Thursday, 11 November 2010

A Child is Born (finally!)

After a very lengthy build up, I'm finally able to report that Baby Martini II was born on Monday, 8 November just after midday. I'm not going to lie - the ten days or so of 'false/early labour' were fairly horrendous, but (as you'd expect), when she arrived it was well worth the wait. 

Typically, I'd like to share my birth story - in the end, I'm rather proud of myself. However, if you're pregnant, you may want to hold off reading this post until after you've done the deed. Similarly, if you were in the Antenatal Day Care Unit at St. Thomas' at lunchtime on Monday, I apologise. You know why.

So, here we go:

5am - wake up with some minor stomach cramps. Nothing painful but can't go back to sleep, so wait around in bed until the rest of the family wake up.

7am - I get up with Mr. Martini and help pack Elder Martini off to nursery. Mr. Martini heads to work - "there's no point wasting time off - I'll call if I need you" - famous last words.

8.30am - call my mum to give the daily update that nothing has happened overnight. Minor contractions, but can talk through them - nothing doing. Hang up and decide to have a bath.

9.30am - contractions seem to have eased off. Make some tea and toast.

9.35am - can't eat. Seems a bit weird. Have a couple of majorly painful contractions. Assume it's nothing, take a couple of paracetamol and carry on.

10.30am - decide that even if it's a false alarm, I can't really deal with the contractions on my own any more. Call Mr. Martini and ask him to come home. I say that there's no rush, he can just jump on a bus.

10.45am - "a bus is not fine. Get in a taxi." The contractions are coming fairly regularly and I think about timing them, but haven't got a watch to hand. I figure I can wait until he gets home.

11.00am - Mr. Martini arrives home. He helps me with a couple of contractions and sorts out the kitchen - I never tidied away the breakfast that I didn't eat.

11.10am - my brother arrives to collect Elder Martini things. It turns out Mr. M. had called him on his way home. We decide that my brother should collect Elder Martini from nursery and head over to my parents. 

11.15am - horrendous contraction that actually makes me shout out. Mr. M. decides we need to go to hospital. I say that if I can still speak, we're not leaving. He ignores me and forces me out of the door. My brother mentions that he doesn't know how to get to the nursery. I say we can drive him there ("we have time") and then go straight on to St. Thomas'.

11.25am - Mr. M. takes my brother into the nursery to sign out Elder. He comes back to me practically crying in the car. Sitting down and having contractions is not recommended.

11.25am - 11.44am - drive to St. Thomas'. This is the longest journey in the world. I have four contractions. The last one is so painful we have to stop so I can get out of the car and stand.

11.45am - arrive at St. Thomas'. The car park is heaving and we can't find a space. I get out of the car and attempt to walk to the entrance. Mr. M. parks the car. After what seems like forever, he joins me at the lifts.

11.50am - we head to the 7th floor. I have two contractions in the lift. Surprisingly, no one is bothered by my pain, and the lift stops at every floor between Ground and Seven. I'm sure it wasn't a pleasant experience for anyone in the lift.

11.55am - the receptionist on the Antenatal Unit ushers us straight through to the midwives. Mr. M. has to book me in - now I can't speak. I have two really, really, really bad contractions at the booking in desk, in front of the whole waiting room. If any of the pregnant women in there had any questions about labour before I arrived, they certainly don't now. Apart from perhaps: is it too late to go back? Any first-time pregnant ladies have presumably been put off for life. Sorry about that - a less than ideal situation.

At this point, I have assumed I am in proper labour. I have also decided that there's no way I can do this for hours on end. I demand an epidural. Quite loudly. (Again, apologies to everyone in the waiting room). Funnily enough, most of the midwives ignore me - turns out they are sorting me a room and know full well I barely have enough time to get to a room, let alone have an epidural. I, however, have no idea whatsoever. Mr. M. also tells them I wanted to go to the Home from Home Unit (which doesn't do epidurals). I try to shout over him, but unfortunately, the contractions are stopping me from speaking.

12.00pm - I get wheel-chaired into the closest room. (Yes, this is why they are the professionals.) I want to go to the loo - my waters break. And then I have this overwhelming urge to push. Hmmm. It is the strangest feeling in the world. So maybe not enough time for an epidural then?

12.05pm - I get gas and air - which is highly recommended. That helped a lot. 

12.15pm - our baby daughter is born. 8lb 4oz and a total darling.

My discharge notes are hilarious. They say: duration of labour - 15min. Unbelievably, it took 40 minutes to deliver the placenta. Which is more annoying than anyone tells you - next time, I think I'll have the injection. 

We were home by 9.30pm. In an ideal world, the car journey to the hospital wouldn't have been so painful, and there would have been a parking space right next to the door, but all in all, it was a much better experience than the first birth. So - home birth for the next one? Let's not push it...


  1. Thanks! It was both - but I'm focusing on the amazing ;o)

  2. Kingston hospital has a 'Maternity emergency' parking space outside the front door of the maternity ward. I would have presumed in this case you would have been allowed to use it. Simon is dying to have the opportunity. Although I think it might be designed for ambulances.