Nothing, June 5, 2018
Midwife: So, it would be safe for your baby to come at any point from now on ...
Me: What?! But there's still three weeks to my due date!!
Midwife: Yes, but from 37 weeks you're full term, so it's safe for your baby to come anytime from now!
Me: Oh wow, thank God! Hopefully it's soon then. I'm just getting inpatient I want to meet her!!!
Inpatient. That's exactly the word I'd use to describe a me from approx 37 weeks! Anything more than that I think I'd use a more aggressive term if I'm completely honest. I just wanted to meet her so badly. The novelty of being pregnant was wearing off. Don't get me wrong, I loved being pregnant and if my pregnancy was a designer brand in Harrods, I think It'd be Cartier, that's how perfect it was but the second someone tells you "anytime from NOW!" It's like when your mum used to tell you it was Christmas in a month and all you did was count the days down, or when you've booked a holiday and it's 3 weeks away but all you want to do is drive to the airport and get on a plane! Waiting becomes painfully boring, just as boring as day time TV. And the problem is, all this time waiting gives a pregnant woman more time to sleep (bonus), more time to clean (I guess that's a good thing), but also - more time to THINK! And do you know what happens to a woman like this? She sleeps so much she's having nightmares day and night, she cleans so much that there's nothing left to clean, and she thinks so much that she doesn't feel like there's anything left to think of! And what happens when all the above is done? Nothing. Absolutely nothing! Until something really did happen - here's my story...
Sunday night, trying to sleep. Key word being trying. I had been having so many tightenings (my tummy was going hard intermittently throughout the day - it wasn't painful as such - but they were becoming more frequent in the days leading up to this moment that I didn't think anything of it anymore. 3am, I turn from my left side to my right wondering why I feel so damp?! Have I just wet the bed?! Shake my husband to wake him but obviously typical man, doesn't wake up the first time his name is called, (to be honest I should've let him turn into the wet sheets that would've taught him a lesson)... "SAM! My waters have broken!" Oh, my goodness - things are about to happen! Here we go! Grab the bag (my midwife had told me to pack it weeks in advance - I'd be staring at it by the bedroom door for weeks!). Off we go to the hospital, only to be told to turn back around because everything's fine and nothing's happening. "Nothing?" What do you mean nothing? I am leaking water every time one foot goes in front of the other, what do you mean nothing's happening? But ok fine, they know best, right? Off we go back home to monitor my temperature and wait for things to start, they'll give me 18 hours before needing to start my labour and prescribe me antibiotics to cover a potential infection. The pressure was ON! 2 hours later - nothing. 6 hours later - nothing. A whole 18 hours later, yup, you guessed it - nothing.
Induction. The word all mums-to-be are terrified of (one of many words actually). Now I'm on the Antenatal Ward - which I can safely say is NOT a home from home. It's loud, it's cramped, it's busy! I was told they would assess my cervix - I wasn't getting my hopes up - and use a hormone gel to encourage the contractions to start. You guessed it - the changes that need to happen to your cervix at the start of labour, it becoming shorter, softer, and facing forward - yeah, NOTHING! In goes the gel, and my fingers are tightley crossed.
Okay, this isn't funny anymore. I've actually been contracting. Irregularly, but contracting none the less, what do they mean I'm only 3cm! That's 1cm away from being in active labour, surely it still counts? Surely things are just going to kick off anytime now? I was told all I was waiting for now was to be taken to the Labour Ward for my waters to be broken. I wish someone told me how long you could end up sitting on the ward just waiting for this room to become available. They're like gold dust! I've been sat here listening to women be admitted after me and bypassing me all day because of God knows what! Right now, I'm praying for one of these women to slip me a note under the curtain to tell me what their trick is just so I can go next. I'm so exhaust - Oh crap! That was a painful one... Oh my God. Something's not right, this is too much! You're telling me it's only going to get worse?! By this point I couldn't handle it anymore. I don't know if it was a mixture of my emotions and fatigue and being so fed up that I was feeling the pain so much more, or was I going from 3cm to 'get the hell out of my vagina not my anus because that's where I can feel you!' In 60 seconds?! Turns out that's all I needed to go to the labour ward, because I felt so much pressure every time I had a contraction I was pushing involuntarily, they thought I was fully dilated and ready to deliver my baby only to be told I was "still" 3cm and that I needed to stop pushing because I could cause swelling to my cervix and my baby's head - well in that case SCREW MY BIRTH PLAN! I WANT THE EPIDURAL.
That's it right? Epidural - IN, nice normal birth plan - OUT! It's so easy writing a birth plan before you go into labour, you don't have a clue how it's going to feel and the thought of a needle in your spine, well don't get me started, of course you'd pick an adult size paddling pool with mood lighting and Ed Sheeran playing in the background! I remember my midwives in my antenatal classes saying 'Ladies, there is a time and place for an epidural, don't knock it.' I've just realised what they meant and they were completely right. We're so quick to say 'No! We want to try it completely low risk and natural!' But when you've been contracting for the past week and haven't slept properly in 3 days, the truth is, you're beginning to lose the will to live, so actually my antenatal educators were right. This was definitely the time and the place for the epidural to be welcomed into my spinal space. So, a full 13 hours later, I'm now fully dilated and ready to push. So that's it. 1 hour later you'd think that would be it right? But guess what, nothing. 2 hours later, NOTHING! In an instant, the midwife reaches for the red emergency bell, and just like that, as if it were a Hollywood movie, the room is filled with people in blue scrubs, but no one was panicking, they were so calm and so confident. Before I knew it, my legs were up in stirrups and the doctor between my legs in front of me, picked up a pair of scissors. ARE YOU MAD? WHAT THE HELL ARE THOSE?! They told me what they were going to do, and they explained my baby's heart rate was dropping and they had to deliver the baby now, so they had to cut me slightly to make room for the baby's head.
They cut me. Did I feel pain? No. Nothing.
They delivered my baby; did I feel scared. No. nothing. I felt strong! I felt relief!
Baby out - Crying? No... nothing.