Stanleys Birth Story

20 years old, naive, unplanned pregnancy. I feel like I went into the labour suite completely blind as to what was to come.

I guess I went into labour on 17th November 2012. 3 days over due, Joe and I went for an Indian takeaway at my Mums and literally like the flick of a switch I put down my knife and fork and had a tummy ache. A tummy ache that came and went but felt like I was going to have an upset stomach. I kept passing it off as the Indian had given me food poisoning, everyone was telling me it was probably the start of contractions but I was in denial.

I knew I was pregnant, and knew I was supposed to be having a baby but I just couldn't see it ever happening? I guess that sums up denial?

We went home and tried to sleep but I definitely didn't sleep. They weren't particularly painful but I was starting to panic that it really was labour. At 04:30 on the 18th I'd had enough so got up and went to wrap up my Mum's birthday present (her birthday was now the following day) and I sent Joe downstairs to do the washing up, he was less than impressed!

At around 9am my Mum turned up, and as I went to sit down on the rug on the floor my waters broke and I burst into tears. Suddenly it was all very real and it dawned on me I had to give birth.

Off to the hospital we went. Only to be told that as I was still talking I had to go home as I clearly wasn't anywhere near giving birth! I remember the car journeys vividly. Being in pain is one thing, but being strapped in and confined to a car seat whilst in pain is something totally different.
As soon as I got home the contractions started to become unbearable so almost immediately I was back in the car and back to the hospital where they realised I was infact in labour.

The hospital I gave birth in is very small only 2 labour rooms so I was very lucky it was empty and I was the only one in there. The midwife wheeled out the gas and air, of which I had two puffs, threw up my banana from breakfast and refused to have any more. So Stanleys labour was done on 2 puffs of gas and air!

I was asked if I wanted to get in the birthing pool and as I had no birthing plan I decided to give it a go. That was definitely the best decision!! The water immediately took the edge off the contractions and the handles inside the pool give you something to really grip onto, I completely zoned out and just got on with it. I'd recommend a pool birth to everyone that can have one!

Officially I was in labour for 4 hours with Stanley, I think they only start counting when 'you can't talk through your contractions.' He was born in the pool at 15.08 and apparently swam to the surface.

Throughout my pregnancy I was sent for extra scans because I measured small, so we were all completely shocked when they declared he weighed 8lb 3oz! And unsurprisingly I had to have stitches! I would have chosen to give birth again over having to be stitched up any day! Of all the pain, the stitching up was the most unbearable. I had to ask my Mum to take new born Stanley off of me because I could feel myself squeezing him whilst squirming in pain. Apparently it was my own fault I needed stitches as the midwife told me to stop pushing but I didn't listen and just pushed with all my might and he was out in a couple of pushes. One of the things I remember most is asking why the midwife was using red string to stitch me up? haha, Joe quickly corrected me reminding me that this string was actually covered blood! Gross!

So life as a mother began. The easy part was over. Now I had to try and keep this tiny human alive!

I feel really sad looking back. I have no photos of me in labour with Stanley, the reason is because I was ashamed! It sounds mad now as a married, home-owning mother of two. But at the time I felt that I would be the subject of people’s conversations and negative opinions. I didn’t tell many people  I was even pregnant. But now Stanley is the best thing to have ever happened to me!

The 18th November 2012 my life changed for the BETTER!

Thanks for reading, we hope you stick around

The Harmons x

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