Birth Story Name: Eva Dawn Gladstone Born: 8.58am, 10th December 2009 Around 7.30pm on the evening of 09th December 2009 (5 days before my due date), I started having very mild contractions. Shane was working until 9pm and I thought that I would wait until he came home before I mentioned it and see if they got any worse. I rang my sister Alana and she kept me on the phone with her for about an hour whilst we timed them and chatted excitedly. By about 9pm the contractions had become very regular, every 5 minutes for 54 seconds exactly and I started thinking things could be happening! The phone rang, it was Shane stressed about work. I said ‘Let me guess? You’re going to be late?’ ‘Yes’ he replied. ‘Not tonight, you can’t I think I might be having contractions!’ Anyway, five minutes later and Shane arrived home! I rang York Hospital and explained that I was having regular but mild contractions and we were advised to get some rest and wait it out! I ran a bath and just as I was about to go in, I lost my mucous plug. That’s when I KNEW I was in labour and started to shake with both nerves and excitement of what was about to come! The pains were gradually getting worse. I rang Alana who was just as exited as us but also slightly apprehensive. The bath seemed to sooth the pain and I remember feeling a little disappointed and foolish in case it was a false alarm. We went to bed but the contractions became too painful for me to sleep so we went into the living room, and tried to deal with them there! The more painful they became, the more nervous we became as Shane was supposed to be driving me to the hospital with his L-plates on! The hospital thought that this was ridiculous and we realised that we would have to find some way else of getting there! With this Shane became extra nervous and was sick in the bathroom! I was a little cross, as I knew we had a long night ahead and I was worried that he would let me down. (For the record he certainly did not let me down and was the best birthing partner ever!) Anyway, as Shane was so nervous I sent him to bed and said that I would rather deal with these contractions on my own for now and that I wanted him to get some rest and be strong. Reluctantly, he went off to bed and I sat on the sofa and tried to deal with the contractions. They were so painful and every time I had one, I couldn’t believe how long it was and how much more painful it was. (Little did I know about what was to come!) The first part of the contraction I spent with my head under the pillow on the sofa whimpering, the second part rushing to the toilet with the most overwhelming urge for a number 2! This went on until about 2am. I rang the ward again, had two contractions whilst on the phone to them and they suggested that I go in now. I was in a lot of pain and was making a bit of a racket, which woke Shane up. I said ‘We have to go now!’ We decided to ring for an ambulance; Shane had to stay on the phone to them whilst I was on the bed writhing around in pain! When they arrived, I was pleased that they were really light hearted and funny. This relaxed us both; we got into the ambulance at about 4am and made our way to York Hospital. Every time I had a little contraction, the paramedic was saying ‘That was rubbish! We need to kick that one’s ass next time!’ He had a relaxing and friendly manner. Luckily, as it was so early we had a smooth and quick run there! We got to the labour ward and I was petrified that they were going to send us away or even worse sent Shane home, as I wasn’t dilated enough. We were pleased to find out that I was in fact 4 – 5 cms dilated and the midwife announced that I was in active labour. She said that she thought I would dilate further about 1cm an hour and should be expecting to push at 10am! We were in for a fun morning, yippee! So far, I was managing quite well on the gas and air and in actual fact I loved it and became very possessive over it! When I got to about 7cms dilated my waters broke and I became quite distressed and scared as I knew that things were about to step up a gear and I didn’t know how much more pain it was possible to be in! I could not believe how much water there was and with every contraction a lot more came out; it actually felt like I was wetting myself with every contraction. At this point I was sick too and I just thought. ‘Bollacks to it’. I could hear myself screaming but it seemed like it wasn’t me as I was so gone on the gas and air. The midwife asked if I would like to go into the pool and I said that I would. After about 20 minutes though she said that I could not as the baby’s heart rate was too fast! She then offered me pain relief as I was beginning to not cope and I replied ‘Yes, I’ll have anything!” Apparently, it was too late for anything strong like pethidine so I had a mild relief, an injection of meptid, which I don’t think did much! The contractions started coming thick and fast and then the urge to push, which is truly unbelievable. I was making involuntary animal noises with the urge to push! Pushing a baby out is seriously one of the most exhausting things you could ever imagine. Instead of your body just allocating you the pain like with your contractions, you have to choose the pain by pushing! I was withdrawing when it got to a certain point, as I just could not stand it. The midwife Fiona spurred me on by saying that if I kept this up we would be here all day! Shane was being fantastic at this point, as all the pain was in my legs, he was massaging them, spraying water in my face and chanting me on with phrases. I have no idea how he knew what to say but he was more helpful than the midwife who was quite quiet actually! Shane was the best coach ever! Anyway I think it took about an hour of agony and hard work but finally we could see her head. The thought of having forceps or a venthose kept me going! A little baldy head everyone was saying they could see. The midwife asked Shane if he wanted to see the baby being born and I was stunned when he accepted! My previously very squeamish but now brave hubby watched the whole thing! He said ‘Oh my god Jas, I can see an ear.’ He was crying with happiness, this spurred me on and the baby was born at 8.58 am with the cord wrapped twice tightly around her neck! This scares me now as I think it could have been fatal but luckily she was fine! She needed resuscitating though; I didn’t know this at the time. I said ‘Is it still a girl!’ Ha, I was convinced even after three gender scans that we were coming home with little Vinny! She was placed skin-to-skin straight on my tummy and sheer terror was running through my bones! I just thought, oh my god you are so precious, how on earth will I take care of you! We finished the rest if the messy labour business; daddy had his first cuddle and a photo. I was wheeled for a bath and came back and had some tea and toast! The baby was weighed and she was 7 pounds 10. Her score on the Apgar was 9 at 1 minute and 10 at 5 minutes due to her being floppy at first! We were taken up tot the ward with the other mums and babies and started out our first day as a family together! Shane had to get the train home at 6pm and I was very tearful to see him go! This is a bit corny but someone in the room next door played Whitney Houston ‘I will always love you’ and I was staring at the baby and crying with love for her. I thought, ‘I’m going to take care of you so well and be the best that I can ever be, I won’t let you down’. I had the most intense feeling of love for her from that moment on.