I also think about the 2 hours I spent stuck in traffic the day after coming home from work. 2 hours in 26 degree C heat with no air con. Oh, and the 2.5 hours I spent at soft play with the kids on Friday, also without air con. And how sick I was after. How I had blamed it on heat stroke.
Saturday had been braxton hicks central, but I carried on as normal, even taking the 3 lads to the cinema. By the time the kids were in bed I was inclined to admit they were probably contractions. Early labour. But given I was 3 weeks till due date it was likely to be a false start, like I had with Georgie. People suggested it was the real deal (you know who you are) but I brushed it aside. 3 weeks early was too early. Even with a slight gush of wetness around 8pm. And the contractions were sooo irregular. In fact at one point they dropped off to 15 mins apart and then stopped all together. So I went to sleep. On the settee, with the fan on, coz it was too damn hot to go upstairs and share a bed with my Hubby.
It was gone 3am on the Sunday morning when I woke again. Contractions were 6mins apart and hurting. I got the Tens machine on and started closely watching my timings and trying to keep calm with some telly. 3:45ish I called maternity and told them what was happening. I'd had a bit of show on my last trip to the loo, and the contractions were ramping up. Previous two deliveries were 3 hrs each from contractions being 3 mins apart. They suggested calling back in an hour or if I made significant progress. Less than on hour later I'm getting Hubby out of bed and calling them back. I need to come in!
4:40 and my contractions are 3 mins apart, getting faster, getting damned painful... My mum is on her way to mind the boys, but still an hour away. The hospital are trying to send an ambulance, but THAT is an hour away too. They say they'll call us back. Hubby twigs that he is still just in his boxers and runs up stairs to get dressed, while I moo away my contractions leaning over the settee. I've given up recording them now, but the tens machine tells me they are 1 min 30 apart. I am in AGONY. Then....
BANG - GUSH - OHHH!
My waters EXPLODE all over the living room floor (I'll say it again, SO glad we ditched the carpet in favor of laminate)
Hubby comes racing down stairs - still in his pants - to see what's wrong. Steps on a clippo brick, slips, and lands full body in my waters with a thud! I think "Christ, don't break an arm or a leg NOW!" We laugh at this now....
Feeble attempts at mopping up include two nappy clothes, and all the freshly laundered towels and blankets Hubby had dealt with that day (sorry Babe).
Contractions ease for a moment, and Hubby is on the phone with the ambulance team who are talking him through looking after me while they are trying to get to us. They keep asking him if he can see or feel the baby yet. But he can't. Then a taxi arrives... It's been sent for me by the hospital. Hubby chucks my bags in, helps me in, kisses me goodbye and goes to wait for my mum to arrive so he can follow me up.
It's only 8 mins from my house to maternity on a clear run. It's only 5:30ish am so it's clear. My tens machine is on maximum and constant. About 1/4 of the way there I have another contraction but this one feels odd. Like something started to descend. I try not to think about it. I'm on my way to the hospital, they'll sort everything. Driver pulls up outside the maternity doors and tries to help me out. A nano second later a community midwife pulls up, dives out if her car and helps. She had arrived at my house 2 mins after I'd left, and chased us all the way to the hospital. I'm sat in a wheel chair, crying with pain, and wheeled to delivery. It's 5:45 am.
They take one look at me, lent over the bed. I hear "cord prolapse", "8cm", "trace" and "distress". Then two words I dread. "Emergency section". But I agree instantly. Save my baby! I'm chucked on the bed. Face down on the mattress, backside high in the air. Midwife dives in, one hand on baby's head pushing it back, the other holding the cord out of the way. I am wheeled like this into theatre. It takes seconds, but when I get there I'm 10cm! Flipped on my back, feet in stirrups. The fastest, and therefore safest, way to get baby out now is forceps. I've had no pain releaf yet. I beg for some. Anything. Knock me out! They can't knock me out, I NEED to push. All I have time for is gas. I suck that gas like my life depends on it. My baby's life DOES! I'm terrified! I know this baby is 9 1/2 lb. I know I crown slowly. I don't want him to die because I can't push.
I pushed! With everything I had, and suddenly some more from nowhere. Two contractions and he was here. Not breathing... But here. 6:04 am.
They show me my baby and rush him to resus. Moments later he's breathing, but his lungs are wet so I get a quick cuddle and kiss before he's taken to SCBU. They need to monitor him for up to 4 hours.
I ask for my phone, call Hubby. He's JUST pulled into the car park. "Baby's here" I choke down the phone. Within seconds he's by my side. The situation is explained to him. We go back to delivery and we wait.
We get our baby back just 2 hours later. Fit. Well. Healthy. If a little bruised from the forceps.
9lb 6oz, and exactly 3 weeks early on 27/07/14.
Welcome to the world, Alfred James Walker. You are so loved already!