Birth: “like shelling peas”?

I feel quite strange writing this because it’s my first blog post since having my second baby. I managed to schedule a couple of posts in advance for the first two weeks and now I have no choice but to continue to write, now or never…I realised I am never going to find a couple of hours, or a moment where I have nothing else pressing to do, or a time when I am not too tired to write. The fact is I need to keep writing almost as much as I need sleep because it really does make me happy and I have learnt that it is as important in these early days to look after yourself, physically and mentally, as it is that little baby. So here it is, my first post partum post on about 3 hours sleep!!

“How’s it all going?” Is the question a lot of my friends are asking. The short answer is “yeah, fine – tired of course!” The long answer is in the next few posts, imaginatively named the birth – week 3.


My name is Tilly and I have a high pain threshold. You think that’s a good thing? No it’s bloody not. Add to that I am a naturally quiet person, this does not help at all when going to hospital to have your baby. I will explain…

With my first, I stayed at home with contractions that for me, were like period pains, until I was 7cm dilated. I eventually went in to hospital because I wasn’t sure if I had lost my plug or not. When the midwife examined me, we were both shocked that I would be having a baby that night. I must have still been in shock, because when she asked me if she could get me anymore painkiller I asked for paracetamol. No wonder I didn’t get the epidural that was on my birth plan. Unfortunately the birth lasted hours upon end, I was physically exhausted and unaware of even giving birth to my baby. The pain had made an appearance an hour after being admitted, it was off the scale; and Little Miss Can-I-Have-Some-Paracetamol was only given gas and air to relieve it, because I was “doing so well” (note the word “was”!) It ended up being labelled on my notes as  a traumatic birth with assisted delivery. I was in tears afterwards.

Someone once said to me that the second birth is like shelling peas. It’s not. Another thing I was told was “every birth is completely different”. It is.

Three weeks ago, I started getting the same pathetic twinges that were matching the ‘contractions’ I had with my first. I knew what to do this time. “I’m in labour,” I calmly informed my husband whilst flicking through the TV channels  and popping a paracetamol. “I’d like to go to hospital now”.

Upon arrival into hospital I felt a bit silly. Instinctively, I knew I was in well established labour but just like last time, I probably didn’t look like I was at all. I didn’t want them to think I was a time waster. So despite the fact that I am not a great actress (understatement) I attempted a few loud sighs and puffs and put my hands against my back as I tried to recall what the women on One Born Every Minute do. Oh that’s right, they usually wail like hyenas and get pushed into labour ward on a wheelchair. I couldn’t bring myself to do that. Yes I was having contractions, but I didn’t want to be loud and draw attention to myself. I just wanted to quietly deal with them – pretending they were worse was actually very annoying.

The midwife examining me said I would probably have to go home, and politely asked why I had come in. These comments ended when they saw I was 5cm…boom! I knew it. The rest of the team then rushed in. One said “when you sauntered in like that (like what?! Have I got some sort of smug swagger?), I thought she’s not in labour”. Thanks for calling that judgment. Good job I insisted on being examined hey.

Onwards to the delivery suite. I set myself up and ordered a pot of tea whilst hubby retuned the radio from Heart FM’s Saturday night pumping tunes (erm, maybe another time) to Classic FM. The next 5 hours then revolved around reading, drinking tea and getting high on gas & air. It was getting boring, so I agreed to my waters being broken.

The pain then, just like last time, rudely increased tenfold to ‘One Born Every Minute Hyena scale’. I was ready this time. “Too much pain now.” I said to my midwife, with a matter-of-fact tone very similar to my toddler’s when she is being serious with me. “Too much.” “Diamorphine please, Sandra.” (“Bisssskit peas, Mummy”). Said pain relief was injected into my arse (“OWW!!! Sandra! What was that?!” – “The pain relief you asked for”) and then all was ok again.

Two hours later and pushing whilst saying repeatedly to my husband “I want champagne” (“I want juuuus”) and telling the midwife to “SHHH!!!” when she told me that she could see The Head (“it’s got a head?!? Arrrrgh!!”), my little monkey was born.

It was very different to last time. I was aware of everything and the feeling was incredible. I couldn’t stop grinning at my perfect prize. The baby wasn’t Cath Kidson perfection: it was naked, purple, with spiked black hair perfection, a raw natural beauty with tiny arms and legs flailing in all directions, and a cry like a terradaptor.

My second little alien.

My littlest girl. xxx




6 thoughts on “Birth: “like shelling peas”?

  1. Ahhhhh! Congratulations! I know it is hard now with a baby and a toddler and I would like to say it gets easier, which it does… Because you learn how to cope with no sleep and two schedules! But enjoy all those lovely baby snuggles and giggles with your toddler. (Mine aged 13 months and 2 and a half, have now started to gang up on me!) and the 8 year old looks at me in utter horror often! Good luck, take it easy and keep writing, it’s the best therapy! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! Oh I love reading birth stories. My contractions weren’t properly regular so I was in loads of pain but terrified that it was false labour as they weren’t regular! Luckily when we got to the hospital I was 4cm so we could stay. He was born 6 hours later so not too bad. I had the same thing as you – I was doing ‘so well’ that the epidural never happened!
    Hope you’re enjoying your new baby girl. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations! I love reading birth stories, every one is unique but beautiful. Such a wonderful feeling, your comment about the baby being naked, purple perfection really brought back the first moment I saw my daughter! I can’t imagine doing it all again and yet I’m already broody. She’s only 12 weeks old! #bigpinklink


  4. Congratulations!!! As someone who did find that birth was like shelling peas, I can only sympathise! My reasoning is that when you’ve had as many as me they definitely just fall out eventually! #bigpinklink


  5. Congratulations!! Well done for having the motivation to write, and writing such a fabulous piece on 3 hours sleep!! Wow, our birth stories are so similar!!! With number one, I ‘managed’ with a back to back baby with gas and air, but I did get my epidural (at hour 24 I told the midwife that dying would be preferable to this, and I either needed to die, or be given the epidural.) This information that I wanted to die was apparently news to her, she thought I was fine. At the end there was a flurry of possibly needed a c-section/forceps/every staff member on duty that night trying to decide, what was best, before the baby came out. Cue feelings of numbness and lots of crying. The second time I was at home with mild pains, but almost feeling the need to push. So I went in, but they said my face ‘wasn’t the face of a person in labour’ but examined me anyway-I was 8cm! The baby was born just afterwards!!
    It’s very cathartic to write about isn’t it?! I will look forward to hearing more about your new family of 4 over the next few weeks! Thanks so much for sharing with #bigpinklink!


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