Luke Kian Matthew Mecham was born on Thursday 13th March 2008 at 03:53am weighing 6lb 11oz.
I started having contractions on Sunday 9th March at around 2.30am. They weren’t terrible but bad enough for me to start using my TENS machine that I’d bought a couple of weeks prior. I went with Matt to attend a race that he and my Dad were running together at our local nature reserve for Prostate Cancer. Once I was up and about, they stopped at around 9.00am. I had backache for the rest of the day but that was all.
I had nothing the next day and Matt became quite ill over night with a bad cold and cough etc. By Tuesday, the contractions were back and I was in a fair bit of pain so continued to use the TENS machine. That night, we went to bed and I couldn’t sleep at all. We decided to call the Maternity Unit to go in and get checked because my contractions were coming every 6 minutes or so.
When we got to the unit, we were put into one of the delivery suites, I was asked to give a urine sample and they went off to check it. I then had an internal exam and couldn’t believe it when the midwife told me she was very sorry but I wasn’t in labour an that my cervix was still very high and closed. We were sent home and felt very disappointed.
By the time we got home, I was in considerable pain and couldn’t even lay down on my back or either side so at around 4.00am I went into the nursery and sat in the nursing chair we had bought and just used the TENS machine and swayed back and forth in the chair. I finally moved from there at around 9.00am and was a bit miffed that Matt hadn’t bothered to come and see where or how I was. I went into the bedroom and he was still in bed and I told him I was still having contractions. About an hour later, I was in the middle of a contraction and Barney (our dog) started barking and Matt jumped out of bed to try and calm him so as not to irritate me when I was in so much pain. He said he needed the loo and I asked him to just wait as I really needed to go for a wee. He was also desperate so said he was going downstair. The next thing I knew, there was an almighty crash and I jumped off the loo to find Matt crashed out on the landing sweating and looking like death warmed up. I panicked, got him to the bathroom and sat him on the toilet lid and he kept falling onto me so I called an ambulance, I was so scared. They came, checked him over (not that they were very nice or compassionate at all and didn’t care that I was basically in labour and trying to deal with a man who had passed out on me…. nice!) My sister, her fiance and my Dad and his partner were all at our house within about 15 minutes and after the paramedics had gone, my sister and I took Matt to the local NHS walk in centre to be more thoroughly checked. Whilst there, Matt was dizzy again and I was having contractions every 5 minutes. It was just awful.
We got home and I made Matt go to bed. My sister stayed with me and I continued using my TENS machine. Once she had gone home, I made Matt some food and tea and ran him a bath. Ironic.. I’m in labour and waiting on him hand and foot – I was so worried about him, I felt ill.
I got ready for bed myself and took the nursing chair into our bedroom as I still couldn’t lay down at all at this point due to the contractions. At the end of Holby City, I coughed and felt a gush of fluid down below. I went to the toilet and saw that it had pretty much pooled in my knickers so wondered if it was in fact my waters. I showed Matt and he was pretty convinced it was, but I still wasn’t sure.
It then continued to trickle a little so he urged me to call the Maternity Unit, which I did, albeit reluctantly.
When I called at around 9.15pm, I told the midwife on the phone that I thought my waters had gone and that I was having contractions that were coming 3-4 minutes apart. She stopped me right in the middle of this sentence and apologised and said that the Maternity Unit was closed as they were so busy and that she would have to give me another number – of a hospital that is almost 30 miles away! I just stood there open mouthed! When I told Matt he was just shocked. Could it get any worse for us!
I called the hospital, which turned out to be Hinchingbrooke. I was having contractions whilst I was on the phone and the midwife was telling me to just speak when I could. She then told me that she would have a word with the nurse in charge and then call me back. Ten minutes later, she called back and asked a few questions and told me to have something to eat and drink and then make my way in…
…one problem.. I certainly couldn’t drive and Matt was in no fit state to drive 30 miles after passing out just a few hours earlier!
We had to call my sister to come and get us, but she had to find someone to look after her 3 boys too so that her and her fiance could both take us as she would never have found the hospital in Huntingdon herself and I’d have hated her driving that distance in the middle of the night anyway.
Matt and I were waiting at the back of our house and they finally arrived at around 10pm. By this time I was getting really impatient and anxious and the TENS machine was starting to wear off. We set off and 3 miles down the road, Matt checked to see if we had my maternity notes and we didn’t! I couldn’t believe it when we had to go back!! This had added 10 minutes onto a 30 minute journey! Nightmare!
We finally got to the hospital and had to head to A&E who told us where to go, The woman at the desk mentioned it was a long walk so we might want to take a wheelchair. My sister grabbed one but I just walked off in front, wanting to get up to the maternity unit for some help.
