My birth story up to this point
can be found on the beautiful girl's birth story page.
My waters had broken with meconium present
so I had to be booked into the hospital
as a high risk labour . . .
Dressed in my hospital gown
my husband and Lynne helped me to get into a comfortable position sitting up in the bed.
I needed to be reasonably static while they attached some monitors to me to check the babies heart rate,
booking into hospital as high risk meant that basically full time monitoring was going to necessary
but at this stage I was pretty happy to be sat slightly reclined
and for them to do anything necessary to make sure my baby was safe.
With all the monitors for baby and me securely in place
we began talking in more detail about what I wanted from my labour.
I had not had the best experiences with older, more experienced midwives in my last labour
and had always felt patronised by them,
but it was really different this time.
I'm not sure if it was the fact I was more clear about how I wanted things to go,
if it was the fact I was taken more seriously because I'd already been through it before,
or if it was just Lynne's personality;
but I felt like she really listened to me as we talked about my thoughts on my labour.
She asked me about pain relief and what my thoughts were on what I would like.
I said in a jokey voice with a big grin
that I wanted an epidural at the earliest possible opportunity
and she straight away asked me if I was being serious.
I had tried to appear jokey because of nerves
but the reality was that I was very serious
and having had an epidural last time
I was actually quite afraid of the prospect of giving birth without one this time.
An epidural had given me the composure and calm to be focused on the actual act of giving birth
and I was really scared of the way the pain had made me feel so confused before I had it.
Having an epidural with my little boy had meant I really remembered the details of his birth
rather than being out of it and delirious with pain.
One of my biggest fears approaching labour for the second time
had been the out of control way I had felt when I was in labour,
and I knew that an epidural had helped we away from that last time
and I really wanted to have that control when I gave birth for the second time.
Lynne never once questioned or second guessed me.
After briefly explaining my feelings and why I felt like that
she said that it definitely sounded like the right pain relief for me.
She told me I needed to wait until I was in active labour at 4cm dilated
but I already knew that
and knew that the relief would be worth waiting for.
My contractions were ramping up in pain levels pretty quickly
and they were really starting to stop me in my tracks to breathe through them.
I was determined that I was going to keep calm until I got my epidural
and that I just had to believe I could do it.
There was a smoke detector or monitor of some sort on the ceiling above my bed
and it had a light that blinked on it regularly.
I found myself staring at that blinking light intently with each contraction.
I was finding that breathing deeply, slowly and evenly
and counting the blinks of that light
could get me through each contraction.
The galloping sound of my baby's heartbeat on the monitors also helped to relax me
and to keep me focused on breathing steadily.
It was about 1.30am at this point
and it seemed to have been the fastest couple of hours ever
since I had been at home in bed when my waters broke.
But I was feeling tired
and my husband was definitely looking it.
So I decided to be a good wife
and I asked for a pillow for him
so that he could get a rest.
If this labour was anything like my last one
then there was still a long way to go;
and we would both need all our energy for what was to come.
Sleeping wasn't going to be easy for me
but there seemed no reason for him to stay awake
and I had Lynne for company anyway.
This bit of labour was always a waiting game
and we still had a little while to wait . . .
You can read the next part here.