You might want to check out the story so far over on my third birth story page before reading this final part of the tale...
"Are you ready to start pushing Lucy? Let's give it a really good push down into you bottom." And just like that I was pushing. The gas and air was cast aside, and I was pushing with all my might. And just like that the pain changed. It's a really hard thing to describe, but pushing actually stopped the pain. I could still feel really intense pressure, but pushing seemed to stop it from hurting in quite the same way. Pushing felt really helpful and powerful somehow.
The midwife who had brought me round from the assessment unit hadn't even had time to handover fully to the labour ward one, and at rapid speed they were now both opening up equipment from sterile packages, and donning gloves and aprons. The student midwife who had come round from the assessment unit was quickly removing the end part of my bed, while another student midwife was turning on the special bed that they use to measure, weigh and generally check over the baby after birth. That room was the epitome of a hive of activity, and it was all happening so fast.
I had Rich's hand in mine, and as the contraction faded away I remember staring into his eyes, and seeing mirrored right back at me the same shock, disbelief and confusion I was feeling... weren't we only in the car park a few minutes ago? How was this all happening?
I had a moment when I began to panic. It suddenly came into my mind that this wasn't all what I had planned. And suddenly didn't feel like I was at all ready to meet my baby just yet. I needed a minute... to think, to get my breath, to compose myself a bit, to get my head around the fact that I was about to meet my baby girl.
But I didn't get a minute. And the pain was so strong, the pressure so intense... They didn't need to tell me to push, but they did anyway, and I already was. Rich was gripping my hand and I was gripping his and he just kept saying over and over "Come on. You can do this. You're doing it. Keep pushing. Well done. Good girl. Keep pushing."
And then there was the painstaking moment when they told me to stop, which basically took every ounce of concentration that I had. "Don't push Lucy. Listen very carefully. Just blow, and pant. Slowly...slowly." They asked for gentle little pushes, and I followed those instructions to the letter. Within seconds her head was born, and one big push later and all 8lb 3oz of gorgeous daughter arrived into the world.
They delivered her straight up onto my chest. She was quiet as a mouse. And waiting for that hollywood style yell that hadn't come, I started to shout "Why isn't she crying? Why isn't she crying? Is she okay?" I looked at Rich, feeling completely panic striken, and just saw a face smiling back at me full of love... "She's fine. Just look at her."
And so I did. And there she was, quite clearly okay... just drinking in her first look at her mummy. he was so beautiful. With her big sensitive eyes. With her tiny perfect little hands gripping my finger. Her skin so clear and smooth, with that fine downy, newborn, peach fuzz. Her tiny little blonder than blonde eye-lashes.
It felt like I was meeting an old friend. And I know that seems so incredibly corny, but I honestly felt like I was meeting someone I already knew. It felt like I was living a moment I'd waited my whole life for, and yet a moment that completely surprised me too. In that moment I just loved her... simple, plain, life-changing.
And I just felt stunned. Stunned that this tiny life was mine to look after and to love. Stunned that I had made her and grown her. Stunned that a minute ago my body had been housing her, and now she was here. So new and tiny and precious.
I'd asked for delayed cord cutting, so my girly was left to snuggle in my arms still connected to me for a few more minutes, before Rich stepped in to cut the cord. The result of delaying the cord clamping was that I didn't need the injection to deliver the placenta, and it simply came away and delivered by itself; no mean feat considering the student midwife reckoned it was one of the biggest placentas she'd ever seen.
In those moments after she was born, as we got to see her and hold her and get to know her for the first time; I cried. And cried. Happy tears, full of joy and relief, full of hopes and dreams for the future. The midwife commented that I looked a little like a rabbit caught in the headlights as I cradled my newly born baby. And all I could manage to say to explain was that I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that she was here after all those months of waiting, that she had come so quickly, that I had delivered my baby without pain relief, and that she was so perfect, and that she was ours.
So that's my third birth story, all finished in half the amount of posts that I took for the other two. I won't apologise for taking so long over it, because I didn't want to edit the story and leave out anything, because I know that when I read the previous two there is so much I would have otherwise forgotten. Thank you sticking with it.
I'm going to unashamedly share my birth story video again, mainly because I think having read the whole story it has context. And where this written story leaves off, the video picks up; with her first day in the world.
And I was absolutely thrilled and honoured to hear that I am a finalist for Best Baby Blog in the MAD Blog Awards, and as much as it makes me cringe to ask, I really would absolutely love your vote. You can vote by clicking the link below. And thank you!