Can you believe it’s week ten of the birth story series? I’m delighted how it has taken off, and the variety of birth stories that have been featured. Don’t forget if you want to share yours whether you are a blogger or not, get in touch. This week Katie of Boy Geeks Girl shares her birthing tale. It’s one of my favourites, the witt and humour, everything about how it’s written. Hope you all enjoy…
Zachary’s Birth Story
August 11th, 2014, was just like any other day, except… it wasn’t. I had spent the entirety of the weekend curled up in bed and feeling sorry for myself, but today was Monday, the start of a new week and I was bright eyed and bushy tailed! I was flying all morning, my homemade pizza dough proving, the floors were all mopped and I had finished the super cute citron & grey paper mobile for the nursery. Everything was on track as I still had three weeks left to go until my due date.
By the time the afternoon came, I was feeling a bit grimy, like I said, I was in bed all weekend, that added with my excessive cleaning and bread punching, between you and me, I was starting to get a little bit ripe. It was about 4pm, so I thought, screw it, I’ll go for a shower, it wasn’t as if I had any other plans. So I washed my hair, my body, or at least all the parts that I could reach (thank you loofah on a stick) and attempted to shave. I was feeling fresh and fruity and something else…
I felt dizzy and sick, I grab onto the shower door as I dry wretch and try not to lose my balance. Suddenly there’s a gush. Was it a lot? Was it a little? Did I wet myself? Did my waters break? Crap. This is my first pregnancy, I have no idea what’s going on. Right, okay. Google has all the answers. Completely naked, sorry neighbours, I waddle from the ensuite, down the stairs, into the kitchen, grab my tablet, and trudge back up the stairs like Jigglypuff in need of a hip replacement. The googling was a success. Following the instruction on one of the 32 baby sites, I grabbed a maternity pad, put on some pants and a shirt, and lay on the bed playing Candy Crush. Yes, really. I wait 15 minutes, stand up and check the pad, it’s a little wet but I’m not sure. Seeing as I was already dealing with a teeny weeny bit of leakage anyway.
I decide to make prepare dinner, if I had to go into the hospital, then I was making sure that I was already fed, plus, the dough was already made and it would have gone to waste otherwise. My brother calls me, to check up and to ask what my plans are for the following day. “I might be in the hospital tomorrow, ” I say, remarkably calm, “I think my waters might have broken, so I’m going to go in after I’ve had my dinner.” He starts freaking out, “Do you want me to come up? I can be there in eight minutes! Have you told Mum!?” I tell him it was all good, that Michael will be home in an hour, I was in the middle of making pizza and there was no reason to worry anyone until I knew what was going on. I promise to call him later on once I know what the story is. I then receive phone calls from my Mum and my aunt, because it seems, that my brother also can’t hold his water.
I go back upstairs to lie down and try to figure out if I’m in labour or not. Back to Candy Crush and scrolling through twitter. Some time later, I hear Michael come in the front door, he shouts “Honey?” I call back, that I’m upstairs. “Honey, you know how I love you…? I have to go to that conference in September, just after the baby is due.” This was too funny. I shout back, “Honey, you know how I love you…? I think my waters gave broken.”
He opens the bedroom door, “feck off!” He looks flustered, his cheeks are almost as red as his hair, as he looks at me on the bed and tries to assess the situation. “I didn’t mean that, oh no, oh this is, uh, really!?” I get up, put the pizza in the oven, Michael grabs my giant duffle bag and puts it in the boot of the car along with my labour bag and maternity notes. We eat and go to the hospital.
I get signed in, turns out, yes, my waters have broken, so they’re going to keep me in for observation and give me antibiotics because they don’t want to risk infection. I stay overnight and Michael goes home. I wake up the next morning and I’m sore. I tell the nurses that I think I’m having contractions, but she asks me how frequent they are and how long they’re lasting but I have no idea.
So there I am, noting my contractions on the back of a Lidl receipt on my knee like the ratchet Macguyver that I am. I hand it to the doctor when he makes his rounds, and he says that whenever I’m ready that I can go to the labour ward.
