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The Arrival of Rowan

October 13th 2004 saw the arrival of Rowan. I woke at 3.50am and even though it was my first baby I just knew it was the first contraction. It was two weeks early but there were slight complications in the pregnancy with low amniotic fluid which meant it was likely she would be early anyway so I wasn’t that surprised.

It was really weak so I quickly drifted back to sleep and woke exactly 30minutes later and knew that was the second and again 30 minutes later with the third. At this point I decided to roll over and get a bit more comfortable. They weren’t strong and I was sensible enough to know that the more sleep I got the better I would be for it later on. So, I rolled over and felt a pop. I stood up quickly (well as quickly as a 15st 8 1/2 month pregnant woman stands up) and water leaked and I thought – let the games begin!

There wasn’t much water cos of the problems but I popped to the bathroom and when I cam back into the room about 5.15 I woke up BN and said those words I’d been dying to say ‘I think it’s time!’ It was an excellent feeling and I remember so well how excited I was. The bizarre thing is that I wasn’t sure whether it was or it wasn’t.. You so dread making a fool of yourself and going in when it isn’t that you never know what to do.. plus the amniotic fluid was so low that when the waters broke it was a bit of an anticlimax!

So BN convinced me to ring the hospital and when I called and filled her in she said we would have to go straight in if the waters had gone. I said I didn’t want to yet as I hadn’t had a wash or anything to eat and she was perfectly lovely and said that she wanted to hear from me at 7am and no later so she knew what was going on.

BN ran me a bath and made porridge (under specific requests!) and the contractions started to get more regular. I couldn’t settle in the bath so I didn’t stay in long and when I got out we sorted out the Tens (which I thought was great) and I sat on the sofa and got served some breakfast.

I would have to recommend the Tens. You have to start it at the beginning and start it low. The longer you keep it on the better it works. I kept it on till about lunchtime in the end.

Anyway, I rang the mat unit at 7 ish and she organised an ambulance which arrived about 7.30 just as my friend Woolly had cottened on to what was happening after I sent a text to cancel a lift for my next scan which was supposed to be that morning). Big had to keep telling her that she really had to go as we were practically out of the door. I think I was being led away by a paradmedic before she really realised it was now now. 🙂

I got to hosital, was admitted and put into a delivery room as I was contracting and had it explained to us that it was a really busy day so I would be examined at 10.30 and if I was 2cm or less I would be transferred to the ward to labour up there. I was quite happy with Tens and controlled breathing and a midwife came, as promised, at around 10.30. I was examined and I was 3cm. YAY! I get to stay. I so didn’t want the anticlimax of being transferred.

After that we really didn’t see another midwife until 1pm when BN buzzed for me. I needed more pain relief and it was time for G&A. What great stuff!! She explained that it really was busy and that I wouldn’t be seeing anyone floating around. We were instructed to buzz if we needed help, asked if we were OK and basically left to it. About once every 90minutes a midwife would pop in and say they were our new midwife (a couple of them were really weird and one was so funny weird that I think I actually laughed in her face. Bless her. But I was totally high!

So I managed well and the contraction progressed textbook. Got stronger, got longer and closer together. At 4pm we had been assigned a midwife and a student, Timmi who was fantastic and I had pethidine. That wore off after about an hour and I started asking for an epidural. It was getting bad and I’d decided I’d had enough. I could hear women screaming and at one point another midwife in the room next door just yelled for help. No time for buzzers there then! I decided an epidural was the way to go.

Er… no. It was too busy apparently and by this point I was being monitored constantly (as one trace slightly earlier had shown Rowan’s heart rate dropping significantly with contractions) and I had been examined and was 8cm+. It was kindly and firmly explained to me that by the time an anaesthetist got to me the baby would be here so I had to suck it up and get on with it. BN was fantastic. I remember him getting my attention and saying no. No epidural. You have to do it without and I can just recall looking into his eyes and thinking: OK! Here we go then. The pain and the tiredness was so bad by this point I can remember my eyes rolling back and I was falling asleep in the seconds between contractions. I was exhausted.

I got up on to my front and was quite happy when I was informed that the consultant would really like a trace on the baby’s head. She was worried and my midwives had fetched her due to the crappy trace they were getting and because it looked like Rowan really wasn’t happy. I just about remember someone saying earlier that we should call them if the trace showed the baby’s heart rate going low with a contraction. How low is low? we said and she said anything like 100 and I would like to know. She left the room and Rowan’s heart rate dropped to 87 with the next one and I pressed the buzzer like it was pain relief! (I think that was about 3pm ish)

Anyway, I was on my front and she wanted to do a foetal scalp monitor and said she couldn’t do it with me on my knees cos she’d never done it like that before. Could I move? Was she KIDDING? Boy I was peed off. SO I had to manoeuvre myself back to lying down shortly followed by what felt like 3 people shoving their arms up me trying to attach this thing to her head and then they said… this is funny, you can get back up now. Yeah. Yeah OK then.

How many times have you been 8cm dilated? I felt like shouting back but to honest they were all women and they all looked like they had children and I wasn’t in the mood to be eating humble pie. 🙂

So I started to do that grunty noise and the senior midwife had already left the room having just examined me and said 9cm+ it’ll be a while yet. Timmi had a look as I did a massive grunt and ran round the bed and pushed the buzzer. She shouted she could see the head coming and started putting an apron on. I just remember thinking, Thank GOD! I know this means this is almost over. I think I had nearly bitten through the G&A tube.

The senior midwife just made it back into the room and I did a massive push and the head was out. I remember being told to pant. Again thinking.. YAY. I know it’s almost done. I’d watched the programmes, I’d done my homework and panting meant the end was near. I got another contraction really quickly and she was here. Two pushes on nothing but G&A and I was really proud of myself. I just have this vision that I hope stays with me forever, of Rowan coming towards me with her arms stretched out at me and her eyes open. She was grey-y blue and slimey but she was gorgeous. I was totally in love. She cried. I cried and then she went to sleep and I shook. Shook like a weirdo! They say it’s cos you’ve lost your radiator but personally I think it’s just shock. I was utterly overwhelmed and knackered and I’ve never loved anyone so much as the woman who brought me the cup of tea and toast that minute.

19:49 October 13th
Rowan Anna Lavery

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2007 5:16 pm

    You know that is so lovely; i could be envious, but honestly the thing out of all that i envy the most is that you got tea and toast. I’ve only got that once; the other times i had to wait 6 hours for more than water and after Amelie someone had nicked my sandwich anyway so i had to wait till morning!

  2. January 9, 2007 6:45 pm

    that’s shocking. but to be honest after hearing the other stuff about p’boro hospital I can’t say I’m surprised! They were lovely. It was better than Ella’s.

  3. January 9, 2007 7:41 pm

    Nah, it’s cos of the sections. But not getting that cuppa… man, it’s a killer.

    Yeah… i can understand you having some mixed feelings about Ella’s; i’ll not be writing Josie’s anytime soon.

  4. January 9, 2007 8:01 pm

    i guessed..

    no I shouldn’t imagine you’d want to write that yet. There will come a time though I should imagine. hugz x

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