The Babies; pregnancy and birth.
I have to admit that all three pregnancies were interesting. I tend to go with the flow quite a bit and there were quite a few enjoyable parts of being pregnant and there were some not so enjoyable bits.
My first pregnancy went as well as could be. I had some dizzy spells and fatigue from low iron levels (anaemia) but other than that I was blooming. I had some cravings; ice cream (it was summer) and pickled onions. There was very little nausea and no pain. Even the Braxton hicks contractions were painless and just felt like my tummy was being tightened. I worked up to 2 days before eldest was born, the weight gain wasn’t very much and the baby was meeting all his checks fine. All in all it was a good pregnancy.
We went one week overdue. The hospital had a policy to induce at 41 weeks so in I went with my bag, totally unprepared for what was to happen but confident that I could handle anything they threw at me. I did. I was induced, had a long and naturally painful birth which culminated in Polar bear being born around 4am the next day. For me the whole thing couldn’t have gone better.
5 years later I fell pregnant with Monkey. Everything was going fine for the first trimester till we reached a bit of trouble with family and moving, there was a lot of stress and that impacted me. I struggled to eat, was depressed, anaemic again and hit a rough patch in life. The baby lost weight too and I had to be referred for check-ups but luckily Monkey was fine. In true style he refused to keep still, constantly turning and for most of the pregnancy he laid with his feet under my ribcage, making it very difficult for me to sit. I still can’t stand the smell of tomato based products though but I did have intense cravings for cheese; Monkey’s favourite food.
At 42 weeks the Monkey, true to his name, refused to budge. He didn’t want to come out. So I was booked in for another induction, in a big hospital rather than the lovely maternity wife based clinic I had put my name down for if he’d come naturally. So we raced first thing that morning to the hospital for the induction only for the little Monkey to decide, actually, I will come on my own, an hour before I would have been induced. He’s still stubborn now.
The birth took longer this time, and I had to have an IV line put in and both our heartbeats had to be monitored as they both dropped significantly during labour. At the point of birth I was rather out of it and delirious, it was more painful that my first and I was exhausted. His shoulders were so wide that he became stuck at one point, the same point I’m told that I decided to give up and go home. Monkey was born around 6am the day after labour had started.
Less than 2 years later I became pregnant with Ton. Running around after a hyper toddler meant this pregnancy was more tiring than the others. Once again anaemic but thankfully less stressed and less nausea this time round. I had more cravings for pickled onions and went off tomato based foods again, though not as severe. This pregnancy was a bit of a rollercoaster, I was told the baby was underweight, we couldn’t initially tell what gender he was as he simply refused to play ball for the ultrasound, he was constantly moving and loved lying sideways across my tummy.
As the due date crawled nearer, Ton became a little problematic, he still wouldn’t keep still and wouldn’t settle on one position. The midwives gave me constant check-ups and I was sent to a specialist who would push Ton into the correct feet-first position. That day Ton decided to lie in that position anyway meaning the whole appointment had been a waste of time. A few days later he moved back into his favourite position, traverse. In the end we were booked in for an induction at 40 weeks. They checked what position he was in and cheered when he was found to be feet first. So I was induced. Nothing happened. They checked at lunchtime and he’d moved back; traverse again. They decided to wait and see, if he moved again by morning they’d try inducing again, if not then they’d come up with another plan. Caesareans were mentioned, I was given a pill and told not to eat, just in case. They wanted this baby out, and soon.
That night the contractions started. The induction medicine had taken a while to work but it had worked, and boy had it! That night was by far more painful that both my previous births combined. The contractions came fast and strong. I’d never felt anything like it. The contractions lasted between 5 and 10 minutes and I had between 2 and 4 minutes rest between them. I remember watching the clock and counting, there was a pattern. At it’s worst it went like this: contraction for 2 mins, 2 mins break, another contraction for 2 mins, 1 and a half min break, full on 6 min contraction, 4 min break. Then the cycle would start again. It was barely 5am and I was in complete agony. What made it worse was that with every contraction Ton would move, he’d wriggle and roll and make the whole thing feel so much worse. I’m not sure how he was feeling but I think the whole thing was painful for him too.
I had an emergency caesarean. Ton was still traverse, I was about to pass out from the pain and I wasn’t even dilated that much. There was no way I would have been able to give birth naturally. I’m a touch cookie but that would have killed me. Thankfully the doctors and midwives were prepared. I’d had my pills, they somehow managed to get me into the c-room and the relief I felt when the painkillers kicked in, I actually cried with relief. Having a C-section was a strange experience. I was mostly too thankful that such a thing existed to be scared of anything. At 6am Ton was born.
Those three pregnancies and births were different in many ways but similar in many others. I don’t think I’ll ever have any more though, three boys is more than enough for me but even if they weren’t, I would never risk that happening again. I was so glad to be in hospital at the time.
So that’s how my three boys came into the world. What a journey. But the best parts are still to come 😀