Well, at least we would be up to Week 41 if I hadn't already given birth to our beautiful baby boy on Valentine's Day. Isn't he simply adorable, sitting there pondering the world?!? (although I think it is possible I am a bit biased!):
The labour was no where near as horrendous as I had been expecting. My Sunday started like any other day, lying in bed wrestling with the idea of whether to get up and exercise or whether to leave it until later in the day. I had a bit of lower back pain but not enough to stop me from exercising and I just figured that it was an extension of me putting my middle back out earlier in the week, not anything at all attributed to labour.
Anyway, I got up and went to the toilet and the first sign that something could possibly be going on was that as I went to sit down I had a trickle of clear fluid come out when I least expected it. The same thing happened when I hopped back into bed. I said to Matty that maybe my waters had broken and the baby's head was stopping it from all coming out at once, but on the other hand, maybe it was just another one of those unspoken 'pregnancy joys' where your body fails you just a little.
It wasn't until I went to the toilet almost an hour later that I noticed there was a bit of blood in my cervical mucous. I thought that it must be about time to call the hospital and see what they thought we should do. They said to come in just so they could check me out. I had expected to go into the hospital, get checked out and then be sent home until the labour progressed, but that wasn't the way it was to work!
We got to the hospital at about 11.30am and I was hooked up to the CTG machine to check that all was ok with the baby and to monitor the 'contractions'. Matty and I were a bit surprised that they offered us some lunch, but we weren't going to turn down a meal.
We waited to see the oncall obstetrician so that she could assess whether to send us home or not. When she came at 1.00pm she advised us that I was already 4cm's dilated, so I wouldn't be going anywhere.
They hooked me up to the TENS machine and things were going good. Matty sat around watching the Winter Olympics while I walked around the room working on my redwork, much to the midwife's delight (I am pretty sure she thought I was insane!):
Contractions didn't actually start feeling like contractions until about 2.15pm and even then they were mild, but it was time for us to start getting serious about this whole labour business! As you can see we did just that!
At about 4.30pm things started to get a bit tougher as the TENS machine started cutting in and out during the contractions (much to my delight). After it cut out in the middle of five consecutive contractions I decided to move onto the gas, a decision I initially regretted.
I remember telling Matty after two contractions that the gas was making my eyes go all 'googly', I felt horrendously tired all of a sudden and for some reason I kept thinking there was a cat on the bed. Luckily, after a couple more contractions I got used to it and found it quite a good source for pain relief. It wasn't until about 6pm that things started to go a little askew.....
The contractions changed significantly and just felt wrong. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to push or not and the gas was starting to fail. I hopped into the shower for a bit but the only thing that did was make me wet. My lower back was hurting beyond belief so Matty rubbed it to try and give me a bit of relief but it wasn't working. I said that I thought we might need to consider an epidural.
The oncall Obstetrician came to assess me and said that I could have an epidural if I was less than 7cms dilated. When she had a look, the head was right there - I should have been pushing by this stage, but my body failed to let me know. After about 5 pushes, it was decided that we needed to get the baby out as soon as possible as I was going into distress with the lower back pain, so vacuum extraction would be used.
I realise that lower back pain sounds like it should be tolerable, but let me tell you that when I look back on the labour, I can't even remember any pain associated with the crowning or the baby's shoulders coming out - all I can remember is the back pain, the horrendous, horrendous back pain.
Anyway, after about 10 random pushes (my body still wasn't telling me to push) and a small cut, our baby was born at 7.20pm, weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces, 54.5cms long and with a head circumference of 34.5cms.
At some point during the last phase of the labour I told Matty that we wouldn't be having any more kids, but once I was showered and dressed and sitting in the chair cuddling our son I whispered to Matty that I thought his son would need a little sister. How quickly we forget the pain!
Here is a photo of us around 12 hours after the birth:
While our baby is absolutely adorable, the unsung hero in this story is my beautiful husband. He didn't lose his cool once during labour and provided me with so much support during the whole experience. I didn't think that I could love him any more than I already did, but I feel as though labour moved our relationship to a whole new stratosphere.
My heart just swells with pride when I look at him holding our son and I am eternally grateful that I have such an adorable husband.