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Friday, October 03, 2008

So anyway. Wednesday night was essentially a game of two halves. In the first half Lisa played a blinder and won the match for the home team, before Amelie came on at half-time with her arm in the air for offside, and turned the game.

But before I go on, here's a photo of the winning team:

Happy Family
You wouldn't think we'd had no sleep for thirty-two hours.

Anyhoo, the whole point of spending two hundred and fifty quid on a HypnoBirthing course was so that Lisa could breathe herself through labour and rely more on relaxation than drugs (ironic as I supply them to the labour ward). As a drawback, we were told that some people are so good at it that they don't realise how far labour has progressed. The course leader repeatedly told us her incredible anecdote about the woman who went into hospital thinking she was in early labour, only to be told she was 7cm dilated. How we laughed.

So we attended Lisa's routine midwife appointment on Wednesday afternoon, where the experts told us that yes, Lisa is showing signs of early labour, but that it could be days yet, and that we should make another appointment for the following week. We did so, and went home.

By late afternoon Lisa seemed to be getting definite, if irregular, contractions, so at 6pm the HypnoBirthing CD went on the stereo, and I started noting the time of each surge, using Big Sis's Nemo pen. I knew it would come in handy for something. Within three hours they were down to every five or six minutes, so at 9pm I phoned the hospital. They said to leave it for a couple of hours. To be honest we were quite happy with that, because Lisa was convinced she was still in the earliest stages of labour, and I was content just to let her breathe to the twinkly music while I worked on Amelie's website (which still isn't finished. If only labour lasted longer).

By 11pm Lisa just wanted to sleep, but the contractions wouldn't let her, so having put it off for an hour, we eventually called the hospital again at midnight and described the situation. They said we could go in, collect some co-dydramol, take it home, and Lisa should be able to sleep for the night.

So we put on our coats and left. I suggested that maybe we should put all our hospital bags in the car, but knowing we'd be back in twenty minutes and going straight to bed, we decided against it. I parked in the dropping-off spot at A&E, told the woman at reception we'd be back in five minutes, and headed up to the delivery suite.

Once there, the midwife said she'd quickly check Lisa before we go back home, so she got her on the bed and had a look. Her next question was "Do you have a very high pain threshold?". She followed that with the news that Lisa was nine centimetres dilated and she could feel the head. Ten centimetres is when you meet your baby. I asked if I had time to rush back home for all our stuff, and she said "Not unless you want to miss the birth of your baby". Apparently if we'd waited any longer, we'd have had a home birth.

So there you go. Weeks of planning and packing, and Lisa was on the verge of delivery without so much as a flannel, never mind the three bags of labour essentials we'd got from the Mothercare catalogue. I didn't even have my sandwiches. Or my camera.

But no matter. After all, if the midwife was to be believed, we'd have a baby within half an hour. The Head Midwife even popped her head around the door to have a look and say "I'm just being nosey. We all want to see the amazing lady who made it to 9cm dilated without realising. No one out there can believe it". It was 12:40am at this point, so if you've read yesterday's post, you're probably wondering what went wrong.

Unfortunately I'm writing this in the only two hours of the day (1-3pm) when partners aren't allowed on the maternity ward, so I've run out of time to tell you. I need to get back and change a few nappies.

I surrender.