First time mum’s natural birth in hospital

The day before Little Man’s birth, I was feeling a bit more tired than normal. I had planned to clear out the wardrobe in the baby’s room, and I made a start on it, but soon after I started, I hurt my shoulder – not sure how. So I took it easy the rest of the day. I had already slept for 11 hours straight the night before, but even so, I slept for two hours that afternoon. When it came time to go to yoga I was still too tired so I went to sleep instead. Just as well! I was also starving and ate a huge big dinner. At 10pm I was lying in bed, writing emails to people and wishing hubbie would hurry up and come to bed. My stomach was a bit crampy – but I was going to the toilet a lot, and I honestly thought it was just wind. By the time my other half came up to bed, at around 10.30pm I was feeling very tired, so I decided to listen to my relaxation/self hypnosis tracks. When the tracks finished playing (which takes about an hour) I was still feeling a bit crampy, so I decided to get up and go an bounce on my birthing ball/yoga ball for a while to ease the pressure. So I went downstairs to do that, and listened to my relaxation tracks again while I did. I was also a bit curious if something was happening, so I started timing the sensations I was getting, and realised they were coming fairly regularly – about every five minutes and lasting for a minute at a time. At 1.30 I woke hubbie and said I wasn’t sure but I thought something was starting to happen. He made me ring the hospital and they told me not to come in unless the contractions were stopping me in my tracks.

“Oh – wait, you’re at 6cm. We’d better get you up to the delivery suite right now.” I was never so relieved in my life. Hubbie and I both nearly started crying with relief.

The contractions were strong, but more pressure than pain, and they certainly weren’t stopping me in my tracks. So I had a bath, and after that, hubbie said let’s just go to the hospital and see what’s happening and if it’s nothing, we’ll book into a nearby hotel. At least we will be there then. We were concerned about how long it would take to get to the city centre from Home if we waited too long because we’d get stuck in rush hour traffic. So we headed into town. When we got to the end of the motorway, there was a diversion due to roadworks, and we got stopped on an entry ramp to the motorway for 20 minutes. We literally did not move a foot in that time. It was around then that I decided this really might be labour. At that point I started using the acupressure point on my hand to help with the contractions. Up to then, I was just relaxing and using my yoga breathing.

Anyway, we got going again and made our way to the car park, and parked up the car. I think I got 3-4 contractions on the walk over from there to the maternity hospital – and as we were crossing the street, I suddenly got sick. After all that excitement we got to the hospital at 3.15am. And then we sat in the waiting room until 4.30pm. Hubbie was a bit anxious at that stage, but I figured what’s the worst that can happen – we’re here now. I still wasn’t entirely sure I was in labour, so I was happy enough to wait. When I was finally seen, they hooked me up to a trace and that was the only time I felt a bit like I couldn’t manage the pain. This was one of the things about my labour that I would change if I could. Up to that point hubbie was pressing the pressure points on my back and it was really fine. But when I was lying on my back, obviously he couldn’t do that. They left me on the trace until 5.10am. It would have been so much better if I could have stood for the trace. That time on it felt like a long time.

Then the midwife came back in and said she would examine me. She said “I have to warn you though, I know by looking at you that you are not in established labour yet. I’d say you are still in the early stage.” She left the room for a minute and I said to hubbie “Oh my God, if this isn’t established labour then I am going to have to get the epidural.” But then the midwife came back in and checked me and said “Oh – wait, you’re at 6cm. We’d better get you up to the delivery suite right now.” I was never so relieved in my life. Hubbie and I both nearly started crying with relief. It was at that point while the midwife was saying how she couldn’t believe how I was at 6cm that I realised that the GentleBirth was working. And at that point, I knew the acupressure was going to work, because as soon as I could get off the trace and move around again it was totally manageable again. In fact the difference was quite shocking.

newborn

So up to the labour ward we went, and when they examined me at 7am, I was at 10cm. And sure Little Man was born within the hour. The pushing was tough, but at that stage, I knew he’d be there soon and of course he was! I tried to use the gas and air while pushing, but I found it didn’t help at all, so I stopped again. And as soon as I started just letting my body do what it needed to do, he was out! It was incredible. I got to hold Little Man while they gave me a few stitches – and believe it or not, after all that labour with no drugs, I was sucking away like crazy on the gas and air while I got the stitches. But it was done after a short time, and then I got to walk down and have a wonderful shower, and by the time I got back the delicious tea and toast was there. I felt a bit shaky for a little while, but I also felt great.

All birth stories and images featured in 42 weeks have been generously shared by members of the public in Ireland. If you would like to take part and share your story, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch through the website http://www.42weeks.ie, through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/42weeks or follow us on Twitter at @42_weeks.

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