At around 11:30am, I was having my second bath and I was now definitely feeling contractions. They weren't very regular though and due to the discomfort they were causing, I was unable to time them. I called downstairs to Chris to see if anyone could come around and look after Jackson, so that he could focus on helping me, although I was still unsure if this was actually the real thing (my 'false labour' had started in a very similar way a few days beforehand). Chris' parents were originally coming over at 1:30pm anyway, as we had a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) appointment, during which I was planning on telling the Consultant that I now wanted to have a C-Section, as I was tired, fed up and worried that if we wait any longer, I will end up in the same situation as last time - an emergency C-Section after a long labour.
Therefore, Chris called them and by 12:30pm, both his Mum and his Dad had arrived and Chris was now able to focus on timing my contractions. At that stage, they were about 4 & 1/2 minutes apart and lasting a minute each. We called the place of our VBAC appointment to ask if we should come in to the appointment still or stay at home (now looking back, what a pointless phone call that was - I was in labour, why would I go to the appointment!!!!) and the lady obviously said not to come to the appointment and to ring the labour ward in an hour or so if things are carrying on the way they currently were.
Within 20 minutes, my contractions had suddenly gone to 2 & 1/2 minutes apart, if not closer at some points, so Chris rang the labour ward and off we went. As the hospital is 45 minutes away, Chris and his mum decided that it would be best if she followed us, just incase anything were to happen on the way. I was having very strong contractions at this stage but I remember thinking that they were massively over reacting (in hind-sight, maybe they weren't)!!!
After probably the worst car journey of my life, we had finally arrived at the hospital, however, we still had to walk to the ward which seemed to take ages as I was having so many contractions. Apparently, in the car park during one of them, I said 'wowzer', a word I don't think I have ever said before! At the time, Chris joked 'if that's as bad as its going to get, you'll be fine!', words that do not help when you are in labour, ha!!! Needless to say, I apparently gave him a very stern look after that comment!
When we eventually got into the hospital, we were taken to the examining room, where one of the midwives asked me to do a urine test, as they always do when someone first comes in. I asked Chris to help as I was in a lot of pain by this point but when in the loo, we noticed fresh blood, which prompted Chris to race and get a midwife. She assured me that it was fine and not to worry about it but when she was telling me this (still in the loo) I suddenly got a really strong urge to push! Off she ran to get me a wheelchair and they took me straight to the labour room, with me mentioning quite a few times on the way that 'I want to have my epidural now'!!!
Once we were in the room, they finally managed to examine me and I was 7cm dilated, which was fantastic although, again, all I had to say was 'can I have an epidural please'! Everyone kept asking me, 'are you sure? You are already at 7cm and doing really well' but there was no changing my mind! They offered me gas and air numerous times too but for some reason, I had in my head that if I said yes to that, they wouldn't be able to give me the epidural (which is not at all true and I don't have a clue as to why I thought that).
The anaesthetist came in and was talking me through everything and all I remember thinking was, 'if you don't hurry up it will be too late!'. Mid-explanation, my waters suddenly broke, which is such a bizarre feeling, just like a water balloon going off in between your legs. A couple of weeks beforehand, I had watched 'Call the Midwife', in which one of the ladies had meconium in her waters and for some reason that had stuck in my head and was the first thing that came to mind when mine broke. Unfortunately, when I looked down, I noticed that the water definitely had meconium in it, so in a panicked voice, I called to the midwife who in turn, pressed the buzzer to get some extra help. It wasn't long after that when I embarrassingly said to Chris that I was pooing! However, the midwife checked and said that it was in fact the babies head coming out and that we didn't have time for the epidural!!! She turned and said 'Mr Anaesthetist, we don't need you anymore, we can see the head!'
Not long later at all (not sure exactly how long but it was very quick) and after a few big pushes, my baby was born!!! It all happened within about 40 minutes of arriving at the hospital and, to be honest, I was in a bit of shock. I was just looking down at my baby, who took what seemed like forever to cry, when Chris looked up and said 'it's a girl!'. I hadn't even thought about what sex it might be but I think hearing that made me suddenly realise what had just happened and I immediately started to cry. One thing that I missed with Jackson was skin to skin contact straight after the birth, due to the fact he arrived via C-Section, so this time I started ripping off my robe straight away and was asking for skin to skin, after ensuring she was ok due to the meconium. Needless to say, they handed her straight to me and I got that all important first time skin to skin moment.
She was just perfect, and she was a she!!!
With an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, I thought that was it - I had done it. But no, next was the passing of the placenta; I had that injection to speed it all up but it still seemed to take ages and was quite painful too. Therefore, it was at this stage that I opted for the gas and air (I have no idea why I didn't want it before, it was brilliant!).
Once again, after the placenta was out, I thought that was me finished for the day. However, unfortunatly I was bleeding a lot, so in came some more staff to assist. It turns out that I had some blood clots forming in my Uterus, which they told me was probably due to the quick labour and my body basically being worn out, meaning my Uterus wouldn't contract properly. One of the doctors was pushing on my stomach to try to get it contract, while another was scraping the blood clots out, which were both really painful. The main consultant told me, whilst doing this, that I may have to go into surgery if the pain got too much for me but I remember thinking, 'HELL NO', I wasn't going to go through a natural birth only to then have to go and have surgery anyway!
Finally, after all of that, came what I think was the worst bit of it all - the stitches (down below). All I kept thinking was, 'can everyone just leave me alone so I can be with my baby!!!!'. The pain and discomfort of this seemed more intense than anything else I had just been through. However, once they were finished, we were finally left alone and they brought in some tea and toast, which everyone always tells me is the best meal they have ever had and it really was an amazing comfort after all of that!!!
We were both on cloud nine and just couldn't believe it. Deep down I thought I would almost certainly end up with another C-Section and I always thought she would be another he (not that I really minded either way though).
One of my main reasons for wanting to do it naturally this time was that I always felt a little bit like I hadn't done it 'correctly' with Jackson. However, now having been through two completely different births, I can safely say that I felt incredibly and equally proud both times!!!
I would like to introduce the world to Florence Lucy Corbitt, born 2:36pm Tuesday 7th February 2017 and weighing a healthy 8lbs 11oz.
Love Sophia xxx