Hello! While Ruth has a snooze and I 'rest' while the washing machine does its stuff, I thought I would check in - sorry its been a while. There have been some mums with newborns who updated very quickly after the birth, but I am not one of them, so sorry!

The birth itself was good, although at the time it felt traumatic. It was only after I had had Ruth and heard other people's birth stories, or heard the woman down the hall screaming and all the staff on emergency procedures for her that I realised just how blessed we all were.

I had been having contractions for about a week before things really started hotting up. Saturday morning (4th Oct) Hubby and I went out for a Maccy D's breakfast and to pick up some things from Homebase. I was contracting every 10 mins or so but they were bearable and I was still able to waddle. The contractions kept coming for the rest of the day, and at 5pm, I put my tens machine on. This is when I count my labour from. I had had no show, and my waters still had not broken.

Throughout the rest of the evening, the contractions increased in frequency, but were still not too bad. We went to bed around 11pm, but I got up again at midnight as the pain was worse lying down. By 12.45am the contractions felt like they were coming every 90 seconds or so, so we called the hospital and they suggested I hung on a bit longer and took some paracetamol. By 1.30am, we called the hospital and said we were coming in. So in we went.

I was examined by a lovely midwife and I honestly thought the baby would be coming within the next few hours. So when she said I was about 1cm dilated, I was so disappointed. They gave me the option of going home, or going up to a side ward to labour on, as I wasn't due to be on the delivery suite until I was at least 3cm. So we went upstairs around 2.30am, and I stayed on my feet leaning over the bed to try and turn the baby as she was almost back to back with me. Hubby slept on a chair.

I was examined again around 8am, and was still at 1-2cm. I was gutted, especially as the contractions were getting stronger and more frequent. I had now been in labour for 15 hours. I kept standing over the bed, using my tens machine on each contraction. At 11am, I was feeling so tired, seeing as I had been on my feet pretty much since 2.30am, and hadn't slept since Friday night and it was now Sunday morning. Another midwife came in to examine me and she was so rough that I screamed in pain. She then arranged for me to have some gas and air which Hubby had to fix as the tube wasn't connected to the cannister and I wasn't getting anything. Still, when it worked, it was fabulous stuff. I came over all drunk and giggly, really embarrassing, but it was a welcome break from focussing on the pain! So when she finally examined me again at 11am, I was still 1-2 cm (18 hours now), so they gave me a shot of pethadine so that I could get some rest. I managed to get a couple of hours lying down, but as soon as we got comfy, a cleaner came into the room and banged and clattered around for what seemed like forever!!

I was woken around 1pm for some lunch (roast dinner, sandwiches, soup, which Hubby had most of!), although I didn't really sleep, it was more of a doze. Then at 2pm, another midwife came to examine me, and she was lovely. Got the gas and air all ready, and then gave me the good news - I was 3cm and could go down to the delivery suite! This was great as it meant that I could have more pain relief in addition to my tens machine and the birthing ball which had been brought in so that I could sit down, but still rest on the bed.

Once downstairs, I was settled in and given gas and air on tap. Brilliant!! Again, I didn't want to lie down as this made the contractions far more painful, and I wanted to use gravity to help me deliver the baby.

This is where things get a little hazy. I remember that X-Factor or something was on the TV, and one of the girls forgot her words, which I thought was hilarious. I just kept sucking on the gas and air.

At 4pm, our lovely new midwife, who was with us for the duration of the labour in the delivery suite examined me, and said that I was at 4cm. As my waters still hadn't gone, she suggested that she burst them for me. I wasn't looking forward to that as I knew the contractions would hurt even more after she had done that. But my biggest concern was that in order to do this, I would have to lie down again (ouch) and then that my feet would get wet! I remember asking the midwife to make sure my feet stayed dry!

Then the contractions started coming thick and fast and I closed my eyes. I don't think I really opened them again and communicated properly until Ruth was born. At this stage, the midwife asked what names we had picked, and I said Amy for a girl. Hubby was a bit surprised, since we had chosen Ruth! I have no idea where that came from.

At 6pm, the pain was awful (25 hours now) and I asked for more drugs. I had another shot of pethadine, which gave me some rest and I was able to lie down for a while. I was told later that I was so comfy lying down that I didn't want to get up when it was time to deliver and they were working out how I could deliver on my side!

But at some point, I managed to get up into a kneeling position on the bed, with my arms hanging over the back and gripping Hubby's hands through each contraction. Pushing was the most overwhelming experience, it just takes over your entire body and you are in a different place mentally. When Ruth crowned, it was the worst bit as I tore. I think I screamed at this point, but Hubby assures me that I didn't.

So, finally at 9.35pm on Sunday 5th October, Ruth was born. She didn't cry, and her heart rate was calm throughout the entire labour, it didn't increase at all. The midwife was really impressed at what a chilled out baby we had. I think Hubby held her first, but she was handed to me in a towel. I didn't want her freshly minted and placed on my chest. Turns out that wouldn't have happened anyway as my umbilical cord was really short!

I had an injection to deliver the placenta and that seemed to happen really quickly and painlessly. Ruth fed, but it was kinda awkward as I wasn't sitting upright enough and I had pulled muscles in my arms during labour by pulling so hard over the back of the bed!

We were then brought tea and toast and I went for a bath while Hubby dressed Ruth and she had her vit K injection. We then had to wait a while to be taken up to the ward due to a medical emergency in the next room along.

So all in all, a straightforward birth with a beautiful baby girl at the end of it. When I first saw her, I just thought 'I know you', she was so familiar to me already.

And since the birth, we have had relatively few problems. I have had sore boobs, but Ruth sleeps well (mostly!) and feeds very well, piling on the weight. When I hear of friends having emergency c-sections, babies in distress, epidurals going wrong, infections, major blood loss etc etc, I realise how incrediably blessed we were with the whole thing.

And now at nearly 5 weeks old, Ruth is smiling almost in response to me, but only when I ask her who my beautiful girl is!!!


Amy K said…
Congratulations on your new baby girl. Although it's hard (because you're so tired) those first few weeks, they are so precious and go by so fast!