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My 24 Hour Labour Story

Since Ava turned one a couple of weeks ago, I have been thinking a lot about how she came into the world. It feels like an entire lifetime ago that I was pregnant with Ava - I can hardly even imagine what having a bump feels like anymore. I mean, pregnancy is so strange. It is like your body is normal then suddenly you are carrying a whole other person inside you then you just go back to normal again. Some days I do kinda miss feeling the little kicks inside my belly but I have loved watching Ava grow this last year even more.

Anyway, let me set the scene for you guys. Isaac and I had just moved to South London from Devon and Isaac was working a lot to meet the crazy London rent. I mean, he sometimes would come in at 1am and be back out the door at 5am. And my heavily pregnant self just spent my days chilling eating chocolate, watching vlogs, and having a lot of baths. But I was still pretty active up until the end. I would often walk from Blackheath down to Greenwich and wander around the market and enjoy seeing the kids riding their bikes through Greenwich Park. But around 37 weeks, I didn't want to leave the house as much and I felt my body telling me to take it a bit easier. So I did. And I was certain that I would be giving birth soon.

It was on Saturday 5th Novemeber that I started to think the baby could actually be arriving soon. I had been having cramps all day - especially in my lower back - but I had made plans with Isaac to go to a fireworks display that evening so I pushed through with the help of my good friend paracetomol. Putting the visions of me giving birth in the middle of a field surrounded by people to the back of my mind, I actually had a great evening.

The cramps continued for the next couple of days so I stayed in the house - in the bath - and rested up (and ate a whole lot of chocolate). On the Tuesday, the pain intensified - it felt more like contractions. I had barely slept at all that night because of a few things. The pain, of course, but also the pressure from where the baby had moved down and from the acid reflux I had been having for about a week now. So, I got up (read: sat up in bed and switched on my laptop) around 5am when Isaac left for work. Thankfully, Isaac was back home around 2pm but it felt like a long old while that he was gone. I had been in and out of sleep for most of the day but I could barely walk without getting bursts of pain in my lower back. By the time he was home, the contractions were about 30-40 minutes apart and they stayed like that for most of the evening. Under the advice of the midwife, we stayed home and waited. Well, up until 11pm when my waters broke (although my husband was adamant that I had just peed myself smh) so we collected a few of the last minute things together and made our way to the bus. Thankfully, as we were living in London, we didn't have to wait long for a bus and arrived at Lewisham Hospital around 11:30pm (although early labour and bumpy bus journeys aren't a combo I would recommend to anyone).

When we arrived, they checked me over and found that I wasn't dilated at all. They were debating telling me to come back later but, as my waters had broken and my contractions were every 15 minutes, they decided I might as well stay. We were put on a ward and had a bed that was sectioned off by a curtain with all the other women waiting to be far enough along to go into the actual birth unit. I didn't like being in this shared ward. I wanted to have my own, private space. Especially as the contractions got more intense, I felt uncomfortable shouting out in pain with other people around hearing me. I was worried of scaring the poor, possibly teenage girl who was on the other side of the curtain and definitely wasn't as far along as I was - or maybe she just handled pain a lot better.

The night and following day are bleary in my memory. I remember being in and out of consciousness. And, when I was awake, I was huffing enough gas and air to tranquilise a horse - and even dragging the gas cannister around the ward with me when they instructed me to get moving to help encourage the labour. I remember Isaac eating every meal they brought me and feeling sick at the smell of food. I vaguely remember someone sitting and praying with us whilst I screamed every swear word known to man. And apparently I called my mum at 2am telling her the baby was coming - little did I know the baby wasn't coming for a good 10 hours.

I remained here until 5pm the following day. Midwives had come and gone but, as my waters were broken, they couldn't check how dilated I was very often in case of infection. But, by 5pm, I felt like I had to start pushing. Everyone was telling me that my baby would be here soon. I was carted off to the labour ward and they told me that I was 3cm dilated. The midwives were super supportive but they said I wouldn't be able to have a water birth which I had considered as they needed to monitor the baby's heart beat since she hadn't grown for a fair while. I was strapped up on the baby heart monitor machine and they said I needed to wake up a bit so they confiscated my beloved gas and air.

The next 6 hours were filled with pushing. Even towards the end, my contractions weren't coming as quickly as they needed to be. They put drips in my arms and kept telling me to push. I pushed but the baby just wasn't coming out. I could feel that everyone was starting to panic. If I reached 24 hours of dry labour, they would have to give me an emergency caesarean. I didn't want a caesarean as I knew Isaac would have to return to work as soon as possible and it would leave me physically unable to care for the baby as much as I would need to. At about 11pm, the doctor came in. The pain was indescribable but I still managed to stand and walk a couple of steps to try to get her moving down. We tried all different positions but the doctor decided that the end of the bed had to be taken off, my feet were put high in stirrups, and he injected my hoo-ha. I think it was general anaesthetic. He coached me how to push and Lord knows I push every part of my body in a mad frenzy to get this baby out. I thought my eyes would pop out, I was pushing so hard. As he reached for the scissors to try to manually extract this baby with some scary instruments, I pushed so hard that I thought every blood vessel in my body would simultaneously explode. The head was out. Thank the Lord above, the head was out. Another push and she was with us. Ava was born. At 11:58pm on 8th November 2017 weighing 5lb 4oz. Her first sight was her father. They passed her to my arms and I remember poking her little chubby cheeks and feeling so relieved that we had both made it through.

My next feeling was hunger. My husband had been trying to feed me throughout the labour which made me feel sick each time. But now I was desperate for food and drink. The midwife brought me toast which I lay there munching as I cuddled my new bubba (christening her in crumbs - sorry, Ava!). I was just so happy that it was over and grateful to everyone who had been involved. The midwives were amazing and gave me so much support - and a little tough love when it was needed. And my husband had been by my side the whole time. I was really grateful for that.

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  1. Aww she is adorable! I love reading labour stories xx

    Lauren |

    1. Thank you! I had to avoid them when I was pregnant as they scared me but now I can't stop reading them haha xx

  2. Women really are bloody amazing aren't they!
    Not being a mother, I cannot imagine how hard it must be, but I am sure that it is all worth it!

    Danielle xx

    1. Having Ava is deffo worth it! And yes! Women are incredible. Idk how people did it before pain relief tho xx

  3. This was an amazing post to read! She's so cute as well, bless her x

    Abbey | Diary of a Fibro Girl

    1. Thank you! She was really worth all the effort tbh haha x


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