It’s been 18 months since I gave birth! 18 months!!!! Even after all this time, I’m still a bit obsessed with my birth story. I still can’t believe I went through it. I’ve finally written it all down because, if you’re anything like me, you’ll love a good birth story. This was first published on the lovely mygirlsandmesite.com and you can view it here.
When I was overdue, I read every birth story I could get my hands on. It got to the point that I’d read most stories online twice. I know they say that no two births are the same but I didn’t believe it and wanted to know about every possible eventually. I fell pregnant days before my 30th birthday and the pregnancy, overall, was good. I managed trips to Florida, Paris and Amsterdam with my bump in tow with no problems. I did, however, have a huge bump. Really huge. I’m not very tall so I pretty much looked like Ms Pac-Man for nine months. But none of it mattered because I was going to get my lovely little baby just in time for Christmas. Or was I? My due date was 16 Dec 2015 and I was confident that my baby would be on time, or even a little bit early. I don’t think it would have bothered me normally but everyone seemed so excited about having a new baby at the Christmas dinner table that I couldn’t bear disappointing anyone. But, of course, my due date came and went without any niggles or twinges. I was given two sweeps – the second on Christmas Eve – which did nothing but hurt. My husband and I finally accepted that we wouldn’t have a new Christmas pudding and we tried to enjoy the day as best we could. By this point, I was so huge that I could barely stand up. I spent a lot of time on the couch, drinking raspberry tea and watching endless films. I was booked in for an induction on 27 December (it should have been the 26 but they were understaffed on Boxing Day). I was given the tampon-like pessary and told to go home. I fully expected my waters to brake that night and excitedly slept on a towel. Nothing happened.
Finally d-day came – 28 December 2015. I knew that this time it was baby or bust! I Remember feeling so weird the whole day. We went for a long walk (waddle) and watched some mindless films (an animation called Megamind) it was so strange knowing for sure that this was the very last time it would just be the two of us and the next time we came home, we’d have a third.
I got to the hospital at 6pm and was told promptly that the labour ward was full so I couldn’t be checked for fear of breaking my waters. So I waited and waited and waited. The pessary was removed but still nothing was happening. The next stage of the induction was the drip but no one was in any hurry to see me. At about 1am the othe
women who were waiting’s husbands and partners started to leave. I got a bit upset at the thought of being left on my own but as I said my goodbyes to my husband and got into pyjamas, I felt something pop. I went to the bathroom and saw my show. I thought I’d had the show a week or so ago but that was obviously just the pre-show – this was the real thing. While I was at the bathroom, my husband had asked the nurse if he could stay and explained I was upset. A lovely midwife came bustling in and said that he was able to stay and she’d get a doctor to come and see me. Another hour or so past with the two of us making poor attempts to sleep and then I felt another pop. Something was trickling down my leg. I told the midwife that my waters had broken and all of a sudden it was like a water balloon had burst in between my legs. I keep apologising for the mess – like they hadn’t seen it before. The nice midwife explained that a bed had opened up in the labour ward and did I know what kind of pain relief I would like? At that moment, my first contraction hit hard and I immediately asked for an epidural. The next two hours can only be explained as the worst pain of my life. I was in a long queue for an epidural and contractions were thick and fast. It felt like someone was pumping up a balloon inside my stomach until I thought it might burst. My poor husband said watching me was the most horrific thing he had ever witnessed. The epidural finally came and it was fabulous, just like being in a nice warm bath. I wanted to have a sleep but baby’s heart needed to be monitored constantly as it kept dropping. When I was checked, I was thrilled to be 8cm dilated and I was allowed to push at 11am. My mum showed up about 10 – I had text her when my waters broke but she was fast asleep! I decided to just have my husband in the room and so she waited outside and my dad arrived later. I started to push at 11am – it was odd not being able to feel it. I remember being scared of the pain when the baby crowned so my epidural was topped up. It was clear when I started pushing that I would need extra help, baby’s heart was dropping. Doctors and nurses filled the room very quickly to set up the forceps and I had to be cut to get baby out. Our baby was born at 11.55am on 29 December 2015 weighing in at a whopping 9lb 12! And it was a little girl! We were convinced it was a boy as we knew she would be big so it was a huge surprise. I loved my husband telling me the sex of our baby – it was very special. And so our big pudding came home with us. Sabrina Susan Jane Maxwell. She’s now quite a petite one-year-old and the happiest, sweetest little girl we could ever hope for. While recovering in hospital, staff would look at Sabrina and then look at me and wince. Our giant baby took a giant place in our hearts!