A month ago today I was feeling a bit out of sorts. You just know when something’s not right within your own body. We have that instant instinct the minute something’s up. We just know. No one knows our bodies better than ourselves. How could they? It’s our body. Always listen to it and be its friend people! If it’s trying to tell you something, LISTEN!
This blog post is about BIRTH so there will be mentions of bodily fluids and such. Maybe too much information for your liking so if that is the case I suggest having a cup of tea and doing what makes you feel happy. Mine would be hiding away with a book or doing a spot of writing. See you next time if you decided to go no further. I wouldn’t blame you! This is going to be a long blog post.
It all started around about 07:30 in the morning. I was getting stronger contractions that didn’t feel like Braxton Hicks and feeling a bit urgh. Not a very good way to describe it I know but that is honestly how I was feeling, urghhhh! It wasn’t until 9ish that I lost my mucous plug and thought “Oh sh*t! Is this it? Am I going to go into labour soon?” For people who may not know, losing your mucous plug can be a sign that things may be about to start happening. “What is a mucous plug?” I hear some of you ask. Well from around seven weeks in early pregnancy a plug of mucous seals your cervix to help prevent infection – hence the name, mucous plug. Lovely eh? So after seeing mine in the toilet bowl, I started to panic a little. Especially as my contractions where getting stronger and closer together. Husband rang the midwives and because of my previous experience with birth they called me into the hospital to double-check everything was ok. Now, if you didn’t know, we had just moved to Scotland and had planed to go to the dump on this day. Did we just ignore all the boxes and rubbish bags lined up ready in the hallway and just rush off to the hospital? Nope! I insisted we went to the dump to get rid of our crap. Yep. Seriously, that is what we did before going to the hospital. Sound’s crazy doesn’t it but I convinced my husband that we would have time to go and it would make things easier for when I come home after giving birth. You don’t argue with a heavily pregnant bunny and so we shoved my hospital bag, the boy and our dump run into the car and drove to our local tip. As I sat in the car while husband offloaded I kept trying to keep calm and take deep breaths in and out. The contractions where getting closer and closer and I had to bite my lip to stop from crying out. I didn’t want to scare the boy in the backseat who was blissfully unaware of what was happening. His innocent smile got me through it. I thought this will be a most amusing thing to tell our children when they are older. Mummy goes into labour but insists on going to the dump first because she is too damned house proud! Yes, I realise now that it was foolish of me. Imagine if I had given birth at the dump! Now that would be a tale to tell.
The minute the last black bag was dumped, husband raced back into the car and sped (without breaking the speed limit) to the hospital which is about a 45minute drive away. JOY! Luckily we knew where we were going as we had previous hospital appointments in the week. The midwives said I could be dropped off at the side door and ring the buzzer to be let in to save me waddling though the entire hospital to the labour ward. No one can ever tell you exactly what to expect when excepting. It’s just impossible. I had no idea I would be really breathy and struggle to string a sentence together. When I arrived at the buzzer, I struggled to say who I was, I literally forgot my own name temporarily and was a bumbling mess. The contractions were getting worse and each sharp stab made me want to just cry. Lucky for me the midwives are used to dealing with pregnant woman (DUH) and buzzed me in. I was showed to a hot sticky waiting room and grabbed the nearest chair to concentrate on my breathing. I felt like I was waiting for hours to be seen. Before long husband and son joined me which helped distract me from the pain. I already knew that if this was the real deal they would not be allowed into the delivery room. I would have to give birth alone. Something that terrified me. But I couldn’t focus on that too much. I was just trying to survive the next minute. When I was finally seen to (although realistically in hindsight I don’t think I was waiting that long, it just felt like it) I felt like screaming. I honestly wanted to just scream “GIVE ME THE DRUGS” like a crazy woman while shaking the midwife. After the routine questions, they stuck monitors on me and told me to press a button whenever Mogwai kicked. This went on for about 30-ish minutes before they decided to examine me. However, I desperately needed to pee so was allowed to rush to the toilets. Any guesses as to what happened next? Anyone? I will give you a minute to think about it…give up? Well firstly my son knocked on the door to check I was ok which just made me melt. He’s just too darn cute! Secondly, my waters broke on the toilet. There was a sudden POP and then a gush and I just knew that they had broken. The second that happened, my contractions became the next circle of hell! I honestly couldn’t believe that they had broken but was just grateful that it had happened over the toilet and not out in public for all to see. Imagine if it had happened while in Tesco or something. “Clean up in aisle 4” much! I told the midwife what happened, they checked to see how dilated I was and was taken straight up to labour ward. Not scary at all…*sarcasm alert*
