Meet Reuben Oliver, born on the 13th October 2016 at 7:17am, weighing 8lb 8oz & he couldn't be anymore perfect.
Hi everyone, I'd like to introduce you to my beautiful baby boy Reuben Oliver. I could not be more in love. 40 long weeks and 4 days later, plus a 19 hour labour, and he finally decided to make his appearance in the early hours of Thursday morning. I don't really want to turn my blog into a 'mummy blog' as such but I like to include the odd life post here and there and so I will be posting updates on this little cherub occasionally. And of course my social media is bound to be full of pictures of him because there's nothing better than baby spam! So for those that are interested, this post is a long one all about my birth story! It was quite the traumatic labour, maybe not as traumatic as some but there were a few hiccups...
So I'm not going to lie, pregnancy was a pretty awful experience for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I got to experience growing my very own little human because it's incredible, but I literally had every symptom possible thrown my way and it wasn't all that easy. Every symptom was pretty horrible to be honest but I think the one that I will definitely miss the least is heartburn. Heartburn is an absolute bitch, I never want to experience it ever again. That constant feeling of my throat being on fire, ugh, I could not stand it. But anyway, forgetting all of that and what growing a child did to my body, I created a beautiful little life and I'm pretty sure I will soon forget about all the crappy stuff. I feel blessed that I got to grow and carry a tiny life for 9 and a half months and all those little kicks (even the jabs in the ribs and my sides) that I got to feel from inside were the best.
So onto my labour, I have no idea how I made it 4 days overdue because I started getting 'early labour symptoms' at around 36 weeks and I was so convinced that he would make an early appearance, I would have put a bet on it. Fast forward to 38 weeks, and I was getting even more labour symptoms and so many times I thought I was going into labour with sharp cramping yet it just never lead anywhere. Eventually, after what felt like years, I made it to 40 weeks and gave up all hope that he was arriving anytime soon. I got given an induction date at my 40 week appointment (if he didn't arrive beforehand) for 12 days over and I was convinced I would make it to that date and have to be induced. I got to 4 days overdue and I was feeling really really tired, more than usual, and I ended up sleeping in all day until around 2pm in the afternoon. I probably would have slept longer but I woke up to a bit of cramping. After I got up, I started losing my plug, but there was no blood or anything so I wasn't sure whether to think anything of it. I then started getting mild cramps that were coming and going again and I started to think, right hang on a minute, this is two signs... is something happening finally?! I left it for a while and the cramps started to get worse, so I decided to go for a bath and wash my hair incase anything happened (lol, priorities.) The cramps at this point just kept coming on stronger but still really irregular so I still didn't know if it was anything to really be concerned about. I rang the labour ward and the midwife told me that it could be nothing but I could also potentially be in the early stages of labour, so to take some paracetamol and just see how I went. As soon as I came off the phone, I was getting cramping that was coming on strong and fast so I decided to see if it went anywhere. At this point, I was still losing my plug and it started to become pink tinged so I knew this was more than nothing. The cramps were starting to become unbearable too so I ended up ringing the labour ward back and they told me to go in and get checked but to be aware that I would probably be sent home again.
