I have a fabulous birth story that tosses the rule book well and truly in the bin without even a cursory glance! Proving that not all first labours are long, Ellen, who writes El and Baby A, share her experience.

If you’re a first time mum-to-be, get your goggles on this story and focus on it!

Not all first labours are long!

By Ellen from El and Baby A

Tuesday, May 27th, I was 40+5 weeks pregnant, we had a routine hospital appointment. I turned down the option of a membrane sweep and was scheduled in for an induction the following Monday at 9am. I remember being so annoyed I had to wait until June to have my baby, such a minor detail now but try telling an overdue momma that! I came home from the hospital and cried to Clayton that night in bed about the terrible things I had heard about induction and what if I couldn’t handle the pain of it all. After a lot of reassuring I finally went to sleep.

Ellen's Birth Story - not all first labours are long!

Wednesday, May 28th, I woke as normal and we went to town to get our broadband sorted, more so to get me out of the house and my mind off of the induction. We bumped into Clayton’s work colleague who told me to get comfy because I wasn’t going to have a baby any time soon (thanks for the reminder!).

At 2pm Clayton went to work and I went to my Mom’s house to pass some time. We settled down to watch Britain’s Got Talent and at 7:30pm I felt like I had to pee but when I got the bathroom it felt almost like I had no control over my bladder. My mind began to think that maybe my waters had broken. I text Clayton to say I think my waters have broken but I don’t want to tell Mom yet (she is a terrible worrier so I wasn’t planning on telling her I was in labour until the very end). I had no pains or signs and I had been to the hospital 24 hours before hand so I was probably over thinking it.

At 8:30 I got up to pee again only to gush all over the floor! Exactly like the midwife at my anti-natal class had told me wouldn’t happen, might I add. Obviously at this point I had to tell my Mom because I was standing in a puddle. She kept telling me it was ok. I think that was more to reassure herself, if I’m honest.

The midwife (mentioned above) had also told me that if your waters break but you have no pain, not to go to the hospital for 8 hours so I was planning on waiting but, like I said before, Mom’s a worrier and made me call the hospital. They told me to come in with my bags because I would only be leaving with my baby! I rang Clayton who said ”Can you wait half an hour until I finish work”. Yes, seriously, that’s what he said!

We arrived at the hospital at 9:30pm, I had no pain but was constantly gushing. I was attached to a monitor for over an hour to check the baby’s heartbeat and movements. When it was determined all was healthy the nurse said she would just make sure it was my waters because it wasn’t uncommon for some women to experience incontinence at this stage of pregnancy. She was met with a gush when she began to explore, checked me into anti-natal and told me that if I hadn’t started labour myself within 24 hours I would be induced.

A different nurse took my temperature, blood pressure and asked if I had any pains before writing it all in her notes and leaving me for the night and sending Clayton home (11:30pm). I went to the bathroom before getting into bed and noticed I was spotting (which I hadn’t during pregnancy) and told the nurse who hooked me back up to a monitor. She said she was sure I wasn’t in labour but she was just checking baby. Minutes passed and pains began, to which she said ‘Oh I see you’re experiencing mild pains’. I remember thinking if these are mild, then I am in for a tough time.

Off she went and got me a heat pack but I felt like I was burning up and told her if she put that on me I would be sick, she looked at me as if I was being ridiculous and dramatic. Then a massive gush with some blood so she decided to check me… ”Oh, you better tell your partner to meet you in delivery, you’re 8cm”(11:59pm). Too late for an epidural!

Thursday, May 29th, I talked to the nurse the whole way to delivery, despite all books saying you can’t talk during labour. I got to the delivery suite and was again hooked up to a monitor, which (apart from stitches with no anaesthetic) was the worst part of the entire thing. What felt like 5 minutes later Clayton arrived. After telling an over eager midwife that I was sure I didn’t want gas and air, I pushed for an hour before baby Aidan made his appearance. All 8lbs 11oz of him! (1:27am).

Ellen's Birth Story - not all first labours are long!

I was the talk of the ward the next day. I heard one nurse talking to another ‘did you hear about the first time woman who came in last night with no pains and had a baby 4 hours later’.

Ellen's Birth Story - not all first labours are long!

I love sharing my birth story with people for two reason, firstly, don’t go by the book. You don’t always ”know” when you’re in labour, if not for my Mom I would have had Aidan at home or in the car. Secondly, not all first labours are long, extremely painful, one born every minute style labours! Sometimes you can have short first labours with no pain relief just like mine. The one thing that all the books say that is true, is any pain is immediately forgotten about once you see your baby for the first time, and it makes it all worthwhile.

Thank you Ellen!

Are you in the short first labours club?

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For more birth stories (like LOADS more!) go to the Giving Birth Series!