Little man was due to be born on the 25th September, and like any new expectant mummy I spent a good chunk of my pregnancy wondering what labour would be like. I asked endless amounts of people what I should expect when the big day arrives and of course I was told a fair share of horror stories, so I prepared myself for the worst.
My due date arrived and I made sure I was all prepared. I checked my hospital bag about a million times and counted the minutes.
My partner and I made curry,chilli and anything spicy for dinners as we were excited to get things moving and thought these old wives tales were worth a try. And on the 27th September, 2 days after my due date, it began.
Going by what most people told me, I had expected contractions to hit me like a ton of bricks without any warning. However, I was getting the mildest pains in my lower back every hour or so to begin with. They started at about 3pm that afternoon and I thought nothing of them for the rest of the evening, just kind of hoping it was a sign labour was close. (by close I thought maybe in the next week or so...) so I went off to bed, my partner works night shifts so off he trotted at 10pm leaving me by myself until the morning.
I was still getting the pains, a little closer together by the time he had left but I still wasn't worried as they hadn't increased in intensity and they really weren't painful, more like a firm massage.
I got myself off to sleep and was woke at about 4am by the bloody cat. Noticing the back pain hadn't stopped, I thought I had better give the midwives a call to see what they think. I explained exactly what had been happening and was told not to worry as it was just my body getting the baby into position and I'd have him in the next few days.
I was happy to accept what they said so I went back to sleep and went about my morning the following day as usual. I said hello to Jamie when he got home and told him I had rang the hospital during the night but they said not to worry...
With that he went off to bed and I spent the day rolling around on my birthing ball and trying to make myself comfy on the deck chairs we were using as a sofa.
Things were all getting closer together by about 12 pm and a little more painful but nothing unbearable. I still managed to eat all my lunch and chat to Jamie.
After lunch, I went to lay down as they were getting quite strong (again nothing unbearable but it was comfier to be laid down) and I began to realise the baby was on his way… I just didn't know how close he was. This was about 3pm, so 24 hours after they first started.
At about 4pm, my waters broke! I ran to the bathroom, sat on the loo and rang the midwives. They had a record of my 4am phone call so they knew the back story already. They always monitor you while you’re on the phone to them so she was timing my contractions for me as I was on the phone. They were 3 minutes apart and I was finding it difficult to concentrate. The pressure had moved to my bum and it felt like I needed to push which shocked me as I thought there would be hours until I felt like that.
I live 30 minutes away from the nearest hospital so she told me to drop everything and leave right now... so we did.
The car journey was interesting, I had to pull myself up on the roof handle to take the pressure off my bum and hang my head out the window like a dog during contractions as I was hot! Haha. It’s a weird sensation, just feels like you’re about to pass a big poop.
We arrived at the hospital about 5pm in the end, the Norfolk and Norwich delivery suite is on the third floor of the building and of course, we got out of the lift on floor two by accident… not funny when a baby is about to fall out..
We made it to the midwife led birthing unit as that is where I planned to deliver and they eventually examined me. The look on the midwives face as she put her hand to my cervix was a picture! “baby is coming right now!, the head is right here!” she said.
They checked for baby’s heart rate and it was a little slow so they wanted to move me to the delivery suite to help get him out quickly with forceps. The doctor told me to push with the next contraction and we would deliver the baby ‘together’ . To be honest I did that myself, forceps were not needed - just a bit of gas and air.
One push and out popped his little head and with the next one his shoulders were out and I stopped pushing. The rest of his little body came out slowly which was lovely, I wasn’t in any pain and at 17:40pm on the 28th September, Oscar William Matthews entered the world. I don’t think anything will ever compare to that experience. He was perfect. He is perfect.
It’s so important to stay positive during labour, and to stay in control - not in a tight way, in a way where you're in charge of your body. Breathing played a huge part in the later stages, I know that’s the advice everyone gives but seriously, forget there’s anyone around you and just concentrate on your breathing. You go into your own little world and you just get on with it. Yes you might make some odd noises but as long as you’re in control of each breath and don’t panic, you feel good. It’s the most exciting event of your life so there’s no point worrying about pain, and the more relaxed you are the quicker it will be over and the sooner you get to meet your bundle of joy.