Wow. This has got to be some kind of record, writing a birth story for a child who is fast approaching his second birthday. Before you ask “What’s the point?’, it’s really more for my records and continuity’s sake than anything else – Oliver’s birth story is on here and Harry’s should be too. I’m sad that I haven’t managed to write it until now because I know I will have forgotten bits and got some things wrong but it’s better than no story at all.
It’s a fairly short story anyway – none of the dragged out ‘pre labour-ish’ stuff I had for three days with Oliver’s spontaneously premature birth – and it starts on the morning of Thursday 5th June 2014…. when I looked like this.
I woke up that morning, 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant and went “Wooooahhhhh” because my bump had dropped and gone the oddest shape almost like a shelf with a flat top! I snapped this picture to send to David to show him and then got on with my day which included wrestling with a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes (nesting anyone??) and an ill advised 15 minute walk into town and then home again. It was really hot that day and by the time I got there, I was beyond pissed off with being pregnant and just wanted him OUT. Little did I know that I’d have my wish less than 24 hours later!
I can’t remember exactly what time that day I realised I was having cramps, they kind of crept up on me but by the time we went to bed I was highly suspicious that this might turn out to be ‘it’. I slept on and off and finally woke up around midnight and told David I thought we should go to the hospital. He rang his parents to stay with Oliver and off we went. The lovely midwife (who was with me for most of the rest of my labour and sadly ended up going off shift a mere 20 minutes before he was actually born!) checked me and said I was only 3-4cm dilated but given that I’d progressed from 0-7cm within about an hour or two with my last baby and the hospital was quiet, they were happy to keep me in.
The only way I can describe the rest of it really is straightforward and lovely. The midwife mostly left me and David to get on with it but I felt well looked after and she checked back a lot. I remember she wanted to check dilation again on one of her visits – she said she knew the contractions had gotten worse since her last visit as I wasn’t talking through them anymore!!! At that point (around 4/5am?) I was about 7cm dilated and still soldiering on without gas and air although I’d been offered it a few times. I have this weird thing with gas and air that I prefer to ‘save’ it until right near the end when I really (REALLY!) need it as I somehow think it will have more effect that way, rather than waste it early on!
Once the contractions had gotten really bad, my best way of coping with them was to lean out of the open window (I had a lovely view of the hospital carpark!) and have David rub my back really hard. I remember once he was at the other side of the room when I felt one coming and I literally screamed at him to get over here!!! I couldn’t bear to be sitting or lying down throughout pretty much the whole thing until right at the end when I got super tired and my legs sort of wobbled out on me so I ended up on the bed for the grand finale!
Which lasted….. 8 minutes. That’s right, 8 minutes of pushing compared to about 45 minutes with the first (which is still fairly quick I know, I’m not complaining!) and little Harry Christopher George was here at 6:25am, weighing 7lbs 3oz and looking positively gigantic compared to his 5lbs 2oz older brother!
And that was it. Another lovely birth story for my second little man and I feel so grateful to have had these experiences both times. I guess the writing part is better late than never anyway!
If you want to read Oliver’s (six week premature) birthday story click here!!