Monday morning was spent waiting. After a night of agony, we had accepted that our birth plan was out the window. Instead we were waiting to find out when I could go into hospital to be induced. We were disappointed, exhausted and tired of waiting, but when the call came to tell us to come to the hospital we took comfort in the fact that we would be meeting our baby soon! So off we went again, bags in the car and another little rush of excitement as we made our way to Gloucester hospital.
When we arrived we were taken to a ward. It was full of women at various stages of labour. One young woman was sitting casually on the bed, hair wrapped in a towel doing something on her phone. She was very chatty and by listening I figured out she was being induced for an early labour because she had pre eclampsia. Opposite us another lady seemed to be heavily in labour, and the lady next to us seemed to be discussing a planned cesarean with every doctor in the hospital.
I felt horrible. I was uncomfortable being around so many people and didn’t feel like I could relax, which wasn’t helping my growing contractions. A nurse popped her head round every 2–3 hours to give us updates and to explain a little about the different methods of induction, but other than that we had no idea what was going on. Finally the nurse returned and announced she was going to do a physical examination before calling the doctor to do the induction. To all of our surprise, she discovered I was already 4cm dilated and in active labour. I felt like shouting out — yes of course I am! This news was such a relief. This meant that we didn’t need to induce labour and go through even more uncomfortable and painful processes. This meant that all the contractions I had been struggling through all night had a purpose. This meant that they called off the doctor and instead called the labour ward to get me a bed.
So contractions continued to grow, I continued to hold on to Sam as hard as I needed to, but now I didn’t feel so hopeless. Rather hopeful! Every contraction I felt a little nearer to reaching the big event. After quite a few hours, the nurse suggested a warm bath to help sooth my contractions. I was overjoyed to hear that there was a bath available! Maybe this hospital is not as bad as I thought it was, I could still have my warm bath as planned. So off we went.
Whilst using the bath, we were called to our own private room. There are not many of them available so we felt very lucky to be offered one. So I got myself out the bath and settled down in our own room, expecting to be there for the rest of our stay. It was at this point that I was offered some pethidine to help me get some rest. I gladly accepted! This is what I have been dreaming about since Saturday evening!! So they very kindly drugged me up and sent me to bed. Sam took this opportunity to go and get some food at his dads and so left me alone to sleep.
I must’ve fallen asleep right away because when I woke up, I didn’t remember trying to fall asleep. I felt like I had been asleep for maybe a few minutes, and woke up in tremendous pain. I remember feeling really disappointed that the pethidine hadn’t worked. I was really struggling on my own, in the dark (I had no idea of the time the whole day, but apparently it was night time now!) and so I fumbled for my phone to call Sam. I don’t remember what I said on the phone but according to my husband I was talking gibberish. Apparently the pethidine had had an effect, and in fact, although I thought I had only slept a few minutes, it had actually been a few hours!
At some point after my phone call and whilst I was fumbling around in the dark trying to get through contractions on my own, a nurse popped her head around the door and said the delivery room was ready for me. I remember feeling really confused (we can thank the pethidine for that!). I didn’t know why they wanted me to go to another room, I was happy in this room! But the nurse hurried me along and told me to get my things together and said she would be back soon to fetch me. So I very slowly and rather fumbly started getting my stuff together — I really had no clue what was going on!
When the nurse returned to fetch me, I had a little panic. Sam still wasn’t back and they were really hurrying me along! I was still feeling really confused and told the nurse my husband was just moving the car and can we wait for him. Apparently not! I was wooshed out the room, both our hands full of the stuff I had not successfully packed back into my bag. Now I had a big panic! Sam wouldn’t know where I was!
Thankfully just as we turned the corner, there he was. Such perfect timing. He looked equally as confused as me for a second seeing me waddling around with all our stuff. But we quickly explained we were off to the delivery room!
Here we are in a new room, with a new group of doctors and nurses. They seemed really lovely and I soon felt comfortable and relaxed again. This may also be because this was the room with the gas and air!
When we got ourselves comfy, the doctor suggested I get myself ready for delivery by doing some walking around and help get baby into position by leaning forward as much as possible. I was happy to comply and continued with our ‘slow dance’ ritual to get through contractions, as well as taking a deep breath of gas and air — which really helped! As the night went on, I seem to remember being given a shot of diamorphine. This made me sleepy again so I lay down to get some rest.
That night, I was in a constant state of confusion, drowsiness and pain. I could not keep my eyes open, and found myself drifting off to sleep in between contractions. I remember waking with each contraction full of confusion and could not help but cry out in pain. I distinctly remember the voice of the doctor reminding me to ‘use the gas and air Lorah’. This went on until I woke to find the room was flooded with light. A new day had begun.