Labour, Parenting, Pregnancy

Part 12: The Real Reason My Water Birth Is The Best Gift I Have Ever Been Given

We take the advice of the midwife (see previous post) and get ready to make our way into the hospital, but instead of being in labour, we are going in not knowing if our unborn child is ok. It’s a horrible feeling. As we arrive at 10pm we find that the department is short-staffed and we have to wait an hour to be monitored; waiting is agonising, not being in control is soul-destroying and not knowing the outcome makes us feel helpless.
Eventually, we are called through to be monitored, and finally, the wait is over. Within a few minutes, our fears are a distant memory as we can see and hear our little mans beating heart.

After an hour, we are eventually told we can go home, but we need to wait outside while my maternity file is updated. Coincidentally, no sooner do I step one foot out of the door, my contractions start up again. Meanwhile, my belly visibly drops what feels like 3 feet, and I instantly grab the wall and claw at it uncontrollably, as the other pregnant women in the waiting room look on in horror.

In equal measures of embarrassment and complete sympathy for the other women (who I am convinced must be first-time Mums), my contractions become very regular almost instantaneously. Very publicly, I am on the edge of my pain threshold. I’m pacing the corridor stopping every 2 minutes, doing a weird Irish jig crossed with a drug addict rocking in the corner, and clawing the wall like an evil ginger cat while breathing through the pain so violently I can feel I am spitting on myself. It’s a sad and hideous state to be in and I can only apologise to the other Mums-to-be. I don’t remember it hurting this much. What’s in there, a boulder? Am I giving birth to a meteorite?!

Sadly the midwife at the birthing suite does not believe that my labour is advanced enough to be admitted. Instead, they tell our lovely overworked lady who has monitored me for all this time to send me home. However, she takes none of this shit and decides to check before sending us on our merry way. Ahhh, here we go, strike the legs akimbo pose and get used to it…

Thank you, Lucy! I am so glad you did check my progress and didn’t just tell me to bugger off as I am already 6cm dilated and would have probably ended up having a baby outside Costcutter next to a bin.
With that, I am whisked off to the labour suite (at 12.30am) and meet my midwife Sandra. She barely has a chance to open the door and I inadvertently fling myself at her and in a koala style grip, attach myself as tightly as I can around her neck convulsing like a shot wilder-beast muttering how much I love her and how sorry I am in-between contractions.
For many, this could be a deal-breaker, and I was shocked she didn’t run out of the door screaming, but she says she loves me too and then asks politely if I could warn her should I feel the need to do that again as she nearly slipped a disc. I don’t do it again. Instead, I rant at Beard about how much I despise his penis and that once I have had his baby, I am going to slowly poison him with sausages… Sadly I do not remember any of this sign of affection.

Pacing the room, rocking and bear-hugging Beard with gas and air wedged firmly in my face, I make it until 2.30am. Unfortunately, the pain in my pelvis is really getting on top of me, and the pressure in my arse feels not too dissimilar to how I would imagine it feeling if someone had force-fed me a bowling ball and then asked me to hiccup it back out of my nostril. I am so grateful when the birthing pool is filled that I elegantly dip in and swirl around looking like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. My pain disappears instantly and I effortlessly give birth to our baby boy a couple of minutes later. It’s utter bliss and the calm and love filling the room is contagious. There are stars and rainbows, unicorns dancing and golden stardust slowly cascading from the sky.

Sadly, this isn’t what happened. I fell into the birthing pool because Beard literally dumped me in there with a huge splash and then I half floated about looking like a beached whale for the first half of labour, and for the second half? A dead seal washing up on the shore. It was not attractive or glamourous, yet Beard found this quite humorous. I could hear him trying to stifle a chuckle as I grunted and groaned through the gas and air, and lucky for him I was unable to punch him as he was directly behind me leaning over the tub.

At 4.30am, I was ready to give in. My midwife Sandra wasn’t telling me how far along I was and I didn’t seem to be having that overwhelming urge to push. Impatiently, I thought I would just give it a go and thank goodness I did. Consequently, it kicked everything off and at 5.45am, our little man was here and born in the most beautiful unique way; the first thing I saw was him shoot through the water like a barracuda. Sandra caught him as if she was by the lake fishing and placed him straight on me. And for once, I was silent. I just stared at him thinking I was dreaming. Our newborn son was still in the sac, the sac that had protected him for 9 months in my tummy! Too quick for us to even capture this moment, the midwife gently broke the membrane, as we then witnessed the most incredible thing I have ever seen; he didn’t know he had been born. He didn’t cry, he didn’t open his eyes, he just moved in slow motion trying to work out everything that had just happened. Very slowly, his tiny little eyes opened. He blinked his eyelids, trying to adjust to his new surroundings, and put his clenched minuscule fingers in his mouth while wriggling further into me, nuzzling under my chin. It was so magical that I forgot Daddy was there behind me, crying. Ecstatic at his new baby boy arriving safely.

Despite this magical moment, I could have cherished forever, just him and me, I knew Beard needed to experience this for the last time. I reluctantly raised our little man up to him, and he slowly took him from me. Then for the next 5 minutes, they snuggled together as I looked on and witnessed, first hand, love at first sight.

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