As I shared Alice's birth story (find that here!) on this blog, I thought it was only fair to share Thomas's too! In direct contrast to when I had Alice, I actually had a really good birth this time round. I would even go as far to say I enjoyed it... is that a bit weird to admit?
Thomas was born on 28th August and I was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Believe me, I tried everything to get this baby out of me sooner! It's no fun being over a week overdue. So on the Tuesday I went to get a sweep to get things moving. The sweep was actually very uncomfortable, far worse than the sweep I had with Alice. Straight after the sweep I lost my mucus plug and had a bloody show so I knew it had definitely started something happening! I went home and went for a walk, but mainly just relaxed. I think I had got to the point where I was just going to let nature take it's course.
I left Alice with my mum and dad that night. It was really difficult to know when to leave her! I didn't want to have to wake her up in the middle of the night, so she spent a lot of my last week of pregnancy staying round my parent's house. I did begin to have pains that night and was very excited that I could be going into labour. But alas, after managing to fall asleep at about midnight, all the pain stopped and I was back to square one.
On the Wednesday late afternoon, I began to feel a few more random pains so left Alice once again with my parent's. I got home before Dave got in from work, and had a bath. I remember watching some random YouTube videos and then suddenly began to realise that I was having pain in my back, which was coming and going. I got out the bath and made dinner for us. Dave got home and I told him I wasn't sure if they were contractions because they were all in my back and I couldn't feel my stomach tightening too much... So we put Jaws on TV and sat back waiting to see if anything would happen.
Within literally half an hour, they were considerably more painful and I was sure they were contractions. I later found out that the baby was slightly to the side, which is why most of my pain was in my back. I used the iPhone app to time my contractions, you might remember I put a picture of my progress up on Instagram! I phoned the labour ward at about 9pm and was advised to take paracetamol and call again when they were 2 minutes apart. But after another half and hour, I had a feeling that I needed to get to hospital. They were still about 5 minutes apart, but the pain was really intense and I know with my first labour I progressed pretty suddenly... so we went to hospital.
As we walked through the car park I could barely make it 4 steps before getting another contraction! I was checked and I was about 6cm dilated. I was asked about pain relief and I immediately said epidural! I seriously had NO intention of getting one, but as soon as I was in labour it was all I wanted.
The checks were all done and the anaesthetist arrived with the biggest needle I have ever seen! I was checked one more time and told I was 8cm... did I still want the epidural? YEP. Thinking logically, of course I didn't. I didn't want to prolong labour, I didn't want complications and I had done it all before... But in that moment, I needed it. So in it went!
After the epidural, everything was calm. I was able to talk to Dave, get excited about meeting Thomas and get some rest! Pushing him out was pain free and completely amazing. I wasn't scared and... I can't even put into words how incredible it was when he was handed to me. He was perfect.
There is so much pressure on women to give birth with no pain relief. I feel like everyone is always boasting about how easy it was for them, how they only needed one puff of gas and air... and good for them! But I did that once and it was not an experience I was willing to go through again! That epidural saved my life and gave me the birth I had wanted!