Saturday, 1 October 2011

Smashing Splashing Birth Story in Brief

Well, last Monday evening, I 'SROM-ed'. I only knew this because I heard the midwife say it on the telephone to the hospital: "I need to book in one of my ladies who's SROM-ed." Spontaneous Rupture of the Membranes - or, my waters broke. This was bad news for me because my previous two deliveries had begun this way, both resulting in induction. It was the one thing that I really didn't want to happen. I SROMED just before midnight, but there was good news, because by early morning there were some weak and irregular (but encouraging) signs of contractions.

My midwife examined me, and described conditions as 'favourable'. I took the dog for a brisk walk, finished off a very spicy stir-fry (the previous night's leftovers) for lunch, and was sipping my raspberry leaf tea contemplating another half pound of pineapple for pudding, when things really began to get interesting. I phoned Daddy at work and when he returned at 3.30pm it really had all kicked off.

We began to prepare to go to the hospital (suddenly realising that it might be a good idea to get the baby car seat down from the loft, that sort of thing!) when the phone rang. It was the BT engineer who we had been waiting for for several days. "I'm about twenty minutes away, is that alright?"

"Um, twenty minutes you say? Ok..."

I sat contracting as quietly as I possibly could in the nursery, trying to stay out of the way as he tested lines and installed something (I was beyond caring what), desperately willing him to finish. Finally, we left for the hospital at 5pm. The journey took nearly an hour, and by the time we arrived, my contractions were about a minute and a half apart. I've got to be honest, I've had more pleasant car journeys in my life.

I began by loudly demanding an epidural, convinced that the midwives were going to tell me that I was about 5cm dilated and would have hours to go. Sensibly, they ignored my request, and began filling the birth pool. There wasn't even time for gas and air, let alone an epidural.

"I thought I couldn't have a water birth as my waters had broken?" I managed to gasp. "Well you're still within 24 hours, so there's no problem, if you would still like to try?"

I had written 'water birth' into the birth plan more in hope than earnest, and hadn't really considered the possibility that I might be able to have one. But the minute I got into the pool things improved dramatically, and my new little baby was born at 8.17pm, only about two hours after getting to the hospital. I say 'little' but he was 9lb 10 oz. And 'he' was a surprise as I really thought that I was having a girl. It was a really euphoric experience. What a difference from my previous labours!

So now I am a mother of three under-fives, and have two sons. How on earth did that happen?

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