I thought it was time I write Cam’s birth story, and today is a good a day as any, he is 4 weeks old already!
Sunday 14th February 2016.
I woke up at just gone 2am to go for my usual middle-of-the-night wee, then went back to bed. At 3:20am I woke up again, a bit panicky as I thought I’d wet the bed! I moved, barely an inch, and I felt gushing down below. ‘Oh crap, this was it’ I remember thinking! I woke up MrV, normally a tricky thing to do as he’s such a heavy sleeper, but me shoving him saying “my waters have broken” did the trick!!
Once he’d phoned his mum and dad (they were coming over to look after the girls) I somehow managed to get to the bathroom, towel between my legs, still feeling like a human waterfall. What a weird sensation, I don’t remember there being so much last time. I phoned the hospital to let them know, and they suggested I go in. By the time MrV’s parents got to us, and we then got to the hospital it was about 5am.
We went to the Midwife Led Unit as my consultant had discharged me and said I didn’t need to be in the Consultant Led Unit. Unfortunately she had failed to write this in my notes but as the unit was quiet one of the midwives went through the paperwork and checked me over before sending us elsewhere. At this point I was only 3cm dilated and was only having very mild contractions, but as I had a history of quick labours and we lived about half an hour away they said they would definitely keep me in.
My contractions started ramping up about 8am-ish and I think it was about 9ish when I asked for gas and air. They also hooked me up to a monitor so they could check baby’s heartbeat.
(Side note: by this time there was another lady in the bed next to me, also having contractions, but managing to play cards and talking to her partner like nothing was happening. It’s a good job MrV had his phone to play on as my conversational skills were next to useless)
By 10am I was really struggling. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart, but when the midwife checked again I was only 5cm dilated. I kept telling her the baby’s coming but she kept trying to convince me he wasn’t. More contractions, and suddenly I started feeling pressure. I guess you could see in my face something was going on, I’m sure I looked panicky, so she called the delivery suite and told them she was bringing me down. “The only thing is we can’t take the gas and air with us, but you can have it again when we get downstairs”
I don’t remember saying anything but I know for a fact that my face said enough. Moving downstairs, my contractions getting stronger and closer, with no gas and air?! Shit!
Everything after this happened very quickly, but to me it seemed an eternity. Poor MrV had to follow on behind with all my ‘stuff’ as I was whisked away on the bed (there’s no way I could have sat in the wheelchair they offered me!) out of the ward (cue contraction) into the lift (another contraction) and into the delivery room (another one!). There I was, but I hadn’t thought it through, they wanted me to get off one bed onto the other. Even the temptation of the gas and air, which didn’t reach to where I was, was still not helping. How was I going to move when I was in so much pain?!
After getting told off by the midwife (!) and yet another contraction, I managed to haul myself onto the new bed, and I’d already told them to raise the head up, there was no way I was laying down, I needed gravity to help! I got onto my knees and leaning over the head of the bed I finally got the gas and air back! I could see MrV again, right in front of me, I’d never been so glad to see him, it was getting seriously close and I was freaking out.
A few contractions later, the midwife told me I needed to lay down so they could examine me, as the baby’s heartbeat had dropped. I remember from having Millie that laying on my back was not a good idea, and it felt all wrong. I remember shouting that I wasn’t going to move, that the baby was coming, I needed to push. I don’t know if she said it to me or someone else but I remember hearing that I was more likely to tear if I delivered on my knees, but that was really the last thing on my mind! I think they told me not to push, that I wasn’t ready, but when the uncontrollable growling started (labouring is incredibly animalistic – is that a word!?) and the midwife checked, she changed her mind… “Push when you need to” she said!
So yet again, here I was having a baby with only gas and air. It’s a very strange sensation, it doesn’t really do anything for the pain but it makes me so spaced out that I can only focus on one thing at a time. MrV was by my side all the time, telling me to breath properly (I guess I was almost panting, to get more gas and air in!) and feeding me ice chips as that gas really dries your mouth out! At some point I must have taken my tshirt off too, but I don’t really remember that!
Back to the pushing… The pain was so intense. I remember as he was starting to crown, my contraction stopped so he went back in. This happened two or three times, I thought he was never going to come out. Eventually I had a long enough contraction that I could push for longer, and out he came. Thank god for gravity! I cried so much; the pain, the relief, I finally had my boy!
MrV cut the cord and had the first cuddle, as he has done with each of our children. I couldn’t have done this, again, without him. He always says “I didn’t do anything” but just knowing he was there next to me, calming me down and translating my spaced out mumbling (!) was all I needed.
My baby was put on my chest then I had the injection to help with delivering the placenta. I always forget about that bit! When that was over, I needed checking over to see if I needed stiches, which of course I did. At least I got my gas and air back while they stitched me up though. I remember this bit clearly, constantly taking gas and air whilst they ‘fixed me’ all while holding my baby. At some point MrV said “mind he doesn’t fall off you”… “He’s not going anywhere” I replied. Although I was so out of it I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I knew exactly where our baby was, and I wasn’t going to let him move, it was almost like he was keeping me safe. Unfortunately for me though, of all the things happening around me, my brain chose to focus on what the midwife was saying. She had a student midwife with her so she had to explain everything she was doing, enough said.
Eventually I was all mended, my legs had been released from the ever-so-dignifying stirrups, and I could sit up and look at my baby. When they weighed him, we were all a bit shocked, he weighed 9lb 7oz! No wonder I was so big! Anabel only weighed 7lb 7oz and Amelia was 7lb 13oz!
It took quite a while to think of a name, we still had a not-very-short list, but here he is, Cameron Alexander…