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Andrea and Ryan Joshua
Vaginal Delivery, Pethidine

I woke up with a pain in my back at 3 am on May 11th. I thought nothing of it really as I had expected to feel the pain in my tummy if I was in labour and tried to go back to sleep. Ten minutes later I felt it again. I thought I would stay awake awhile and time them to see if I was in labour so I stayed awake until 4am. They had been coming every 10 minutes. Luckily my DH David was still awake as he was pottering about on the computer (he had been on leave for a few days as I was a week late) so I told him I thought I may be in labour. He said something stupid like "you can't be in labour, your waters haven't broken". After assuring him that you can go into labour without your waters breaking first, I said that he should go to bed and that I would call him when the pains got really bad but he said he would stay awake. I tried to go to bed again but couldn't lie down as the pain was in my back so I tried every position known to man i.e. squatting, sitting backwards on a chair but nothing worked and gradually the pains got worse and closer together.

At 6am we were both tired and David said he would take a quick nap but if I needed him to wake him up. I woke him at 6.30 saying I needed help so he started to rub my back which was brilliant and really helped me. Then he ran me a bath thinking that may help me also. I was in the bath about a half hour and it did help but I was getting restless. By now the pains were five minutes apart and were getting pretty bad. By 10am they were 2-3 minutes apart, and I couldn't take anymore and got David to ring for a cab to take us to the hospital. The driver heard my moans of agony and put his foot on the gas and got us to the hospital at around 10.30. By this stage I could barely move, and it took every ounce of strength for me to get out of the car and to the lift up to the Delivery Ward.

We were shown to a delivery room and I was examined and found to be 6-7cms dilated which was fantastic. They strapped monitors onto me, but I couldn't keep still as the pain was in my back so the readings the doctors got were dodgy. They asked me if I wanted my waters broken. I said no as I thought it would hurt. However the doctor said they really needed to break my waters to get a clearer reading so I consented, and it actually didn't hurt at all. By now the contractions were at their worst. If someone would have asked me who was in the room or what day it was I probably wouldn't have been able to tell them!! I was using gas and air for the pain and I didn't feel like it was having any effect. David saw this and asked the Midwife if there was anything else they could give me for pain relief so they gave me a shot of Pethidine which was a big help - NOT!!! By now I was lying crossways on the bed when a contraction came and draping myself over the Midwife while David rubbed my back vigorously. The Midwife didn't approve of this "arrangement" as she thought I would fall off the bed!

By 1pm I could really feel the baby and gasped out a request to push. The Midwife said she would get her colleague to check me so I asked through gritted teeth for her to do just that - quickly. I was checked and I was indeed at 10cms and ready to push. This part didn't hurt but was tiring and took a lot of effort and energy. David and the Midwife were great and really encouraged me with the pushing. When David said he could see the head, it really gave me the impetus to push as hard as I could. The pushing part took just half an hour and I heard the Midwife say "you have a boy". At that moment I felt such a rush of elation and joy it was indescribable; it felt like pregnancy was a long journey and I had arrived at the destination at last!!

I asked if he was OK repeatedly and demanded to know what he weighed. They got the scales from another room told us he was 7 lbs 14 oz and said he was absolutely fine and then they gave him to me to hold - I cried. The Midwives both said I did very well giving birth as a first timer and said I could have a home delivery next time as I coped so well with the pain (next time??!?). I told David that we will definitely only be having one more child!

Seriously though, Ryan was worth every week of pregnancy and every moment of pain, he is wonderful.

Ryan Joshua, born on 11th May 2000 at 13:36 at Kings College Hospital.


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