Well, long time no speak! The past eight weeks have been an emotional whirlwind to say the least. On the 15th April at 3:24p.m, Meilir Wyn Griffith was born in Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor and is utter perfection.
I know that every mother says the same, but a mother’s love towards their child is a love that is completely unique to any other. Nothing comes remotely close to the warm feeling you get when your child looks and smiles at you, not to mention the cute coos and noises!
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time (it’s been in my drafts since he was two weeks old, but there we go – mum life!), but trying to juggle a milk monster, housework, trying to keep myself the slightest bit presentable and enjoying some family time is way harder than I imagined! However, I’m finally getting round to it as Meilir naps. As you’ve all followed my pregnancy, it’s only fair you follow my birth story.
On April 13th, I lost my mucus plug which is the plug that closes the cervical canal to ensure no bacteria enters the uterus throughout pregnancy. They say that losing the plug means that labour is imminent. As Ted Hastings says, “now we’re sucking on diesel!” The plug can fall out in one piece, or in dribs and drabs over time, and this is what happened to me – or this is what I thought was happening.
At 8 a.m. on Wednesday I noticed the discharge was still coming out but it was much more watery than the previous day. I obviously checked with my doctor – Dr Google – and a lot of websites were saying it could’ve been my waters breaking. As the water was only trickling as opposed to the gushes you seen in the films, that possibility never crossed my mind. Although this, I phoned the hospital and within 10 minutes we were on our way to the assessment unit to see if we were any closer to meeting baby Griffith.
After being monitored and taking the test, we had the exciting news that my waters had in fact broken! “Woohoo” I thought to myself, but I also thought “oh shit”. Although I’d had nine months to prepare myself for birth, I hadn’t really imagined how labour would be. But here we were, ready to find out!
Preferably, the midwives aren’t too keen for you to pass the 24 hour mark after your waters breaking without having to intervene because of the increased chances of getting an infection. With this, I decided to be induced. To start the induction, they inserted a pessary – propess – at 7 p.m. which looked quite similar to a tampon. I started getting mild period pains. Before I started feeling any bigger pains the bloody propess fell out, which meant it had to be re-inserted at around 10 p.m. …before it fell out for the second time at 1 a.m. Bloody typical. After it fell out for the second time, the midwife wasn’t happy to re-insert it as she’d already assessed my cervix twice and was cautious of causing any infections if she’d assess again. Because of this, I was told I’d be started on the hormonal drip in the morning.
At 7 a.m. on Thursday, I was moved to the consultant led unit in the labour ward. This meant that there would be no water birth for me unfortunately, but this was obviously the way that Meilir Wyn was meant to arrive into the world. Once I was moved into the labour ward, Danny was able to join as I had already dilated three centimeters. Although the covid guidelines were strict, I was very lucky to be able to have my partner next to me from the start to the end. The drip was inserted at seven o’clock, it was now a waiting game.
Five hours had passed and I wasn’t feeling any pain. Either my pain threshold was unbelievably high, or something wasn’t quite right. “Is it ok if I examine you?” asked the midwife. I was still only three centimeters, but the midwife noticed I still had a LOT of water. “I’m going to use a hook to break your waters if that’s ok.” HOOK? The first thing that popped into my head was Captain Hook from Peter Pan walking into the room! Luckily, instead of having a one-handed pirate walk into the room, the midwife used a much kinder contraption. *Waters break* GUUUUSSSSHHH! The water streamed out of me for what feels like hours! But, from the second they broke, the pain started.
“Can I have gas and air please?!” this was one of the first things that came out of my mouth. Flipping hell. The pain. As Meilir was back to back, the majority of the pains were in my back. I think I managed about an hour (if that) with just gas and air before needing something stronger. The next step was diamorphine.
Diamorphine. Two words. God send. It doesn’t take the pain fully away but it knocks you for six in between contractions. The only way I can describe it is if you think about walking to the kebab shop after the best night out you’ve ever had. Your eyes are everywhere, legs feel light and your head is spinning. That’s diamorphine.
Although this, I didn’t have that long to enjoy the diamorphine as Meilir was ready to arrive into the world.
Out of nowhere I had the sudden urge to go to the toilet. “You don’t need a poo love, you’re about to give birth”. Oh goodness. After nine months of waiting, the time had officially come for me to meet my son.
PUUUUUUUUUSH!! I’ve never pushed so hard in my life. I started pushing around 2:30 p.m. and by 3:24 p.m, my perfect son was born.
After three and a half hours active labour (Meilir didn’t want to wait any longer to meet his parents!) he was here. I gave birth on all fours as the back ache was too much to be sitting. I remember before pushing near the end the midwife told me to catch him from underneath as she hands him over. I did as I was told, but I started panicking and shouted “his foot’s stuck inside of me!” before the midwife replied saying “…that’s the placenta inside you, Annest…” Oops. I’ll blame it on the drugs.
I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have such an easy birth in the end. Three and a half hours of pain for a first baby, and was able to experience it all with my partner by my side for the birth and Meilir’s first hours in the world.
I have to praise every single midwife who helped me through the birth. Everyone in Ysbyty Gwynedd were amazing with Meilir and I. People really don’t understand how lucky we are to have the NHS, especially in circumstances such as giving birth, not to mention in the middle of a pandemic. To any woman who’s worried about labour, if it’s for the first time, or in the middle of covid, please don’t. Every single person looks after you from the moment you walk through the doors and you feel so comfortable. I’ll forever be in debt to the ladies at Ysbyty Gwynedd.
Oh! I forgot to mention. I think the worst part of the birth was just before the drip was inserted. Whilst the cannula was going into my hand, the midwife turned to me and asked “do you know that you’re not allowed to eat until you give birth?” SORRY WHAT? CANCEL. CANCEL. CANCEL. This meant that my ham in parsley sauce with mash, soup and chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce went to waste. Well, this would usually be the case, but when you have a gannet as a partner, nothing goes to waste. This meant that just when the contractions start to really hurt, my fiance was tucking into a three course meal. MY three course meal. Livid.