Good news: I was now 5cm dilated! Actual, official, active labour. Bad news: because I had to be monitored, I was not actually allowed to be active anymore. I had to stay where I was, so the monitor would stay over the baby's heart, and would I kindly stop thrashing about like that, because I was making it fall off? I was, admittedly, having another wailing, moaning, panicky moment. My contractions were really, really painful, and not being able to move about or be in a comfortable position was making me a bit unhappy, to say the least. Did I want some d... No? How about some gas and air? Ooh! Yes please!
Right, this gas and air is crap. It's not doing ANYTHING. I HURT I HURT I HURT AND NO I WON'T STAY STILL I CAN'T IT HURTS AND I STILL DON'T WANT ANY DIAMORPHINE! I think they were getting rather perplexed by my refusal of their precious diamorphine, as I clearly was not going to do very well carrying on like this. Thankfully, Husband decided to say, directly into my ear so I couldn't ignore him, that the reason the gas and air wasn't working, was because I was taking pathetically small breaths, and if I didn't want them to pin me down and forcibly inject me with opiates, then I had better sort my breathing out. So I did. The tube helped me regulate and lengthen my breathing, and the gas and air finally started to take effect, and make me a bit loopy. At one point, and I have no idea which point, I asked if Michael Jackson was really dead. I also somehow remembered that my friend Lisa knew one of the midwives at my hospital, so asked the midwife if she knew someone called Lisa. Unfortunately, Lisa's surname managed to completely escape me, so I ended up saying vaguely that she was blonde, and, as most people probably know someone called Lisa who is blonde, I daresay it wasn't the most fascinating or enlightening conversation the midwife has ever had. Anyway, these couple of attempts at communication aside, for the next hour or so, I pretty much retreated into my own little world of contractions, breathing, and lots of gas and air.
After a while, the midwives noticed that the baby's heart rate was slowing down, so they told me that they had paged the doctor. Now, I didn't really pay attention at the time, but now thanks to my One Born Every Minute obsession, I'm aware that often the doctor comes and decides to do an emergency C-section. Which would have freaked me out, so I'm pretty glad that none of this (including the fact that my baby was possibly in distress, bad bad mammy!) really registered on me. Gd knows where the doctor got to, as according to my notes he still hadn't arrived 40 minutes later, which was the point at which I started yelling like a mad woman that I needed to PUSH! The midwife said, "OK, let's try a push", but if she hadn't, I have no idea how I would have managed not to. So I did, and then I heard "Oh, I can see a head, let's just go for it then."
Next: Part Four - PUUUUSH!!!