked like one of the crappest jigsaw puzzles in the world.
The constant stream of people to our room after we were transferred back to the 'Home from Home...' was frustrating, bearing in mind we hadn't slept in 48 hours and there was a 'Do Not Disturb' on my door, however I guess they have to do their job.
All in all, it was a roller coaster and something that as soon as it was over, I wanted to start all over again - I guess that would be the endorphins talking...I'm so in love but also amazed that I created something so utterly in tact and perfect! It is almost beyond my comprehension.