Today, in Part 6 of our series, Stacie Hardy shares a glimpse of birthing across the pond. You can follow her on her brand new blog, Uh Oh, Mummy!
Keira's Birthday Story
It was a Saturday night and I barely had any sleep at all, since getting comfortable was impossible. I spent all night trying every sleeping position possible. Horizontal, diagonal, upside down, curled in a ball, laid across Mark... You name it; I tried it in hope of getting some sleep. All that crossed my mind all night was, Arghhhh, what is our baby doing to me? At around 6.00 a.m., I suddenly developed quite painful period sort of pains. I figured that my baby was pushing on my bladder again, so I continued to lie in bed sulking to myself and thinking my baby would never make her appearance. It was time for me to get up for work at 7.30. What a relief that was; I thought Saturday night would never end. I mentioned to Mark that I had these strange sort of period pains and he said they could be contractions. "Well that can't be true," I replied. Contractions hurt high in the belly, not the pelvis where I was feeling this odd pain. We decided it might be a good idea to do the naughty deed in hope that it would induce labour. The pain only occurred once during sex, but afterwards, it seemed to increase quite a bit. Mark told me he didn't think I should go to work, but I was determined to go. After all, I love my job and there was no real reason for me not to go. I was sure the pains would ease.
After a lot of wiggling of my hips and concentrating on trying not to let these pains get to me too much, I arrived at work. I hadn't seen my boss and friend Julie for a while, so I walked in with a huge smile on my face. I was hoping I wasn't going to have the pain again, as I knew Julie would tell me I should go home. But no such luck, it happened again and it hurt. I told Julie my visit that day might turn in to more of a social call rather than work, because I was hurting quite a bit. I described the pains to Julie and she said she bet they were contractions, so again I explained the pains were in my pelvis so they couldn't be. After about 15 minutes, Mark walked into my work asking if I was coming home. He hadn't left after dropping me off because he was certain I wouldn't be staying. I told him I was fine, but we decided to ring the midwife just to make sure that what I was feeling was normal. We timed the distance between the pains and it was around 3 minutes every time. Complete coincidence I thought.
The midwife explained that it sounded like early labour and that contractions can be in the pelvis. Yay!
Since it was quite likely I was in labour, despite the doubts in my mind, I decided it was probably best to go home. I wasn't expecting to go into labour yet, since my due date was the next day and everyone told me I would be very likely to go past that date. Mark mentioned we still needed to buy some knickers for me for the hospital, so he suggested going to Mothercare to buy some, which to me was a good idea. Julie thought we were mad, as my contractions were really quite painful at that point. On our way home we did decide to call in at Meadowhall to get some knickers, which was quite amusing as I kept doing a dance in the middle of Mothercare. Finally, we arrived home and pottered about the house a little. I had a bounce on my ball, which made my pains considerably worse, so kicking that across the room helped immensely. I then decided I would quite like a bath, typical considering that we only have a shower. So we went to my mum’s so I could have a bath and try to relax a bit. At this stage, my pains hurt, but were quite bearable. They were coming every 3 minutes and lasting around 40 seconds.
Mark and I had a cuddle after my bath, and then thought it might be a good idea to go home. But on our way back, I had another great idea. I wanted to go and feed the ducks. I read that walking is supposed to hurry labour along, so I thought going for a walk would be really good. We walked for around an hour and then decided to call to get some chips on our way home. By the time we arrived home, my contractions seemed a lot stronger and were lasting a full minute, which is when I was told I should go to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital around 6.30 p.m. There was one other woman waiting, but I was waiting for at least an hour in triage. The other woman had apparently come in because she was itchy. Now what was itchy, I don't know, but can you believe they took her through before me???? I was in labour; surely I was priority. That really annoyed me, but Mark and I still laughed about it all. Eventually, I was given a room where they wanted to check how dilated I was. We were all expecting me to be about 4cms, since my pains hurt, but I was still happy, smiling and able to cope with the contractions. Once I was examined, we were shocked to hear I was in fact already 8cms! There was no doubt in my mind then… Keira was coming and she was coming quite soon.
After discovering I was 8cm, the midwife said it was a good idea to get in the pool at this stage. Whilst we were waiting for the pool to be filled up, they suggested I have a bath, so that is what I did. I laid in the bath very relaxed whilst Mark splashed water on to my belly. I asked Mark if he could sing to me during my contractions and it really did help me; Mark was absolutely wonderful at helping me cope. Throughout all this stage, it was just Mark and I together, which we both really liked. We were in the room after I got out of the bath and just danced in a circle. It was quite relaxing, which helped me in so many ways.
At 10.45 p.m., I got in the pool. By this time, my contractions were strong and coming fast. At around 11 I decided it was gas and air time, in hopes that it would make the pains a little better. I really didn't find the gas and air did much for me apart from making me feel like I was drunk! The only plus side to having the gas and air was that I was able to bite the end of it rather than Mark. The poor man got bitten twice!*
At 11.45, I was in a lot of pain and not enjoying labour so much.
I got out of the pool at 12.20 to check how dilated I was. At first I refused to get out of the pool, but was soon encouraged to get out. It really hurt to get out, and I can remember shaking, but I managed it somehow. I was examined and was fully engaged, but my waters were still intact. I don't remember much after this point, but my waters were broken and I was asked whether I wanted to get back in to the pool to deliver. I declined as I really didn't want to have to climb into the pool again after all the pain I experienced getting out of it. Eventually, the midwife managed to convince me to get back in to the pool.*
Soon after, it was time to push -- my most dreaded part of the whole process. I really didn't want to do this part. Again, I don't remember much, but I do remember being told to push. In my mind I was telling myself that there was no way I was pushing; I completely refused. After a lot of persuasion, I figured I had better start doing as I was told and finally meet my beautiful baby girl. Mark was incredible; if it wasn't for him I don't know how I would have managed it.
At 1.39 a.m. on Sunday 16th January, our beautiful baby girl, Keira Isla Grace Hardy, was born. Weighing 5lb 10oz.*
Keira came out so calmly. She lay on my chest and just stared at me. It was undoubtedly the most wonderful and precious moment of my life. What a perfect birthday present.*
We got out of the pool about 10 minutes later after Mark had cut the cord so I could be checked in case I needed stitches and so I could give Keira her first feed. I didn't need any stitches, as I had no grazes or cuts, and Keira took her first feed wonderfully. My labour was perfect and I truly believe that it was because I had so much support from my husband. He was brilliant, cuddling and comforting me all the way through it.
Undoubtedly the most spectacular day of my life!
For more birthing stories from members of the Green Grandma community, click the links below:
Part 1 -- my personal story
Part 2 -- Candice's story
Part 3 -- Lisa's story
Part 4 -- Julie Ann's story
Part 5 -- Wanda's story
If you would like your story included in the series, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to share your story!