They say labour is the only blind date where you know you’ll meet the love of your life. For me, that quote couldn’t be more true. Here’s my own labour and delivery story.
Labour was something I wasn’t scared of when I was pregnant. My own thought was, if millions of women before me could give birth, so could I. It’s what our bodies are meant to do. When I went into labour on the 25th of March 2017, I honestly didn’t know what to do. It was a Saturday morning and I woke up at 5.45am to bad cramps in my back. It wasn’t long before I realised they were contractions and they were coming every six minutes and lasting for fifty seconds. I was officially scared. I was also shocked because I was only 39 weeks and four days pregnant. It’s so unheard of to go into early labour with your first baby, but I was also delighted to go myself, and not be induced like many other women I know.
It wasn’t long before we were out in the Maternity. After three hours of terrible contractions, which were all in my back, my partner and I decided to head to the hospital. I’ll never forget lying in the back of the car, holding on to the handles, trying to make it through each contraction, which were now coming every two minutes. Thank God it was a Saturday. There was absolutely no traffic, as it was 9am, and we were there in minutes. When I was brought into to be checked, the midwife I’m pretty sure thought I was being a tad bit dramatic. My contractions weren’t showing on the monitor, which was very strange. When she finally checked me, I was 4cm. I think she was shocked I was so far along as my contractions weren’t reading properly on the monitor. It was time to go to the labour ward.
It was all very relaxed from this point. When the midwife on duty, Mary, checked me, I was 5cm. I couldn’t believe how fast my labour was progressing. I now wanted pain relief as the gas and air really wasn’t cutting it. First, I got pethedine, which really took the edge off. I was surprisingly very relaxed after it. The pain was obviously still there, but it was bearable while I waited for my epidural. It wasn’t long before the anesthesiologist arrived, a very jolly man, might I add, and administered the epidural. I thought it would be horrible, but it was fine. I was so focused on not moving during the procedure, because my contractions were so strong at this point, I thought I would flinch, but all went perfectly. Now, it was really time to relax.
The next couple of hours breezed by. We just chatted to the midwife and the student midwife. My partner left to update people as I wasn’t allowed to really use my phone. They thought that might have been the issue with the whole not being able to read my contractions properly, so that was annoying, but in a way it was better. I was completely focused on my labour and what was going on around me. I remember when I was around 9cm and the midwife told me I was the most relaxed person she’d ever seen in labour. My response to her was that I’ve waited nearly ten months to see my baby girl, why wouldn’t I be relaxed?! I think we both jinxed it because when I finally reached 10cm, being relaxed and content went out the window.
Two hours of pushing and nothing. My baby girl did not want to come out. With every contraction, she came down, but when they ended, she went back up, so it was beyond frustrating. After two hours, I couldn’t do it anymore. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I’d been up since 5.45am that morning, no food, and now it was after 8pm and still no baby. She was in no distress though, which was the main thing. She was happy where she was and that’s all that mattered. My midwife told me I needed help, so a doctor was called in, and a vacuum delivery was pretty much decided there and then.
It was now pandemonium in the room. It went from two midwives to at least seven people. They gave me the gas and air back, as trying to put the vacuum cap on my baby’s head, which was still very high up the birth canal, was traumatizing. It went from a very relaxed labour to absolute craziness. I had a full on panic attack, which wasn’t the best time, because they needed me to push again. I wanted to give up, but I couldn’t. My epidural was also turned down, so I could feel a lot. My legs were now up on the stir ups and my doctor was urging me to push while she pulled. She was there now, her head was right there. During this, the doctor had to perform a episiotomy, otherwise I could have torn very badly. I pulled strength I didn’t know I had and pushed with every inch of my being and her head was out. My partner then told me she was coming, he was crying and telling me that he could now see her. Then I panted and that was it.
Emily Grace Brogan arrived into the world at 9.42pm, weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces, with a full head of hair. It will always be the proudest moment of my life. I’ll never forget when they placed her on my bare skin for skin to skin and it was just an instant connection. All I felt was pure love. Going through labour made me realise that all mothers are superheros and that daddies don’t get enough credit. If it wasn’t for my partner, I wouldn’t have got through it. He was so supportive through my whole labour and when I wanted to give up, he made sure I kept going. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be in the room with me. He was truly amazing from start to finish.
That was my labour and delivery story. It was everything that I wanted until I reached 10cm. I didn’t expect to need an episiotomy or that there would have to be intervention to help get baby out safely. Labour is unpredictable. It can turn in seconds. Luckily for me, the team in the room was amazing and everything went smoothly. The main thing was my baby came out perfectly and we were both alright afterwards. Even after all that craziness, I would do it again in a heartbeat.