City Women

 |  April 27, 2011

After months of anticipation, morning sickness and an ever growing bump, Ella May was born on 3rd March. Luckily, the birth was relatively quick, but as is usual in my world, it was not without incident!

It was a typical Thursday afternoon in March; a heavily pregnant lady and her mother trying to escape the midday heat by traipsing around Tesco for last minute supplies. There I was happily bagging up some apples when it started; I was having a ‘real’ contraction. This time I couldn’t put it down to ‘Braxton Hicks’ (fake labour) or indigestion – I was actually in labour. I stopped to catch my breath and tried to remain upright, but the pain was too much so I doubled over in the middle of the fruit and veg. After about 30 seconds, all was well again and I carried on with the apples much to the astonishment of everyone around me – including my mother.

Despite her best attempts to get me to go home, me and my mum continued with the shopping. I was busy nesting and there was no way anyone (or anything) was going to stop me. We stopped off en route for some lunch and before I knew it, I was having another contraction while standing at a busy food stall. I paid for the chicken with a large grimace on my face and we made our way home to a very excited husband.

The next couple of hours are a blur of contractions. The pain was intensifying and before long, it was no longer the jolly occasion we had all been celebrating. I wanted it to end and wanted drugs to help me through to the end.

We made our way to hospital and arrived at Chiang Mai Ram emergency department. I got out (mid contraction), sat in the wheelchair provided and was taken inside. Here I was rather bizarrely asked what the problem was and had my blood pressure taken. This was not the best thing to do to a hysterical woman in labour and my reaction was no doubt an embarrassment for all staff as I was quickly taken away and wheeled into the delivery room.

My birthing plan had been very concise – all it said was ‘yes’ to drugs. Once in the delivery room, I asked for the gas and air only to be told this wasn’t available in Thailand – WHAT!! In all my months of planning, I hadn’t thought to check what was available, I had just assumed. Next on the list was pethadin but no, I couldn’t have that because my labour was too advanced. I asked about an epidural but no, couldn’t have that either due to the super quick advancement of labour.

Finally the nurses looked at me with a sort of sympathetic smile and offered me the all-round pain relief paracetemol. This would have been fine had I walked in with a headache and a slight fever. Unfortunately for me however I was in the throes of labour and paracetemol didn’t even begin to take the edge off the pain.

Four hours later, after an hour of cursing, crying, screaming and a lot of apologising, I had given birth to a beautiful baby girl with my mum and husband by my side. There were also four nurses, the doctor and Lori (the saviour of the hour) in the room. It was indeed, as everyone said it would be, the best moment of my life.