"It was hilarious. My midwife was standing around talking about having Chinese for dinner and deciding whether or not to break my waters.."
I was a week overdue and I remember cleaning the house. It seemed logical that when you have a baby you won’t have time to do the housework. They say this is one of the first signs of labour.
I had been to see my obstetrician the day before who had given me a cervical sweep, which is basically a prod to try to get things moving. I didn’t even realise at the time. I was to be induced the next day and woke up at 7am with what felt like very slight period pains. I thought, hello, this could be it. I hopped in the shower and by 9am the contractions were stronger and more regular, probably about 20 minutes apart. We rang the hospital and told them what I was feeling. They advised a brisk walk to help bring on the labour. I went to get the newspaper, and when I returned the contractions were five minutes apart. They were painful but not unbearably so, enough to stop me in my tracks so I would have to sit down. At 11.30 we left for the hospital. The contractions were pretty strong. My husband couldn’t get me there quick enough. When we got there they checked to see if I was dilating. I was already 5cm. I was in labour.
The contractions continued getting stronger and closer together and by 6pm, I opted for an epidural.
They offered me gas but that didn’t seem to do anything. With hindsight maybe I gave up on it too early. But I was happy to have an epidural.
The contractions continued for about twenty minutes, then suddenly, there was no pain. It was amazing.
Within a couple of hours the epidural started wearing off. I could feel some sensation, which was okay. They offered to top it up but I didn’t feel I needed it. My waters still hadn’t broken at this stage. They kept offering to break them.
It was hilarious. My midwife was standing around talking about having Chinese for dinner and deciding whether or not to break my waters.
We decided to let them break naturally. They broke at about 9.30pm, although I must say I have no recollection of the waters breaking at all. I remember feeling hungry somewhere a long the line – I eaten about 7pm within a few hours I was starving.
I began pushing around 9.30pm and at 10.24 he popped out and was put to my breast and began breastfeeding.
It was the most awesome, natural thing.
From the time of crowning, it was literally two or three breaths, and he slid out. It was so quick. I couldn’t believe he didn’t slide onto the floor. And I looked at him and thought, who are you? He didn’t look like Eric, he didn’t look like me.
I had a textbook labour. In all it took about 15 hours with no false starts. Klaus was 8lb 11.
I remember lying there afterwards in awe of my mother and grandmothers who had given birth naturally. I thought, "my mother is a frigging legend".
The only downside for me with opting for an epidural was that I couldn’t walk to go and have a shower and clean up. I was sort of left alone covered in blood unable to move.
I remember feeding my baby, then my husband Eric took him for an hour while I slept, then I threw up. I was feeling sleepy and disoriented – I couldn’t work out how to put a nappy on.
I look back on it as such a fun, exciting day. And I really look forward to my next labour. That’s the honest to God truth.