"In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony."

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The birth of Nathaniel - don't read if you don't like birth stories!

From Sunday 8th May, I was feeling poorly.  Tummy was sore, headaches, shivering, sore throat and generally not quite right.  But I had another week and a half at work so decided that it was just late pregnancy aches and pains and tried to keep going.  Have to say that I was in bed by 5pm on the Monday though as felt that I had flu - with hindsight, I know it was more hormones changing to wanting to give birth!

On Wednesday 11th May (38 weeks and 5 days pregnant), I woke up and couldn't walk properly - it felt as though there was a ball between my legs - and I thought that the baby had maybe dropped further or that I had slept funny so off I trundled to work.  Fortunately we had a special collapsed timetable day and I was down to do one-to-one work with C/D kids as their exam was on the following Monday so was not teaching full classes unlike the rest of the team. Was having mild pains all day but had had them for the last few days so wasn't worried. 

2.25pm - After lunch, I sat in department office to await first afternoon student, when I heard/felt a pop and a gush. Stood up quickly (because I was on a particular colleague's chair and I didn't want to get it wet) and Niagra Falls began. My trousers were stuck to me, my socks and shoes soaked and there was a puddle on the floor.  My first thught was that it couldn't be happening.  I had heard the jokes for the previous two weeks about my waters bursting at school but knew that statistically it was unlikely and was far more likely to happen when chilling out at the weekend.

In a panic, I waddled out to the corridor where fortunately a lovely female English teacher was and asked her to come over. She calmed me down, got me to the office and there I sat on a pile of towels and plastic bags awaiting my husband, while the admin staff tried to make jokes. Contractions were every 5 minutes but weren't long or painful.

3.45pm - Eventually got home - husband had to wait for the taxi driver as his car had broken down - what timing!!  Mad dash around the house ensued with me trying to get the dishes in the dishwasher (as we had all left for work/school in a hurry that morning), change out of damp clothes, get the heating on to warm the towels etc.

4.30pm - The midwife arrives and said that I was 5cm and very stretchy. Waters still gushing out. Began to think that they had it wrong about a big baby as never seen so much water. Plastic sheets all over the bed and floor and towels scattered around trying to soak it up.  Midwife got me walking up and down the stairs and got a second midwife there as she thought things were happening quickly. 

After 2 hours of walking up and down the stairs, pausing to breath through the contractions, I was feeling immense pressure in bottom so we thought I was 9cm ish. But contractions still only one in five minutes although a minute long and hurting so I couldn't talk through them. Although I was managing to laugh in between the contractions (goodness knows what was funny and no, I hadn't touched the gas and air!) - something which I have since read on my birth notes.

8.15pm - still nothing and time for shift change of midwives. I was tired and disheartened and kept saying that I couldn't understand why baby wasn't coming but that it felt there was something stopping him. The new midwife was a matron and straight away insisted on an internal, suggesting that I had another bag of waters preventing the baby coming down. I argued that I really couldn't have any more waters.  How wrong was I?!  

8.30pm - On examination, I was only 7cm and I promptly burst into tears thinking I had hours and hours to go as had only gone 2cm in all that time. But then she explained that she was able to stretch it to 9-10cm and that the waters had stopped the pressure of the head needed to dilate and stay there.  She broke the waters and there was so much of it (again!) and soaked everywhere (again). The next contraction was instant and absolute agony. The midwife said I had to get to the birthing area on the floor where I instantly had another contraction and tried the gas and air but couldn't get it to work so screamed the house down. Never had pain like it. The next contraction, was so painful that I bit the gas and air nozzle off and threw it across the floor and then found myself biting down on my arm as it was the only thing available. 

At this point I sunk to the floor but the midwife insisted I kneel up as the head was crowning and he couldn't get out with me sat on his head - shame as I was much more comfortable sat there even if he wasn't. Then the heartbeat dropped to 60 and the two midwives and my husband forced me to kneeling and I was told to push hard. Without having a contraction or urge to push I argued that I couldn't but she said I had to get him out now! So I pushed and somehow got his head out without a break and then his body at 8.45pm. He screamed straight away and was fine, and so was I. We were just a bit shocked by the events of the previous fifteen minutes.

So all in all, I was 5cm with no pain or problems, then took 3 and a half hours to get to 7cm , then ten minutes to get to 10cm and delivery a baby. 

Afterwards, she said I was very lucky that the waters were stuck there because if those waters had also broken at school, I would have probably had a 30 minute labour and had him at work! But that large bag blocked everything and meant a slow 5-7cm instead.

After the birth, I was helped back into my bed and sat there and fed him.  He opened his eyes and just looked up - the best moment ever!  The other children then came up and the midwives discreetly disappeared to leave us to have some 'family time'.  Everyone had cuddles and photos and it was just so lovely - something that you can't have in a hospital.

10.00pm - midwives had left us, I had had a bath, the girls had been packed off to bed and I was sat on the sofa cuddling my newborn son and thinking what a surreal day - gone to work as normal, managed practically a full day, waters broke at work, home to give birth, had a baby and sat in front of the TV by 10pm.
He is 7lb 3oz and 45cm (the shortest one so far) and absolutely gorgeous!

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