When you get the due date for your baby, more often than not you find yourself counting down the days until that day and you hope that the little one arrives then, (well at least I did), but when the day comes and goes and there’s no sign of the baby – that’s frustrating.
Statistically, only 5% of women have their baby on their due date but we still hope we are one of the lucky few. Sadly, I was not.
On the 13th of February I spent the whole day waiting for a sign that our baby boy was going to arrive, but before we knew it Valentines day was coming to an end. I tried every trick in the book, spicy foods, pineapple, warm baths. Nothing. I spent most of that week trying the same old wives tales each day in hope that they would help encourage me to go into labour. That last week of my pregnancy dragged, I was on Week 40 and still no baby.
It was 6a.m. on a Monday morning, and I woke suddenly to a pain in my lower abdomen that lasted for at least 30 seconds. I turned over and tried to get back asleep, when I felt the pain again. 6:15a.m. I made a note on my phone, the first pain was at 6:00, the second at 6:15 and when it got to 6:30 I had the same pain. I recored how long the pain lasted for. 45 seconds.
My partner Dylan was asleep next to me, and we thought I’d started with contractions a few days earlier, so I sat in bed, just giving it a bit longer before I woke him. I text my mum saying “I think I’m having contractions” and by 7:00am she was on her way round to our flat and my pains were lasting up to a 1 minute and getting more painful.
When my mum arrived, me and Dylan were in the living room, still so tired, and I was on my birthing ball. By midday my contractions were at 7 minutes apart, so I rang the triage number and they said to come up to the hospital.
This is it. Or so we all thought.
I was admitted into a labour room and checked to see how dilated I was. 2cm. I was told I had to go for a walk round the park up the road, grab some food and come back when the contractions were 1 minute apart. I couldn’t even get outside the hospital before they started at 3 minutes apart.
We decided to go to the hospital cafe instead and grab some food, and then my mum and Dylan had me walking up and down stairs.
By 2p.m. I insisted I had to go back onto the ward, my contractions were 1 minute apart and lasting up to just over a minute.
3cms Dilated. There was nothing the midwives could do for me. I was advised to go home and get a bath, and to come back up when I was ready. By this point, I was already pretty exhausted.
I laid over my birthing ball, eyes closed, asking my mum to record the contractions length and how far apart they were. Dylan had gone to get his car cleaned at this point, because he’d been hiking at the weekend and it was full of mud from his trainers.
Before every contraction, I started to be sick. I’d not been sick through the whole pregnancy, and I think I was pretty lucky with how easy my pregnancy was, but I thought now the little guys making up for it.
Dylan came back after only being gone around half an hour, and both him and my mum were being incredibly supportive. I couldn’t get over being told to go home, I didn’t understand how I would know when I needed to go back to the hospital.
6:00p.m. I couldn’t do it anymore. I said I HAD TO go to the hospital now. They had been just over 1 minute apart for an hour.
I was 7cms and they said that this was it, they were keeping me in. Little did we know we were in for a very long night.
My contractions were still 1 minute apart, and I only had gas and air. At around 8pm I said I needed something stronger, and my midwife Lindsey said that she thought I was doing so well as I was and I should see how I am in an hour, (it went like that the whole night).
I was still being sick, so I was given an anti sickness injection which only stopped me throwing up but still made me want to be sick. I had 4 blood tests done, and had to have antibiotics injected through a cannula twice through the whole labour.
12a.m. came and mum and Dylan were still by my side, (they were trying to take it in turns to sleep, not really possible when I was crying in pain every minute).
At 2:30a.m. (20 hours later) the midwife came back round and checked to see how far along I was. Finally. I was 9.5cm dilated. By this point my waters still hadn’t broke, so the midwife said she would break them for me and then she would come back in an hour so I could push.
Straight after she broke them, I insisted I needed to push. Lindsey had her back to me, mum and Dylan were either side of me. She turned round when I said I had to push saying that I needed to breath it’ll be another hour yet. She didn’t even get to finish that sentence. She could see the head.
6 pushes later, clinging on to Dylan’s hand and my mums, our baby boy was born at 2:45a.m on Tuesday the 21st of February 2017.
Everything felt like a dream, Dylan was in tears and I could hear our baby boy crying as the midwife laid him on my chest. It had been a long tiring labour for us all. I slept an hour after Leo (what we named our baby boy) was born. The whole hour Dylan and my mum watched over him. He was so alert, taking in everything around him.
I will never forget the first moment I laid eyes on him and held him in my arms. I couldn’t cry. I was in awe. I was so in love. I just wanted to look at him and hold him for the rest of his life.
I couldn’t have done it without my mums love and calmness through the whole thing. I definitely couldn’t have done it without Dylan by my side, reassuring me, caring for me and telling me every day how much he loves me. I truly am grateful.
8 days and 20 hours late, but Leo John-Leslie Yarborough was worth every second we had to wait.