The thing about being pregnant is you get so used to people seeing your most private parts (and prodding and poking at you with various devices/implements) that you don’t hesitate to drop your knickers when asked (by a professional). I never thought I would be so willing to just take off my clothes and let them do what they’ve got to do. They honestly don’t care what underwear you’re wearing or if you have forgotten to shave. They don’t really pay attention to that, it’s more about doing their job and getting on with it. So if you are ever worried or concerned about doctors or nurses looking at your lady parts for whatever health reason. Please don’t. Smear tests for us woman are so important! Don’t refuse to go to them because you are scared. It’s not worth the risk. I totally understand that it’s a scary thing and super uncomfortable. But please don’t worry about it. Your health is much more important. And besides, they see about a hundred foo-foos a week! (my word for vagina! Vagina is such a harsh sounding word I find) They won’t remember yours by lunchtime. Trust me. But yes, as I was saying. I was wheeled to labour ward in a wheelchair and before I knew it, I was helped into a classic oversized hospital nighty and breathing in the old gas and air. I had to say goodbye to my boys at the door and just wanted to burst into tears. I so wanted to have my husband there, supporting me while I yelled abuse at him and death-gripped his hand. But alas I knew that it was impossible and he waited in the corridor with our son listening to my screams and comforting the boy. I can’t remember how far dilated I was but from what I gathered from the midwives between screams was that I was contracting extremely fast and Mogwai wanted to come out. I remember the pain from when I went into labour with Cabbit (before his heartbeat dropped and I was rushed into theatre) but nothing can prepare you for when it actually hits. It’s excruciating and one of the worst feelings you will feel in the world. It happens in such short sharp bursts that by the time you recover from it, it’s happening all over again. What I find amusing is that after the midwives/doctors were so surprised at my pain threshold. They said I had a high pain threshold which impressed them. Let me tell you, that at the time it didn’t feel like it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I felt like I was dying. Just that my insides where being stabbed repeatedly over and over again before slowly having the knife covered in salt and dragged over the fresh wound while being twisted in the most uncomfortable way possible.
I honestly do not know how I would have got through it all without my midwives. They were amazing! Especially one in particular who kept me calm and made me laugh. She was a star and I couldn’t thank her enough. The day after, she visited me in the ward to see how I was and I just wanted to hug her. I couldn’t at the time as I was bed-bound (all will become clear soon) so just kept thanking her. Truly lucky to have had someone like that there with me considering my partner in crime was occupied with our little monster.
When the time came I was told I could FINALLY push, the relief was indescribable. Up until this point I had been told not to which is believe it or not harder than it sounds. But yet there was a strange sense of relief each time I pushed Mogwai further to freedom. A sense that “Oh god this will soon be over and I can just collapse into a big mess of goo!” My husband later asked what it felt like giving birth and the only answer I could give him was “It’s like taking a big poo. You know that relief you feel once it’s out. Felt like that. Relief!” He of course laughed and I couldn’t believe I just described giving birth by comparing it to bowel movements but I was a mess so I will excuse myself for that one. But it was just that, relief. That final push and Mogwai was out, just like that. I heard his little cry and saw his beautiful big eyes looking around curiously wondering why he had been pulled from his nice warm haven. Midwives and doctors were still going about their jobs making sure I was ok and routine checks but all I could focus on was my beautiful baby boy. Once he was sorted and checked over they placed him on me and my heart exploded. He was so delicate and soft, so much innocence about him. The first words out of my mouth where “Can my husband and son come in now please?” Which of course they did once I was quickly cleaned up. Cabbit was amazing to his little brother. He pointed and said “Baby” and gave him a kiss on the head. I was so proud of him, he really is growing up so fast into a little gentleman. He still has a right filthy temper on him like me but in that moment he showed me how much of an awesome big brother he is going to be. Husband was in love with Mogwai like me and held him with pride as I sipped my tea and smiled at how much of a loving father he is. He really is a natural with fatherhood, it suits him and fits him well. It felt like I only saw my boys for a few seconds before they had to leave and return to the burrow without me and Mogwai. *sob* I don’t like hospitals at the best of times so being left alone in one over night was one of my worst nightmares. However I wasn’t alone anymore, I had Mogwai with me and we would get though it together. YAY Happy dance!