Once we wre up there, we were taken into a lovely delivery room which had an en-suite bathroom. The midwife looked through my notes and asked a few questions and watched me habing contractions. She then said that she wanted to wait to examine me as if my waters had gone it could introduce infection and they didn’t want to do that so asked me to go for a walk for a while until they settled a bit more, and then they would decide whether I was staying or going home (Er, I think not!!). I managed to walk out of the unit and to the end of the corridor to say goodbye to my sister and her fiance (who had to get home to their kids since it was now around midnight I think). As I said goodbye, I felt another gush so told Matt who asked if I wanted to go back to the room to check. When I got to the bathroom, I saw bright red blood on my pad and panicked. I told him and he buzzed the nurse who came straight in. She then told me that she didn’t want to do an internal still at this point because of infection so she did a speculum test – like a smear, which confirmed my waters HAD gone. She then said she would do an internal examination and told me that I was going to be pleased as it was “better news than last night” and that I was 6cm dilated. I WAS IN FULL BLOWN LABOUR!!!!
She immediately asked what pain relief I wanted, to which I replied “yes please”. I started off with entinox which I got very high on (Matt has video to prove it LOL) and then I had a Meptid injection in my thigh. The entinox was the best thing ever. I still couldn’t lay down at this point as it was too painful so sat on the edge of the bed and had Matt helping me walk around the room – I was too high to even stand on my own LOL!
I’m not sure about times, but the midwife, also called Debbie, decided to put on the fetal heart rate monitor and found that with each contraction I was having, the baby’s heart-rate was decelerating quite dramatically from around 160bpm to 80bpm. After about 40 minutes of monitoring she asked me to turn onto my side for a better reading. A couple of minutes later, I had massive contraction and let out a huge grunt which prompted her to ask me if I felt the urge to push, which I did. I can’t describe it but I felt like I needed the absolute biggest poo of my entire life!! I was absolutely sure throughout that I was actually doing one, although Matt assured me, I wasn’t!
From then on, with every single contraction, I felt the overwhelming urge to push. Debbie told me to leave the gas and air alone and to just go with it. If I felt I needed to push, then to push. With each contraction I was pushing really hard and oh my God, the pain! It was incredible. I knew it was going to hurt but the burning sensation was just something that I had never imagined. I told Matt to get down there and to watch so he did. He was very encouraging along with the midwife. After about 15 minutes of pushing, Matt told me that the head was out and I told him to confirm that it was ALL out so I knew the worst part was over. He said that it was the weirdest thing ever seeing the little head just hanging out. Debbie told me that with the next contraction that the rest of the baby would be born. The only thing was, the next contraction decided to take it’s time and it was a few minutes before I had another! She even said “any time today Debbie” LOL! A few minutes later, I had another contraction and the rest of the baby was born.
We had always planned for Matt to tell me the sex and cut the cord, but it turned out that the cord was wrapped quite tightly around the neck and the sex became an afterthought because the midwife clamped and cut the cord and then handed the baby to me. She then took a look and said “a boy!”. I looked at Matt and said “It’s Luke, we have a Luke!”
He had a lot of meconium behind his head which meant that he had poo’d inside me so too!
Luke was then put onto the resusitaire and needed minimal oxygen according to our notes. His Apgar scores after 1 and 5 minutes was 9 out of 10 which was brilliant. He only lost points as his hands and feet were slightly blue. He was then passed back to me for skin to skin contact and had his first little feed.
The placenta was then delivered and Debbie informed me that it was quite thin. We later found out that this meant that the placenta had stopped working which is why Luke only weighed 6lb 11oz rather than being around 8lb as expected. He was born very long but also very thin. I’m sure we will put some meat on him though!
I had 2nd degree tears which were stitched up. Needless to say, I sucked on gas and air for the full 25 minutes it took to do that! Ouch!
We had to stay in hospital for a night as they needed to check his blood sugar levels at 8 hourly intervals because of the cord and meconuim. each time they did it, it was fine though so all was good! We got to leave around 6pm the following day as breastfeeding wasn’t going quite as well as we had hoped, mainly because he wasn’t too interested. We’re now doing well with it and he is turning into a bit of a booby monster but I am loving it!
I have to say that as annoyed as I was that I couldn’t give birth at home here in Peterborough, I am really glad it happened in Hinchingbrooke in the end as it was a lovely hospital and the staff there are just marvelous. I couldn’t have asked for a better midwife for the delivery either.
Here is our little Luke. I’m totally in love with him!