After checking my blood pressure and monitoring baby's heartbeat I was hooked up to the drip to start the contractions off at 10.30am. It was a low dose to begin with so the contractions started quickly but were mild and caused me no problems.
Claire was great at keeping me moving, something I didn't do at all with Leo. We walked up and down the ward corridor chatting about all kinds of random stuff while I kept tangling myself up with my drip! She had me bouncing on the birth ball and doing squats, all things I wouldn't have been doing without her encouragement. The midwives were great at letting me keep moving, something they are not generally known for after induction, and they only popped in now and again just to monitor me.
I had been told no food or drink, something guaranteed to upset me in any circumstances but Claire smuggled me sips of water, snack-a-jacks and fruit polos every time they turned their backs - a complete lifesaver for me!
At 2.30pm the contractions were getting very painful. Claire had been massaging my back but this was now no longer taking my mind off the pain. By 3pm I was starting to lose the plot and asked her to get me some pethidine, she said I didn't need it as was doing great as I was.
When Claire then predicted that I'd have a baby by 7pm (changing from her earlier guess of 4pm because of how things were progressing) I wanted to cry - five more hours of this pain, not a chance! The contractions were so painful I remember wondering how I could possibly survive that much pain for that long. I NEEDED the drugs!
I told Claire I had to have it, she said wait ten minutes, to which I replied 'I know what you're doing, you'll say its too late then' She answered with a smile 'If it's too late then you'll be about to have a baby and you won't need them any more'
I was examined again at 3pm and told I was 6cm dilated, I cried and told Claire that at 8cm dilated with Leo I still had 8 hours to go. Her reply - 'Yes, that's because you had the drugs, you can have them now but it will probably slow the labour right down.'
That was the thing that swung it for me, it still bloody hurt with pethidine last time and I needed this to be over as soon as possible so I agreed, no drugs, I'll power through and get on with it.
Claire had asked me earlier in the day to choose a focal point,something to take my mind off the pain, again I silently thought she was mad but picked the red flashing light on the smoke alarm to keep her happy. I had no idea but that actually did turn out to be the thing that kept me going throughout the pain!
Somewhere around 3.30pm I needed to push, I was told not to, cue more tears - I couldn't NOT push!
I was now staring at that smoke alarm like my life depended on it and arguing between contractions about how much I needed to push so they examined me again and suddenly decided I had to be moved to the delivery suite right away...
I bloody told them I needed to push!
Once in the delivery room they got my legs up in stirrups and finally said I could push, It was unbelievably painful but luckily there was another smoke alarm on the ceiling in there and Claire was right bedside me keeping me focused on it whilst fanning me with a laminated bit of paper (in the rush to the delivery room she left her fan behind!) I wonder now what the midwives thought of her keep shouting 'smoke alarm, Emma, focus!'
It wasn't long until the doctor said she could see the head, 'one more push and he'll be out' I have to say that I didn't believe her, they had said that several times with Leo. So I was stunned that it was actually true - another huge push and then the rest of him followed!
I was amazed, I saw my belly go down as they caught him and wrapped him up. I actually had no words (strange for me I know!) but I laughed / cried with relief - Thank God it was over! As they passed him to me I remember smiling to myself and thinking 'Not even a f***king paracetamol!'
I was surprised to see such a head of blonde hair, Leo's had been jet black. They handed him to me but I held him just for minute, they were stitching me up and it was so painful that I didn't feel I could hold him properly.
Half an hour later I was back on the ward, they brought him to see me and Claire took our first photo. She then left us to get acquainted and headed home for her well deserved KFC dinner!
You can find part three here...