So this is a post on our Birth story…and before you close it (!!) don’t worry, its not the gory details…but the details of the day and how we, as first time parents handled the most amazing, yet stressful (and painful) experience we were ever about to endure.
Before I start, I think it is only fair to provide a little insight into my birthing partner…my husband Sam. He is an incredible husband, he has me belly laughing at least once a day, and knows not to take life too seriously and have a little fun. When we argue, it is impossible to stay mad at him. As my dad bluntly says with grin, “He is just a bit of prat isn’t he?”, my response, ever so proud…”Yes dad, he sure is” and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A few weeks before Max’s due date, Sam is being his “wonderful” self and winding everyone up in a playful way while we are sat down for a family Sunday lunch with his parents. “Oh god Lou, how are you going to deal with him when you go into labour” say’s his mum…we both laugh, a little too nervously, as I reply, “I honestly have no idea”, and we reminisce on a story about the last time I was in hospital…
It was a couple of years ago, I ended up in A&E (for those who don’t know, I am extremely accident prone). So I rang Sam and told him to come to meet me. I thought I would be met with a frantic and worried husband, but instead I was met with Sam the joker, Sam the “doctor” (I think he reverts to jokes when he is nervous…). After making sure I am OK he goes into his bag and pulls out Percy Pigs..I don’t know when he had the time to get them, but I was happy he did! Bless him, thats pretty sweet of him to do… How wrong I was…When I ask him why he bought them, “he grins and say’s the nurses may be hungry, and they’re fit so I came prepared”…So off he goes, around the ward offering out percy pigs to everyone. He was a hit, everyone loved him…of course they did…(rolling my eyes)…Once he has done the rounds, he is back at my side, impatiently waiting for the doctor to see me. I can see him fidgeting, getting bored…and with a twinkle in his eye, he say’s “Hello Mrs, it’s time for me to take your temperature”, and after a quick look for a real thermometer, he decides to stick his finger in my ear, I slap it away and tell him to stop, but before I can finish the sentence, he has found the controls to my bed. “Hey!! I wonder how high your bed goes!” he says…My bed pretty close for me to inspect the ceiling, at least a meter off the ground I am FURIOUS. Looking down at him I scream, “Sam put me the F*CK down now!” absolutely mortified that someone is going to come in and see this… “It’s DOCTOR SAM, to you Mrs!!” he says laughing…I have never wanted to leave somewhere quite a quickly as I did from this hospital. It was a disaster…but the story was met with hysterics, Sam’s mum’s hands in her head, and Sam and I laughing…(I think I was nervously laughing with the fear of this recurring again…)
So, swing back 2 years later, sat in the midwife’s office, asking me about my birth plan, my first thought is how I am going to control this child of a husband I have. Genuinely concerned that we are going to meet “Doctor Sam” again.
Sam and I discuss our real birth plan. Which was get to the hospital, have the baby safely and thats it. We didn’t go into too much detail, we just wanted everything to be safe. Not having any expectations on how to deliver the baby worked for us, as we thought, we will never be able to control the birth as a lot of things can change throughout the delivery.
On the 31st of May, I wake up at 3:30am and feel tightening in my belly. It is coming and going, but as I wasn’t sure this was definitely happening, I quietly took myself into the living room to suss out the situation. I turned on the TV, made a cup of tea, and sat there until around 5:30…I didn’t wake up Sam immediately…Two reasons… The first was I wanted him to be rested, and be strong for me if this was happening, I needed his strength…and two, I wanted some quiet time, I wanted time for myself to ease into the labour. And let’s be honest, the idea of Sam prancing around excitedly in the living room was just not the one.
So at 5:30am I decide to wake him up. He is up straight away, smiling away so excited that it was happening, we were going to meet our boy. We go back to the living room and he takes on the role of counting my contractions. He slowly is starting to get more and more excited and I suspect a little bored of tapping his contraction app. He starts to head over to the piano, “Hey, shall I play you some calming music?!” He say’s only knowing at this point how to play twinkle twinkle little star on the piano he just recently purchased. “Umm no, I am good Sam”, the idea of him playing this on repeat felt like a slow torture, so he very sweetly goes back to his app and resumes his job on timing my contractions.
We decided to leave when the contractions were roughly 4 minutes apart. Hoping we weren’t getting to the hospital too early – of course we didn’t…Sam decided to take the route to the hospital with SPEED BUMPS. By the second speed bump I am yelling at him. “SLOW DOWN, what the HELL were you thinking taking this route” “Well dear, it wouldn’t be the right time to explore other routes now would it”…he was right, despite his sarcastic tone, he was definitely right. So we continue down this insanely bumpy road, and get to the parking lot at the hospital.
My contractions were really starting to come in strong, and of course, the hospital parking lot is tiny, the spaces are crammed in together, and there wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to be able to squeeze out of the car. So we decide to park in a nice open space…the furthest space from the entrance of the hospital.
There was a point we honestly thought this baby was going to make its entrance down there. The suggestion of running and getting me a wheelchair was offered by Sam. But the idea of him wheeling me around without trying to play some type of game with it, was a risk I was just not willing to take, and I would take every precaution to ensure “Doctor Sam” was not entering the room, even if that meant having the baby in the parking lot.
But we made it.
We get to the ward, and get checked over. To our amazement, I was already 5cm dilated! This baby was coming, and coming fast. As we get settled in I decide I want the drugs. I need some pain relief.
The midwife gets the gas and air ready, and I start puffing away at it. I didn’t really think it helped. I felt pretty queasy from it, and the pain was still pretty strong. But this was the option right now, so who was I to complain. As I start to get my next contraction, eyes shut from the pain, fumbling around for the gas and air, I can’t find it. So opening my eyes, there is Sam. MY birth partner, sat relaxing puffing away. “This sh*t is GOOD” he say’s with a huge smile and a haze that tells me he has a great buzz from it…
“Sam THIS IS NOT THE F*CKING TIME” – you can imagine how quickly he gave me back MY pain relief. So after our little “miscommunication” on WHO needs the gas and air, we are checked over, and we are now 9cm dilated and ready to get this baby out! There he was, our squishy, funny looking boy! Coming in strong at 8lbs 5oz! Our Mighty Max.
We had done it! we got through the labour, which was relatively quick. We worked well together, and Sam was a great birthing partner. He made me laugh when I didn’t think it was possible, he made the experience fun, and made me feel safe. Jokes aside, Sam was incredible. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be there… and…”Doctor Sam” wisely did not come out.
Here are the first pictures taken!! Enjoy!!