Last week I spoke about my last labour and my pain relief choices. This week OBEM is talking about rule breakers, so I am going to tell you about my first.
I don’t want to go into the ins and outs, but at 18 years old I found myself pregnant and the dad didn’t want to know. I found out when I was 16 weeks gone and to say it was a shock was an understatement, I had just discovered that my boyfriend was involved with a married woman and I was obviously devastated, but my friends were all wonderful and all rallied round to help me.
The pregnancy was an easy one physically, but I struggled to come to terms with the infidelity. As I had been living with him I suddenly found myself with nowhere to live and no idea where to start looking. I found myself living with a friend of a friend in a flat with no heating in the middle of winter. If I am honest it was a really miserable time, but after having my scans and seeing my baby for the first time I began to look forward to meeting him/her.
Things started to turn a corner when I found myself a flat. I was the first of my group of friends to have my own place so everyone used to visit. I was certainly never lonely!! My colleagues all rallied around and bought me loads of beautiful and useful things for the baby (that’s working with lots of other mums for you). I worked right up until two weeks before she was due, but baby let me have all of 5 days off work before she decided to make her entrance.
I woke at 2am having twinges but was coping well. I was bored at home so I decided to head off to sit with my ex colleagues at work in the Petrol Station when it opened at 6am. No one believed I was in labour as I wasn’t making a fuss and was just happy being with other people. When their shift finished at 10am we headed out to meet some other friends and ended up having a picnic on the beach (yes really).
At 2pm I was starting to get really uncomfortable and one of the group lived really close by so we set off for there. I managed another hour with his mum telling me they were Braxton Hicks and nothing to make a fuss about!!!
Around 3.30pm we set off for the hospital. Sarah driving my car and the boys leading in theirs. They went to the wrong hospital (funny even at the time!). We got to the hospital at 4pm and I was put on the monitor in the labour ward whilst my friends made jokes about horse racing etc- it really kept my spirits up!
One went off to find a pay phone to phone my mum (yes, this was pre-mobile era). The midwives soon realised that was in labour and finally examined me to discover I was 7cm and off I went down to the labour ward. Sarah stayed with me whilst we waited for my mum but decided against staying once my mum had arrived.
I’d started on the Gas and Air by then so didn’t mind. The rest of the labour was a bit of a blur. I remember asking the midwife if I could go home. She said No! I remember asking for pethidine. She said No! (it was too late), then at 17.45, weighing 7lb 3oz my beautiful Abbey was born and from there my journey into motherhood began!