At 10pm on Wednesday 7th November 2012 (my due date), i went to bed pretty deflated. I had no signs this baby was coming and was convinced i would go 2 weeks overdue and have to be induced. I had a midwife appointment in the morning and was going to ask for a sweep as i was fed up.
In bed i had mild back ache & period pain, but i had been having that for weeks so i thought nothing of it. Around 3am i was woken up by really bad back pain. I had slept pretty well but kept feeling like i needed the toilet and between 10am and 3am i must have gone to the loo about 8 times! I got up to take some pain killers for my back and i still thought it couldn't be labour as it was all in my back and the pain was constant. However, after about half an hour they started coming and going in waves like contractions were meant too. But they were still all in my back and my stomach wasn't tightening. I decided to time them a bit to get more a an idea as to what was going on.
I rang the labour ward and explained as i was confused about what it was. They weren't regular from the timings so the midwife said it sounded like early labour but i had to wait until they were regular & longer, move into my stomach and my stomach tightens with them. She advised me to go back to bed with a wheat bag or have a hot bath and get some sleep.
I got off the phone and warmed my wheat bag up but they started getting stronger. I went upstairs to get into bed and got a really strong one! I knew i couldn't sleep so i woke warren up as i didn't know what else to do and didn't want to be in pain on my own! haha!
Warren was excited and i told him what the midwife said, so he ran me a bath. The pain was still all in my back and so the only comfortable position was standing/leaning over. I got in the bath but just couldn't get comfortable so it didn't really help. I wasn't in there long.
When i got out, i got dressed and the pain was getting worse and i started being sick because it was so strong and i guess i was just nervous because it was actually happening! At this point i was making noise with the contractions and warren was getting a little worried so he rang the labour ward again! They said i could go in to be checked but probably wouldnt be kept in as it still sounds like early labour.
We decided to go as we both just wanted me to be examined so we knew where we were and how long roughly we had. Better to be safe than sorry! I did my make-up in between contractions hanging onto the sink! haha! and then we made our way to the hospital around 6:30.
We were put into a room around 6am and had to wait for the shift change over at about 7:30am before i was checked. I was examined and was 2-3cm, so i was in labour but couldn't be given pain relief until i was 4cm. They said this part of labour could take days and i could go home if i wanted. I was determined it wasn't going to be days and so we decided to stay near the hospital. Around 8:30 we went to tesco and had some breakfast and look around, all whilst trying to get through the contractions!
They continued to get stronger, to the point where i said i needed to go back to the hospital. We got back to the hospital about 10am and was examined again. I was still only about 3cm dilated. They kept checking the baby's heartrate with the doppler and realised it kept dipping. I was then put on the CTG machine to monitor the baby until 2pm. It did keep dipping with contractions but came straight back up afterwards and didn't dip too low so they kept saying it was ok. I did have about 4 different doctors/midwives keep coming in to check it and sign it off etc.
Babys heartrate stopped dipping and so i was able to come off the machine and walk around which was better for the pain. At 2:30 i was checked again and was praying i was now 4cm so i could have gas and air (G&A), otherwise i would have to move to another ward as i wasn't technically in established labour. The midwife and student check me and both said i was 3-4 so they could potentially keep me on the ward and give me G&A. The midwife said she would get her 'senior' to check me and they would make a decision. She checked me and said that i was actually closer to 6cm so could definitely stay and have gas and air! The relief of knowing i could have gas and air was so good. I thought the worst pain was over because from now on i could have whatever pain relief i wanted.. how wrong i was!!
Until around 4:30, i was just using the gas and air and leaning on the bed getting through contractions. It was extremely painful and i will be honest, i don't think the gas and air was as good as people make out. I kept saying it wasn't working because the pain was just as bad, i just felt a little dizzier! It didn't have the laughing gas effect on me at all. In fact i burst into tears because i was so disappointed with the fact i could still feel so much pain and felt i couldn't do it.
At 4:30pm my waters broke (not all of them) and they had mechonium in them. This meant i had to go back onto the CTG machine and meant i had to lie back on the bed as they couldn't get a good reading whilst i was stood. I can't describe how much the pain hurt when i was led down. It intensified by about 1000000 and i was literally screaming and arching my back as it felt like it was going to break. This is when they thought the baby might be back to back as it was still all in my back and my stomach wasn't tightening during contractions. In fact I had no pain or tightening in my stomach at all for the whole labour.
This is when i started asking/screaming for an epidural as i just couldn't take the pain anymore. I did feel like i was dying. They said i was doing well and didn't need it but soon i was getting the urge to push. I was examined again and i remember thinking 'i need to be 10cm and this baby needs to be out within the next 2 seconds or I'm going to die'. I heard them say i was only 7cm and just cried and said i couldn't do it anymore. They said i needed to try and stop pushing as i was squeezing the baby's head and the heart rate was dipping really low again, lower than last time.
I don't remember much after this as i think i lost it after knowing i was only 7cm! The rest is from what Warren has told me and things i vaguely remember!
This is where there was 20 minutes or so of panic in the room. I was checked and they said the baby was back to back and needed to move. I was led on my side at this point. (don't remember being led on my side at all!!)
There were lots of doctors/midwives in and out as they were deciding what to do. I was still screaming for an epidural and they finally agreed as they thought it would help me stop pushing on the baby's head and calm me down a bit. They got the room ready and set up for an epidural and called the anaesthetist but she had just scrubbed into surgery. They were trying to get hold of her consultant to do it and were just about to put the drip in me in preparation but had to examine me first. I moved to lie on my back to be examined and this is when the baby must had moved too. The baby had moved to face the side and had moved down so much that they said i didn't have time for the epidural, the baby was coming and would be here in about 10 minutes!
I just kept pushing for as long and hard as i could. I've lots of people say about the burning sensation you get when the head is crowning/out but i honestly didn't feel that, i didn't feel any pain whilst pushing the baby out, it was only the contractions that hurt!
I remember the head being out and me thinking 'its nearly over at last'! The relief when you do that one last push and the rest of the body comes out (and the waters) is amazing.
The baby was put onto me and Warren announced it was a GIRL! I cried my eyes out!
Sienna Olivia Conway was born at 6:04pm! :)
It was incredible and i am so proud of what i did! What your mind and body goes through is so intense, i don't know how it survives, it's such an amazing thing!