Welcome to the World Alice Amelia! Born 29th February 2012 and 9.40am!
Yes, yes. No "bump update" as such. More of a baby update! She's here at last, only 4 days past my due date. All that impatience and reading about natural inducing labour seems so silly now! But that's hindsight for you I suppose.
Before you read on, I feel I should add a quick note to all those mums-to-be who may be reading this while awaiting the arrival of their own little bundles of joy! What happened to me was really really rare and however horrendous it felt at the time, 4 days later we are both at home, happy and healthy. So if you are very nervous about giving birth or anything going wrong, it may be best to skip the rest of the post, though as I said it is rare.
No, it didn't got to plan. I actually went into labour on Sunday night, though it was very early labour, and looking back at it the pain I was experiencing was more like mild period pain. It stopped on Monday, much to my frustration, and so I made it to my 40 week midwife appointment. She performed a quick cervical sweep (nowhere NEAR as bad or uncomfortable as people make out!), and I was off home again. I was advised to go for a long walk to get things moving and I took this very literally. I walked so much that my legs were killing me when I got home.
Tuesday morning I WAS IN PAIN! Yes, I thought. This has to be it! So I went into hospital, all prepared for baby to arrive, only to be told I was only 2cm dilated and it could even be another week before she arrives. So off we went home again.
Tuesday evening I was once again in pain. A lot more pain than before. My contractions were all in my back which was really horrible. Apparently that's quite rare in itself. A hot water bottle and deep breathing helped at first, but I started to worry about not making it in time to the hospital. So at midnight off we went again.
I was sent home AGAIN after being told I was still only 2cm. This time, the doctor gave me some strong prescription pain killers to take. So I took them, got home and was so knackered that I passed out on the sofa.
5am, I was woken up by someone screaming, only to realise it was me! I jumped up and my waters broke all over the sofa! Now I knew I was in labour. Things really happened very quickly then. I was hit by extremely intense contractions and rushed to hospital. I got there at 5.50am. By then I was in so much pain I was crawling along the corridor!
I was checked at 6am to be told I was 7cm! 7!! I wasn't allowed pain relief, other than the good old gas and air, until they had monitored baby for a little while. So I spent the next half an hour getting high on gas and air, the pain getting more and more intense, until I finally asked if I could at least have some pethadine or something? The midwife checked me, and I was suddenly 8 cm! It was too late. I was doing this with no pain relief, no water, not even in my specially picked out birthing outfit! At that moment the best thing I could think to do was to shut my eyes and get on with it, which is exactly what happened!
The birth was one of the most surreal things I have ever gone through in my life. It was like I had no control over my body. Yes, it hurt, but it was a kind of pain which you can't really compare to anything else. It didn't feel like the pain you get when you hurt yourself, or something is wrong with you. You knew it was productive and that it would end soon. Another weird thing I wasn't expecting was that when you let your body do what it had to do and push, it didn't hurt! Pushing doesn't hurt, it actually stopped the pain!
After only 30 minutes of pushing, which is blooming hard work as well, Alice was born. I felt her placed onto my chest and opened my eyes (yes, they had been shut the entire time!)... And that's where things started to go wrong.
Alice was rushed away because she needed help to start breathing. At the same time, my placenta had decided it was not going to come out and I started to bleed, so an alarm was sounded and about 5 midwives ran in, followed shortly by surgeons and doctors. I was rushed out of the room to surgery for a spinal block and manual removal of the placenta which has resulted in a horrible 2 degree tear.
I was wheeled back to the room, exhausted and drained, and absolutely terrified there would be no baby.
But this story has a happy ending. Alice Amelia was lying in her daddy's arms, dressed in her little spotty hat and wrapped up tight in a white blanket. She was perfect, she was healthy, she was here!
My birth may not have gone to plan, but that's the nature of childbirth, you never really know what will happen. The doctors were amazing and the midwives were so helpful and lovely to me throughout the whole thing. But more importantly, my little Alice is finally here and we are both on the road to recovery!
Now the hard work really begins!