Come read about Kirsty’s labor in our next Punky Mom’s birth story series
For a good 2 to 3 weeks before my due date, I had started to get twinges/sharp pains and noticed a pinkish tinge in my discharge. I took the discharge to be a show. I grew more and more uncomfortable and impatient with every day that passed.Two days before my due date, we decided to go out for food at TGI’s. We knew we wouldn’t necessarily have a chance to go out anytime soon, once little one had made his arrival. Later that night, I woke around 11pm or 12am with cramps in my uterus, that felt like my period. It got to 1:30am and I decided I could not sleep through the cramps anymore. I woke my other half up. I took some paracetamol and ran myself a bath. Then rang the midwife-led birthing unit to get some labor advice.
From the start, these cramps had been 5 minutes apart and lasting 40+ seconds. I was told I was definitely in labor, and advised to phone back and come in when I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. Surprisingly, this didn’t panic me. After a few hours of being in the bath (which didn’t help), I could not bare the pain anymore. We phoned back and made our way in. By that point, it was 5am on a Sunday. At least there was no traffic to worry about.
The midwife was lovely. She could see I was in a lot of pain and the contractions were lasting a long time. She said she would be keeping us in. After making some notes, she checked me. To my surprise, I was only 1-2 cms, if that. Although she had originally said she would be keeping me in, she explained it would only slow things down if I stayed, She felt it would be better for me to go home and come back later. While she disappeared to make more notes, I couldn’t help but stand there balling my eyes out as I leaned on my partner mid-contraction. I was in pain and didn’t want to go home, but I had no choice.
I had already texted my mum to let her know we were going in, as I wanted her, as well as my partner, there for the birth. I let her know we were home again and once she was up she came over. As soon as I saw her, I cried my eyes out. There is something about having your mum there.
2 to 3 hours passed with me trying to breathe through the contractions.
While swaying side to side and unable to bare it anymore, we phoned again. We were told to head to delivery, as MLBU was full. Once we got in, we waited half an hour in delivery until MLBU had a room for us. I said to my partner, “theres must be something wrong with my mum, she’s gone through this 5 times!”
The midwife checked me over and I was still only 1-2 cm, but my cervix had dilated. She wanted to send us home again, but I begged her not to. I told her I couldn’t handle it anymore. Thankfully, the labor ward was quiet. Even though she should have sent us home, she found a room and got some water and toast for us, as I hadn’t eaten since 7am.
I couldn’t stomach the toast and felt like I was going to be sick. With every labor contraction, my entire body would tense. There was nothing I could do to stop it, but the midwife told me I needed to relax my muscles through them in order to progress. Talk about asking the impossible! She gave me some oramorph (Morphine) & said she would check on us in a few hours. I lay on the bed on my side, with a pillow between my knees. The midwife said that position would help me dilate. Holding my partner’s hand, I must have been able to doze off between contractions, or at least relax. What seemed like minutes were actually a few hours. The contractions were now so painful, long and close together. I needed some relief.
The midwife came back and offered to check if I was any further. I could tell she didn’t think I would be, but said if I hadn’t progressed, she would get the doctor for me. By that point, I was willing to have an epidural, even though I had been adamant it was the last thing I wanted throughout my entire pregnancy. I was starting to get the feeling of needing to push with contractions. Until that moment, I had not known how built in the feeling was.
When the midwife told me I was 4-5cm, I couldn’t believe it. I could have kissed her!
I must admit, up until that point I wasn’t keen on her, but once my labor seemed to be getting somewhere, her attitude towards me changed. She started to grow on me.
We were moved to a room with a pool and I was finally allowed the sweet relief of gas & air. Initially, the gas & air made me a little woozy at the end of the contractions, but after a while it became something to focus on more than something to take away pain. The pool was lovely. It didn’t take away pain, but it helped me relax between contractions. The midwife had me laying on my front with legs out like a frog and elbows on the step in the pool to “open up my pelvis.” After a little while, I was allowed to flip onto my back, as long as I kept my legs spread. I was told I MUST drink, as I now had Ketones in my urine.
After a few hours of bliss in the pool (minus the contractions obviously), I was getting too hot and had to get out and lay on the bed. I had stripped off and was butt naked when my mum turned up (all modesty goes out the window & you will not care…trust me). The midwife had disappeared next door to check on someone else’s labor and my other half was down by my side.
Out of nowhere, the biggest gush of water went everywhere, all over my partner! It was a strange, yet oddly nice sensation when the waters went. I couldn’t understand why the midwife came back and was so interested in the colour of my waters. Turns out, my little munchkin was stressed and had pooed.
Within minutes, I was rushed over to the delivery suite & strapped up so they could monitor my baby. It all happened quickly and my only concern was if the gas & air would be ready for the other end. I was getting the urge to push. The urge to push is the most natural feeling in the world. You cannot stop it; your body takes over and you just do it. It comes over you with each contraction. By that point, the pain wasn’t disappearing between contractions and it felt like as soon as one started to ease off, the next one was building up. I was tired, in pain and scared the pain wasn’t stopping.
With my legs now up in stirrups, they told me they were going to need to help me, as they could see he was getting stressed. With the next contraction, they gave me an injection of local anesthetic and the contraction after, they cut me. They had planned to use a ventouse to pull him out, but thankfully the episiotomy was enough. They let me lean forward to feel his head once it was out. I could feel his hair and it was a wonderfully surreal experience. I looked up at my mum and could see tears rolling down her face. I saw my partner urging me on, telling me how well I was doing and kissing me on the forehead. Knowing he was there and so close, gave me the last bit of strength to push him out.
At 4.47pm on Sunday 10th April 2016, our gorgeous little boy Dexter John Martin was brought into this world, weighing 7lbs 5oz.
Due to the meconium, they cut the cord and whisked him away to be checked over. They got the placenta out and before I knew it, my boy was placed on my chest. Although I was gutted for my partner not getting the chance to cut Dexter’s cord, I knew it was in our son’s best interest to get checked over asap. I barely felt the stitches as I lay with my beautiful boy in my arms and my mum and fiance by my side.
No matter how painful and how long the labor was, it was all worth that moment.
New mum of 5 week old Dexter & Fiance to Chris Martin, who luckily for her ink obsession and bank balance is a tattooist. Unfortunately for her figure, Kirsty loves to bake. Kirsty lives in Norwich and works as an Account Manager for Online Marketing.