Where did I leave you? I think I was doing some nervous overthinking in the middle of the night.
As I lay there after writing the blog I felt a sense of peace return. I knew in my heart that, for whatever reason, God wanted me to go into hospital and I could trust that he would take care of everything, all I had to do was surrender to his will. By this stage I was so uncomfortable that a guaranteed end to pregnancy was highly appealing!
I got up after just a couple of hours sleep (not ideal for labour day) and set about preparing for the big day. I figured if I kept moving I might move things along a bit further, enabling them to break my waters to trigger active labour.
We got some bolognese in the slow cooker, changed some sheets ready for Super Nana and Super Papa to stay and I packed my bag. As we had prepared for a homebirth my packing skills were somewhat inadequate, as I discovered later when I realised I had not packed a nightshirt and thus spent my labour semi clad! On returning home I found said nightshirt on the banister ready to pack, a little late by then 🤪.
Phil and I had a phone call with the fantastic consultant midwife who promised us a private room throughout and the guarantee that Phil would not have to leave my side. We arranged to arrive by 11.30 and in reasonable calmness (I was still having irregular contractions) we were on our way.
Phil and I rarely get any time alone during the day and the thought of lunch out first wistfully crossed my mind, but another contraction soon but us back on course!
By the grace of God I was actually feeling quite excited, despite normally being very nervous in any medical establishment. We were shown to our room, shown the facilities and were offered tea, biscuits and sandwiches. Was I mistaken, was I actually a princess who was having her baby in a posh private facility or was this just the only way Phil and I could get a night away just the two of us?!
The midwives were fantastic and throughout, offered us options without pressure, explained everything and honoured our choices at every point. God was really taking care of us.
It was decided that the doctor would come in around 3pm to see if they could break my forewaters. Around 2pm I decided to walk around and try and get things moving. By 2.30 I was needing gas and air and from that point on until birth I barely came up for air. The pain was intense and the pressure (down below) was enormous. When the doctor came in I apparently wouldn’t let her near me. It was around this time that Phil heard me saying that Jesus was here and he was beautiful. Poor Phil didn’t know whether to be delighted at my evangelism efforts, overjoyed that I was having an experience with the Lord or scared that I was heading in the wrong direction. When I reflect on that moment it felt as though I was completely broken and God was pouring himself into me. The pain was a gift and an opportunity to share a little in the sufferings of Christ.
It was 5.15pm when Phil spotted a moment of calm and suggested now might be the moment to break those waters. The midwife confirmed I was still only 2cm! I had been at 2cm for 6 days and after all that pain had seemingly made no progress. Phil was so confused and powerless, I feel really bad that he had to watch me suffer. Anyway they managed to break my waters, ooh it felt so good! The pressure was hugely relieved and I just kept telling the midwife how much I loved her😂.
The contractions ramped up again and with my dignity now gone, as the waters had gone all over my dress, I continued on. I didn’t know at what point Phil had undressed me until the next day, as I was not really engaging with the world.
Things carried on with no obvious change. Around 7pm Phil was concerned that things weren’t obviously changing and wanted them to start me on a hormone drip to help me dilate, but they said that would have to wait until 9.15, as they like to give it 4 hours for the breaking of waters to take effect. So once again he just had to watch and wait. I don’t know who it was worse for, Phil or me?
It was about 7.50 pm when things changed. I started shaking uncontrollably and saying that I couldn’t cope and I needed more pain relief. I was hoping this was transition, but none of us really knew as I hadn’t been examined since I was 2cm and I was in too much pain to even listen to a midwife now. Apparently the midwives had been writing notes to Phil in order to give me the silence I needed. At one point the consultant midwife had come in and asked Phil to encourage me to breathe some fresh air. He said she should try as he didn’t fancy trying! In the end he got me to breathe briefly without the gas and air!
With me writhing on the bed and feeling entirely desperate for relief, my IPad rang with a Skype call. Phil knew that my only Skype contact was my dear prayer partner Jennifer. Jennifer and I have been praying together every Wednesday night for 7 years. We pray for our children, our husbands and over all our motherly needs, these prayers have carried us both through our mothering journeys. We had missed our normal Wednesday slot because she had been on holiday. We had arranged this Friday slot about 3 weeks before, as she wanted to pray with me before the baby was born. Phil dived for the Ipad and gave Jennifer a quick update telling her that I really needed her now! Hers was the only voice I had listened to for hours. I was so used to hearing her voice praying for me that it was the most natural thing. I told her I couldn’t do it anymore and she told me I could. I heard her asking Jesus to help me and that was all I needed to hear, God did the rest. It was just a few minutes later that after 6 days and nearly 6 hours Phil and the midwife finally saw our baby’s head, 4 minutes later he was born. Phil tells me that he can never repay Jennifer for her prayers and will be forever grateful to God for intervening in a miraculous way.
Our little one’s head was born into Daddy’s hands, the midwife uncoiled the cord, which was wrapped twice around the neck and baby was delivered into Phil’s waiting arms. Phil laid our little one onto my tummy and asked me whether we had a boy or a girl. I couldn’t open my eyes due to being so overwhelmed, but I felt between the legs and discovered God had blessed us with a son! We immediately welcomed Timothy Noah and put him to the breast.
I hoped that would be the end of the story but with the placenta still to come we weren’t done yet. I continued to have painful contractions but managed to deliver the placenta naturally. Blood was still trickling though and so I asked for Syntometrin to try and stop the bleeding. It still wouldn’t stop and so the midwife called a doctor who proceeded to scoop blood clots out of my womb, it was a huge relief when they were all gone and finally it was all over.
I was still shaking. I needed to sit up to have a drink, upon doing so I repeatedly vomited everywhere. I sat back, unable to do anymore. Timothy fed and I rested. My blood pressure was low and I felt rough. It was about 4 hours later that I suddenly announced to Phil that I felt much better, I’d clearly turned a corner. By 4 am I was starving and I ate a giant pile of cheese sandwiches and several Bourbon biscuits, oh my did that all taste wonderful!
Once my blood pressure had picked up and Timothy had completed a night of observations we were ready to head home. After being brought breakfast in bed and after a shower I felt ready to face the cacophony of noise that is the Goldby household. We arrived home to smiles, hugs and a huge amount of enthusiasm from an army of siblings who were ready to protect and love their little brother.
The blessings go on as we enjoy our babymoon, albeit disturbed by constant requests for hugs with their new baby brother.
We always prayed that if God wanted me in hospital for this birth then he would have to make it clear. He certainly did that and I was so grateful to be cared for so lovingly and to be given the space to labour without the pressure from little voices asking if I was done yet! Our home is full of fun but perhaps not conducive to a labouring woman’s need for silence and time. God went to extraordinary lengths to give Phil and I a night away 😊 and an opportunity to have a few short hours to marvel at our new gift.
Sending blessings to you all, Vicki
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