Hi there. I'm going to hit you with my birth story now, so strap up buttercup because real life aint pretty.
When I found out I was pregnant I was adamant I wanted a natural birth, only gas and air. But this is my life, and we all know that shit NEVER goes to plan, but let me tell you how it came to me saying hello baby - my birthing story.
Days in labour? 3! So I'll start at the lovely shiny beginning.
I was sent to the women's hospital at 10 days over for an outpatient induction. Yep, we don't drive, it costs £20+ to get to the hospital but they got me there, inserted something into my swollen slightly groomed lady garden and sent me on my way? As I waddled on out with my boyfriend I couldn't help but feel a little disheartened. We got home and I was under strict orders from the boyfriend to just relax and stay sat/lay down. Later that night lay on the couch with slight period pains I was filled with hope. I wasn't sure this was labour I thought 'pft doddle' as I waited it out. I went to bed and then shit got real! Midnight I'm texting my friend and my mum, 'I'm in pain, they wont go away they are every couple of minutes' my friends fabulous response 'what kind of pains? Are they labour pains?' Now I want to say, my friend has 4 children, I was asking her because I thought SHE could tell ME! So I'm trying not to be sarcastic because these things are really starting to hurt me now "I think so, but how would I know I've never had them before?" She was dying to take me the hospital, this woman had messaged me constantly to see if I was in labour for a solid week, she's like a best mate/second mum. I've also got my mum asking the exact same questions so eventually I gave in to them both at around 1.30 am and rang the women's hospital. Only to be told by some snotty bitch called Joanne that "Ha, OK, you aren't in labour love, because if you were you would NOT be this calm, go to bed and ring us when you're really in labour." I couldn't believe the audacity of this woman! I'm stood up because I can't sit down, the pain is killing me, I got induced today and after me telling you that YOU'RE telling ME that I'm NOT in labour?? WHAT??? My mum was furious, my friend was ready to explode and go up there herself. I however just wanted this pain to do one. At 3 am I found myself in so much pain I had to get in a boiling hot bath, can I just take a moment here and say 3 am worries me, it's the witching hour and our bathroom light was broke so getting in a boiling hot bath in the dark at 3 am, I don't think you could imagine the pain I was in to do that! But at that moment I'd have welcomed a posession, I already felt like I was inhabiting the start of a very demonic period of my life, this pain was getting to the point of chopping my arm off so I could focus on ANYTHING else.
Morning came round, it's 6:30 am and I'm still awake, except I'm in complete agony now, I'm getting baring down pains, it's a bit like when you really need to push for a poo but the pain is in all the downstairs regions! My boyfriend was officially up now asking "what can I do? Want to go the hospital?" I'd fought him off for hours with this repeating "No! Joanne told me I can't go because clearly I'm not in labour" through gritted teeth and a death glare. Fucking Joanne! How does she know the ongoings and warning signs of my vagina by phone, drs can't even diagnose my tonsilitis over the phone but this woman thinks she knows my crotch goblin ISN'T on his way out some how?! I'm in way too much pain at this point so we get the stuff together and off we go to the hospital. The taxi driver is trying to talk to me "you in pain girl ye? You in pain?" No I always make sounds like an angry cow being yanked backwards, I just like the sound. OF COURSE I'M IN PAIN! The man was relentless asking political questions and what I think about the government at the moment - I hate politics! I do not give a shit, the sky could fall down and I could find out we all exist solely in the underpants of a giant dungeons and dragons addict for all I care, Boris Johnsons manifesto doesn't phase me one tiny bit, I AM HAVING A BABY! We get there, he gets no tip after informing me of the possibility that I may have my baby in his taxi 'because it's happened before' of course it has you baldy nugget. We get to the hospital and go straight up to the midwifery lead unit. I'm greeted with "We're expecting you, you're name is on the board." hmm, looks like Joanne didn't check the friggin register doesn't it? Not in labour my arse." I go in and the contractions are hitting me hard, it doesn't feel right though. After an examination I'm told "you're only 1 cm dialated, you've not broke your waters or had a show yet so you aren't in labour." I'm sorry what? NOT in labour? I am, I know I am, I feel like my anus is about to collapse I KNOW I'm in labour. She tells us she will let us stay for a bit just to make sure, so she hooks me to a machine and tells me she will come check me in an hour. An hour goes by and in she comes, at this point I keep bending over with every gut churning labour pain. I have to lie on my back while she gives another internal "you're still only 1 cm but I can see you're in a lot of pain. I'll give you some pain relief medication and we'll give you a sweep." So my second sweep, I get over the pain and the uncomfortability, I'm used to that by now. Little word of wisdom, once you get pregnant your vagina becomes a local attraction, you start questioning why medical professionals AREN'T taking a look at every appointment.
