So here it is, my first blog of being a mummy and a student nurse.
I'll begin with the birth of Leo as this is when everything became a juggling act as a student nurse and new mumma)
(This post contains graphic content/details of the raw truth of my labour and the birth of our beautiful little boy)
On Wednesday 16th August, 2017 I was admitted to the pre-natal ward where the induction process happens at 8am. I arrived with my maternity bag, midwifery notes and loads of snacks to prepare us ( Myself and my partner Taishan) for the long haul of preparing my body to give birth to our son. This is because once the process has started, you're not allowed to leave the hospital until the baby has been born. we were told that it could take up to four days, yep, four! so here we were, awkwardly, laid in a single bed watching films all day whilst waiting for the first drug (a tampon like medication) to soften and open my cervix. At about 6pm, Whilst walking to the hospital restaurant for food, I felt the 'drop' of Leo literally locking himself into my cervix getting ready to begin his journey through the birth canal. I can officially say that is when the well known 'waddle' commenced. I couldn't sit or stand without feeling like I needed the toilet urgently. Taishan found this hilarious at the time but little did we know, that 4 hours later between 10-11pm, (as soon as Taishan had to go home without me), the mucus plug came out and my waters broke. I was so shocked and excited at the same time that I didn't know If I had wet myself or if it was genuinely my waters. It took a while for me to actually raise awareness to the midwives on shift, but when I did, the smell confirmed it. It smelt so sterile! I didn't know that once your waters break, it is continuous until you give birth. Taishan arrived back, thinking that I lied to get him to comfort me. That night I started to have irregular contractions. It felt like period cramps wrapping around my lower back and hitting the core of my abdomen. I was hot and sweaty all night, feeling incredibly uncomfortable but yet so excited that I couldn't sleep. oh how I wish I did now, looking back.
The next morning at 6am, Our midwife took us down to the labour ward (where the gruesome action begins). I was 1cm dilated from the tampon like drug. I was excited and could deal with the contractions by breathing them through. we had breakfast and I had a shower to freshen up before the next stage of induction begun. The consultant, anaesthetist, student midwife and other professionals arrived to greet us and inform me of their role should anything happen later that day. I made it very clear not to have any form of spinal block or epidural unless I was in excruciating pain. The doctors then inserted a huge cannula into my hand and set up the IV infusion to intensify the contractions and force my cervix into dilating more. I was also set up to a observation monitor to see how Leo was coping with it. until approx mid-day I was bouncing on a yoga ball and breathing through the contractions.
Eventually, I took the gas & air as I was finding it more painful. At one point, I found myself so high that as I was walking to the toilet, leaning on the drip stand I verbally said that I felt like Madeleine (McCann) (Unbelievable I know) but what I actually mean't was the french school girl in the film Madeleine who walks around the hospital with the drip stand. Taishan, My mum and the midwife all looked shocked and in dis-belief that, that name rolled off the tip of my tongue. (Its crazy what induced labour & entonox can make you say)
I was so high that I was then unable to continue bouncing on the yoga ball, leaning on my partner, so I was supported on to the extremely UNCOMFORTABLE birthing bed. Early afternoon I felt the need to push like number 2 style push, the midwife checked me over and said that I was 2CM dilated. Angry and exhausted, I saw red that I had only progressed 2 cms! unbelievable. My partner asked how many cm's before I could start pushing Leo out, and he shouted in shock, 10CMS! my mum holding back the laughter, I just looked at him in such anger.
I begun crying and shouted for them to just cut me open and get the baby out as I couldn't do it and I was far too exhausted. I just couldn't do it. I also shouted how it felt like I was in the exorcist. I was just looking down on my body in pain. The contractions were so intense that I was sliding down the bed and pulling myself back up in-between them.
The midwife and my mum agreed to give me more pain relief - double dosage of pethidine! what a treat that was. I fell asleep almost instantly and couldn't feel the contractions anymore. I was so spaced out. it was divine!
Taishan ran out quickly to get some food for him and my mum but just as he arrived back, I woke up and started pushing. I was shouting that I needed a poo and that I couldn't control it. my body just took over and begun pushing this little boy out. it was an hour since having the pethidine and my midwife was certain that I wasn't ready yet to push.
As my midwife came to check me over, she saw Leo's head crowning! this was it, this was the moment we were all waiting for! A few pushes, well actually a lot and there he was! After delivering our son, the pain of giving birth disappeared but I was still in shock that my cervix dilated from 2cms to 10cms in such little time!
Then came the horrible news, that I needed stitches as I had torn quite badly. 2nd degree almost 3rd degree tear! I stood up after being stitched and just felt so weak, shakey from the entonox and just lost over 300mls of blood.
I had this mindset throughout the process of 'its a few hours of pain' .. A few hours turned out to be 19 hours!
It was such an amazing and painful experience of giving birth and meeting our little boy on Thursday 17th August at 18:06pm. That evening was the moment that we became a family of three and surprisingly the next morning, we went home for both families to meet the new arrival of a healthy 7lbs 6oz boy named Leonardo Michael George Williams. I was still sore of course, but eventually the pain faded out and the healing process begun.