*** Please note, if you don't want to know massive detail about my birth experience, please do not continue to read this post. ****
So, it all started on Sunday, or very early hours on Monday 15th December. Andrew and I had stayed up late, even though we've been meaning to get to bed early in preparation for our new babies arrival. I had videoed Cara earlier and wanted to upload a Birthday message for Alan's birthday. Anyway, we went to bed, and I could feel my tummy harden, I said to Andrew that maybe our baby would come tomorrow, that we needed to go straight to sleep just in case. Andrew went straight to sleep, and I tried. I did get sleep, but was woken throughout the night feeling contractions. They weren't too strong and definitely weren't regular. Early hours of the morning, I couldn't help but wake Andrew to tell him about me having lots of contractions, that this really did seem to be the day. We stayed in bed as long as possible, trying to rest, and then when we got up, Andrew arranged to miss his Uni seminar, and we warned Grandma that we may need a babysitter for Cara. However, the contractions seemed to ease, and it seemed that maybe they weren't proper contractions after all.
The midwife that was with us was wonderful. I really think that the midwife makes such a difference to how the birth experience is. I am so thankful for A.M. - thank you. Contractions were getting strong, and I had been coping by leaning forwards, but now I needed to be examined laying on my back and then strapped to a machine to monitor my contractions and baby's heartbeat (these are precautions because of having a previous C-section). I really didn't enjoy this, it seemed to make the contractions so much more powerful. I don't think it was long before the midwife suggested I use some gas and air. I wanted to have as natural a birth as possible, but I didn't mind using gas and air, I just hoped that would be all I needed. My initial examination showed that I was 7cm dilated. I was so glad that progress had been made despite my irregular contractions. Andrew was great at being positive and upbeat, reminding me that even though I was in pain, all was going to plan.
I did use gas and air when I laboured with Cara, but I didn't really use it that long before I had an epidural, and I really don't think I got it completely, this time I could really see the effects of this drug on me. It was such a weird experience to be in pain one minute and then just in wonder at what this drug can do to your body. When my contractions were really bad, I guess I was taking some pretty deep breathes and on a few occasions it really felt like I was having an outer body experience. My conscious mind was very active and felt real to life, but I could see my body doing things that I didn't necessarily ask it to do. A couple of times it weirded me out so much that I stopped breathing it, not because the contraction had finished, but that it felt too weird. At one point I really tried to describe this to Andrew, but he said I sounded really drunk.