A tale of two labours – At home

May 8, 2011

I want to try and get this written down before it fades into the tiredness and inability to think that comes with severe sleep deprivation. It took me a month to be able to even consider sitting down and writing about my induction and labour last time, and it just goes to show the difference between the two experiences as this time I am so keen to record and remember everything that happened. I am trying to get it down and write a bit more every time I have a moment. Which isn’t often! Also as it was a straightforward labour I thought it would be short but I have split it into two parts so it isn’t too long a post.

I woke up on the morning of Tuesday 3rd May feeling like maybe something might actually happen that day. I chatted to Mr C and I suggested that to mark the first official day of his paternity leave we should go to the pub for lunch. I just had this feeling that it would be good to be active and busy.

When we got to the pub Mr C asked if he could have a drink! I suggested that it might be an idea to be able to drive later just in case as I was feeling ‘achy’. We had a lovely lunch and then popped to the garden centre. When we got back I told him that I really needed to have a bath. I said I was having something like period pains but it was probably nothing. I got into the bath and tried to concentrate on reading my book and noticed that pains were coming and going. I told Mr C and he was very good, looking after Piran and staying out of my way. It was still happening at 4pm and they were coming every 8 minutes so we had a chat and decided that it might be a good idea to take Piran to stay at his Nanny’s house. All of a sudden Piran was packed and off they went!

We had dinner although I didn’t feel hungry and watched TV and I was using the laptop to time the contractions. I finally felt that it might be for real and said something on Twitter! I spent the next hour tweeting away which was wonderfully distracting but took my mind of it all. Then around 9pm it seemed that the contractions were irregular so I decided it was a good time to get some sleep. I took some paracetamol (Mr C asked me why I was taking it. Um, because it hurts!) We went to bed and I tried to sleep.

I managed to doze but just after midnight decided to get up for a bit. I tweeted and read blogs and even commented on some, although I think I may have been a bit waffly! Then I went back to bed at 2am. Between 2 and 3.30 I woke up each time I had a contraction. At 3.30 I decided to try and time them. At 4 I had to wake Mr C to ask him to time them for me as I couldn’t concentrate enough. We made a cup of tea, got dressed and I walked around as each contraction happened. For weeks I have not been able to sleep as it is so hot at night, this night was freezing with a frost outside! Typical.

I first called the hospital at around 5am. I was having around 4 contractions every 10 minutes but they only lasted around 30 seconds. They asked me to wait another hour, to call if anything changed but that they didn’t think it was time to come yet. They suggested a bath but I was happier just walking around – as each contraction started I would leave our bedroom and go and hang on to the door frame, or Piran’s cot or the banisters. They started lasting around 40 seconds so I called the hospital again at 5.45. Again, they explained that they wanted to be sure that I was in full blown labour before we got there so we didn’t get sent home again. They told me to try and stay until the contractions were lasting a minute each.

I decided to have a bath and would shout to Mr C each time a contraction started and finished. They started getting to around 45 – 50 seconds and the bath was nice but there was a point where I had to get out immediately and go to the toilet. Not my finest moment, cold, wet and naked on the toilet! Mr C got my dressing gown and I decided to stay out of the bath for a while. I got dressed and the contractions started getting much more painful. At around 6.50 I told Mr C that I didn’t think I would cope much longer without help with the pain so I called the hospital expecting to need to convince them that I wanted to come in but they agreed immediately. Mr C took the bags to the car, I got myself and my pillow together and got out of the house in less than five minutes. It was 7am. I was so conscious that I didn’t want to be spotted by our neighbours but a contraction hit just as I reached the car, so I stood clutching the door handle for a minute!

The contractions in the car were fierce, made worse by winding roads and having to sit still. I bit my pillow and tried to breathe the best I could. We got there at 7.30. Mr C got ready, I waited until another contraction had passed and we headed into the hospital. I remember telling Mr C to be sure he had put the carpark ticket somewhere safe.

Three more contractions, including one in the lift which was odd, and we were there.

I have written part two, what happened at the hospital, here.

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