My last birth story for Isla was split into Part 1, 2 and 3 - it had a lot to it!
Happily I can report that Noah arrived a lot quicker and with NO DRUGS (Well Entenox - but I don't count that as I think I mostly chewed on the plastic mouthpiece!)! Although I say he arrived quicker - he was 12 days overdue so he had to be encouraged to come out....
I was convinced that he would be early, even though boys are notoriously lazy! As the due date approached I had quite a few nice things planned in my diary and I was convinced he would arrive to scupper my plans of attending CyberMummy and other outings I had scheduled. That wasn't the case - I waddled around the conference with most people looking at me in disbelief that I could get around for the whole day without collapsing with tiredness (or going into labour). The due date came and went and I was doing pretty well at keeping up a cheery disposition, even though inside I was getting a bit cheesed off by my little mans non appearance! I'd go to bed every night wondering if tonight would be the night and every morning I would wake up disappointed.
At 8 days over due I went in for a sweep, I was so apprehensive about it, having not had one before and for some reason I imagined it would be painful, as it turns out I didn't even feel it and the midwife said I was 2 centimetres dilated. The idea is that the sweep will bring on labour but if it didn't then I was booked for an induction 4 days later. I left the hospital feeling hopeful that tonight would be the night! It wasn't.
So on 13th July I phoned the hospital at 7am to find out if there was a bed - I was expecting to be told to call back as they were full - but no, they were ready for me and I was to get there as soon as possible. I felt really excited and nervous! We had to get Isla ready to take to my Mother In Law and then we were on the way.
When we arrived we got taken to our room and met the midwife who would be with us until she clocked off at 3. She examined me and said I was 2 - 3 centimetres and that she would use a hook to break my waters. Waters duly broken at 12.10pm, I just relaxed and played about on my phone and chatted with the midwife and husband. By about 2.10pm I was feeling like things were hotting up - contractions had been coming but they were starting to get really close together and I felt like I needed some help as up till that point I'd been messing about with a TENS machine (second time around and I'm still not convinced by these machines!) and regulating my breathing as per my pregnancy yoga. I got on the gas and air and I felt a lot better.
After labour taking so long with Isla I just wasn't prepared for how quickly things were going to get going with Noah, I was convinced that I would be in for a long labour again and when things started upping the pace I got a bit freaked out and started saying that I couldn't do it on my own and needed an epidural. Basically in my head I knew that there would become a moment whereby I'd be too late and I'd have no choices left to make. I got scared and obviously this is what is called 'Transition' and when midwives realise that the baby isn't far off! The midwife humoured me and got the anaesthetist who went through the procedure for epidural with me at which point I let out a massive groan and made my first pushing attempt. Hmmmm, too late for an epidural then. The anaesthetist was sent packing and my fears at doing it on my own were to become a reality!
As I had drugs with Isla's birth I didn't really properly get the sensation. The feeling that your body is taking over and you have no control over what it is doing, that baby is coming out no matter what. I can't tell you how long I was pushing for but for most of it I didn't actually feel like I was there - I had my eyes closed for most of it and when I did open them everything felt a bit surreal. The midwife (the second one, as the first had clocked off) and my OH were brilliant but I got tired of hearing the same words of encouragement over and over and when you're told that the baby has just got to come round the bend, you just think, COME ROUND THE BLOODY BEND, HURRY UP AND COME OUT!!!
And then at 5.22pm he did. And he was the biggest baby I'd ever seen, his hands were like dinner plates, his feet like canoes and he was all purpley/ pink and I loved him so much! The arrival of Isla and Noah couldn't be more different. I realise now after having this wonderful birth that I was actually quite a mess when she arrived and I was like this for some weeks after. With Noah although he didn't come of his own accord the birth was in a way pleasurable, I think back on it fondly and that isn't something I can say about what I went through with Isla. I also remembered every minute detail of the labour I had with Isla whereas with this birth the memory is fading and the bits that are left aren't gruesome or too harrowing.
We stayed in for 2 nights - my fault this time as I couldn't wee (just like last time!) - Noah slept beautifully the first night (I didn't, courtesy of the new mum across the ward from me who could snore the walls down!) and the second night he decided he didn't like sleep and I spent a lot of the night feeding him, while listening to another new mum who thought it was acceptable to be on her mobile at all hours of the night chatting to relatives in Pakistan (grrr bloody mobiles!).
We got out of the hospital and began life as a family of 4. We're all doing well and it definitely feels easier this time round, even though we have 2 kids. It is more tiring as there is no let up at all but there isn't so much of the fear that we had last time of not knowing what we're doing and we're also able to read him so much better than we could Isla - we know when he's tired or when he's got wind or when we're just annoying him with attention.
Life is truly very good!
If you fancy reading some more birth stories then get yourself over to Actually Mummy blog to see a wide spectrum of birth stories!