For those of you who may have been taking bets on the birth...
the little darling, born at just after 3am on 11 August, is a gorgeous wee girl weighing 3.66 kgs. The midwife, the boy and my mum all reckon she looks just like her father.
If you don't want to read all the gory details, it's best to skip the rest of this post...
After a night of period-like cramps and waking up wondering about little plot inconsistencies in the Buffy episodes I'd been watching the previous evening, my waters broke. It was about 7 in the morning, and I rushed off to the toilet to make sure I hadn't simply done an accidental wee. Nope, definitely amniotic fluid.
We only live up the road from the hospital, but took the car anyway - I almost regretted it because it took ages to find a car park there (how ridiculous, that a hospital patient can't get a park at the hospital car park!). Anyway, after 20 minutes hooked up to the monitor, the midwife sent us home for the afternoon. I was to return at 6pm for an overnight stay, and I'd be induced the next morning if necessary.
Four hours of Buffy episodes and many lower back pains later, we were at the antenatal ward and I was 3 cm dilated. I was pretty damned keen to get an epidural as soon as it was practical to, but every time the midwife checked my stats she told me I wasn't yet in established labour and it was too early for drugs.
Thursday, in the wee hours
My god, but those later contractions hurt. It felt exactly as though my pelvic bones and lower spine were being pushed apart by a malevolent life force (which was in fact the case except for the malevolent bit). Truly, it seemed apalling to me that any woman would have to suffer this much before getting any pain medication. I swear, if I'd known just how much it was gonna hurt I would have opted for getting a puppy.
At 2am the midwife hooked me up to the monitor again. For some reason, those contractions which were massive enough to leave my shaking uncontrollably, were hardly registering on the little graph. She examined me anyway, and found that I was fully dilated. I thought it meant that at last I could get that epidural.
The midwife told me it was too late for that; it was time to push the baby out.
So I was wheeled off to the delivery room. With every contraction, I pushed as though I meant to force out the biggest poo of my life. So I did. And I did.
Unfortunately, Baby didn't come out as easily as a poo. Baby's heart rate fell enough to worry the midwife, who called the obstetrician, who decided Baby really had to come out right now. Apparently Baby was getting a bit tired (but surely not as tired as I was).
What happened next was:
a decision to use the ventouse cup to suck Baby out while I pushed - when he put it inside me it felt like some kind of reverse birth;
orders to push with my mouth closed, which was impossible to follow because I was far too busy screaming loudly and in agony;
sudden relief as Baby slipped out and gave a mighty cry;
and several stitches in my perineum.
Thank the gods that the labour and childbirth are all over. Unfortunately I still have to contend with: the period-like contractions for my uterus shrinking back to its normal size and place; loads of bleeding; and the surprisingly painful stitches, leading to very careful sitting and a dread of my next poo. Baby has had a few goes at being breastfed, tried out her new cot and her bouncy hammock, and produced quite a large amount of black tarry poo. She's a real sleeper.