a birth story - part eight

it all kicked off at six in the morning when my water broke,
now it's nearly midnight
and having been to hospital and back twice already,
I'm at home and suddenly have the urge to push.

The third car trip to the hospital within 24 hours was awful.
I didn't just wince with each bump of the car, I screamed.
With each and every single minuscule movement of the car.

My husband was torn
between getting me there as quickly as possible
and getting me there as comfortably as possible.
And even in my pained state,
I remember thinking that it might have been nicer to get out and walk.

Once at the hospital,
the midwife wasted no time getting me onto the gas and air.
It was the same midwife from earlier in the evening
and she could tell by the change in me,
that things had altered somewhat.

I remember thinking how incredibly naive I had been earlier in the day
to think that I had a high pain threshold.
This was a completely unbelievable amount of pain.
But the greatest relief from it was to push.
And that was what my body was telling me to do.
To push this baby out.

The obligatory urine sample revealed that I was in desperate need of some food.
I hadn't eaten for hours
and there were ketones present in the urine sample.
My hubby produced Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers
which had been a favourite of my late pregnancy,
but the gas and air was drying out my mouth so much that I couldn't swallow a bite.
The midwife made me up a sugary drink
which tasted like undiluted squash
and told me that it was really important that I get it down me
and that I drink more fluids because I was getting really dehydrated.

It was time of the internal examination again.
I remember begging if it was really necessary,
I was starting to push and I wasn't sure I could tolerate the pain of another exam,
but she insisted.

I was 4cm.
I was told I needed to stop pushing,

It was at this time that I remember thinking that things were going wrong.
You weren't supposed to push until you were 10cm
and I wasn't even half way there.
I couldn't cope with the pain
and pushing was the only form of relief from that pain.

It was also at this time that the midwife pointed out that in 6 hours time,
my waters would have been broken for 24 hours
and that this put me and the baby at risk of infection.
At this point I would no longer be categorised as low risk
and would become a high risk case,
which would mean I would have to be transferred to the bigger maternity unit
in the hospital in the next town.

A quick bit of maths told me that at the average rate of 1cm an hour,
I would be 10cm bang on the 24 hour marker.
The midwife pointed out that the last couple of centimetres can go very quickly
and said that the chances were that I could still have my birth
at the small cottage hospital that I had been planning.

The next few hours were a haze.
Moments of it I can remember with absolute clarity
while other moment blur into one another.
I know that I refused to unclench my teeth from the entonox.
I know that the pain of stopping myself from pushing
meant that I cried out with every contraction.
I know that the contractions began to roll into one another
until I seemed to be having one long contraction with seconds of rest in between.

I had gone into some sort of primal zone
where I couldn't concentrate on anything but the pain
and the need to breathe deeply on the entonox. 

I was aware of the midwife popping in occasionally;
talking to my husband;
talking to me;
and me completely refusing to speak to her.

I remember her telling me to drink water.
I remember starting to dislike her patronising voice.
I remember hating her because I didn't feel like she was helping me.

I remember my husband stroking my hair.
 I remember looking into his face for the briefest of moments
and seeing pure fear with a streak of pity.
That face is still ingrained in my memory,
I will never forget that face.

Read the next part here.


  1. How on earth did you manage to have the strength not to push?! When I got the urge we were still waiting for the midwives, my screams of 'I need to puuuuuush' were met with very strict NOs but your body just takes over doesn't it? I tried so hard to stop myself pushing but it's next to impossible.
    As always, loving these and every part has me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next! x

  2. That part sounds so similar to mine! I had been sent home from hospital twice before they let me stay, the car journey was 45 mins each way and by the final time I was screaming the entire way! Then I found out I was only 4cms. I also had ketones in my wee but couldn't manage to eat. I can remember them trying to make me eat Maltesers and drink Lucozade but I just couldn't do it! Ahhh so many memories! I want to know more.....xx

  3. Gosh its all kicking off in the birth story now- makes me quite thankful for my c-section! ;) x

  4. Not pushing is torture. Holding a baby in is impossible and like you pushing only helps us feel less pain for a second. I always think mothers have the right to lash out at this point. I hated the car rides too. They were awful, you feel everything and like you I begged to just get out and walk it. I am so excited as you get closer and closer to having your beautiful boy!


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