On 30th January I thought I was getting contractions. The pain was pretty intense on and off and I was timing them, but there was no consistency. So I was bouncing on the ball and walking around, using the TENS machine, taking paracetamol when I felt I needed it and using a heat pad on my lower back. I then thought, as the evening went on, the contractions were getting closer. I was in touch with the CUMH that day, so rang them again and filled them in. The midwife said to make my way in for a check-up. So my partner and I got all our stuff in the car and headed into CUMH after dinner. I was thinking that if I was in proper labour I probably wouldn't be able to eat dinner, but I did, so wasn't sure if it was the real thing. The pain was pretty intense, so I was hoping it was real! I noticed on my way in that the contractions were getting further apart time wise.
We went into the hospital and I was checked and the midwife confirmed I was only 1 cm dilated. She said I was only in the very early stages of pre-labour and that it would probably be best if we headed home. We were gutted! But we headed home and I had more contractions on the way home in the car - only one or two and nothing major. When we got home, we unpacked the car and went to bed. I couldn't really lie down, as the pains were really intense and I felt like I needed to go to the loo!!! I stayed up watching rubbish on Netflix. I slept a bit on the sofa and about 6 am woke my partner and asked him to get up and keep me company!!
He suggested running a bath for me to help ease the pain. From that point on, I had very little pain. I stopped using the TENS machine, as I felt it was a bit cumbersome to bring around the house with me. I was taking panadol as much as I needed to and found that and the heat pad on my lower back very effective.
I had pretty intense pain on and off as the day went on, felt like I needed to go to the loo, but couldn't. About 5, or 6 I thought my waters went but I wasn't really sure. I rang CUMH, they said to make my way in when I was ready, but not to be disappointed if I was sent home again that night. So off we went again, packed up the car and headed into CUMH. I listened to my tracks on the way in and slept most of the journey from our house (which was about 40 minutes away). When we got to CUMH, I joined the queue in the ER again (second night in a row!). My partner went off to get food as we hadn't time to get dinner. I didn't feel like eating anything. When he was gone I ran out to go to the loo again twice. The third time the door into the ER was open, so I walked in there. The nurse at the desk said I should use the loo out in the hallway, but I said 'no I'm afraid I have to go here'. When I got out of the loo, I asked the midwife if someone could please check to see if I was in labour, as I was in a lot of pain and couldn't go back out into the waiting room. The midwife sent me into one of the cubicles and said she would check me out in five mins.
The midwife came in and checked me and confirmed I was fully dilated!!!! She asked who was with me and went out to the waiting room to get my partner. He came back with her and helped me out on my shoes. She said normally they would bring people down in a stretcher, but she thought I looked like I could walk, so off we went following her downstairs to the delivery suite. There were two midwives in the room waiting for me. I walked into the delivery suite smiling and they were shocked that I was fully dilated! Oliver went out to get my bags in the car. They said they would leave us to get settled and would ask me to start pushing after about half an hour/40 mins.
I used the gas and air for contractions after that and found it a huge help. The pushing was very difficult and I was pushing for about an hour. My doctor was there and she used a little bit of suction for the very last push, but I needed a hand then as I was completely exhausted.
Our little baby was born, eyes wide open just then, at 10:30 pm on 31st January. It was and has been the very best feeling ever since. I am so delighted with how my Labour and birth went.
I've been promoting Gentle Birth and will continue to do so. As well as GentleBirth, I was going for regular reflexology treatments and found those to be another vital part of my pregnancy, labour and birth journey. So there you go, it only took me 8 months to update you!
Wishing you all the best and I'm happy for you to share my story.