Another hour goes by and it's time to switch midwives. By this point this tall blonde one and a trainee come in, I can't help but hate the trainee she is beautiful, really nice and obviously smart and here's me bent over like some moose about to be mounted and I've got to say, I don't sound much different either. I give my fella the 'don't you even acknowledge her' glare. The qualified midwife comes in, at this point I've threw up off the pain relief, a decent amount too may I add, and as she is asking if my waters have broke or my show been out I feel a slight gush, not like in the films, it's like a pop? I say "I think my waters have just gone." She plonks me on the bed much faster than I am comfortable with, probably due to me calling her a sadist after her accusing me of not being in labour despite the machine I'm hooked up to and clear agony I am in. She takes a look and confirms it. Now let me just make this clear. This woman had told me "If your waters go, we'll keep you in." So I was hopeful, FINALLY I'll be leaving with my baby! But no such luck. This... woman, decided nope. She didn't like me, she tells me "I'll give you pain relief and you can go home." At this point I really lose my shit. I can't tell you how tired, disheartened and frustrated I am at this point and right now the enemy of my LIFE is this woman, my anger is all directed at the bright red bullseye slap bang in the middle of her forehead! And I can't help myself. "YOU CAN'T SEND ME HOME! WHY DO YOU FUCKING HATE ME? WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM YOU BITTER OLD WITCH? YOU JUST TOLD ME I CAN STAY IN IF MY WATERS BREAK AND I HAVE MY SHOW, YOU JUST STOOD THERE WHILE BOTH HAVE HAPPENED AND NOW YOU'RE SENDING ME HOME SAYING I'M NOT IN LABOUR. WHAT IS YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM?! YOU CAN SEE I'M IN LABOUR. EVERYONE CAN SEE IT. YOU WANT ME TO SPEND ANOTHER £20 TO COME BACK IN 7 HOURS TO BE INDUCED? IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO MY BABY I'M COMING FOR YOU AND I. WILL. KILL. YOU." Like whoa steady on there Liam Neeson, but at that moment I couldn't have been more serious. She was a clout faced bitch and unnecessarily mean. Ironically zero maternal instinct considering her line of work. I accused her of wasting my money and just being an over all cowbag! (She was). I was met with "well, it's only 7 hours, then you can come back and be properly induced. You can wait 7 hours. If not come back." WHAT THE FUCK? I'M PUSHING OUT A BABY NOT BRICKS OF GOLD I DON'T HAVE £££'S TO SPARE! The trainee told me she would try and talk her round because she didn't think I should go home either. What an angel, my boyfriend could look at her now, but I'd still be watching . No luck off the little angel though, we got sent home.
