After all the waiting, Oliver Oluwayseyi Barnett is here arriving only 2 days over his estimated date of arrival at 00:33 Wednesday 27th March 2013 weighing in at a respectable 7.4llbs (3.3kg)
Here’s what happened, written while my angel sleeps…
Contractions started at 17:30 Tues afternoon. I had spent the the day hoovering and mopping and so on and had just finished when it started and was talking to Abie on the phone. At the beginning they were just period pains lasting around 30 secs every 5-7 minutes. I told her I had better download a contraction timer app and got the TENS machine and put it on. They were regular almost immediately but didn’t hurt too much. We jut continued babbling. I texted J to say i think its all starting but no need o rush home (he was in a cafe round the corner doing some writing) and that i was ok. Joy then called and we had another babble for about an hour at which point, the intensity was starting to shoot up and they were lasting around 45 secs every 3-4 minutes. The TENS has a booster button you are meant to press during contractions and i kept forgetting, needing Joy to remind me which she did dutifully. Thanks aunty Joy. I didnt want to worry her so tried to breath through the contractions and not make her aware of just how much they were ramping up. When Jerry got home around 19:30 I was definitely on the way
Around 20:00 I had the show, which for all of you are not an expert on all things baby as I wasn’t 9 months ago, is a mucus plug at the entrance of your cervix that comes away during labour as things start to progress. Nice hey? I called the midwife and said as I could talk through the contractions (I had two while on the phone) and they were still only last 45 secs, to have a bath and wait at home as waters hasn’t gone.
By this stage I have to say the intensity shocked me and it was quite painful but between each one, all the pain disappeared as we have all read. It really is amazing! I just kept thinking I cannot do 30 more hours of this pain and what happened to the slow build up I have read about?
Had a bath, more contractions and I think waters broke while in there. I had begun to growl lol. Each contraction meant I had to lift and hold my body weight on my arms to reduce pressure on my pelvic region. That’s when I begun my communication with Jerry which consisted of a combination of the following:
‘It hurts so much babe’
‘Why does it hurt so much already?’
‘Am I doing ok’
‘It hurts so fucking much’
‘Can I have sausage pasta’ (obviously this was between contractions)
‘I feel like I am going to shit myself’
And on it went. Bless him. He was great. Of course nervous and anxious himself but 100% supportive and assuring all the way. His faith in me and constant “you are amazing. You are doing so well” reassurances forced me to start believing that I wasn’t just a chicken shit with a much lower pain threshold than I thought but the pain was indeed severe by anyone’s reckoning and that I was handling it well
My brother came round with his iPad so that we could take it the hospital to watch films, little did we know . He looked like he didnt know what had hit him. Screaming sister in labour he did not expect and had certainly not prepared for it, bless him!!
After eating dinner in between contractions and rolling on all fours, it’s now around 21:15 and they are lasting around 55secs and coming every 2.5-3mins. I was well within the target time to hot step it to hospital but only gave J hi ahead to call taxi then. Seriously petrified of being sent home if not dilated enough.
Journey to hospital was in hindsight hilarious but at the time I just remember thinking there is always the epidural and willing us to get there for gas and air! I had only had 2 paracetamols by then, which FYI was a bloody waste of time lol
We arrived at St Thomas’ around 10 (I think). Got examined by 2 amazing midwives and i think my first words following a very brief introduction after being ushered into the delivery room was, can I have the gas and air now please?!! through very gritted teeth. Angelina our first midwife was so calm and supportive, explaining what was happening, reminding me to breath through the contractions in a way that didn’t make me want to scream ‘you bloody breath through these fucking contractions’, which with someone else I could have easily said, allowed to grab we arm as I needed to and in response to my “God, please help me. God give me strength” exclamations, she simply responded ‘the strength is yours. You can do this.’ And so on.
She examined me and explained that she could not be sure of my dilation so he went to get the midwife supervisor for a second opinion. Mietre (unsure of spelling), another brilliant midwife (slightly harsher in demeanour but what you need for an event such as this) asked Angelina what she thought I was, looked up and said, yes I was indeed …..(drum roll please)…..7 cm dilated! I was ecstatic oh and screaming for them to hurry up so I could get off my back for next contractions. My remaining waters went then. Such a messy business this childbirth lark. Rather shocking actually. Anyhoo, lets carry on. I had been praying for such and had been joking for ages that that would be my ideal labour. I.e., if I could get to hospital and be much of the way through but I honestly never allowed myself to really believe it to save on the disappointment. Just goes to show, if you visualise something and on some level trust in it, it will be so. As Mark would say, “The laws of attraction sis. It’s a powerful thing!”
Contractions are intense and they do hurt and feel strange as it feels like you are going to shit yourself but I felt I could do it and the gas and air is brilliant. Doesn’t take the pain away but when they say it takes the edge off, it’s so true!! Allows you to cope.
We really wanted a water birth and they did all they could and moved us within 30 minutes of arriving. By this time, my mum had arrived. We also got another midwife (Italian) who specialises in water births. At first, I didn’t want to change Angelina but she explained that the other was fantastic at water births and that she would pop in to see me time to time which she did right up to the delivery to offer her congratulations, bless her. We ha to move rooms and they were all laughing at me cos I was literally running down the corridor to the birth pool. What they didn’t get was that my only goal was to make it to the pool before the next contraction which I just about did. The water was only half full but who cares. I am now where my son will be delivered was all I thought. Now, Incan do this.
Our new lady was AMAZING. So calm and experienced she guided me through with tips on breathing Baby down, when and when not to push etc. very calm.
As mum was praying and stroking my hair, telling me how proud she was and how well I was handling everything, holding my lifeline, i.e., the gas and air so i could suck on it, J was able to take photos of the final stages of our pregnancy journey an to beautifully record all that was happening. I only told him to get his f***king camera out of my face once and he even got some thumbs up and smiles….in between contractions of course!
I remember screaming something like “it fucking hurts, and my mum saying, “Bola, don’t swear!” Can you believe it? I actually wanted to laugh. The midwife explained it was ok and very normal…hilarious.
Within 1.5 hours of being in the pool, Oliver was born. The pushing bit was not hard at all looking back and was a relief to be finally able to push as that’s what my body had been wanting to do for ages but so as not to tear or rush nature, i had to takr to a step at a time. I remember saying, “i feel i need to push. I can feel the ring of fire! Baby’s head’s coming. I need to push’. I looked up and J was looking at me like I was delirious. Like yeah yeah, we have a lot more of this to go sunshine before we get there. Well, that was until he saw Ollie crowning. Of course he grabbed the camera and there is an amazing picture of Ollies head under water delivered. (I won’t put it up here in case some think its a little too much but honesty guys, flipping amazing!) My religious watching of One Born Every Minute episodes sure did pay off. Before I knew it, my boy was born.
Mum an Jerry were so emotional. Me? i just kept saying where is my baby. I want my baby until he was scooped out of the water and into my arms. He and i felt so calm.
“So we finally meet”, i thought. He was so alert. Big grey eyes scanning my face, the room everything. Taking it all in!!
We are so Blessed.
A few things from our birth pln suddenly came to mind. We wanted to leave the cord a while to finish pulsing before Jerry cut it and we also wanted to deliver the placenta naturally, which didn’t go according to plan in the end but what an amazing experience! It is true that afterwards you do forget the specifics of the labour and a few hours later, I couldn’t believe I had just given birth. My body was and still is relatively fine and it is as if he has always been here, already!
Below are some pics of his first 72 hours alive.
We are now learning the breast feeding trick one step at a time. Wish us luck
Here’s to motherhood!!
Lots of love