I’ve been wanting to get around to write my birth story for ages but life with a house, a husband, a 3 year old and a baby means it’s rare I’m not in demand. I’m writing it in parts to make it easier. It’s a completely different story and experience to Alfies birth story. Grab a cuppa and enjoy…
I had a relatively straight forward pregnancy – the odd bout of sickness, heartburn and SPD but compared to my pregnancy with Alfie, this one was a breeze. That’s not to say I wasn’t knackered though! By 40 weeks I’d had my fill of being pregnant. I had swollen ankles, a crippled pelvis thanks to SPD and heartburn that no amount of Gaviscon could cure and they were just the obvious ailments. I had forgotten just how hard work pregnancy is. I mean growing a human being isn’t easy! My due day reached and there was no signs of baby Lewis making an appearance. I was going to need a sweep, probably two! In fact, they’d probably need to induce me. I was booked in for a sweep a week after my due date and I was counting down the days.
On Thursday 11th September, I’d woken up with horrible tummy ache. I’d held a wee for too long again because I was too lazy to get up to go to the toilet during the night, I ignored my bladder and held it until morning. Worst. Idea. Ever. I was just getting over a water infection as it was. Alan was working a day shift so I had no choice but to get up and take Alfie to nursery. I felt rubbish. I was having tightenings and I was convinced they were because of the water infection. It had happened before. The drive to and from nursery was awful, I couldn’t have drove any further. I got home, slumped on the sofa and messaged my bestie.
I knew I wasn’t in labour but I was 5 days overdue and fed up. I called the hospital hoping they were quiet and would let me go up just to be checked. I needed to be told I wasn’t dilating or effacing at all. I needed to hear it for my sanity so I could stop wishing with every tiny twinge that, “this is it” because it never was and that was exhausting in itself. I spoke to a lovely midwife who told me they weren’t regular enough for me to come in and to try a bath as it’s likely the tightenings would calm down with a bath, if not go completely. She could hear the disappointment in my voice. “Call back if they get painful or become regular,” she said. I called Alan and told him that he could stay at work and he didn’t need to come home. He was relieved, it was his second shift back after 7 weeks off previously due to a minor operation he’d had.
Sat in the bath, I fidgeted constantly. I couldn’t get comfortable but then I was 40 + 5 weeks pregnant, I hadn’t been comfortable for weeks, if not months! I timed myself on the contraction app I’d downloaded in preparation for the big day. The tightenings weren’t going anywhere they had made themselves very clear of that. I called Alan at 10:25 and asked him to come home just in case. His work is a 45 minute drive away in good traffic and although I knew I wasn’t in labour, I wanted to be safe not sorry. I got out of the bath, got myself dressed and went downstairs to wait for Alan. I leant over my birthing ball with the tens machine on. With every tightening I was willing them to be the real deal.
Alan arrived home earlier than I expected. We chatted between tightenings and at 11:15 I decided to call the hospital and ask to go in. I needed to hear that I was over reacting and certainly not in imminent labour, for my sanity sake. The midwife asked if I was struggling and although I knew I could have coped at home, I told her yes, I was struggling; I needed to know what was happening. On the way to the car, a neighbour asked, “Oooh is this it?!”. We brushed off her comments and said we were off out for lunch (my bags were already in the car so no tell tale signs!). I didn’t want the whole world knowing I was overreacting! It was bad enough my husband thought I was! At 11:30 we set off to the hospital.