My Birth Experience
Labour and Delivery
From the very beginning of my pregnancy I was adamant that Grace was going to arrive early and that I wasn't going to be over due. Call it what you will, mothers intuition, luck, whatever, I'm just glad she came 1 week early. Everyone told me no way she'll be late, but you see grace and I had this conversation for 9 months.
Nick and I were walking in Villagio Mall, at the time I had been working in a school as a TA for about 4 years, and one of my students came running up and scared the absolute $%^*& out of me. (Shout out to that 7 year old legend he started the ball rolling!)
I didn't really know what was going on, all I new was that from then on, I just felt like I was going to get my period. It felt like a dull, achey, your about to bleed for the next 7 days type of pain, the kind of pain I hadn't felt in months. My husband and I went home, sat around, probably watched some movies while eating in bed. It was about 11 at night when I decided to download a Contraction Counter app. Things were staying at a Consistent 4/5 mins apart.
I went to sleep until about 3 am, when they started to keep me awake, I remember walking to the bathroom and going for a wee, when I got up, I had what was known as the 'bloody show'. Its not as gruesome as it sounds, well it wasn't for me. We decided at that point it was time to probably head down to the hospital, I was delivering at the Cuban Hospital, which was about 45 minutes away.
I had my pre hospital prep which I had been preparing for, I shaved ALL over if you know what I mean, showered washed my hair and got dressed. These things were crucial for me to feel good going into labour. Im sure it sounds mildly vain, but its what made me calm and chilled out.
Fast forward 60 minutes and were checked into hospital hooked up on to the monitors, seeing my contractions and they have confirmed I'm in labour. So we get checked in, called the family back home in the UK to let everyone know. It was pretty smooth sailing, nothing really had changed over night. I was having on a pain scale about 5/10. I hadn't dilated much only 1 cm. So come morning time, they took me down to the ultrasound technician and told me that I was in Inactive Labour. (This is when my calm chillness left me) I started crying, I had been there all night and I just felt in myself I shouldn't go home, I really felt like my contractions were getting stronger but the doctors said It may stay like this for even up to 1 week. So we packed up and went home.
Arriving home around 1pm, I started to feel like crap, over 3 hours my contractions got worse and worse. My remedy for pain is a warm shower, so I ran the shower for a good while, once that stopped working I started to try and sit on my exercise ball just swaying back and fourth and in my last attempts to try and power through them was on my knees with my elbows propped up on the coffee table. I felt a bit silly going back into the hospital 4 hours later saying 'hey again, its me. I think I'm in labour again'. But when we got there, I was a good 8/10 on the pain scale.
The doctor came in, checked my dilation and what do you know! I was 7cm! Im pretty chuffed with myself about that! 7cm! I wasn't that chuffed at the time, as It did hurt. So they wheel me up straight into the delivery room and away we go.
My mum came to the hospital with us, every 30 minutes my mum and husband would rotate, I was allowed 1 person at a time in the delivery room. So they were nice enough to let them rotate. When mum came in I asked that she read to me, I love being read to and when Nick came in, he was just the epitome of what every husband should be like in labour situations. mum only came in 2 times before actual labour started.
I remember vomiting, I had asked for pethidine, stupid drug. Don't bother, I reacted to it and ended up vomiting. Plus it wares off after 30 mins, so there was no point. After that I didn't have anything.
Contractions, the best part of being in labour for me was pushing, I had about 1 hour of full on painful contractions, all I remember from those moments is my husbands voice just cheering me on, telling me how good I was doing, cleaning my face, giving me water. There wasn't ever a point where I felt like I couldn't do it, I think having someone there that was so in tune to me, made such a difference In my ability to just be like right, I've got this.
In the last 30 mins of labour, the doctor said I needed to be cut, she told me before hand and I did ask her if she could wait a little longer but she said she had waited and we needed to get her now. I was happy with that, the nice part was I didn't feel the cutting, that was my biggest fear was being able to feel it.
Pretty soon after that, Grace arrived, I remember how much of a relief it was to be able to channel the pain into pushing and how relieving it was to feel her head come and then the rest of her body.
The Doctors the nurses, everyone, was amazing. I had the best support and care.
They gave me grace to hold, If I'm honest I was so exhausted that I could hardly hold her, I was just happy she was safe and in the world now. I remember having to wait about 20 mins while they stitched me up and then I got back to my room and they brought Grace in about 10 mins after that.
A breastfeeding nurse came in showed me what to do and came in every 2 hours to check up and make sure we were doing ok and latching well. Again, the nurse was supportive and so encouraging. I remember her saying I was a natural and that moment will stay with me forever.