It was Wednesday the 13th of July, with just under two weeks to my due date. The mini bus was kitted with our new Pebble Plus Maxi Cosi and my hospital bag. I was so nervous driving into the hospital, I was going in to have a membrane sweep. They had been successful in my last two pregnancies so as far as I was concerned I was going in to have my baby. Due to having a BBA (born before arrival) with Kadie I was been kept in after my sweep just as a precaution.
Sweep complete. Phone hopping. Platelets stable. Not a thing happening.
Well, I got some odd irregular contractions but nothing overly exciting. I walked the walls of the Coombe. I chatted with other mums-to-be in the ward. I spent hours on the birthing ball. I showered. I squatted. I slept.
The next morning my team agreed with some persuasion that I could go home, the sweep was unsuccessful. They brought up the hot topic of an induction and like before I point-blank refused. No questions were asked. My little babog just wasn’t quite ready yet.
Home to the mad house.
The next morning Joe shouted up to tell me the brats were in their high chairs throwing breakfast on the floor, only delighted he off to work. Duty calls, it was time to get up. I rolled off the bed and made my way downstairs to the waterfall of Cheerios across the sitting room floor.
Just as I was about to pop the kettle on, I got a whopper contraction, and it frightened the bejaysus out of me. With all the false hope on Wednesday, I decided just to potter about my morning. I waited until I was 100% sure that I was in early labour before I rang Joe to give him a heads up. I got the kids down for their naps. I repacked my bags. Kayla was well aware of what was going on, she was bursting with excitement, ‘ho ho ho, Kasey is coming’. After nap time, I held Kadie with what was left of the morning. I sobbed, no I ugly cried, I knew today she was no longer going to be the only baby.
I rang my mam come midday to tell her to head over after work. She advised I rang some pals to mind the kids until she arrived you know just in case there was a repeat of the hallway incident. I did, Kayla’s god mammy arrived. Next thing my mother is at the door sweating. She was a nervous wreck, pleading for me to leave for the hospital. But my contractions were so irregular. I had been timing them on some Android app. They were five minutes here, ten minutes there and some lasting less than ten seconds. There was no chance of me leaving I knew I had loads of time.
Over the next couple of hours, my contractions were starting to show a little pattern. They were lasting in and around thirty seconds and about seven minutes apart. I rang Joe, he was only delighted to hear that he was getting a week off work.
We arrived at the Coombe just over an hour later. We had a bit of grub in the Coffee Doc then headed for Admissions. I got my chart and we made our way to the Assessment Unit. I told the Midwife behind the little glass window that I had a BBA on my last baby and was getting some irregular contractions over the past few hours. She whisked me in and popped me on a trace, inserted a cannula and took some blood to check my platelets. At this point, I knew if I wasn’t actually in labour I wasn’t going home. She did an internal and I was two centimeters. I may have cried tears of joy.
Considering how previous pregnancies had progressed there was no point putting me in a bed on the ward so the Midwife told me to walk the walls of the hospital but not to leave the grounds and as soon as I felt things were progressing to come straight back to her. As soon as I was four centimeters she would bring me straight into the Labour Suite.
Grand, we should be there within the hour. Ha!
We walked the walls of the hospital. I bounced around the ball in the sweatbox of a waiting room adjoined to the Assessment Unit. We ran up and down the stairs, actually, I did, Joe sweat his bollox off. We got another cuppa. We paced the carpark in the blistering heat. At one point we ended up at the Colposcopy Clinic and of course, the contractions started getting more intense, the pressure now was unreal. I could no longer walk through them. We laughed and joked about calling an ambulance. Joe offered to carry me – cause that was really going to happen.
We got back to the assessment unit and I told the Midwife I wanted to be checked again and she delightfully told me I was four to five centimeters.
It was 7.35pm, off to the Labour Ward we went.
We were greeted by Michelle, the bubbliest of Midwives I have ever met. She advised me her shift was coming to an end that unless I had the baby within the next hour another midwife will be delivering our baby. No pressure then.
A couple of hours passed. Michelle left, she wished us good luck and Grainne and Claire arrived. Still not a thing happening. We had the chats. I patiently sat in the bed attached to a trace. My contractions were more irregular than ever, although they were getting stronger and lasting longer but I was still ONLY four to five centimeters. Sakes.
Up until this point, I was the model patient for any student midwife. I’d been up chatting, having the lols. The midwives gooed over Kenzie’s cloth nappies. Joe rolled about the room on the birthing ball. He treble checked he had everything ready for baby, you know cause I’m a bit of a pyscho and have to have everything perfect. As the hours past, I began to get restless. It was just after 10pm and I had been stuck on the bed for over two hours attached to the dreaded CTG.
At this point, we were just waiting on my waters to break. Both Frankie and Kadie arrived within minutes of my waters rupturing so knowing this Grainne offered to break my waters to push things along. I cringed at the thoughts of it but jumped at the chance.
It wasn’t anything like I’d imagined or what I’ve heard. I didn’t feel a thing and I had no pain relief apart from buckets of gas and air. In fact, I thought my waters broke themselves until I opened my eyes to see both Midwives and Joe staring down nodding as if to say ‘job done’.
Within seconds of them turning their backs to change gloves and clean up, a contraction rolled in steady and fast. I was in no way prepared for it. It was so powerful. It literally took over my whole body.
I panicked a little, ‘I need to push, OMG I need to push‘. I went from five centimeters to fully dilated in seconds. And I pushed and pushed and pushed. It was very surreal. I don’t think anyone expected it to happen so quick. Before I knew it her head was out. I could just see a head of hair. I took a moment to feel her little legs kick me from inside one last time.
And then the unthinkable funniest labour room incident happened. My student midwife was turning Kenzie’s head getting her ready for the final decent and amniotic fluid squirted up and smacked her right in the face. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen. Joe didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I laughed, followed quickly by apologies. The poor midwife had to stand their holding babies head with my fluid dripping down her face. Horrifying for her in fairness. The midwife in charge took over head holding duties for the last push and the poor girl legged it for a shower.
And with the next contraction and a little push, my little girl was here. She was PERFECT (the spit of Frankie but perfect). The cord was cut (before we could even take a breath, something Joe is disappointed about but sure), she was placed on my chest and I wrapped her in my arms. Oh, those feels. I was overwhelmed with emotions.
When the time came for her blood test to check her platelets I just couldn’t let her go. I just had a baby and nobody was taking her from me but poor Joe was dying for a squeeze so I traded her for some tea and toast. I was starving and let’s be honest it’s the most amazing tea and toast you’ll ever have.
Of all my labours it was the best experience I have ever had and it’s all down to the amazingly supportive, caring and encouraging midwives I had that night. Joe was awesome too, he really was but I felt my caregivers went that extra mile to make it special for me considering I still have nightmares about my last delivery. And for that, I will always be thankful.
Welcome to the world Miss Kenzie Riley <3