To say that I’m squeamish is an under-statement. I first fainted at school when I was 5 after I went with a friend whilst she had some dressings changed. I’ve never been able to watch casualty or similar programmes and even hearing about metal getting into an eye in a technology lesson resulted in me fainting and landing on the floor. Hospitals make me feel queasy-on many an occasion, when visiting relatives, I’d be found in the corridor taking a breather so that the urge to faint would pass. So when I fell pregnant I was slightly worried about how I would cope in a hospital let alone with the medical equipment that would be around me! Hypnobirthing allowed me to get over my fear of child birth. I can’t say that I used the visualisation techniques during my labour but I know that the course helped to remain calm during the process – and a 7.5 hour labour can’t be bad! Subconsciously I’m sure it allowed me to arrive at hospital 6m dilated. It gave me a strength that I didn’t think I could possibly have.
The very early beginnings of my labour started the early hours of Thursday 29th May 2014. I woke in the night very wet. Luckily there was a towel ready on the bed as I thought my waters had broken. I then had a ‘show’. It was a very long night with what I thought were contractions. I was able to manage them lying in bed but it did mean I got very little sleep and the mucus plug was coming thick and fast!
I rang the midwife team first thing Thursday morning but by this time the pains had stopped. A midwife came to examine me and assured me that my waters hadn’t broken and I wasn’t in labour. I was to go about my normal business for the day as the baby could be a long time yet. With my hospital bag packed in the car, we visited my Grandma as it was her birthday, met a friend for coffee in Salisbury and visited my in laws for tea. I didn’t feel particularly comfortable that day and by the time we were at my in laws, I was having to pause whilst the pain came and went. I was still putting this down to Braxton hicks.
The rest of Thursday evening and early morning Friday is a bit of a blur. We went to bed but by 1am I was having contractions. The journey to Salisbury was a quick one as it was so early and a few speed limits may have been broken! When we arrived at the labour ward at about 5.40am, I went in by myself and my husband parked the car. Eventually I was examined and was found to be 6cm. I was quickly moved to a delivery suite!
I remember spending the rest of the labour until the pushing stage in a sort of trance. I can’t really remember anything eventful happening! My cervix was fully dilated at around 7.50am. The wait for the final contraction felt like an eternity but Beth was finally born at 8.27am. The placenta followed a few minutes later (I was completely unaware of this). It’s still a mystery as to when my waters broke as it didn’t happen at hospital.
Beth was put on my chest (I was still in my pyjamas!)