The five minute ride to hospital - not fun. There are positions which help ease the pain of contractions, sitting in a car is really not one of them. But we got there without mishap, although the receptionist did wonder where I had gone, as we were buzzed in through the first door, and then I stopped to have another contraction before finally emerging into the delivery suite. We were then taken to a room, and I was examined, and told I was only 2cm dilated, so I could either go home, or stay and they would check on me again in 4 hours. Must have been a slow night for them, most people I know got turfed out on their ear if they turned up at only 2cms. So I opted to stay, I was in quite a bit of pain and just couldn't be bothered to go home again. Also, and this is a bit weird, I quite like being in hospital. My boringly fit and healthy childhood didn't afford me any opportunities to spend time in hospitals, so I am still quite tickled by the novelty of them.
I believe it was at this point I started fannying around a bit, and possibly having a bit of a whinge and a panic. I hadn't yet managed to find a position or place I was comfortable in, so the midwives decided I wasn't coping very well, and started on their "This birth will be brought to you by Diamorphine" routine. No, thank you. Really, no. I'll be fine in a minute, I don't want any diamorphine. Was I sure? Just a little injection? I could still go in the birthing pool in four hours once it had worn off. Sure? YES I'M SURE I DON'T WANT ANY BLOODY DIAMORHPINE ARE YOU ON COMMISSION FOR THIS SHIT OR WHAT??????? Alright then, that's fine. How about some codeine? Would you like some codeine to help? Fine. I will take the bloody codeine, even though I've never taken a strong painkiller in my life and I'm not sure how I'll react to it, if it will GET YOU OUT OF MY FACE!
And I was promptly sick all over the floor. Which is, of course, why I did not want to take it in the first place. I was cheerfully informed that it was going to get much worse than this, and if I was being sick now then I was DEFINITELY going to want some diamorphine.... GO AWAY YOU STUPID WOMAN IT IS THE DAMN DRUGS MAKING ME SICK NOT THE PAIN PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SHUT UP!!!!!
Somehow, either Husband or I managed to finally persuade them that diamorphine would not be required at this juncture, thank you very much, and I was left to sort myself out (and clear up my own vomit. Lovely. I'm not sure if this was actually something I was meant to do, but even in the throes of labour, I am enough of a clean freak to worry about this sort of thing. Or at least I was, before I discovered what living with a very small person is like.) And after some trial and error, I finally found a position I was comfortable in (kneeling on the floor with my elbows on a footstool, for some reason) and proceeded to stay there, trying to breathe through the contractions, telling myself each one would be over soon (oh my word, I had no idea that I could ever be so grateful for the increasingly briefer moments when there was no pain), while Husband massaged my lower back from side-to-side. NO! Not up and down YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG DO IT LIKE YOU WERE DOING IT BEFORE AND DON'T CHANGE IT!!!!!!!!!! I think even Husband, who is well used to my exacting nature, was a bit surprised at how bossy I was in labour. And possibly a bit frightened.
After an hour and a half or so, I suddenly felt like I needed to wee like I'd never wee'd before. I was on my way to the bathroom when my waters broke. And boy, did they break. This was something that neither TV labours nor my antenatal classes did not prepare me for in the slightest. I knew that some women's don't break at all, that some people have a trickle, some a gush. I didn't realise that some people (ie me) have a raging torrent that goes EVERYWHERE. And it kept going! On TV it never seems to keep going! And it hurt! It hurt a lot. And I was still convinced I needed a wee. So I went to the loo while Husband buzzed the midwives (I think. They arrived at some point, anyway). And once I was in the loo, I could see the true mingingness of my waters. Seriously gross. I realised that they had meconium in them, that at some point, my baby had pooed itself in distress, which meant that I would have to be monitored. I flushed my hopes of a water birth away with the loo roll.....
Next: Part 3 - "Active" Labour