Make sure you check our part one, part two, part three and part four of my birth story, so that you know what has happened up to this point. It probably won't make very much sense otherwise.
When they finally called my name to go through I was mid contraction, and rocking back and forth in a trance like state. I was aware of Rich telling the midwife that they would have to wait a minute before I could move again, and I heard her saying to him that they clearly needed to hurry me through the assessment unit and get me into the labour ward by the looks of it. I remember thinking "No s**t Sherlock" but not actually saying anything at all. I didn't have any desire to enter into any conversation with medical professionals, I wanted them to just do what I wanted but to telepathically know what that was; and looking back at it now it's so obvious to me that things were progressing quickly. With both previous labours I became quite moody and grumpy and basically rudely refused to speak to medical staff right at the point I was in active labour.
Contraction over I basically looked up at the midwife and said "Hello. Right, lets go." I'm normally so chatty with everyone, any time, anywhere, but I just didn't want to chat. I just wanted to have this baby now. And I was becoming more and more worried that the longer we sat around chatting, the higher the risk I wouldn't get the epidural that I wanted.
They walked us round to the (empty) day assessment unit and asked me to get up on the bed so that they could get the monitors on. Because I had low platelets and low iron in my third trimester they needed to take a blood test as well as check how dilated I was before they could transfer me to the labour ward, so they just wanted to monitor the baby too to check everything was still okay after my waters breaking. After the fun of trying to find a vein (mine are notoriously hide-and-seeky) and them finally getting enough blood, the midwife went off to get things together some things to check my dilation and left us waiting... yet again. It was 4:15 (I just checked the time from the video clip that I know Rich took at this point) and we'd been at the hospital for about 15-20 minutes already and I just remember feeling really quite frustrated that they didn't seem to be in any kind of hurry to do anything. I guess you'd call it mother's intuition, or just knowing what was going on in my own body, but I just felt quite panicked that they were being so calm.
The midwife came back to check my dilation with a speculum (because they didn't want to risk infection when my waters had already gone) and she had a student with her, who made some small talk with Rich while they waited for my latest contraction to subside so they could check me. Finally, after what seemed like forever, they confirmed I was in active labour at 4cms dilated. I was so unbelievably relieved to hear that exact number. 4cms meant that I was far enough along to get an epidural, but not so far along that they wouldn't administer it. 4cms meant this was really happening and my baby was on her way, but that despite my panicking we still had some time.
They told us that they could also see lots of hair, which randomly made me burst into tears. I think it was the fact that they were talking about my actual baby, and that they could see her, and that she was so nearly here just overwhelmed me a bit. The student actually teased Rich that she could see lots of ginger hair, before saying that it wasn't really and actually looked really dark. Looking back it seems like a really random thing to have said, but I remember it so so clearly, partly because I remember the half panicked look on Rich's face and thinking it was hilarious, partly because it seemed so odd. And funnily enough Rich has absolutely no recollection of that conversation at all.
I didn't have time to linger over that moment though, because I was having yet another contraction, and after taking a glance at the monitoring print out, the midwife said that they seemed to be "coming along pretty nicely" and that they'd go and get me a room allocated on the labour ward. The same labour ward that they had already told me was empty. They did also say that they'd put a call through to the anaesthetist to be ready to put an epidural in as soon as I was in my room, which I was so relieved to hear. At this point I was really starting to struggle with just breathing through the contractions and that pain relief felt like the light at the end of a tunnel.
But it all changed with the very next contraction. Because instead of breathing through it I let out a long, low moan before looking at Rich and saying "That one felt really pushy. I need you to go and get someone."
If I've given you a taste for a birth story and then left you hanging, you could always check out my first birth story and my second birth story while you wait. Or you can watch our birth story video.