Labour stage 1 – Getting things moving or not!

We met the lovely midwife who leads the birthing unit and she showed us to the room – unfortunately we had to use the crap one which didn’t have the birthing stool – a funny looking contraption which looks like a cross between a sex swing, a toilet and some sort of silk trapeze artist prop.

Actually it didn’t matter anyway as I clung onto the Ikea cupboard and pretty much ignored the massive beanbags, low bed, rocking chair and other fun birthing toys scattered about.

I got examined and it turned out that although my contractions were back at 2 minute intervals and – as the midwife put it – I’d done a lot of really great, hardwork and the cervix was softer than she expected, I was actually only 1cm dilated. Nooooooo!

She prodded about a bit more and stayed up there through a contraction so she could feel what was going on. It hurt.

She wanted us to go home but the thought of another THREE horrific cab half hour journeys made me ask her if we could just walk about a bit and see if I could move things along.

Fortunately she agreed and let us have the room as there was no room on the ward to have as our base. Phew.

Chuck and I made our slow – stop, start, waddle, cuddle, contract – progress to the park at the side of the hospital.

It was full of smokers but we found a picnic table at the back and as the sun came out I climbed onto the bench so I was kneeling on it and spread my torso out on top – I can’t imagine what I must have looked like…

Whale-like, clearly in labour, periodically groaning (low moaning is good in HypnoBirth) and laying prostrate over a picnic table in a suburban park surrounded by smokers and workers eating their sandwiches.

Of course this being England everyone politely ignored me and pretended it wasn’t happening.

After a while we retraced our steps. My surges were still 2-3mins and didn’t feel any stronger but I’d been awake all night (not to mention the previous evenings practice sleep depravation!) and I was just too tired to stay on my feet. I felt like I’d failed.

We tried another walk about but stayed in the hospital this time – freaking out the other patients as I clung to Chuck every 2 minutes and swayed about looking stoned.

In my head I was chanting my affirmations and trying to go deep into relaxation but it was getting harder as the surges got stronger and closer. I’m fairly sure I looked drugged but I was still doing this completely au-naturel.

At 2.30pm we got back to the birth unit room, Chuck put on the HypnoBirthing CD again and I started to relax better. It is incredible how well it worked.

I lay back on the giant beanbag. The first laying down contraction hit me like a truck but then it got easier. I deliberately lay on my back, knowing full well it was going to lessen the strength of the contractions and ultimately prolong the agony but I was just too tired. I knew I could sleep through the contractions if I could just get myself in the zone.

Chuck lay down at the other end of the bed and started snoring!

Pretty shortly afterwards I joined in – half an hour kip while labouring. Not bad.


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