Similarly to Elsie’s Birth Story, it’s taken me almost a year to actually sit down and write about the events that led up to the moment I became a mother again. The moment when our blue-eyed girl, Billie, entered the world.
There’s something so very life changing about giving birth and yet you aren’t really given a moment to really process the whole experience. You are simply thrust into another chapter of life without the opportunity to digest any of what you and your amazing body just did.
I’ve said it before, but just because women have been doing for squillions of years and are doing every minute of every day, every single birth is unique and special and should be celebrated.
And this birth was certainly different from my first.
Billie’s birth was intense.
It was frightening.
It was hard and I’m pleased that it was my second birth experience and not my first. This one was much longer, more painful and much more draining experience than the first. But oddly enough, I laughed a lot more during Billie’s birth than with Elsie’s birth. But I’ll stop rambling and just get on with it.
In terms of recovery, I healed much quicker this time around. Of course, I did, there was no time to dwell on the fact that I’d just expelled a baby from my foof after being awake for almost three days. Oh no, there was a toddler to get home to and a new chapter in our lives to crack on with. I was also under no illusion as to what tricky, utterly exhausting times were ahead.
So with Billie’s first birthday already upon us, it’s finally time to think back and remember the day when our beautiful blue-eyed girl arrived.
A year after it happened, Billie’s Birth Story…
Friday 5th May 2017 Induction Day
Having Gestational Diabetes again meant that was booked in for an induction a week before Billie’s due date. We’d spent a lovely family day together the day before and the anxiety I’d built up in how massively life would soon change for Elsie, really got to me. I couldn’t stop kissing her and cuddling her. It was almost as if I was apologising for what we were about to do to her little perfect life. I knew in my heart that she would struggle with the change and that was a big weight to carry as we said our goodbyes and left for the hospital.
Oh, how I cried as we pulled off the drive. Looking back at our first daughters face, knowing that when we returned her little world would be completely changed.
We arrived at the hospital and were put in the same bed, right by the window and conservatory area as when we were induced with Elsie. Something as simple as this made me feel so comfortable straight away.
It was as if we’d been here yesterday. Well, it wasn’t far off, about nineteen months to be precise. We swiftly set up camp, with our cushions, our snacks and settled down to watch Born To Kill. Totally inappropriate for the situation, but it took my mind off things nevertheless.
This was practically a mini-moon and the first time in forever (seeing as we were currently living with my parents!) that we’d spent some actual time together alone. Well apart from the frequent visits from the midwives wanting to check baby and shove their hands up my poor foof of course. Who needs romance hey?
We went through all the standard procedures that come with an induction and after the good old pessary was inserted, (how delightful) we just had to wait it out.
9.35pm A False Alarm
I started getting those familiar period pains and mentally began preparing myself for the big event.
Saturday 6th May 2017
I woke up. Oh crap. No way do you fall asleep when you’re having contractions? Oh wait, where are the contractions?
They’d stopped. I was gutted, so I sent the Hubster home to get some proper sleep.
All day and still nothing.
I was bored now. I’d listened to all my favourite albums. Bounced on the ball for hours. Walked around the hospital loads of times and was so ready to have this baby and get home to my other baby.
Absolutely nothing was happening so I sent Jack home to give Elsie her dinner and put her to bed. We were pretty much prepared to just wait now for Day Three where the next stage of Induction would take place and I really wasn’t looking forward to it. I was grumpily bouncing on the ball listening to Birdy when a new midwife came in to see how I was doing.
Anything happening? Nope.
Do you need a good shove? Haha, yeah, haha.
OK come and lie down. I’m sorry what?
Sometimes it just needs a good shove. Erm…really?
I really hoped that this midwife knew what she was doing. For my foof’s sake.
Within thirty minutes of my good shove, something started to happen.
6.00pm “Er, babe, I think you better come back to the hospital…”
The pains were getting more intense and I couldn’t sit still. I was swaying all over the place in between contractions and then during the contractions, I just wanted to climb the walls. At one point I almost went over the back of the bedside chair because I was clambering up it mid-contraction.
9.35pm “We’re taking you upstairs to the labour ward…”
Oh, thank fuckness.
I managed to walk up to the labour ward, pausing every few minutes or so to sway and breathe through the pain. We were taken to a dimly lit delivery suite and I made a beeline for the bed, not to lie on, but to climb all over like a dog trying out a new bed.
Sunday 7th May 2017
1.30am Breaking Waters
“We’re going to have to break your waters so I think you would really benefit from some Gas & Air now….” midwife numero 28 kindly advised. I’d seen a fair few come and go by this point.
Up until now, I’d gone without any pain relief. I wasn’t trying to be brave or anything, I just wanted to wait until I really needed something to help take the edge off. Crikey am I pleased I used it for this part.
Holy cow on a pogo stick.
Never again will I look at a hook without wincing at that awful tugging feeling that came with breaking your waters. I’m literally wincing now at the very memory of it. Ouch.
2.15am There Are Too Many Hours
Once my waters were broken, the pain got a whole lot more intense. So much so that I was sucking on that Gas & Air as if there was no tomorrow. Which to be honest I didn’t think would ever arrive. However, this did mean that I was a tad tipsy on the stuff by this point and had started to lose the plot ever so slightly.
I remember rambling on saying, “There are too many hours in the day Jack. Who do I write to about all these hours? So many hours…so many hours…”
Needless to say that unless you’re in a momentous amount of pain or in prison, there really isn’t enough hours in the day, so I’ll hold off writing that letter for now.
2.35am Quack Quack
Jack: What are you laughing at?
Jack: What is it?
Me: It’s a duck.
Jack: What’s a duck?
I hold up the Gas & Air mouthpiece and start giggling…
Me: This looks like a duck. Ppfffff…hahahahaha!
I literally couldn’t control my giggle and neither could Jack. I’d seriously lost the plot now. But there’s nothing like a good wham of a contraction to bring you back into the room.
3.10am “We think you might need to consider an epidural…”
Na-ah. No way.
But I couldn’t speak. There was no time in between contractions to muster the energy to speak.
I remember shaking my head at Jack trying to explain why I didn’t want an epidural. It wasn’t the needles or the horror stories I’d heard. It was the fact that I knew there was no way I’d be able to keep still long enough for them to do it. Nope. Plus I just knew that if the baby was reluctant to come out, numbing my body wouldn’t help and then further interventions would be needed. Nope. This baby had to come out without an epidural.
3.55am “Help Me…”
I remember grabbing the midwife’s arm and pleading with her to help me…and she did. Baby’s heart rate was getting a little distressed and I was exhausted. It took everything I had left, along with two midwives who helped me focus and push.
Finally, at 4:09am on Sunday 7th May 2017, in a dimly lit labour room, with four hands pulling my foof apart, (yep, who needed forceps hey!) our magic bean said hello to the world. The midwife placed this perfectly pink and delicate baby on my chest and I just felt complete.
What is it? I asked the midwife. Let Daddy see, she said.
It’s a girl! he said with such a proud smile. He also surprisingly looked a lot less traumatised than he did after our first birth.
Here she was, our final puzzle piece and we couldn’t have been happier and more nervous about juggling life now with two small babies. Life works in mysterious ways and we couldn’t be more grateful for this new precious gift.
Billie Baby, you are simply magic. You have restored a faith in me that I didn’t know I was missing. You fixed me and you complete me. Thank you for choosing us. We love you darling girl with all our hearts.