…catch up on part #1 here
5 hours after the start of my induction I was moved to the labour ward and settled in to the room where I was going to meet my daughter. The following events happened between 9pm and 6:13am but I couldn’t tell you precisely what happened when – any concept of time went out of the window. My mum and sister, who had been an amazing support in the early stages of my labour, left the hospital at this point knowing they would be returning as a nana and aunty. My mum lingered over me as she gave me a kiss goodbye and I could sense her pouring her own strength into me as she knew precisely what was headed my way.
As soon as it was made available to me I took the gas and air, I’m not convinced I was breathing it right though as it made no difference other than gave me something else to focus on. By this point the contractions were more intense and still on top of each other and in all honesty I wasn’t coping great. I was given an injection which calmed the contractions down and gave me some relief but they swiftly picked up again in frequency and intensity so I opted for an epidural. It took 2 hours and a few top ups for it to work properly as initially it did nothing at all and then only my right sight went numb which intensified the pain in my left. My goodness though once it worked it was amazing and the biggest relief! I think I even dozed off for an hour or so. I was examined at around 4am and told I had reached the magic 10 cm; I wasn’t expecting to hear that and felt a rush of excitement and a renewed strength. We waited an hour before I started pushing as Grace wasn’t in a great position, unfortunately she hadn’t moved much in that hour so the midwife said to be aware that I may end up in theatre.
The next stage felt like it lasted 5 minutes when in fact it was an hour and a half. I’ll spare the gory details but I delivered Grace following a forceps delivery and a focus and determination I didn’t know I possessed. When I was pushing everything and everyone fell away and I was wholly focused on my daughter and her safe arrival; my inner animal instincts completely took over. And then at 6:13am it happened. 6lb 9oz’s of beauty was ushered into my shaky arms and a wall of emotions hit me. I fell in love so hard and so immediately whilst feeling a huge sense of relief that the labour was over. Grace stopped crying as soon as I started kissing her head and talking to her. She opened her eyes to the sound of my voice; a moment that is easily the most powerful and emotional moment I’ve ever experienced, and I’m so thankful for it. Daniel looked equally awash with emotion and despite being totally exhausted and the definition of unglamorous it was perfect; we were a family of 3.
In the hours that followed the delivery we were left to our own devices which we were happy about. I had some knowledge of breastfeeding and Grace latched on without any issues which was a huge relief. We were moved to the postnatal ward later in the day where my mum and sister visited the three of us. I had excited butterflies as I introduced my mum to her first grandchild and my sister to her niece. Grace was an absolute dream in the hospital, she was very alert but hardly cried at all. Fed beautifully and other than a touch of jaundice had no health concerns, we were off to a good start! We stayed in one night and left the following afternoon once my iron and pre-eclampsia levels had been checked.
As we left the hospital with Grace it felt very surreal; we’d just had 48 hours of constant monitoring and support, now it was all down to us to nurture and love this tiny bundle of life. After a very painful car journey for me and the first of many car seat protests for Grace, we were home and ready to embark on family life.