My dad came and got us, home 4 hours later, in agony and completely drained of mind body and soul I got into yet another bath, fuck the water bill! But it got to 2 pm and I really couldn't hold it in any more. My boyfriend spoke to my dad who came straight round and took us back to the hospital. At this point when the pains hit I wouldn't cry, but I wouldn't speak either I've never felt a pain like it in my life. I'm like an elephant though, if I'm in pain I just want to be alone. I was in the maternity waiting suite in a dressing gown, mascara stained cheeks, bags half way down my face and paranoid that people kept looking at me. Every 5 minutes I'd walk away breathing heavily, keeling over and ready to die. Honest to God when I say that I'm not exaggerating. I felt like this was wrong. Nothing was as I had prepared, NOTHING! My dad now leaves and my mum turns up, she had asked to be in the waiting room because I just wanted me and my boyfriend in the delivery room, she understood, she was the same when having me and my brother.
Finally I'm put through to be checked over. I'm put on a monitor and the midwife/nurse does an internal, I'm oddly comforted by the fact that she reminds me of my friends mum. Eventually she says with a smile "you're 6 cm, I'm glad to say you wont be going home until you have your baby!" This woman! This woman with the fabulous tattoos and beautiful face, this woman then uttered those 7 magic words every labouring female loves to hear "Do you want some gas and air?" I JUMPED at the chance. She gets me it and talks me through how to use it and why. She gets my mum and wheels me round to the birthing room, where they all laugh at me because I'm high off my tits on this stuff it's weird I felt pissed, abstaining from drinking for 9 months and I'm rewarded by feeling shit faced whilst in labour, weird. But on my way round I voiced my worry on my boyfriend and demanding he keeps his head at the top end during the birth as I didn't want him to get fanny fright. If you know you know! They were all laughing at me, I didn't get it I was dead serious. But having to explain to your mum what fanny fright is could be awkward for some, but not me in my high as a kite state. No way. Lovely midwife introduces me to my new midwives, gives the handover, wishes me good luck, and goes.
My new midwives are so nice. I honestly couldn't fault them. Making me drink my water, extremely patient with the fact my stubborn arse keeps refusing to breathe without any assistance of gas and air and trying to make me comfortable as possible.
Let the show begin! Every 20 minutes I'm asking "am I ready?" To always be met with "sorry, not yet" it took me around 11 hours to get to 8 cm. It was mind numbingly frustrating. I was offered every pain relief in the book because no matter what, all the pushing I was no further along and no one could figure out why. By 8 pm the midwives changed shift and wished me good luck, I was sad to see them go but happy to welcome new faces as a slight change of scenery and new ray of hope. The new midwife checked me over and told me I was only 7 cm. I was then told why I was having so much trouble. My baby was pushing on the section that separated your fanny from your arse! He was trying to be born out my arsehole! OF COURSE HE WAS! They told me to stop pushing because it was bending his neck, but I couldn't, my body was in charge now, all those years of training it, controlling every single inch and aspect of my body to lose it now in the moment I needed it most. They offered me an epidural AT LEAST 3 times and each time I told them no. My mum (who was in the delivery suite due to my boyfriend telling her to come in, and thank God he did) told me to take the pain relief. After seeing and hearing me push for over 11 hours and working in the medical profession she told me I needed it, I needed the help, me? I needed it. In her words "you need to give yourself a break, don't listen to anyone elses stories you'll be fine, the baby will be fine, you need to help yourself a bit you've tried all day." At this point I was at a loss, my mums blunt honesty was her way of pleading, PLEASE take the help I want to meet my grandson I only have 4 more days holiday off work! After one final reluctant push I relented and took the pain relief. This was magical, I actually fell asleep through the epidural being put in my spine. Who does that, especially in labour? A woman who hasn't slept in 2 days that's who. It worked... for 30 minutes. Next thing you know it's waring off, but where? EVERYWHERE! This shit is waring off in patches. It's not working. Nothing is working and I'm being threatened with a c section whilst simultaneously being forced to drink water and being told my baby is tired. The anaesthetist comes in and looks a bit worried, but after talking me through everything gives me another dose and the top up drip. No pain relief seems enough.
