One snowy day in January…

Okay, so my blog was hacked and, as a result, I’ve lost a couple of posts. Namely, the story of the birth of my daughter in January 2013, and one a couple of months later about my breastfeeding hell. I’ve lost comments too, boo it, and I had LOADS on the latter post. But hey, it could be worse, I could have lost my nipples (and very nearly did).

Here’s my birthing story (again)…

Okay, so I’m a bit late posting this as Baby Bateman is now 11 weeks old, but she’s been keeping me busy! Here’s the story of her arrival one snowy day in January…

I rolled over in the middle of the night, and felt damp. Holy cow, have I just peed myself? My bladder had become super weak during pregnancy, with three trips to the loo each night the norm, but this seemed excessive. So, as hubby stirred in bed I hopped to the loo to investigate, walking like a gun-slinging cowboy as I went.

To spare you the intimate details (like the sniff test) me and hubby were pretty damn sure my waters had broken; everywhere was wet and I was changing undies more often than the Queen tries not to smile.

Snow joke

It was 4.15am and we’d not gone to sleep until 1am, enjoying tea and toast in bed and chatting about impending parenthood and whether our plans for the weekend would be hindered by the snow. Oh poo, the snow – another hurdle we hadn’t anticipated but luckily we live a 10 minute drive from the hospital, phew!

We called the hospital and they said to come in and get checked over. Our utterly amazing dogsitter Georgia, who thankfully is an early riser, headed over at 5.30am to look after our number one baby Ralphie and after a shower (and, I confess, I put make up on!) hubby took a slow snowy drive to the hospital, bag etc loaded into the boot in case we didn’t come back.

Baby Bateman
Yes, my waters had definitely broken they said. If labour didn’t start by 10pm that evening I’d have to go in and be induced but in the meantime, I was told to head home and wait. And I’ve never been very good at waiting.

Hubby decided not to go into work that day, just in case, and at 8am ish we retired to bed to try and get some sleep. But we were both buzzing – it was Friday morning and our baby would likely be here by the close of the weekend.

At around 10am the first contraction hit. I thought it was just sharp period pain and when hubby said “is that a contraction?” I honestly had no idea as I had nothing to compare it to. It took a while to sink in that I was contracting, I just thought it was stomach cramp.

They got stronger and more frequent and soon I was putting into practice my yoga breathing and squealing as I curled over the sofa on all fours. Hubby started the timing and I tried to relax and remember what I’d learned in antenatal classes and from all my pregnancy reading. I totally forgot I had a perfectly good Tens machine sitting there waiting to be used!

At 12.30pm the dogsitter dropped Ralphie back with us for an hour and the poor mite didn’t know what to make of me writhing around the living room in bursts of agony. I tried to eat a clementine, remembering we’d had little sleep and no food and I’d need my energy, but it didn’t stay down long.
Hubby made calls to the hospital to check when we should go in and as dogsitter Georgia collected Ralphie for the second time that day I knew we needed to get to the hospital sharpish. Contractions were coming at least every three minutes and in the 15 minute trip from my lounge to the hospital maternity ward – in the snow, thank God for our 4×4 – I had around seven contractions and was gagging for some kind of pain relief. We couldn’t have got there soon enough.

Gas and air is GOOD!

At the hospital our lovely midwife Nicky greeted us, checked me over – I was 7cms dialated, whoop whoop – and handed me the gas and air. Hubby did the talking as I was unable to and said we’d wanted a water birth so the pool was filled, my tankini top was plucked from my bag and I settled into the water.

It was warm and relaxing – as relaxed as you can be in labour – and the gas and air was amazing. I don’t think I said much for the next couple of hours, the gas and air and water lulled me to near sleep in between contractions and I breathed and groaned through the painful bits as hubby mopped my brow with a flannel (he dripped a bit in my eye and I got very cross), put Classic FM on the radio and kept family and friends in the loop. Bless him, we’d talked about all the things he could do to contribute and make me more comfortable during labour and in the end I just wanted to go it alone in silence; no one could make this better so I just got on with it. Him being there was enough.

When the pushing bit came, I struggled. I couldn’t get a grip in the pool and felt like I needed to anchor myself to get a decent push, and ran out of breath too quickly to push in the long bursts needed. After a few positions, one in which hubby held me by the arms, I moved onto the bed. It had been a couple of hours by now and while LBB (Little Baby Bateman) was totally relaxed and her heartbeat was fine, the midwife said I needed to really push and get this baby out. No pressure! I told her to shout at me when the pushing bit came, but she was far too nice.

One more push

I still struggled and could feel baby’s head going in and out, in and out. I knew that once the head was out, one more push would see my baby delivered into the world, and that was my motivation.

Her head appeared and hubby and midwife and the lovely student midwife in the room, said I could peer down and have a look or touch her, as she was looking around the room, eyes wide open. I just wanted to get on with it and another push saw Halle delivered to my chest a healthy 7lbs and 8ozs, a little cry and covered in what I called cheese sauce (vernix) as she was 10 days early. It was just after 6pm.

Hubby cut the cord and we realised our lives had been changed forever. The three of us were discharged four hours later and after a slow drive through the snow, we spent our first night at home as a family.

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