For what feels like forever, I’m on a giant exercise ball, with my face buried in my arms on the bed, waiting for Michael to arrive. Waves of pain are throbbing through my body, but I do not want to go without him, my anxiety was flaring up and I was terrified that he wouldn’t find the right room or they wouldn’t let him in, because of course.
Michael arrives and calls a midwife, I raise my beetroot face and mutter, “I would like the drugs now please.” At noon we go down to the labour suite, I get gas & air and pethidine. Yes please, and thank you. I’m not quite in established labour yet, so they tell Michael to go, get something to eat and come back. There’s no rush, this is our first, so there will be plenty of time.
I’m on the bloody exercise ball again, but I can’t stay on the damn thing. My back is in agony, I have a deformed spine, so we always knew that there was a possibility of extra pressure there, but holy shit I was not expecting this Final Boss level of pain! I was getting attacked front and back, I needed to lie down. I just couldn’t hold myself up anymore. On the plus side, I was connected to the machine that goes PING!
They help me onto the bed, a doctor, or midwife, or I don’t know, someone in blue, checks me, and I’ve dilated 4cm in 10 minutes. Everyone is surprised. Michael saunters in to see me on the bed and grunting like an elephant playing a trombone. He’s doing all of the right things, bringing me water, cooling my face with spray, coping with the vulcan death grip that is cutting off the circulation to his fingers and not complaining about it.
So here’s the thing, I kind of, sort of, a weeee bit, fell asleep between contractions. At one point I would wake up, push, then drift off again. The pain wasn’t so bad now, but in fairness, I was sleeping it off. The midwife asks if it’s okay to bring the students in so that they can see how quickly a labour can go. I’m like yeah, it’s all good! There’s already five or so people staring at the abyss that is my vagina, what’s a few more, come join the party!
So, yeah, to quote the midwife, I “react very well to pethidine” I closed my eyes and when I opened them, there was a room full of people. A room full of people, to whom I apologised for being noisy, during labour. Most of them seem confused. Apparently, I was being rather serene for a birth, but I think it was all of the drugs.
Michael tells me that they were nudging each other and giggling, he also says that I was snoring, but I’ll never know if this really was the case.
It was getting close now, I was so tired, but I had to push, I had to keep pushing. I half expected blood to be trickling down Michael’s hand at this stage. He stroked my hair, his eyes watering, I later discovered that this was not the result of my death grip or his overwhelming emotion. He needed to pee, desperately, he tells me to this day that he suffered as much as I did. Arse.
Just one more push, they said, for the third time in a row. I wanted the pain to stop, I wanted to hold my baby and I sure as hell wanted them to stop saying that it was only going to be ONE MORE BLOODY PUSH! Part of me wanted to punch them, all of them, everyone in the damn room. They see the head, just one more push, just one more… I’m weak, “I can’t” I tell them, I feel guilt, fear and fatigue wash over me. I wanted to cry, I was ashamed, I had failed, I should be able to do this. “I can’t” I half sobbed. Michael stroked my face and told me I could do it, our boy was almost here. I just had to help him on the last leg.
ONE. MORE. PUSH!
He was out, and for a moment, there was complete silence. 3:48pm That single moment lasted a lifetime. There was a cough, a sneeze, then a tiny little whiny cry. I could breathe again. Michael cut the cord. The paediatrician checked him over, while I got stitched up. (They had to perform an episiotomy, yay.)
I looked at Michael, I felt like I was floating. “Did I do good?” He kissed me on the forehead “Yeah, you did good.” (He almost said, that’ll do pig, that’ll do, but he thought he might get in trouble.) They placed my baby boy on my chest for skin to skin contact, straight away he started feeding. Hungry little bugger.
Here he was, he was mine, and he was here. A whole 6lb 10oz, welcome Zachary Logan.
There is a whole collection of birth stories on the blog if you would like to see more. Birth stories go live every Sunday at 9pm but let’s be honest it is never actually on time. If you would like to feature your birth story drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.