As most of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram will know, I gave birth to my baby on January 10th at 21:58, a whole 3 weeks early!
Hence the sudden and lengthy absence from my blog!
On Friday 10th Jan I woke at 7am to drive my hubby to the station to go to work. I reluctantly lugged my heavy body of bed and made my way to the bathroom. At that exact moment I felt something warm running down my legs. “Oh fab, I’ve peed myself” I thought.
I got to the bathroom and realised it definitely wasn’t pee and was fairly sure my waters had just broken. In a mild state of panic and confusion i rang our hospital and told them what had happened, not truly believing it could be my waters as I was only 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant and 3 weeks away from his due date of Feb 1st.
The hospital told me to come in to get checked, but told me they’d likely send me home. I came downstairs to see Mr B packing our hospital bags in the car. “Don’t bother” I told him, “we aren’t having a baby today, its too early, we’ll be coming home again soon.”
Famous last words.
By the time we were en route I was having tightening pains every 4-6 minutes. They weren’t particularly painful, just uncomfortable.
We were taken to the assessment ward and i was stuck on a monitor which showed that I was having fairly regular contractions.
I was asked to get off the bed so they could examine me to see if my waters had in fact gone, at which point the second i took my bottoms off, I was standing in a lovely warm puddle, which pretty much confirmed that my waters had gone!
I was warned that because Baby B was now clearly going to be early, that he may require some extra help once born, to breathe and feed etc. This put the fear in me, especially as he was only 1 day away from being considered ‘term’.
“Will I still be able to have a water birth?” I asked. I was told No, because he was considered premature, if only by a day. I was pretty gutted to be honest.
Not much happened between then (about 8am) and 2pm when I first got examined. I went for a coffee in the cafe downstairs with Mr B and my mum and dad who were now here, then when Mr B went home to get the car seat (which we hadn’t even had a chance to get out of the box yet, let alone fit in the car and to sort out our dog Dexter) I walked around the ward with my mum, pausing between contractions to brace myself.
The contractions were getting stronger, more regular and more painful!
They were reluctant to examine me due to the risk of infection as my waters had gone, but they told me I was 3cm.
Things from here are fairly hazy. My contractions ramped up a gear and pretty soon I was kneeling beside my bed on pillows sucking on the gas and air, which gave me some relief.
Mr B was still awol sorting out stuff and I remember getting very impatient and kept asking my mum to find out where he was and started shouting that I wanted him here.
After what felt like forever, I heard he was back. By this point I was unable to open my eyes- I felt like it helped me cope better through the pain to keep my eyes closed. I was still on my knees on the floor bent over the bed and was still in the assessment unit as no beds on the labour ward had been free yet.
|The monitor showed i was having regular contractions|
Eventually I remember being helped into a wheelchair and taken to a private room, where somehow I was undressed, put into a gown and put on a bed.
This is where it got so much worse. I was on all fours, hugging the head of the bed, sucking on gas and air with every ounce of energy I had.
It wasn’t enough and I was screaming for an epidural. I was examined again at around 5pm I think and was about 5cm dilated.
I was given a shot of morphine, which in my opinion did very little, and on all fours, with my eyes closed, screaming i begged for an epidural to anyone that would listen.
“He’s just in theatre”, “ you’re next on the list”, “he’ll be here soon” I was repeatedly told. I didn’t think i could go on.
I then remember being told by Mr B, my mum and widwives to get up and try to go to the toilet to empty my bladder. There was some discussion that as I hadn’t been for a wee in hours my bladder could be full and preventing the baby from moving lower.
I shouted at them that i could barely see, let alone get off the bed and walk anywhere. My contractions were on top of one another and I wasn’t getting a break, and had no idea how id make it to the loo.
That said, I did, so sat on the loo while a midwife sat next to me holding my gas and air. It was whilst sat there that I became aware that the sounds i were making had become more guttural, and i thought I felt like I was pushing.
I told the midwives that I thought I needed to push and they rushed me back to the bed.
I remembered being told that it is dangerous to push unless you are fully dilated, and as I hadn’t been examined for ages and didn’t know if I was ready to push yet, was reluctant to do so, but my body was doing what it wanted regardless.
Shortly after this at around 8pm i think I finally had my epidural. I didn’t feel anything, I was in so much pain that I was entirely unable to feel the needle going in.
I remember laying back after it had all been put in, still able to feel the contractions and screaming that it hadn’t worked! The anaesthetist then told me that it can take 20 mins to work, and of course, it eventually did.
It was at this point i was examined again, only to be told I was 10cm dilated and had they known, wouldn’t have given me an epidural as i was almost at the end of my labour and ready to push.
I didn’t care, It had been 12 hours since my contractions started and i was shattered. The midwife gave me an hour to rest and to give time for the babys heads to come lower.
I was then being asked if i wanted to give pushing a go. I couldn’t feel a thing! I was pushing how i thought i should push, and from the midwifes comments, knew i was doing something right.
After about 15 mins I was asked if i wanted to feel the mop of hair on my babys head, which was crowning.
"Yes, my baby has hair!" I remember thinking.
Next thing I knew she’d said ‘babys head is out’, then with another push my baby was here.
He was put on my chest, all warm,wriggly and wet. I lifted his leg and saw that he was a boy, looked at my hubby and said “we have a son!”
A beautiful, healthy son who didn’t need any help breathing or feeding and for 3 weeks early, weighed a healthy 6lb 7oz.
I had him on my chest while the midwife did her best to repair some damage that little mr caused on his way out, but thankfully due to the epidural couldn’t feel anything.
I couldn’t stop staring at him. My son, Finally here. I say ‘finally here’, I hadn’t had to wait for him at all and recall shouting at my mum through contractions “But mum, I haven’t even got to this chapter in my birthing book!”.
Those 15 hours of labour, as exciting, scary and painful as they were, brought me the most wonderful gift.
A beautiful, healthy son who we love more than anything in this world.
So world, please say hello to my son, Franky Michael Frederick Berryman. Born on Friday January 10th 2014 at 21:58 weighing 6lb 7oz.