The Connie Chapter.
I loved labour with Connie. Seriously. Bloody loved it. The only thing I would’ve changed is how long it took. Start to finish I was seventy two hours.
I started contracting at Daniels parents house while opening Christmas presents. At this point I didn’t realise it was contractions, just thought I was building a poo.
As the day went on they got stronger until I was sitting eating Christmas dinner at my parents house. They were getting pretty uncomfortable, stopping me from stuffing any more turkey in for a minute or two anyway.
They kept me up all night, every time I started to doze off a contraction would come along and have me curling up with discomfort. It was just like the worst period pain I’d ever had. I’d had such a nice break from period pain too.
My midwife was coming round on Boxing Day anyway, she examined me and I was four centimetres dilated. “Only four?!” So I waited. And waited. Aaaaand waited. I didn’t want to go to the hospital too early.
I had another sleepless night. The contractions were getting more and more uncomfortable. Until I was actually in pain and we headed to the hospital at five in the morning. I was ready for them to tell me I was at least eight centimetres and would soon be ready to push. Nope. I was still four centimetres. Four fucking centimetres. Urgh.
I went into the birth pool which made my contractions easier to deal with, that was heaven. I want one of those bad boys at home. When I eventually got out they re-examined me. You guessed it. Still four centimetres. Joy. So they broke my waters and sent me down to the ward to wait. (I wasn’t allowed to go home after they broke my waters, which was disappointing.)
As I lay in the ward, a thin curtain between me and the next bed my contractions began to get worse. I was breathing hard to get through them. And what do I hear? The gentleman accompanying the woman in the bed next to me was giving her a running bloody commentary on me. “Oh that’s her having another contraction, I can hear it in her breathing. Can you hear her?” If I wasn’t so uncomfortable I would’ve dived through that curtain and punched him on the nose. If you’re reading this mister, you’re a twat.
After another re-examination (if you have any severe phobias of strangers putting their hands up your hooha then labour really is going to be a terrible time for you.) I was off up to the labour suite, finally being six centimetres! Hurrah!
That’s when it started to get fun! Baby was coming! I would find out if I was having a girl or a boy!
Daniel and my Mum took turns sitting with me, we ended up sending Daniel to his parents house to get something to eat. I was clearly not going to be one of those, into the labour suite and baby out in less than an hour jobs. So off he went.
I didn’t want an epidural. I mean, I was pretty easy osy, I figured if I wanted it on the day I’d get it, but if I could avoid drugs, I would.
I sat legs crossed, hands rested palm up on my knees circling my thumb and forefinger. I looked like I was meditating. Every time I got a contraction I just zoned out. Poor Mum had to repeat a lot of the conversation. I had this. I was chill, this labour thing was great.
When I got to eight centimetres I opted for some gas and air. It was pretty painful by then. The gas and air was amazing. No, really! It was absolutely fucking amazing!
I acted like a teenager who’d just gotten hammered for the first time. I was telling all kinds of embarrassing stories. My Mum was hearing stories from my teenage years that she’d never heard before – sorry Mum.
“This is what I imagine taking drugs feels like. I’ve never taken drugs. I don’t like drugs… I like alcohol. I really like alcohol.”
Daniel arrived. Rather surprised at my slurred and oversharing state, wondering who had given me tequila. And I was ready to push!
I can’t lie I don’t remember much about this part. From what I’m told, I pushed, gave up half way, cried about wanting to go home gave another push and all of a sudden Connie was here.
Straight onto my chest for skin to skin. I couldn’t believe it. Looking at this tiny little human in my arms. I did this, I made her. The little creature that had been nudging me and poking at my bladder all this months was here in my arms. I was in a state of awed shock. I loved her so much already and she wasn’t even a minute old. I knew I’d do anything for her (still almost true now she’s a toddler, I just won’t share my shortbread cookies. They’re mine.)
When I saw Daniel hold her for the first time I loved him even more. How? I thought I loved him as much as I possibly could then he became a Dad and there was a whole new dimension to my love for him. We did this, we made her. Well… I mean let’s not forget, I did most of the work…
When they picked her up to weigh her, she’d pooed all down my arm. Well, start as you mean to go on little one. To be fair I barely noticed.
I needed stitches. The midwife recommended I use the gas and air as she had to inject the area with some anaesthetic – the idea still gives me nightmares – so I sooked on that mouthpiece like someone was about to snatch it away from me. “My lips feel numb” I managed to mumble out through the mouthpiece. “Yes” she says “the gas and air can do that” and to my great embarrassment and amusement I replied with “…not those lips” that poor midwife was sat in between my legs not sure where to look. If you are reading this, I am so sorry.
Other than how long it took my birth experience with Connie was a delight. I came out of that hospital feeling like a champ. Ya beauty. Two and a half years later I would learn that not all births are the same.
Feel free to share your birth stories with me, I’m a bit weird, I bloody love hearing birth stories.