The worry - now I've been in pain for days, been sleepless and I'm drained and wondering if there is even a baby in there any more. The midwife does another check and informs me a specialist will be in to check in a moment. I welcome it but can't help the angst, why a specialist, what's happening? She comes in and informs me that they will need to take a blood sample from the babies head to check his oxygen levels, PRE BIRTH! He's still in there, what? You want to cut his head whilst it's still firmly in the birthing canal? Yep, that's the one. They do it and leave us for 30 minutes. I'm repeatedly told if things don't speed up soon I will have to go for an emergency c section. I don't want that, not one bit, but if it's a choice between my baby being OK or my not having a scarred body obviously I'm welcoming the scalpel. My lovely midwives leave to go get something to eat, they bloody deserve it, and another midwife comes to take over whilst they are on break and my midwives tell me "don't have this baby without us", they've been amazing, one is only training and is in on her own free will, she isn't even getting paid! The specialist comes in 30 minutes later and takes another blood sample and I'm told my boys oxygen levels are dropping and he is distressed, I worry about brain damage, I voice these worries and at this point I'm requesting the c section. The specialist checks me and then tells me as if I'm finally graced by God "you're 10 cm you have to push". At this point my midwives come back in, I have those two, the stand in, the specialist, her trainee, and 2 others who probably just came in to see what all the fuss is about. I asked the stand in "why is the anaesthetist in here and all these people to be fed a false truth "It's just for me, I need the help." Liar. Now I'm being rushed and I mean rushed. I'm being told by the stand in "push" but being told by the specialist who is head on at the eye of the storm "don't push" then they switch instructions, this happens for a solid minute before I tell them to fuckoff because I can't push and not push and speak but be quiet all at the same fucking time! I'm numb from the waist down and have a hoard staring at a place I once referred to as MY FUCKING PRIVATES! And in the midst of it all I look up and I see the trainee slowly backing into the blue curtain behind her with her hand over her mouth as if she is watching a horrific murder occur, bitch this is the miracle of life! as I tell her "I don't think this is the job for you love", I'm laughing, what a sadistic bitch I am, I'm laughing while in agony and panic! I get told come on just keep pushing but I feel like I'm just shitting the bed. Repeatedly pooing in public, all my life I got told not to and now it's being encouraged. " PUSH" "No I'm pooing", they get the ventouse on his head and the specialist pumps it and pulls, "PUSH, IT'S YOUR BABY" me "No it's not it's poo I can feel it you're all lying to me" the ventouse pops off and she has to get another, now so much panic, "PUSH, YOUR BABIES HEAD IS OUT YOU NEED TO GET THE BODY OUT NOW!" I do it, I can't feel it but I know I'm doing it. This is the difference between life and death, my babies life is literally reliant on my pelvic floor muscles, I NEED to do this! It's not a comedy, it's not funny, it's scary, his life, my vagina, his life, my vagina, I focus EVERYTHING I have on this moment, my boyfriend is pushing my head into my chest under strict instructions from the midwife, one last push it takes all of my strength and energy and... he's here! Before I can comprehend what I've just done, he's launched at me like a rugby ball. I'm jabbed in the leg with a clotting injection and I pass the baby to my boyfriend. I feel a bit weak. I'm hemorrhaging. I knew I would. It's not massive but I knew it would happen, just like my mum and her mum before her. But it subsides, my boyfriend is holding our little alien headed boy who looks like Roger from family guy. He's grey and wrinkly and I love him more than anything I've ever experienced but my God he's ugly. I know this will change though and his head will go down. My mum holds him and I can see how overwhelmed and in love she is. I'm glad she came in.
My boyfriend passes me my baby and I just stare and stare and stare, you caused all this? You, my little womb mate. All this, all these people, all that blood and pain just for you? All 6lb 14.5oz of little amazing you.
I've never felt anything like it, I cried, I shouted, I was cut, sewn up like an old rag doll and you know what, I'd do it all over again... for you.
Now lying here, in this hospital bed staring into my little ones eyes, mesmerised by every single inch of his being I'm in awe. The hard part is over, oh, but the journey has just begun...