Beautiful Births #21: Karen's Overdue Birth

I absolutely love reading birth stories as every experience is so unique, and after sharing my own two very different birth experiences [emergency c-section and natural VBAC] I decided to ask other mums and dads to share their beautiful birth stories with me, too. If you’d like to share your birth story, send me an email or get in touch via Twitter or Facebook.

The very lovely Karen from Two Tiny Hands is sharing her birth story today. Karen is one of those people that seems to "get things done", and her birth experience was no different! 

Those of you that read my blog know that I am always doing something and the birth of my son is no different. 

It was Sunday and I was already a week over due.  Dave had gotten up early to go work on the car.  I had a lie in, (that thing that doesn’t exist now).  When I got up at about 9am I knew something was happening.  I was having "The Show", it sounds dramatic but I was losing liquid!  I had read this might be normal and it could still be ages before anything kicks off.

I carried on with my plans...  We had a packet of Vanish carpet cleaner in the cupboard with my name on it.

I spent the next couple of hours cleaning (scrubbing) the carpet! I was losing a clear liquid throughout, but not much pain.  I do wonder if it was the act of being on my hands and knees scrubbing the Vanish into the floor that helped distract me from the pain?

After the vanish was all hovered up Dave appeared home in search of lunch.  I dutifully let him make the lunch while I moved furniture back into its place in the front room.  I totally knew I shouldn't be shifting furniture but I was beyond caring at this point!

It was when we were having lunch that I broke the good news to Dave that I was in labour!

Dave remembered one thing from the antenatal class that could help with labour and this was go for a walk.  I agreed and we set off down the canal on a beautiful sunny day. We had plenty of  "get out" points on the walk in the early stages.  Being me I agreed to plod on past the point of no return.  Basically a big loop that once you get so far, turning back and carrying on is the same distance.  We'd gone too far. 

I'm pretty sure my waters were on a continuous trickle out at this point and the pad I had on was saturated.  I waddled, yes I was waddling and stopping a lot at this point.  I knew I wasn't in the midst of full-blown labour but I was having closer pains and all the water was getting me worried.  Every time I moved a little trickle came out.  We had a big hill to walk up.  It was no good, I needed a rescue.  I sat on the road side while Dave ran on ahead to get the car.

This wasn't too bad, until it started to thunder.  No rain but, lightning in the distance.  I do NOT like being outside in thunder and lightning.  I got a little bit scared and Dave was no where in sight.  I started to walk again and as I reached the corner Dave drove round it!  I jumped in the car a little shaken!  Yes I was in labour but the lightning scared me more!

We rang the hospital up  when we got back to let them know what was going on.  They told me as I thought my waters had broken that I would need to come in, but as I seemed to be coping well with the pain that I should come in for 7pm.  Take paracetamol to take the edge off.  This I did. 3 hours to wait. Dave cooked a chili while I went and had a bath. I sent him to buy sweets for the hospital bag.  It was all rather calm.  The chili was amazing.

When we set off to the hospital my contractions seemed to be 2 to 3 minutes apart.  On arriving at the hospital they were mega busy and asked us to go to the ward to wait.  Someone will see us there.  At 7pm a nurse came to see us, she asked a few questions and when I said the contractions were this close together she looked suspicious and said really?  Now don't get me wrong I'm not that hard-core, I wasn't screaming in pain, but it blooming hurt.  She wrote down 10 minutes apart! WTF!?

We'll glaze over this though as she took my blood pressure, it was through the roof.  Now she gave a face of concern (mwah ha ha).  A doctor was called to come and assess me and take bloods.  This is where my memory is a little hazy.  There was a shift change and from about 7.30 to 10pm nobody came to see us, if they did I don't remember its significance.  I was sat on the hospital bed watching the clock tower out the window ahead, breathing and timing the contractions.  It was really starting to hurt!  I was getting to the point of saying to Dave to go and get someone, when midwives appeared!

They took my blood pressure which had gone up again, gave me a magic blood pressure reducing pill and started to examine me.  I was 7cms dilated and still on the ward, not the delivery suit.  In a blur of panic, the midwives and doctor needed to get me downstairs.  A nurse appeared with a chair, and someone said "No we're going on the bed, we can't move her!"  (I hope that it wasn't a reference to my size; I think it was blood pressure related though).

It was in the lift I started to panic, the pain was immense.  I had no idea how all this worked, I thought that the baby was here and now!  I do remember at this point all I'd taken was paracetamol...

My assigned midwife introduced herself and gave me the "Golden Gas juice!"   It was welcomed and really did take the edge off the contractions.   It was about 11pm now.  The midwife was happy that I wanted to go natural, so she talked me through everything, a few times, as I stopped listening on many occasions!

She told me to let her know when I had a huge desire to push.  On a few occasions I said, "I think I do".  She replied with a "no, you'll really want to push!"   On the 4th time of this conversation she said she would check my dilation.  I was 9cms.  She wanted me to lie on my side and rest.  With a look of horror I was adamant that wasn't happening.  I was wired up to machines monitoring my blood pressure and I just couldn't see how the hell I was meant to rest!  I got her point but I'm a bit stubborn and just wanted to work through this and get the boy out.

I really wish I could remember it all in gory detail for you.  I still hadn't given up and I remained insistent that this was happening.  The midwife was lovely and kept giving me encouragement on when to breathe and push, and push harder, and actually push harder.  It went like this for an hour. It seemed I wasn't pushing properly for quite a lot of the contraction.  Once I got the hang of it though the midwife got more excited...

Oh I totally forgot about Dave, what happened to him?  He came down with me in the lift and into the side room.  He got asked to sit on a chair and stay there.  He could only get up when I requested water.  Poor fella, he was at my leg end, I felt closely watched!

It was when the head was due that the midwife asked him to come and stand next to me.  I think he found it fascinating.  All the pushing and he was almost here.  Then the midwife said "stop pushing!" Again WTF!  They don't prepare you for that one.  I tried my best to stop though.  Moments later Robot popped into this world at 1.59am.  He was passed to me and that was it.

I won't bore you with the details of tearing, stitches, toast, naps, breastfeeding, crying and cuddles. My little man was here safe and sound.

Thank you for reading this, Robert is my little world and you can find out all about him and us on my blog,

Wasn't Karen the most determined mum? I can't imagine having to stop pushing, it's such an overwhelming sensation when the urge to push happens! Thank you for sharing with us, Karen.

You can read more beautiful birth stories here.

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