If you haven't read the first few parts of my birth story, it might be worth popping over to my third birth story page to catch up on what's happened so far...
Things seemed to simultaneously speed up and slow down from that point on. Rich came back with a midwife very quickly and said they'd better get me over to labour ward quickly and ran off to get a wheelchair. Rich helped me try to get off the bed in between two contractions, which wasn't easy considering how quickly they were coming together now. When the midwife returned I was hunched over the bed, moaning through another strong contraction and fighting, what was without a doubt, a strong urge to push.
Basically at this point I couldn't move. I couldn't stand, I couldn't sit, I couldn't walk. I was kind of half hanging off of the bed, hunched over and it was the only place I was even vaguely comfortable (and calling it comfortable was a stretch), but I needed to get to the labour ward. The midwife was concerned that walking there was going to take too long, so I either needed to sit in the wheelchair or get back on the bed and be wheeled there on that. But neither option seemed something I was ever going to be able to do. I remember breathing into the bedsheets and listening to Rich, the midwife, and the student talk about how they were going to get me there, and I randomly remember finding it really funny; because I was basically stuck and they didn't know what to do with me.
In the end I took matters into my own hands, and as the contraction stopped, I threw myself backwards into the wheelchair and apparently shouted "Now go, go, GO!" Which luckily the student midwife duly listened to, and took off in the direction of the ward at speed, with Rich and the booking in midwife trailing behind with the bags and notes.
They wheeled me into the labour room just as I could feel another contraction coming, and so as quickly as I'd thrown myself into the wheelchair, I threw myself out of it again, to go back to my hunched position over the new bed. At this point I knew things were moving along pretty quickly, because there was simply no fighting the pushing feeling anymore.
As I puffed and panted and moaned, my delivery midwife introduced herself to me, something which required her to basically lean over and around furniture so that I could actually see her face. Her name was Anika, and she assured me they had everything ready for my epidural and the anaesthetist was on the way to do my epidural any minute. As the contraction wained again I introduced myself and said thank-you, and kind of laughed a bit hysterically about the fact that this was probably the most random introduction to someone that I had ever done in my life. Another contraction started and Anika asked if I wanted to have some gas and air for that one, before she would help me get changed into a gown ready for the epidural to be put in. I'm pretty sure my response was "Um, yes please" or words to that effect.
While the midwives exchanged notes and officially 'handed me over' to labour ward, I dragged on the gas and air as I felt the contraction intensify. Rich says it was this contraction when I basically made a sound that sounded like a mooing cow. And he noticed the staff all exchanging looks. As the pain faded, I remember basically throwing off the clothes I was wearing, because I wanted to get in that gown and get that epidural as soon as was humanly possible. But another pain was there before I finished getting into the gown, so Anika finished dressing me and laced me up, as I went back to hanging over the bed and sucking up the gas and air.
As the next contraction finished she brought her face really close to mine, and said that she was really sorry but that if I wanted the epidural I was going to have to get on the bed to have it administered, but that she would help me move. I was so loathe to move away from my hunched position but with her and Rich assisting they got me up onto the bed. She said that while we waited another minute or so for the anaesthetist that she would just check me to see if I'd dilated any further as things were clearly changing and ramping up fairly quickly.
I got into position on the bed, as another contraction came, and panting on the gas and air, I noticed the looks straight away. "Lucy we don't need to check you. I can see your baby's head." I remember thinking that of course they could, because they'd commented on how much hair round in the assessment unit. But I hadn't put two and two together and realised that they weren't using a speculum now, they could actually "see" the top of her head.
I felt really panicked, because I knew now that my epidural hopes had officially gone out of the window. The one thing I'd been so worried would happen was going to happen, and I was going to have to give birth without it. An epidural had been my safety net with the older two. It had meant that I was calm and controlled and focused as they were delivered. I had been able to push, but hadn't been in pain. And I had wanted that again...
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.
And I was absolutely thrilled and honoured to hear that I am a finalist for Best Baby Blog in the MAD Blog Awards, and I would absolutely love your vote. You can vote by clicking the link below. And thank-you, because it really does mean so much to me that people love this little online space of mine.