Tara & Dave

I woke up with gentle contractions at 12.30am on Monday night. By the early hours of Tuesday morning I had regular contractions and we got excited that we would get to meet our baby boy that day! Contractions continued to get more and more regular but when day time arrived they slowed down. Tuesday was spent going for walks and bouncing on my birthing ball as the contractions had slowed down to every 20 minutes and were very irregular. As soon as it hit night time they kicked back up again and we were heading into hospital at 3am with my contractions being every 3 minutes apart and I was struggling with the pain. Unlike lots of people who say they want to stay at home for a long time I just wanted to get into hospital! We got to hospital and taken to ABC (the midwife Led unit at Watford), after an examination I got told I was only 1cm dilated and I was having a latent labour and got sent home. After a couple of hours of attempting to lie in the bath and listening to my meditation CDs, I was begging Dave to take me back into hospital (by this time is was 7am) as my contractions were very close together and I couldn't cope with the pain, we'd also not slept for over 48 hours now and I was exhausted. This time I was only 3cm dilated so they gave me pethedin so I could try and rest and moved me to the anti natal ward, I was allowed back in ABC once I was 4cm dilated. This is the section I will cut short but for me this was the longest 24 hours of my life. I was in the anti natal ward with women who weren't in labour. I was in excruciating amounts of pain and not dilating at all and I wasn't allowed gas and air until I was 4cm dilated - we finally realised my bladder was blocking my waters breaking. So I had a catheter put in and my waters broke early hours of Thursday morning and I went from 3cm - 7cm in 10 minutes. I then got taken back to ABC and the rest of it was plain sailing (much less painful then what I'd already been through!). I was in the pool for a while but the water was annoying me so I went back into our room and with just the gas and air, pushed Rufus out at 11.57am (62 hours later!) weighing 7lb13. What was interesting is we had done a whole course on hypno birthing and I imagined I would be squatting when the time came to push or in the water, but actually all I wanted to do was be on the bed, on my back! I have 2 favourite parts of the whole labour, which will sound so dull to everyone else! The first being when I had been moved back to the ABC ward and I remember looking up at the midwife who was saying to Dave put the babies hat in your pocket to keep it warm and I just remember thinking 'She believes I can do this, we're actually going to have a baby'. The second being when his head first started to appear and Dave looked at me with tears in his eyes and said 'he's got black hair'. After such a long and traumatic labour I didn't in a million years think we'd get the labour we had wanted but your body knows what it's doing! Dave was incredible and I still can't talk about how amazing he was with out crying! Some people said to us that he would feel useless and that there was nothing he could do but he was with me every step of the way and my god I put him to work - I could never put into words how grateful I am for how much he helped me and got me through it. I then had a couple of stitches which aren't as painful as I had imagined and we stayed in transitional care for 2 nights as one of Rufus's kidneys hadn't developed properly. We were home safe and sound on Saturday night with our gorgeous boy and 2 very excited but petrified parents!! 

The last few months have a been a whirlwind of emotions, extreme happiness mixed with extreme anxiety and tiredness! I always say it feels like time has slowed down and is in fast forward all at the same time! And lastly my advice to any new parents is, be kind to your self and to your partner. Nothing is normal and nothing is wrong, go with your instinct and you will always find yourself doing the right thing.