Saturday, November 5, 2011

Epidurals are for Wimps!

Cometh the hour, cometh the woman and rather speedily, cometh the child.  Of course, it's the long awaited birth post!

Clearly my little donkey foals don't like to stay in the womb too long, Joseph popped his head out 12 days early and his sister decided that 8 days before the due date that she'd had enough bathing in my amniotic fluid and would make her appearance.

Wednesday night and t'husband was tucked up in bed early nursing a hangover from his birthday the day before, I turned in around 11.15 pm having felt a bit weird all day, almost as though I had a cold or virus brewing.

Almost straight after lying down I felt a strange sensation like something popping on the left hand side of my abdomen, it was quite painful and felt extremely bizarre.  Five minutes later and I started to feel a pain spread through my groin, at first I put it down to the SPD but when it passed and then returned a few minutes later I figured maybe things were about to start.

A quick consult with Dr Google about what the first contractions feel like (a cross between period pains and wanting to poo—check!) and I knew we were in business.  I woke up t'husband telling him things were starting to happen and decided to have a bath—as you do.

I initially told t'husband we probably didn't need to rush but better to phone Ann (the lady who had kindly offered to come over and sit for Joseph when the time came) soon rather than wake her up at some random hour, it was 12.30am.

After about 10 minutes in the bath I realised that the contractions were coming thick and fast and that Ann needed to be phoned right away she had a half hour drive to reach us and then we'd have 20 minutes to drive to the hospital.

Out of the bath and dressed the contractions were now less than 2 minutes apart and full on, Ann arrived at about 1.15am and we made our way to the hospital. The contractions seemed to slow down on route to the hospital coming every 4 minutes or so and the first few weren't that painful, however they decided to speed up and become much more intense as we pulled up to the hospital with the result being me throwing up in the A&E department toilets whilst waiting for t'husband to park the car and return.

We were taken up to the delivery ward which was mercifully quiet, clearly I was the only one giving birth at that time.  Much confusion followed with me not understanding the most basic of questions, clearly my concentration was otherwise occupied with the constant contractions and in the end the on duty midwife gave up trying to get anything remotely sensible out of me and proceeded to examine me and break my waters.

We went through to a labour room (although cubby hole would be a better description) and she asked if I'd like an epidural, I nodded wimpishly and t'husband set about consoling me that they were getting the needle ready and it wouldn't be long.  I didn't have the time to tell him that the midwives were only preparing the drip and that I would have to wait for an anaesthetist to come and administer the epidural as the contractions were really severe and coming every minute.  I wanted to push.

It came as no surprise to me when the midwife shook her head and told me in the nicest way she could, that there wouldn't be any time for an epidural.  "You're just going to have to do this" said t'husband, winning a gold medal in stating the bloody obvious whilst I quietly wept over the lack of gas and air.

I was positioned in place and t'husband stood meekly by my side offering occasional words of encouragement whilst looking terrified at being so close to the 'business end' due to the size of the room.

Much huffing, puffing, grunting and gutteral noises, that I wasn't entirely sure were actually coming from me, and I was at the stage that will live will me for the rest of my life—the head was just there.  "Did I want to reach down and touch it?"  asked the midwife.  Good lord, no.  I was too busy freaking out over the feeling of having a watermelon, oh all right then, a canteloupe, stuck between my fanny and my arse and wondering what would happen if it didn't come out.   What seemed like an eternity passed, although was probably less than a minute, and at 3.10am a bloodied, squirming hot thing was placed on my chest.  T'husband grinning inanely stating "that was bloody amazing".

Much stitching followed with the midwife, clearly a keen cross-stitcher in her spare time, admiring her handiwork and then muttering to herself  that perhaps another one here... and here...  I fully expect my vagina to look a little something like this:

About half an hour later and with much more pain than I had anticipated, I finally managed to expel the placenta with the help of two midwives kneading my abdomen like a couple master bakers working on a bloomer.  I think both me and t'husband were slightly shell shocked to see the placenta plonked onto a trolley right next to us and left there for a considerable amount of time that left it almost impossible to avert our gazes.  I wasn't asked if I'd like to keep it.

So that was it, after 8 months and 3 weeks my pregnancy was over.  We had a long, thin, pink thing instead with a shock of red hair just like her brother.  Our short list of 3 names was quickly narrowed down to the winner, as of the three we really could only go with Amber.

Amber Sophia 2.795kg (6lb 2oz)  27-10-2011