I’m currently sat down writing this, cup of tea to hand, with the biggest bags under my eyes and a towel turban on my head; reflecting on how 8 weeks ago I was actually able to get a good night’s sleep and dry my freshly washed hair… I wouldn’t change a thing!
I’m still not quite sure whether to consider myself as super woman or a complete idiot, but either way I managed to get through the entire first trimester and half of the second without having a clue. Three months to prepare really did not cut it. It was just my luck that my boyfriend had rubbed my belly and joked about there being a baby inside. Oh how we laughed about that… Can you imagine?! A baby?! Hmm. It was on May 11th 2017 that I was somewhat relieved to find out that I was not just turning into a hormonal, short-fused whale, and that in fact I was 6 months pregnant. People still say to me now ‘you must have known’…
… I mean, try and tell me that I didn’t just look like I was bloated after one too many brownies (a craving of mine).
As you can imagine, the next 3 months absolutely flew by. I was nesting like a mad woman and in the middle of sitting my A-level exams (which I managed to pass with 3 B’s, woo!). My little bump was starting to make an appearance and I was starting to feel a tiny baby kicking around. At this point, pregnancy was getting so exhausting, and I was pretty impressed at how I had survived these past 6 months. I tried everything and anything to bring on my labour. You name it, I did it. Then finally, on August 22nd 2017, I was strolling across Clifton Suspension Bridge and I started to feel mild (but regular) back pains. This was it – after a whole 9 months (well, 3) of carrying this little baby, I was finally in early stages of labour.
Just before you think that my pregnancy went fast, my labour went even faster. I arrived at Cossham Birth Centre at around 12pm on August 23rd; as my contractions were getting more and more regular, and more and more painful. The midwives measured me to be 3cm dilated and told me that it would be up to 14 hours before I’d start pushing. Then after a lovely little stretch and sweep, I was sent home. It got to 4pm and I was at home in a lot of pain. My boyfriend had “14 hours until she’ll be pushing” stuck in his head and therefore encouraged me to “get some sleep” whilst I was unknowingly in full blown labour. After what felt like the longest car journey of my life, we arrived back at the birth centre at 4:50pm. 9.5cm dilated!!! As soon as I heard the words “you’re ready to push” I lost all of my dignity and hurdled over the side of the birthing pool; with sheer determination to have the water birth I had planned. By 5:11pm, Amelie Sophia Encelan had arrived, weighing a tiny 5lbs 2oz. What a dream!