a second birth story - part eleven

The full story so far can be found on the birth stories page...

I had been working through my contractions really well
until suddenly I wasn't.
I was ready for an epidural
but was fighting an increasing urge to push.

Another contraction.
Another loud moan
as I fought my body.
Lucy, if you are pushing 
then I need to do another internal before this epidural to see what's happening.”
Again, I said I wasn't pushing
even though I knew now that I was.

Everything was set up for the epidural
I was hunched over a pillow ready.
The bed had been put up high
and while Laura crouched down to talk to me,
the husband was stood to my side
with a hand protectively on my shoulder.

At that point I would have said anything to avoid having to move again,
to avoid having to have another internal
and to avoid waiting any longer for the epidural.
I burst into tears
and Laura seemed to take that as the sign she was looking for.
The anaesthesiologist did my epidural
and told me that in a few contractions time the pain would have subsided.

I was moved back into a reclined position on the bed
just as my original midwife Lynne returned from her break.
She seemed a bit surprised to see how much things had changed in an hour.
She had left a woman who was calmly breathing through her labour
and returned to a crazed looking woman who was moaning
and had just had to have an epidural.

As Laura started to handover back to Lynne
another contraction came
and I groaned and shook with the effort of fighting the urge to push.
The midwives exchanged what can only be described as a surprised and knowing look.
Laura came back over the bed
and asked me a third time whether I was pushing.
I admitted that I could feel a lot of pressure
but again felt the need to try and explain in a garbled way
that this had happened with my first labour
and I'd had to fight that pushing urge for hours.

She explained that I really mustn't push until they knew what was happening
and she set my husband the task of talking me through each contraction
and of reminding me not to push and to breathe instead.
Once the epidural had kicked in properly I would no longer feel that pushing urge as much
and if I was feeling that urge too early like last time
then the epidural would also make the coming hours far more comfortable for me.

But Lynne said that she needed and wanted to do another internal
to see what was going on.
The no-nonsense thing I'd been told about had kicked in,
Laura explained that I had been 4cms about half an hour before
but Lynne felt that things had escalated really quickly,
and that they really needed to know what was going on
as something had clearly changed.
My epidural had kicked in and I was suddenly feeling a lot calmer.
No more pain, but I could still feel a faint downward pressure.

So Lynne did another internal
and told the room to great surprise
that I was actually 10cms dilated.
I had dilated the last 6cms in less than 40 minutes
which explained why I had suddenly felt so entirely crazy and panicky.
What everyone had mistaken as me reliving my previous labour and worrying
had actually been the ramblings of transition.

Both midwives attempted to scold me
for not having told Laura when the pushing feeling first started
but I had been so focused on the fear
of not coping
and of not getting an epidural
that I just couldn't have been able.

As Laura left Lynne to continue my care
the decision was made to leave it an hour or so before starting to push.
I was calm and comfortable now and so I could hopefully regain some energy
and they could now monitor the baby properly and knew that everything was okay.
Waiting an hour also meant that the baby could descend more
and that my epidural could wear off a bit
as it was currently too strong for me to push effectively.

You can read the next part here.


  1. Eeeek she's almost here!!! It's exciting!!

  2. Wow - felt like I was living that with you! Big Congrats on your MADs nomination - I will see you there! xxx

  3. How exciting, it is almost getting to the very important bit! x

  4. WOW! 4 - 10cm in 40 mins - that's some really efficient contractions there!

  5. Blimey! My heart seriously races when I read your stories!

    Cannot wait for the next instalment...

  6. Christ now that is super dialation, that can happen for me this time please. I am with Katie we are nearly there xxx

  7. Wow you really did move fast through those last cms didn't you. Glad you got the epi I was sitting here panicking thinking she won't get it in time be too far for it.


Back to Top