It’s hard to believe that Jelly Bean has been here over three weeks already and yet in some ways it’s hard to imagine the days before he arrived, it just feels normal to have him here. My readers will not be surprised to learn that I was getting a little impatient towards the end of my pregnancy. Right from the start I assumed that Jelly Bean would arrive early, my theory being that Little Bean was 12 days late and Beanie Boy arrived the day after his due date so I figured that Jelly Bean would arrive 2 weeks early but when my due date came . . . and went, I felt deflated (except I was the size of a house) and extremely unsettled. I felt uncomfortable and tired and with all the snow that we had been having, I felt like I was letting the tiddlers down by being a boring Mummy. Ordinarily I would be out playing with them in the snow but I was worried about falling over and I tired easily so I didn’t play with them.
Five days after my due date I decided to stay as active as possible, I had been frantically cleaning the house and going up and down the stairs at every opportunity in the hope that it would kick things off. I had actually been doing this for weeks with no success but I wasn’t about to give in. Throughout the day I had painful tightenings and looked online for suggestions on how to kick things off. None of it had worked with Little Bean but I figured it was still worth a try and it was better than just sitting still and thinking about how much longer I would have to wait to meet baby. One suggestion that I hadn’t tried when pregnant with Little Bean was using a breast pump so I gave it a try. The suggestion was to use a breast pump for 15 minutes on each breast and repeat every hour so I did and each time I used the breast pump I would experience a painful contraction. I tried it over the space of a few hours and noticed that the tightenings were getting closer together and more painful.
As the evening settled in so too did my contractions, they were still quite irregular but they were definitely getting stronger and I found it difficult to settle (something I remember from my previous pregnancies). I tried to watch a DVD but couldn’t concentrate, I tried to read a magazine but found myself reading pages over and over again until eventually around 10pm I accepted that I was in the initial stages of labour. Out came my birthing ball and the TENS machine. I made sure that Hubby attached this one correctly so as not to give me any painful shocks (he wired it wrong when I was in labour with Little Bean and gave me quite the shock).
By 11.30pm my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting between 30 and 60 seconds, it was time to make the call to the Maternity Unit. I spoke to the Midwife in Triage who asked all the usual questions; how many weeks are you? How often are your contractions? How long are they lasting? Have you taken any painkillers? Had my waters broken? And then she said “can’t you cope with the pain at home?” which annoyed me slightly as I wouldn’t have been calling if I thought I could last a little longer at home. Then she asked “is this your first baby?” and I replied with “no it’s my third” and she changed her tune “right you better come in as soon as you are ready then”.
I sent a text to my Mum to let her know that we were at action stations as she was ‘on call’ to come and stay with the children whilst Hubby set to work on loading the car up with my hospital bags and Theraline Maternity pillow (I always take it to hospital with me). Within half an hour Mum had arrived and we were on our way. We arrived at the hospital at 12.27am and it was FREEZING!!! As we entered the lift I suddenly realised that I had only had two contractions throughout the 20 minute journey to the hospital and that feeling of dread set in that my labour had stopped.
Once in triage I had to wait to be examined by a Midwife. At around 12.55am the Midwife examined me and told me that I was 4cm dilated and proceeded to give me a further sweep which was so painful I nearly flew off the bed. Like a steam train my contractions came back thick and fast. A Midwife from the Midwife Led Unit came to collect me and told me that although she had seen in my notes that I would like a water birth I wouldn’t be able to have one as she needed to keep an eye on me following my third degree tear with Beanie Boy. I was slightly disappointed but at the end of the day I just wanted to get Jelly Bean here without complication.
At 1.05am I settled into my room in MLU fully expecting to be giving birth some time around breakfast. In the few minutes before all hell broke loose whilst I was able to talk to my midwife (Amy) I was asking her if she had children. She said that she had an 18 month old daughter. I asked her if she had a good labour with her and she said that it was very fast, just 2 hours and I remember saying to her how lucky she was to have a fast labour as mine had been 8.5 and 11.5 hours consecutively. The next thing I knew a contraction came that never seemed to end, really!! That was the last piece of conversation I was able to have during my labour as I could barely catch my breath. The only pain relief I used was gas and air as I did in each of my labours but this time was the first time I found it totally effective. I remembered the Midwives telling me that I needed to start breathing in the gas and air as soon as I felt a contraction coming, to take a really deep breath in and then slowly out. Using the gas and air I managed to get myself into a place away from the room I was in, all I could see was the pattern of the chair I was leaning over and the hair hanging down in front of my face, all I could hear was Hubby’s comforting voice giving me clear and calm instructions and all I could feel was the pressure building up down below. Before I knew it I felt the urge to push. At this point my waters had still not gone and Amy said that she would need me to push and hold when she said so in order that she could break my waters for me. In my mind this was easier said than done and I began to panic that I couldn’t stop pushing but thanks to Hubby talking calmly in my ear I managed to follow his instructions exactly as I pushed and then held Jelly Bean long enough for Amy to break my waters. Being on my knees it suddenly became very slippery and I felt like Bambi on ice but with Hubby and Amy’s help I was able to flip onto my back and lean on the bean bag whilst Amy checked Jelly Bean’s heartbeat. With the next push I had delivered his head and one further push brought our beautiful son into the world. I couldn’t quite believe it when Amy declared “time of birth 3.02am” how could it really have been over so quickly?
I felt that same rush of love for this little purple bundle who had been placed on my chest and a sense of deja vu as the baby looking back at me looked just like his big sister when she was born. He cried immediately and then snuggled into me as Hubby and I cried with joy. Our family is 100% complete!