Just as I was about to relax after saying a tearful goodbye to my loved ones and dig into my toast they had thoughtfully brought me. The midwives started rushing around more and acting more panicky. They started getting concerned at the amount of blood I was losing and rushed specialist doctors in to check me over. At this point I was drugged up and in and out of it so was utterly confused about what was going on. Only when a doctor came to my side and said I would need to go into theatre and have my old c-section scar reopened did I become alert. Basically I was continuing to lose a lot of blood and they had no idea how. They were extremely concerned that it was something to do with my scar or part of the placenta was stuck. Ether way it was bad and it needed seeing to urgently. I have never been put under anaesthetic before and honestly was terrified. The thought of being knocked out after just giving birth and not having my husband there scared the sh*t out of me. Before I knew it I was wheeled off into theatre and had more doctors around me telling me who they were and what they were going to do. Comforting in a way but when one said there was a chance they would have to give me a hysterectomy, I panicked. The thought of not having the option of having any more children was horrible. We would, believe it or not love to have at least one more. Thankfully, that didn’t happen! *happy dance!* The last thing I remember was signing a few forms and the mask being put on me. I had that horrible fear that I think a lot of people have of waking up mid surgery. That would not be fun. Everything went black and I was gone in seconds.
When I woke up I had no idea where I was or how I got there. I was freezing and my teeth kept chattering uncontrollably. I had a few nurses around me mumbling something along the lines of “She’s having trouble coming round” All I knew was that my throat felt like sandpaper and I desperately wanted a drink. When I turned my head to my side I saw Mogwai sleeping next to me in a little cot. He was so peaceful and calm, like he knew I was there. I was so glad he was safe and back with me again. I hated being apart from him for so long. He was born around 6 in the evening and when I cam around from surgery it was 1 in the morning.
After what felt like hours I was wheeled to another ward. Literally I was wheeled in my bed. I had two young trainee male nurses look after me and they were wheeling me along like you would a shopping trolley. You know when you push it a little and stand on it, letting it take you with it? That’s what was happening to me. They asked if it was ok to do first, these two where very jack the lad types. Fart jokes and bigging themselves up, that sort of thing. I agreed as I didn’t see the harm and was so drugged up I thought I was dreaming. Everything was so hazy and blurry which is when I realised I haven’t had my glasses on the whole time since being at hospital. Idiot! But at least I was having a bit of fun being wheeled around. Weeeeeeeeeeeee!
After a much-needed drink and more routine tests, a midwife explained to me what had happened in surgery. They had fitted a small balloon inside my womb to keep pressure on the bleeding and help it stop. They are still confused what had caused the bleeding after investigating every possible source. It will forever remain a mystery! The only thing they knew for certain was that I had lost so much blood I was now anaemic and had to take iron tablets until my count was back up to normal. I am still on them now. I kept getting remarks about how pale I was and I just replied “I am quite pale naturally” It really confused me why this kept coming up. It wasn’t until the day I left that they actually told me about how much blood I had lost. Up until then I didn’t have a clue and things were still unclear. At least now I could pull off the Morticia Addams look!
After a few days in hospital I was finally allowed to go home. As lovely as the midwives were, nowhere is better than your own bed. I could not wait to get home and just properly relax. I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband as he had made the burrow as comfortable as possible for me and Mogwai. He had brought in my favourite food, little treats and continued to decorate the house so there was less work to stress over. He is a good panda to me and the boys. How do I deserve him? He’s just far too amazing!
Phew! That was a long blog post and it’s not even the half of it! Time has been flying so fast lately. I feel like the next time I blink I will be a blubbery mess at our son’s weddings! How has it already been a month since I gave birth? Feels like only yesterday I was pregnant and doing my best beached whale impression! But it’s all good. We are all adjusting to our new life in Scotland and the arrival of Mogwai. Especially Cabbit. He has taken to being a big brother so well. I couldn’t be more proud. There is still the odd tantrum but he is a toddler. Oh I do love my boys. I feel so lucky to have them in my life. So, so lucky!
Think I deserve a cup of tea after that. Or a big bottle of cider! Unfortunately being on pain relief 24/7 forbids me to touch a single drop. So for now it’s tea! But I’m not complaining. Means I have more of an excuse to have biscuits or a cheeky slice of cake with my cuppa.
Hop hop wiggle wiggle