My memory of Emily’s birth is quite hazy, I was young and naive, the thought never occurred to me to write it down, I didn’t know about our minds magical ability to make us completely forget how horrible it is so we will have another child.
For some strange reason I was never worried about giving birth, I didn’t do birthing classes, I didn’t read books, I decided not to scare myself with others horrifying recollections of emergency c-sections and 2 hours of pushing. In hindsight, I should have done the reading, the birthing classes not so much but at 1am on the 22nd of March 2008 ans went into the early stages of labour without even knowing it.
I had suffered from terrible insomnia throughout the later stages of my pregnancy so it wasn’t unusual for me to be awake at that sort of time. I was feeling slight cramping feelings in my stomach, I remember asking someone a few days earlier how I would know I was in labour, they had told me I would definitely know so I wasn’t concerned about the cramping and put it down to braxton hicks. However, after a few hours of them not subsiding I rang the labour ward and asked for some advice, they told me it was probably early labour and I should just come in if it gets too uncomfortable or they are 5 minutes apart.
At 7am, I went into the hospital with a bag full of things I would never use or wear and no idea what was going on. My doctor wasn’t on call and I was given midwife after midwife to check on me. I was frightened and in a lot of pain, nothing had prepared me for this. I decided to have a shot of pethadine which reacted very badly to me and left me feeling very confused and dissociated. By late afternoon I had barely progressed and was still in a lot of pain so I opted for an epidural. For some reason, I was asked to lay on my side while the epidural was administered and started shivering uncontrollably afterwards.
At 7.30 I was ready to start pushing, by this time I had been assigned a male midwife and instructed to lay on my back and start to push, I had no idea how to push, I think I just pushed the whole time. After 50 minutes of painful pushing, her head had just come out and all of a sudden my midwife went all pale, told me to stop pushing and hit the emergency button, then promptly passed out on the floor. A rush of midwives came in, some helped me with a blurry 5 minutes of getting the rest of Emily out and the others helped get the midwife up.
My beautiful baby girl was born at 8.35pm March 23rd weighing 7.14lbs. My midwife came back in later and apologized, he explained that he was recovering from the flu and the heat in the room had made him feel dizzy and just he realized he was going to faint he had seen the cord wrapped around Ems neck and that was why I had to stop pushing. I didn’t care, I had a healthy baby girl. Four days later I was out of hospital (only after discovering they couldn’t hold me there against my will) I wish I had gone home sooner because my dislike of hospitals interfered greatly with learning to breastfeed in comfort, but that’s a whole other story.