For those of you who are regular readers, I want to apologise for my lack of blog posts over the last month; I've completely disappeared from the internet, but I can promise you all its all been for a good reason. For those of you who follow me on any of my social media you will know that four weeks ago I went into labour and gave birth to a perfectly healthy and beautiful little boy - Archie Nicholas Chapman. As a new and first time mum I've really wanted to cherish those first few weeks of him being in this world and decided that I needed to dedicate all my time and love to him which is why my blog has taken a complete backseat.
As I've documented my pregnancy on my blog, I thought it would only be right to share with you all my birthing story. Whilst I was pregnant I really enjoyed reading these kinds of posts, everyones story is so unique, so different and very special and they really gave me more insight as to what to expect going into labour, although I'll say now nothing can ever really prepare you for something that is as life changing as bringing a baby into this world. I'll warn you now this will be a long post, so get yourself a drink and get comfy...
It was Sunday 10am, March 6th (mothers day) and after a sleepless night I woke up that morning feeling perfectly normal, well as normal as a heavily pregnant woman can feel. After going to the toilet and pottering around the bathroom my waters decided to break which at first brought up such a panic in me. It was such a surreal moment and put me into a little bit of shock. It's a moment that you try visualising for nine months, but it was nothing like I thought it would be. Throughout my pregnancy I had heard so many stories from other mums about how when your waters break, theres like a flood of water; However mine resembled a small puddle and I was really unsure as to whether they had actually broken or not. I felt confused, panicked and thought of going into labour at any second completely overwhelmed me.
After calling the hospital, James and I made our way down and the nurses had confirmed that my waters indeed had broken and that I would have my boy within the next 48 hours. One moment that I can laugh about now, is that my waters did break some more once in the hospital carpark which was so awkward as I literally had to waddle to the labour ward. I also got that 'flood' right on the hospital bed which was so embarrassing as I managed to soak all of my dry clothes.
As my waters had broken, but I hadn't started any contractions I was sent home and was told to return back to the hospital when each contraction lasted around a minute and was coming every three minutes. By the time had gotten home, my whole family were on alert that little man was on his way. It wasn't until around 4 o'clock that things started happening and my contractions started coming on. By this time I felt perfectly fine, each contraction felt like a bad period pain and nothing that I couldn't handle. However by around 8 o'clock things started to get a little more uncomfortable and it was at this stage I started concentrating on my breathing. I had no idea that something as simple as breathing could be so difficult.
I had chosen James and my mum as my birthing partners and I just remember around this time I decided to go for a bath and I had James and my mum eating warmed up roast dinner that Grandma had cooked earlier in the day in the bathroom with me. At this time it was difficult to get a smile or laugh out of me, but looking back the memory of my mum feeding me bits of lamb and roast potato in the bath actually make me laugh out loud.
As the evening went on, the pain of labour was getting worse and although I felt as though I was coping with the pain well I was more than ready to get to the hospital so I could start taking some pain relief. In my mind it was a case of 'give me the drugs'! It was at one the next following morning that my contractions where finally frequent and long enough that I could go to the hospital. At this point the pain was getting the better of me, I was feeling tired and thought at least if I was at the hospital it meant that it was closer to little man being born, but my examination only left me with huge disappointment. The nurse told me that after nine hours of contractions I had only dilated 2cm and it was best for me to be was at home. I was also told to take paracetamol for the pain relief which just completely disheartened me. I just couldn't understand why things were taking so long and the thought of having so far still to go left me feeling drained and weak.
After two painful hours at the hospital, I made my way home and decided to have another bath which didn't help with my contractions at all. Everything feels a bit like a blur looking back on things now, but it was at thing point I was struggling and each contraction seemed to be getting worse. One place I didn't expect to feel any pain was in my lower back, but after each contraction it felt as though my back was breaking; it was like my bones were shaking. At this point I felt like a broken woman, I was teary and just didn't understand why things were taking so long.
At 10 am Monday morning I made my back to the hospital, at this point I was at a little more risk as my waters had been broken for 24 hours, but I did find comfort in the fact that I wouldn't be turned away and sent home this time around. The journey to the hospital was horrific as I wasn't coping with the pain at all at this point and being in an upright sitting position only made each contraction feel more intense. After another examination at the hospital I was told I was now at 4cm, which again just made me cry. I was devastated as I had been up for so long and I honestly believed that with each contraction I was making good progress. However I was relieved to be having a little more pain relief and as soon as I got into my room I was straight on the gas and air which did take the edge of things... A little.
To make my situation feel worse, my contractions became completely irregular and the midwife explained that things needed to be speeded up and I was put on a hormone drip to get things moving along. I certainly felt the effects of this drip and I was told that after each hour the amount of the hormone would increase. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon there was still no sign of my baby and the gas and air was no longer having any effect on me. I've always prided myself on being strong mentally and being able to push myself though things, but it was at this point in the day where I just felt like giving up and I could feel myself slipping into a panicked state of mind. I hadn't planned on taking any other form of pain relief other than gas and air, but my midwife strongly suggested that I take the pethidine injection just to help relax me and to help with my anxiety at the time and at this time I would have taken anything they had given me, even an epidural or c section. Within ten minutes I found myself drifting of to a surreal sleep whilst in-between strong contractions. It was one of the weirdest experiences I've ever felt; It was like I was present in the room, but at the same time I felt so far away from everything. I still can't believe I kind of fell asleep though something so painful.
Within the hour of having the pethidine, I was at a stage in labour that I finally wanted to be and had been waiting for, which was the dreaded pushing part. This was the stage in labour that I was fearing the most as I had expected it to be the most painful, but I found it the easiest. By this time, I think I had been though enough mentally and physically that I was determined that I was going to give this last stage everything I had and within 20 minutes I was blessed with my perfect, beautiful little boy.
At 4.46pm and after 31 hours of my waters initially breaking, weighing 8.1 pounds I finally had little Archie in my arms. All the pain and everything I had just been though was completely erased from my mind and my heart just felt this overwhelming amount of love, happiness and pride as I cuddled my little boy. The feeling of holding him and having him there in my arms is one of those special moments in my life that I will cherish forever. I just can't quite describe or put into words just how wonderful and amazing those first moments are and the special realisation that you're actually a mummy. In just a few seconds my life changed; It's honestly the best experience of my life.
My little Archie is now 4 weeks old and has settled in beautifully; he really is the perfect baby. James and I feel so lucky and blessed and I love our little family. Labour was so difficult, as was pregnancy but it really is all worth it. I feel so lucky to have had such supportive family around me and my mum and James were truly amazing at helping me though labour. It was an experience that brought all of us so much closer.
Now Archie is here, I can't wait to get up lots of mummy related posts. In such a short space of time, I've learnt so much and discovered a side to me that I never knew was there and I would love to share this with you all. If there is anything at all you want to ask, let me know in the comments below.
Lots of Love