Hey guys, just thought I would interrupt the usual sewing updates to let you know that our baby girl has arrived! Little Nina is a week old today and surprised us both by arriving 5 days early. I was so sure that I was going to go over my due date and have another epic-ly long labour and the whole situation ended up being so different. I wrote it all down as I have a terrible memory and thought I would share some of the experience with you – I hope I’ve managed to find the right balance between detailed and too much information (Sorry if not – maybe just skip this post!).
I was lying in bed when I started to get contractions around 11.30pm. They weren’t that painful though, so I was unsure whether they were ‘real’ or Braxton Hicks. I decided to try to get some sleep and see how things progressed. I woke up a few times in the night and timed things. Contractions seemed to be 45 seconds long and 4 minutes apart. My midwife had said to call her when contractions got to 1 minute long, 3-4 minutes apart. That probably should have been close enough but I didn’t want to overreact and go to the hospital too soon. It still wasn’’t particularly painful – last time I had been up running baths and walking around the neighbourhood and this time I was OK (ish) lying in bed.
At 4.30 I decided to tell Kelvin and we sat there discussing it and joking about things. I’m not sure what happened but quite quickly I started feeling in more pain – I think my waters broke, though it wasn’t a big gush or anything. We tried to time the contractions but Kelvin didn’t understand what he was meant to be doing and it ended up being more of a nuisance than I could handle. I told him to call the midwife around 5.30 and she said she’d meet us at the hospital if we wanted but it didn’t seem urgent. Keep in mind that Harry’s labour took 27 hours including 3 hours of pushing.
Kelvin dressed and put Harry in the car and grabbed my bag etc. In that short amount of time I basically began writhing about moaning and realising that I was NOT going to be able to handle a car journey. I said to Kelvin ‘ I’ve left it too late, I can’t go to the hospital, I feel like I need to push’. He called for an ambulance and the operator said, ‘Ok an ambulance is on the way but you’re going to have the baby at home. You need to get some towels and she should lie down.’ Kelvin was instructed to ‘have a look’ but he couldn’t see the head so the operator said ‘Ok, that’s fine just reassure her that the baby won’t be coming for awhile yet’.
About a minute later I started to get a contraction and began to push, suddenly Kelvin said ‘I can see the head, it’s out!” Thank goodness we had already had another baby because it would have been pretty traumatic if this was his first experience. I was relieved because I knew the worst (and most risky) bit was over. On the next push her whole body came out and Kelvin caught her. Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck so I leaned forward and unwrapped it then put her on my chest. Only two pushes!
I honestly can’t remember the next wee bit. Knowing the pain was over and I had DONE IT (!!!!) was a big sigh of relief. The two paramedics turned up pretty quickly afterward and said, “Oh, OK it’s all done.” They were very nice and very relaxed and it was great to know that if someone with more expertise than us was relaxed we could be too! They basically just gave us more towels, told me to stay in that position for awhile and clamped the umbilical cord etc. Kelvin went out to the car to get Harry who had been patiently waiting! We called the midwife and said ‘the baby is here’, and instead of going to the hospital/post natal care we decided to just stay home as everyone was healthy and cozy here. (Also we didn’t yet have a capsule car seat!).
It was really crazy but also amazing. After Harry’s birth I never would have thought that I could do it without drugs or at least a medical professional around. I have glossed over the pain and the icky bits – I was definitely in a bad state (panic) near the end, but in hindsight it was actually for only a relatively brief period.
Nina is really cute and very similar looking to her brother at that age. She just sleeps all the time at the moment – but mainly on one of us which is going to get difficult once Kelvin is back at work later this week. I wonder if I can sew with her in a baby sling…? (only kind of joking!).