We decided to pack the car up (me and my two birthing partners, my mum & sister) because I think it was fairly obvious I was in labour and we wanted to be prepared. I got to the labour ward and waited to be seen and when I finally got examined which felt like weeks later, I was told I was 2cm dilated and that I couldn't get any pain relief until I'd got to 4cm so to go home for a couple of hours, walk about and have a bath, then go back. So we ended up doing that, but it was hard because I was in a lot of pain at this point and I could barely walk when I felt a contraction coming on. When I got home they were just getting worse and worse, I ended up having another bath to see if it helped and I just couldn't stand the pain so I got out and told my mum I wanted to go back to the hospital. It had actually been two hours by this point which was how long I was told to go away for anyway, so once I got back, I knew I wouldn't be going away again so we took all our bags in with us. I was still losing my plug which was getting more & more bloodier (yum) and after I'd been examined again, the midwife told me I was 6cm dilated! We were all so shocked that I'd come that far in the space of 2 hours with no pain relief whatsoever. I then got immediately taken to a private delivery suite and given gas & air. At this point I was in so so much pain with the contractions and I was practically demanding that I be given the epidural I wanted lol. It took a while to get it but eventually the anaesthetist came and things got going. I got it explained to me, what would happen and the possible side effects etc but I wasn't really listening as I was high on gas & air and just wanted the damn thing in me already. I had to sit really straight and completely still whilst the epidural was being put in, even through my contractions and I've no idea how I managed it. I had to practically sit over my bump and with all that pressure through a contraction, it was unbearable! I was honestly so high on gas & air whilst getting it done. The anaesthetist numbed my back but failed my epidural twice, he was a really nice guy don't get me wrong, but it was a nightmare. Not what I needed. My sister actually fainted at this point and I was sat there really out of it but also panicking seeing her just drop to the floor. She got taken out the room and someone else came in to put my epidural in and after what seemed like a very long time, it was finally in and sorted.
Once it kicked in, I cannot tell you how much it was worth it. The contractions in my stomach were completely gone, all the pain was just pressure downstairs. I still had my gas & air so that helped me get through them, it was a bit of a comfort thing really. I had hours of just lying there suffering through all this pressure but it wasn't too bad and I almost drifted off in between the contractions. Hours later, I eventually reached the stage to push and whenever I got a contraction I was told to push through that pressure down into my bum basically. It was AWFUL, hurt so bad, I dread to think what it would have felt like without the epidural. I got told I was doing well but Reuben's head was just having a bit of difficulty coming round a bend or something, so a doctor came in and told me I was going to be taken to theatre to have a forceps intervention or alternatively a C-Section. My heart dropped because I desperately did not want either of those things at all. One of the midwives had a bit of a disagreement with the doctor saying that she thought I was so close that I could push through it and not need any intervention. Anyway the doctor won and I was wheeled into theatre where it all started to get a bit real. I was laid there, naked, legs open, surrounded by about what seemed like 50 doctors, surgeons and midwives. All dignity out the window.
The midwife kept shouting at me to push through each contraction so I did and there were so many midwives stood around me shouting that they could see the head and to just push push push. I got determined at this point as I desperately didn't want forceps and I pushed my little heart out. Everyone seemed to be screaming at this point about his head coming and my mum was stood next to me telling me she could see him and he was nearly here. One of the midwives told me I was going to have to be cut and I started saying no but they just did it anyway without me even knowing about it and two minutes later I had my baby on my chest. 19 hours later, he came into the world at 7:17am weighing 8lb and 8oz. I didn't think I would get emotional but I was so overwhelmed by everything and I burst into tears and couldn't stop. Everyone was so happy that I'd done it without intervention (apart from the little cut) and I was taken back to the delivery suite to be stitched up which I didn't feel at all with the amount of drugs pumped into my system. I'm surprised I remember it all because it feels like such a blur! I have to give a huge shoutout to the two midwives who were with me throughout the whole delivery too, they were so so lovely and even came to visit me on the ward later that day. I couldn't have hoped for better ones. Also a shoutout to the other midwife who was quite firm and kept screaming at me to push and got Reuben out without the forceps, I'm so grateful.
And that's basically it, that's how my little boy entered the world. At the moment I'm in a lot of pain with the recovery but I guess that's to be expected after childbirth and stitches. Breastfeeding is also a bit sore but he's only a couple of days old so it's early days and I'm just going to try and bare with it. I'm so in love with him it's unreal, he is the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. It's so surreal how my body has grown, carried and birthed this tiny life. I'm now just looking forward to spending every day with him and watching him grow :)
Hope you enjoyed this post & aren't put off having children for life haha!