Thursday, 24 March 2011

Four Years On

This time, four years ago, I was in hospital about to give birth to Kieran.  I'd gone into labour in the early-ish hours of the morning.  I can't remember now, but the contractions woke me up.

Unlike the first time, I didn't eat a thing, but showered and got dressed.  We'd called hubby's parents to come over and look after Ben.  I very quickly became desperate to want to get to the hospital, although I thought I was in for the long haul.  It was a Saturday, so maybe the baby would be here by Monday, Sunday if I was lucky - going on first time round experience.

8.30am we arrived at St Michaels in Bristol, and I tried to stay on my feet as much as possible, remembering my NCT antenatal class from when carrying Ben.  I wasn't able to do that with Ben as he'd been back on back.  Nothing had been comfortable with Ben.

When I could stand no more, I got onto the bed, and in a foetus position sucked on the gas and air.  At some stage I started getting this urge to push, which actually felt surreal as I never had that feeling with Ben - two epidurals may have been the reason!  I couldn't possibly be fully dilated - I'd only been in hospital a couple of hours!  So I puffed, and my midwife said if I needed to push, to push, that I would be fully dilated, my body wouldn't do it otherwise.

They decided they'd take a look (oh the joys of being in labour!), and as I turned onto my back, I could feel a prickling sensation - the head.  Everything else happened so quickly and at 10.44am Kieran George was born weighing a mighty 8lb 12ozs but not as big as his brother - though I was so sure he'd be heavier.

By the afternoon I was up on my feet, feeling quite human.  Even hubby commented how different I was.  But I hadn't endured 33 hours of labour and I'd had a good nights sleep beforehand, too.  What a difference!  Also, no spinal block, no tree trunk legs.

It was the most unobtrusive, natural labour I think I could have had in a hospital - I almost cried (emotionally with happiness that is - I had just given birth).  There were only two midwives - it didn't feel like I had the whole hospital looking up there (telling me how much hair my baby had), and I felt quite human.  I stayed over night as Kieran had been born in his waters, (luckily it was quiet in St Michaels for a change, too) and there was meconium in them.  I had good intentions of staying in Weston a couple of nights, as their maternity ward is fab, but Sunday I was ready to go home.  Breastfeeding was a doddle, my new baby took to me like a duckling to water.

All I would say is that when I hear women talking about taking all the pain killers they can get in labour, don't do it! I had gas and air, and used a Tens machine.  It was enough.  I was in so much control with my second labour.  The first, well, it's almost always difficult first time around, and my contractions had started slowing, so they wanted to induce me further, and recommended the epidural.  It wasn't something I wanted, (initially I cried thinking I was a failure) but went with the midwives decisions.  I was extremely tired, and had been going at it for nearly a whole day!  Some how, mind over matter, and a spinal block, I still managed to push Ben out, with some help of Forceps and Episiotomy. He was 9lb 3oz and everyone says 'ouch', but I never felt a thing... not till after the drugs wore off.

Both labours were worth their reward, (though sometimes I forget this when I'm pulling my hair out while they argue) but if I had to do it again (and I won't!), I'd choose Kieran's way ...