The pregnancy we never planned, was quite a shock to us both when we found out this time last year that I was expecting, especially since number two was just 7 months old at the time. It took us both a while to let the reality sink in, but strangely it felt like it never really did. We both thought at each scan we would get our heads around this, but we really didn’t! I don’t mean that in an ungrateful, unwanting type of way but everything was a bit surreal and we were really overwhelmed that all of a sudden we would become a family of five.
I thought that telling our eldest the news, she would be like “Yeah not bothered, I have a brother now anyways”, but she was over the moon. Our eldest had been an only child for six years and in the space of 15 months she was going to be blessed with two sibling’s! However she did have one stipulation, that this baby was a girl! Because she certainly did not want two brothers! No pressure then.
This time we got in the whole swing of surprise things and decided not to find out what we were having however I joked that if this baby was a girl I would call her Cilla.
The nine months flew by, and as the time neared I had my fair share of false starts but because both my labours had been induced due to being both overdue, I wasn’t hopeful to go into labour on my own.
Because our baby was deemed small for gestational age and my other two children were considered small for being overdue babies, I was carefully monitored with extra scans. At 37 weeks, one consultant said, “The growth has slowed so I’ll book you for an induction Thursday”. I was annoyed that she hadn’t asked me about whether this is something I wanted so I questioned her.
The baby had grown and I had enough fluid so was otherwise well, but the consultant said that if I didn’t agree to an induction I would have to have recurrent sweeps! Lovely I thought, NOT, but agreed nonetheless. So my due date arrived and by then I had had three sweeps but the midwife said my cervix was still posterior. I wasn’t hopeful to progress naturally now as the same had happened with number two.
However that evening I felt increased amounts of pressure and I kept needing to wee and then a little gush happened but I was not sure where it came from! Hmm, I thought, I don’t want to get too excited, so I’ll just sit on the bed and read for a bit. Then another gush, enough to wet my knickers and I then thought I know I’ve had two babies but I definitely did not just piss myself.
Not wanting to do anything yet as this was a similar start to number one, I thought Id wait and call the hospital in the morning if I don’t go into labour overnight. A few niggles in the night but nothing! Great an induction it will be I was certain of it.
I was assessed on the midwife lead ward, where I really wanted to give birth as I never had before. The midwife, examined me again performing another sweep in the hope that things would get moving! Well if four sweeps can’t get a baby moving, nothing will! We were instructed to go home, we had 24 hours then after that I must come in for an induction on the consultant led ward the following morning!
This was my last shot, and I really had tried everything! We arrived home early afternoon and I decided just not to sit down! I keep upright all evening, and the pains kept coming! They were really long and strong but just not close enough together! I decided to go to Morrison’s as I had arranged childcare for the next day but had no food in! I made in to the trolley park and another horrendous pain came so I bite my purse hard, so I wouldn’t scream and stood still! Hoping know one would notice the heavily pregnant woman in labour!
I instructed the husband we needed to make this quick as I thought things were really happening now, but I still didn’t want to get too excited! Another pain in the centre of the supermarket was horrendous! I then knew we needed to hit the tills and get home! The pain reminded me of the latter stages of labour! Yikes!
We got home and the husband said he just needed 10 minutes to heat his burrito up! WTF! I couldn’t eat. I went into the bedroom and text my lovely midwife friend saying the pains are horrendous but still not 6 minutes apart and what should I do. She text, “Its your last shot, so try expressing some milk off”! I got out the electric pump out that I had sterilised earlier in the day and did as she instructed, just 5 minutes of pumping.
Oh my fucking god, horrendous pains! I was still doing this stood up, as I refused to sit down. So I walked out of the bedroom door, hanging to the walls in the hallway and shouted “Get in the car, we are leaving NOW”. I put myself in the car biting on my V pillow. Our bags were already in there from earlier. Still the husband is not in the car!! “What a fucking knob”I shouted and beeped the horn.
He walks out of the house burrito in hand, saying “I’m coming, I’m coming”, so casually! It’s like he thought, I’ve done this before, I’m not worried, she will be ages yet. On the drive to the hospital I was screaming with each pain into the V pillow as he swings me round every corner on the country roads. On route he lets the hospital know we are coming.
Ugh, just the walk from the car park to the entrance I had to stop! The husband casually puts a ticket on the car and walks with me holding the bags. We arrive at a lovely birth suite with a huge bath, and I thought great I’ll have that water birth I’ve always wanted! Nope! Wasn’t allowed as my waters had gone and there was a risk of infection! I tried to ask them what they would do if I refused to listen but then the pains just keep coming.
The midwife examined me and said, “The cervix is still posterior so you’re not technically in established labour but ill move it forward for you and we can just see as you are clearly in a lot of pain already”. WTF! I looked at the clock and it was 9.30pm, I thought, oh god please, I can’t go on like this for hours! They keep asking me if was I ready for pain relief. I said Id wait, but the lovely student said that the gas and air was already just outside the door if I needed it. Mmm tempting.
Twenty minutes later the midwife heard me moaning from the corridor and said “Are you ready now”, I said “Yes please”, then puff and I was away, god I love that stuff, so much you will never know! The midwives just left us to it, so I rocked leaning over the bed for a while, then tried the bouncy ball OMG that made the contractions intense! The husband looked at me, whilst playing on his phone and said “No, keep on that ball Abbie, it’s clearly working”. I replied “No…it hurts you idiot” and rolled my eyes.
Then he gave me that look as if to say, “Come on, stop being dramatic”. Things were then to intense to punch him square in the face, so I resisted the urge. The pains were intensifying to the point that the gas and air wasn’t enough. “Go get the midwife and tell them I need pethidine now!” I shouted.
Now I was kind of out of it on gas and air, laying on some strange foam shaped bed on my side. Both midwives enter the room and say “Abbie we need to get your knickers off, the head is right there”. I replied “I don’t understand, I just wanted some pethidine”, the midwife responds “Oh its too late for pethidine, you are going to push the baby out now”. I looked up at the clock and just couldn’t believe I was doing this already as it was only 11.20pm.
The husband looked shocked, I didn’t get that overwhelming sense to push, but then it slowly came, and I pushed until they said stop. The head was crowning, and that was a feeling I had never felt with the other two. In my head I thought, this is so intense, oh my god, but then I told myself I am never doing this again so I can do this! I grabbed what ever I could, which was the hospital curtain above me, “NO NO Abbie don’t hold that, hold me” said the midwife! (See above picture, for pulled down curtain-Whoops).
The head was out and with the next contraction the baby was out! It was all so unexpected and quick I could hardly believe it, “What is it?” I shouted, “Hold on Abbie I can’t see, yet… “Its a girl” said the midwife. Wow I thought I was so pleased because my Nan had said to me before she passed away she thought I was having a girl! Yey, she was right! So pleased and relieved it was all over and she looked just like her little brother and weighed 6lbs 12oz, just beautiful.
Whilst this was my fastest labour recorded at two and half hours, the relief after baby was not immediate, the after pains were horrendous straight away. I felt like my body was still in labour. My body was clearly still in shock and I was very shaky and weak but otherwise well. The pains persisted when we arrived home later that morning and I was not prepared for that intensity, but luckily they subsided after 24 hours with lots of nurofen and paracetomol! I wouldn’t have minded going home with the gas and air however!
One of the best and most painful surprises I’ve ever had and after three days we eventually named her Ruby Quinn.