Monday, 8 March 2010

The long wait is over

Here is our new family member, a lovely little girl who arrived on Thursday night, my 38th birthday. I blew birthday candles out in the day visiting room while having a contraction. After being in labour for two slow days, she was almost born in the lift on the way to the delivery suite.

I had been doing my hypnobirthing breathing throughout all the contractions. This means that to the outside world, I just look like I am taking a few deep breaths, and the midwives at the hospital didn't really think I was in established labour even though we told them that the space between contractions had gone down from 10 minutes, to 6 minutes, to 4 minutes, to... lift off!

It was only when my waters broke in the day assessment ward that the lady looking after me realised that something was happening, and from that point to the baby being born only took 61 minutes!

I was in a ward of four other mothers, all behind skimpy curtains and all being monitored for various pregnancy-related issues. This was fine while I was breathing away quietly to myself, but once I started getting a strong urge to moo like a cow, neigh like a horse and generally make some very odd noises, I was conscious that these other patients might like a bit of peace and quiet.

On all fours on my bed, the midwives wheeled me down the hall to a room where they could shut the door, so that I didn't wake up the whole hospital! Then, realising that we were literally minutes away from lift off, they put a sheet over me, told me to pant through the next surge, and made a dash for the lift to take me downstairs to the delivery suite. I remember the nurse telling husband that she would bring my suitcase and stuff, and that he had better stick with me or he might miss the birth just as we left that room.  Then it was a quick run to the delivery suite and I think the baby arrived about 4 surges later.

Finally, on my fifth delivery, I have got the whole labour thing nailed! It is the most over-whelming experience at the end, but this time round I felt totally relaxed and knowing what was going on made a huge difference. It was not remotely stressful, just a completely and breathtakingly extreme experience.

The baby arrived so quickly and smoothly that her head was a completely different shape to our other daughters - no time for swelling in the birth canal, according to the midwife. We are now on day four and she seems to be a completely relaxed and cool baby.