Birth

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My waters broke at 11pm on Thursday 6th June.

I woke up to a tummy ache. I thought the movement in my tummy was the baby and I put Tim’s hand to it. Then I felt water leak out. It kept coming. I lay there for a second. Then I said, Tim.

I think my waters just broke.

My teeth started chattering.

It was only 2 days past the due date. I thought he would be 2 weeks late. I was measuring small. And I wanted a good night’s sleep. It was too late at night. I was too tired for this.

We called the hospital and they said to come in at 10am the next day. We lay towels on the bed.

The pains carried on all night, like the worst period pains.

My dad drove us to the hospital in the morning. I had thrown up my breakfast but I could still have a contraction in silence.

They checked my sodden maternity pad, my pulse and temperature and my notes, and sent us home.

The pains got worse. I ate icecream. I threw it back up. I felt hot, then I wanted a blanket.

We called the hospital at around 3. The contractions seemed to be 3 in 10 minutes. I hadn’t felt the baby move all day. Because there were not enough midwives, the hospital was on divert to a different hospital further away. We were sent there.

I screamed the half-hour car journey. But we reached the hospital and I was only 3cm.

They sent me for a bath.

The first photo of him

I was put on the antenatal ward for the night. No-one there was in proper labour. I was the only one moaning and screaming all night. I slept the few miniscule minutes between contractions, and woke in agony, delirious, hitting and scratching Tim. Sometimes he would feed me bits of banana.

Finally, at midnight on Friday 7th June, 25 hours after my waters broke, I was wheeled screaming to the delivery room. They strapped me up to the heart rate monitor and stuck an IV in me. My temperature had risen and they thought I had an infection.

At 2am we thought it would be very soon.

I needed a poo. They said it was the baby’s head. I was pretty sure it was a poo.

At 5am he still wasn’t born.

It was starting to get light outside.

They wheeled in a special machine for sick babies. The paediatricians and doctor were brought in. They were going to take the baby away for antibiotics as soon as he was born. The machine was there in case he was ill. They were worried he was a very small baby.

I felt annoyed at all their fussing. I thought they just needed to pull him out. I was too tired to push him out. The contractions had slowed down and weren’t strong enough. I was falling asleep. Everyone was falling asleep. They gave me juice for energy but it wasn’t enough.

Finally, they put me on an oxytocin drip and, after pooing before a roomful of people, I pushed him out at 6.24am on Saturday 8th June 2019, 31.5 hours after my waters had broken and the pains had first started. He was plopped on my chest covered in blood and meconium and I thought, Oh, not on my top! He looked exactly like a baby.

Then they took him to be stabbed all over with needles, looking for a vein for the IV. It was a violent beginning.

Day 3