To set the scene, my husband was always the more maternal one. When we spoke about kids, I was always very against it. After some years, I changed my mind, very gradually, and then we were pregnant. I think I had pre-natal depression, as I wasn’t connected to the part of me that was pregnant. It was like there were two versions of me. The normal me and the pregnant me.
*Disclaimer – I am now happier than ever and if I could go back and punch myself in the face, I would.
My pregnancy was easy (sorry). I wasn’t sick, I lost weight due to no alcohol, my skin was super – I had no spots. It had been forever since that had happened! I was very active and used the gym until 2 weeks before. I lift weights and there was a collective gasp every time I mentioned this to anyone.
Seven days before my due date (27/5/15) my waters broke around 5pm. I was at the pub, so that was nice. I was having me a lemonade and felt wet. Mmm sexy. I went to the loo and there was a small flood of amniotic fluid and baby juice all over my converse. Gutted. We waddled home, which luckily was only down the road, as there was fresh womb water running down my legs.
At that point I was laughing and a bit excited, as I want to meet my little man (we knew he was a boy from the scan and later confirmed it with a 4d scan). We popped off to the MLU and then I had a little show. It looked like a massive bogie or some serious phlegm. They were happy I was ok and sent me home to await the blissful pains of labour.
I had done a hypnobirthing course prior and felt mega prepared (I was clearly naïve) for any pain. When labour kicked in about 9.30 that evening I remember thinking, “if this gets worse I AM going to die.” Looking back, I feel I had 3 stages of labour. The beginning, as I’ve mentioned was shit; lots of crampy, horrible, stabby pains. They made me jump about on the spot and want to clench everything! After a bath, a rest, a sleep (none) and some face pulling, I went off to the MLU.
I must tell you here, I was so lucky, my MLU was Bridgnorth http://www.visitbridgnorth.co.uk/ (look up the town if you can). I was the only patient there for the whole time. I had all the midwives to myself, along with HCA’s, home cooked food and general loveliness. I think this made my whole experience more present.
We arrived at the MLU at about 3am. The midwife offered to rub my back and I told my husband after, if she had done that I would have snapped her fingers. I specifically recall, that was my only violent thought. I was only 3cm dilated when we got there and was recreating the Friends episode where Rachel guessed how big 3cm is! ITSONLYTHISBIG!
I had another bath but it only pissed me off, as the lights were like a disco. I sat with my hands over my face, until they let me turn them off and sit in the dark.
After that, it got really good. No, it actually did. I felt a bit of a shift and the pain stopped being shit and started being really guttural, almost primal. So basic and obvious. I felt I should push, so I did. I had some gas and air during this bit, which I loved. I wish I had some in my house. I pushed and, bit by bit, I dilated.
By 8am, I was about 9cm. The midwives swapped shifts and I met Vron and Beverley, who were like angels. I loved them. I felt so attached to them, after I got them flowers,cards and cake. I felt a real separation anxiety when I went home. Sorry jumping ahead.
They expected the baby to come very soon and I got very happy and thought, “blimey I can bloody do this!” After another 4 hours of dicking about, I was starting to think they were taking the piss. Turns out, I was so super chilled and relaxed that I was pushing him a little down, then my body would suck him back up. Kind of like, when you have a bath and you suck all the water up your foof. Only it was a head and a bit more hurty. But you get my drift.
Then Vron said the magic words, “ventuesse and ambulance transfer.” I wished she had said that hours before. Then I worked out how to push, to kind of hold on to the push and then breathe and then push some more. I think I was just pushing, then relaxing. Amateur.
Soooo, an hour after that, at about 13.15, my little one emerged. I was on all fours on the floor, like the primal woman I am! I had tried the pool, the ball, the beanbag, the bed, but the floor was where it was at. They passed him to me and I felt so weird, tired and hungry. I didn’t feel the love they say you do, but I knew I wouldn’t. To me, it was all about survival and coping. I had a couple stitches and we ate egg sandwiches, whilst our boy was weighed and checked in front of us.
I stayed in hospital for 2 days, as it was like a hotel to me. I felt weird and out of my mind with tiredness. I was in deep, deep shock for at least a week or more. I knew I would have PND and I did. It lasted about 6 months. It got better over time, as I tried to tell myself that it was going to be ok and it really was.
I found the adjustment so hard and I was angry for a while. My life as I knew it had disappeared. I don’t know who I wanted to be angry with, so it boiled away for a time. It feels awful to type this now. I feel guilty. I can’t pretend those feelings weren’t there, because they were and they were real. Despite it all, on the hard days, I kept focused on each day and each hour. Then the days became weeks, the weeks months, and then I was happy again. I wish I could have been better prepared, but I don’t think you can with your first child. You kind of just have to roll with it.
Lucy is an old school riot grrrl she thinks and her only aim from 1994-1997 was to be Courtney love. Oh my. She enjoys weightlifting now which is a real passion, she is so damn strong! She likes her cat who is called Muffin and her beautiful ginger husband. And gin. All the gin. She has a gin bar in her house.
This is our latest Punky Moms birth story in our series and we are grateful to be sharing these stories with readers like you. Care to share your birth story? We would be honored if you would consider sharing yours with us. Send us an email and say hello.