Shortly after the Doctors had visited and attached a clip to baby's head I decided I needed to throw up. I remember being pleased as it was surely a sign I was in transition. I think I felt better for it.
I remember the midwife in charge that night coming in to see how we were getting on and I remember telling her I was feeling a lot of pain in my lower abdomen, a lot of pain. I asked whether it was anything happening... They told me it was just the baby down low and that it was a sign he was ready to be born.
I don't really recall what happened after that. I think the next thing I remember is the lights going on, hearing the words, "Decelerations, episiotomy and forceps". Suddenly the room was filled with people. My legs were hoisted into stirrups. A trolley of instruments was wheeled in which promptly collapsed all over the floor (yes, really, in the most ALMIGHTY clatter!)
I remember them telling me then to push. I remember them telling me to hold my breath and push and I remember in the recesses of my mind being aware of the fact that you weren't meant to hold your breath to push. But I remember I had to get him out. I was aware of everyone's urgency. I think I pushed when there wasn't a contraction. I remember thinking that was a bad idea, but I couldn't really feel my contractions because of the Epidural and by this point the monitoring had gone out the window completely so no one could really tell me when I was having a contraction. I remember thinking it was all a fucking disaster.
Andy has told me that they literally cut me with a pair of scissors. He remembers thinking it was a bit brutal. He remembers thinking the forceps looked like salad servers and he was surprised by the way they fitted together. He then remembers the pulling. He has described it as if the Doctor had tied a rope around an old oak tree and was trying to pull it from the ground. I don't remember it feeling like that. Baby didn't crown, they didn't give him a chance, they pulled him from right inside me.
I can only presume I was fully dilated. I guess he wouldn't have come out if I wasn't...?! I remember pushing roughly 3 times before he came out. They plonked him on top of me, cut his cord, and off he went to the resuscitaire. 11:47pm was the time announced as his time of birth. I remember being kind of annoyed about the delivery as it had all meant Andy didn't get to cut the cord. Something he equally didn't the chance to do with Scarlett, and something I was so keen for him to be able to do this time. There won't be another time. But sorting baby out was more important, obviously. I just didn't know HOW important at that time.
I remember being aware of a man's voice in the room and thinking to myself how fucking embarrassing it was as I was there with my legs akimbo like a bloody Christmas Turkey! This turned out to be the lovely Paediatrician. Andy saw him lots that week whilst Woody was to-and-fro to the Neonatal Unit and it wasn't until the weekend that I finally encountered him - needless to say I was rather mortified (he really was a LOVELY Doctor...!!)
Back to the 17th. Although, by now, it had ticked over into the 18th December. Wednesday.
I was vaguely aware of baby in the corner. I was aware of them saying times and numbers. I seem to recall it was 80 seconds before he took a proper breath. It was then about 4 minutes before he was breathing unassisted. I remember Andy flitting between the two of us. He was unsure who to concentrate on. By 10 minutes old his Apgar score was finally at 10. I remember them asking if he had a name. Andy came to me for confirmation. Edward. I managed to mutter that much.
I was aware of them stitching me. I remember the Doctor asking for assistance. I remember it taking FOREVER. Fuck, I've pushed all my insides out, that was all I could think. I've ruined myself. Because they were stitching inside me. They were asking for instruments to hold things out the way. Inside me. Fucks sake.
I remember a midwife appearing with Woody and plonking him onto my chest. I managed to kiss him, but I had no strength to hold him. I remember not wanting to drop him and that I was having to concentrate on breathing and so I tersely asked for him to be passed to Andy. I remember thinking I couldn't take it in, I couldn't take Woody in. I was grasping for the gas and air again. They were still stitching me.
I think it was around this point that blood loss started to be mentioned. They were asking me to shift my backside to get the pads underneath me changed to weigh them. To weigh my blood. To figure out how much I was losing.
They were still stitching me....