I have never shared the story of Ava's birth so I thought that since she is now 1 (eek). I'd better get a jiggle on! Don't read if you're squeamish! Oh and it's probably going to be quite long.
After many a midwife appointment I was booked in for a sweep on Monday 12th March. Now I'd heard mixed reviews about these. "They hurt!", "They don't work.".... Honestly I'd heard mostly negative comments so I wasn't holding out much hope. Next option-dynamite.
On Monday off we went for my sweep. I was trying not to get my hopes up too much but I got slightly excited when the midwife told me I was already 1cm dilated! "Not long until I meet my baby!" I thought.
One positive though-The sweep worked! Hoorah! By Monday afternoon I was getting lower back pain and mild cramping! Result! I've never been more excited for pain! By the evening we knew that this was it. Labour was starting! The moment that I had read about in my pregnancy books and watched on One Born Every Minute. It was finally happening. I'd like to point out now that Nath and I didn't find out the sex of the baby. We weren't fussed either way and to us it made it so much more exciting. However, I was 100% convinced I was having a boy. No particular reason but I'd convinced myself.
Anyway as the evening wore on and the pain became stronger I rung my mum to let her know, I wanted her at the birth but as she lives 2 hours away I had to give her some notice. We were going to see how things progressed and she was going to make sure that she made it on time! Nath rung the midwives to ask them what we should do. The advice was "paracetamol & a bath" really?! We then realised that we had no paracetamol in the house! Nathan had to race round to his mums for some. By now it was heading into the small hours and I told Nath that I thought it was time to go in.
So off we went to the midwife let unit, hospital bag that had been packed for weeks in tow. Excitement (Nathan) & anxiety (me) brewing.
We were seen by the nurse who examined me and guess what? I was STILL 1cm!! What?!! I couldn't believe it! I was gutted and so was Nath. She then proceeded to rub salt into the wound by telling me that I would get a whole lot more uncomfortable and there was a lot more pain to come. Wow! Thanks love! She sent us on our way and told me that if I came back and was still not dilating I would have to go to the main hospital in Shrewsbury. Darn it! I didn't want to do that! I had my heart set on giving birth in the little homely midwife led unit which was cosy and close to home!
For some reason I remember vividly having a bath at 5am. Isn't it odd the things that you remember. Nath slept on the sofa that night as I was tossing and turning, fiddling around with the TENS machine I'd been given.
At 8.00am I couldn't stand it any longer! I went to wake Nath up and declared that we were going in again. I was sure that I would be on my way by now!
We were seen by the same nurse who had given me the sweep the day before. Lovely lady she was. Or so I thought until she told me I was still only 1cm dilated. Are you being serious? I felt like crying! We were so close to meeting baby. I was already 8 days late, why didn't it want to meet us?! She told me I was going to have to be transferred to Shrewsbury which I wasn't very happy about but she had managed to get us a family room. So off we went. By this time my mum had the low down and was on her way.
Once there we were shown to our family room. Our own bathroom and and Nath got his own bed and TV. I was given some Meptide to take the edge off the contractions but it made me very sick, it did the job though. My mum arrived and her and Nath took it in turns to do for lunch or to the shop. I was then given some pethidine which would be my painkiller of choice, it did make me feel a bit woozy but the pain of the contractions wasn't half as bad.
Around 8.00pm it was time. I was taken into the delivery room! Eeek! Time to meet my baby! I was offered gas & air which I didn't like. It made me too thirsty and I couldn't do it properly. Nath and mum were fab, taking it in turns to fan me with a magazine!
I was 9 and a half cm dilated and the nurse told me to wait before I started pushing. It's the weirdest feeling! I tried but I just couldn't! Once I started pushing she was born so quickly. She didn't cry, she just made this odd little whingey sound. She was handed to me so I could check the sex.
IT WAS A GIRL!! All 7lbs9 of her.
"How do you feel?" asked mum. "Bewildered" I said. I was so sure that she was going to be a boy. What a lovely surprise! I then spent the next few minutes calling my family to let them know that SHE was here safely.
But it wasn't over yet for me. Unfortunately I couldn't deliver the placenta so I had to go into theatre. That was the worst part for me. I was exhausted and after all of my hard work I still had to have an epidural! I was gutted but as long as Ava was ok I didn't really care.
I would never choose to have an epidural, it was pretty horrific. I had to have a catheter and couldn't feel my legs after it.
It's funny looking back to that first night in the hospital. Every snuffle Ava made I'd pick her up! I was so glad to get out of the hospital and into the midwife led unit. The hospital was like a cattle market and the food was crappy. I had Darth Vader opposite me (well it sounded like! She was a pro snorer! I was very tempted to cover her head with a pillow but I managed to restrain myself).
I was in the midwife led unit for 4 days. It was lovely. And then that was it, we were off to start our lives as a family of 3.
It's strange thinking back to those early days or even the days when I wasn't a mum. I couldn't imagine my life without her now. Everything is better with her around. She is everything. People used to tell me that you can't explain to someone what motherhood is like and I understand why now.
It's so many different things tiring, happy, exciting, scary...
But lets put it this way. It definitely hasn't put me off having another one.
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