Baby Reuben Swaddled

Labour and Birth Part One; Back to Back Hurts

20th February 2017

Everyone loves a good labour and birth story. As I have had two very different experiences I am writing this in two parts.

Part One; Reuben
Reuben sticking tongue out


My pregnancy with Reuben was plain sailing.
I had the usual complaints that come with pregnancy; morning sickness, constipation and Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) were my main symptoms but I was thankful for them at the start. After having two miscarriages I welcomed every single pregnancy symptom in the beginning. It was only as I got bigger that I really hated having PGP as it meant I couldn’t sleep properly.

I was under consultant led care to begin with. Not because of the miscarriages but because my BMI was slightly over the recommended level. I was maybe two-pound over and so that meant I had to have a glucose test and see the consultant. When she saw me she handed me back to the midwives, she said I didn’t need to see her. Never mind.

Due Date.

My midwife had told me that the chances of going into labour on my due date were slim. I had also read lots of posts online about first time pregnancies tending to be late rather than early or ‘on time’.

My due date came and I was very uncomfortable. That night we went to bed and my contractions started. I waited a while as I had been having Braxton Hicks a lot. I remember Sam asking if I was OK and I said I thought my contractions had started, as it was really early in the morning it didn’t really register and then I heard him say ‘Oh’.

We did everything we were supposed to, timing the contractions etc. At the time I thought it was time to go in and so we called the hospital and they said to come in and they would check me over. Two centimeters dilated, you need to go home. So home we went.


I was on my birth ball, we were walking, I took baths. Boy did I take baths. It was the only place that I was comfortable. Sam offered to bring my dinner into the bath. I declined but I was tempted. Nothing happened that day.

We tried to get some sleep but I was just so uncomfortable and the contractions were steady and there but not increasing in intensity. I was so unprepared. I really thought that the contractions would start and then the baby would be with us within 24 hours. So I was completely at my wit’s end when they were still going two days later and the baby was staying put.

I couldn’t wee.

On the third day of still having the contractions I couldn’t wee. I needed to wee. I was nine months pregnant of course I needed to wee. But I couldn’t. No matter how much I tried I couldn’t go and so we went to the maternity ward again.

At the Delivery Suite.

We explained everything to the midwife again and she checked to see if I had progressed. Nope. Still two centimeters. Three days of contractions and still two bloody centimeters.

She said she needed a sample and so I tried. Whilst I was in the bathroom she proceeded to give Sam a little prep talk.

“She’s tired. She wants the baby out. She’s down. You need to keep her spirits up. Keep her going.” etc.

Sam told her, “she is tired yes but she needs a wee and hasn’t been able to for over six hours. This is not her being tired.”

And it wasn’t. I came out and said, I can’t go.
It was then that she said that I wasn’t leaving until the baby had been born.

Membrane Sweep.

She asked if it was OK to do. I agreed.
I immediately went to five centimeters. She was pleased and said we needed to keep mobile and it would progress.

Four hours later, I was still five centimeters. FFS!
She said that although they don’t normally like to intervene she thought it best to break my waters. We agreed.

Oh My God!

It went from manageable to completely unbearable and Sam had to really work on getting me to breathe. It was at this point the midwife realised that baby was back to back. No wonder it was taking so long. We could only hope the contractions became strong enough to turn baby ready for pushing. (Read about baby positions here)


I had gas and air. Obviously.
At one point Sam suggested I had a break from it. To any Dad’s reading this, do NOT suggest this! It is the worst suggestion you will ever make and could result in pain – your pain! I didn’t hurt Sam but I did growl at him that I was not giving it up before having another blast. That stuff is clearly good as I was apologising to the midwife that the house was a shit hole – oops.

Fast forward several hours and the midwives changed over. I pleaded my midwife to stay but she had to go and left me with the new one.

A catheter had been fitted at some point, I don’t remember when. The midwife decided she needed to strap me up to the baby heart rate machine. Everything was fine and she said it could be taken off and remove the catheter if I wanted but I told her to leave it. I was sick of being rolled back and forth.

She said she didn’t think I was coping and suggested pethidine. I knew I didn’t want an epidural and so agreed. By the time it was administered I was saying I wanted to push. She said that there was no way I was ready and I mustn’t push.

Sam says that what happened next, the sound that came out of my mouth, was something he had never heard before. My body was saying push, I was trying not to and it resulted in what can only be described as me moo-ing. Like a cow. Moo-ing.

The midwife took that seriously and checked, sure enough I was ready.


I don’t really remember much. The pethidine had kicked in and I was completely out of it.
I do remember being told to put my chin in my chest and push. And the burn, I definitely remember the burn.


And finally our bundle of joy was here. All nine pound of him.
We hadn’t found out the sex from the scans. I do remember asking Sam what we had as he had completely forgotten to check.
A Boy, he said. It’s a Boy!

Baby Reuben



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14 responses to “Labour and Birth Part One; Back to Back Hurts”

  1. What gorgeous photos! I adore reading birth stories. Thanks for sharing with #SundayBest x

  2. Katie Church says:

    Oh I love a good birth story! Great piece! xxx

  3. Anne says:

    ah yes, the Pethadine Moo! I had pethadine just before delivering one of mine and she slept for two days, I had to wake her to feed her. I reckon she got the pethadine in her system which made her so sleepy. It must have been so tiring for you being in labour for so long x #TuesdayTreasures

    • Ha Ha. The pethidine moo. I wish I had know to expect that!
      Reuben was sleepy as well, I had to wake him up for feeds but he improved within 12-18 hours. The midwives did say it was to be expected and I had read about it as well. I think that his weight probably help him so that he wasn’t affected as much. It was very tiring,
      I didn’t realise that the hospital don’t actually class it as labour until you’re established so on paper it was about 12 hours!

  4. RachelSwirl says:

    Gosh this is so well written. I also remember mooing… I think it’s quite a normal thing but hell at the time I wasnt aware of any sound coming out from my mouth. Thanks for joining in with #TuesdayTreasures

  5. Twinmumanddad says:

    I had a planned c-section with my twins as they were premature so I can’t begin to imagine what labour is like, but the c-section wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  6. Nige says:

    What a fantastic post never been in labour once but have watch it five times great read Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

  7. Anna says:

    Oh my goodness reading this brings back sooo many memories of labour with my eldest (who is now 4!) back to back births are awful! I know I have had two! Although my first ended with emergency prep for section in theatre but then her coming with forceps. Second time around I stayed away from hospital (like you I was sent home with first) until the last moment then had a birthing pool, so although baby was back to back, I was on all fours so she came ‘easily’. I remember being told not to push even though the urge was uncontrollable for about an hour with first! I should have insisted they check again. Well done you!

    • Oh no! It was my biggest fear with my second but she wasn’t. I also had birthing pool on second birth! Isn’t it funny how your body just knows, when people say that I never believed them but it is so true. You really do just need to let your body do what it needs to! Well done to all of us mummas!

  8. Sarah says:

    We forgot to check what we had first time around as well! At the end of it all I didn’t really care just as long as she was ok X