After being able to post so many wonderful birth stories so far I thought it was time to share mine. And today couldn’t be a more fitting day to share it than one year on! Wow, one year since this incredible day happened. I am so blessed to have been able to spend the past year as a mother and I am loving every minute of it so far.
I finished up work at the end of 36 weeks. I was lucky, I never got to the stage where I was over being pregnant and continued to enjoy feeling my baby move and kick and wriggle. There were definitely times when I was very uncomfortable with a few pains or getting kicked super hard, etc. My baby’s head sat under my ribs for weeks before it decided to turn and go head down.
On my due date I felt like my normal self, besides having a big belly.Being unsure of if anything was going to happen we stayed at home. My parents drove down that day and ended up coming for dinner as nothing was happening. At about 10.30 pm my mum rubbed my belly and said “You can come now bubba”. This is after telling me for the three weeks leading up to my due date to hold onto that baby as they weren’t able to get down till then.
The following day I was booked in to see the midwife at 8.15 am for my 40 week check up.
I woke at 5 am with contractions. I wasn’t too sure what they were going to do or if they would fizzle out. They were like strong period pains that were regular. I am not sure how close together they were but it wouldn’t have been more than maybe 10 min but they weren’t lasting very long per contraction. At this stage I knew they were there but it was totally manageable.
I went to midwife at 8.15 am. She checked to see if baby was engaged as they had done in the past appointments leading up to the final weeks. Head down but not engaged. She checked to see if I was at all dilated and I was 2 cm. We went home to get some rest and relax and to see what would happen. I asked her to have a stab in the dark and tell me when she thought I’d have my baby. Obviously she couldn’t give me an exact answer but said 3 days. I felt good knowing that things were happening and there wasn’t too much longer before we finally found out what we were having!
Leading up to the birth I wasn’t ‘rushed’ to have my baby. I knew that no longer than 10 days after my due date the baby would be here. So what were a few more days if I happened to go over my due date? I mean I had already survived months, waiting a few extra days wouldn’t hurt.
After leaving our midwife appointment at the hospital I was sent home to snack, sip on water and rest until further notice.
I decided some chocolate bavarian was a fit choice for my snack when I got home. I decided to put a towel down on the couch in case and that would be my place to rest for now. By this stage it was about 10.00 am
I was laying on the couch when I decided to time my contractions as they were getting pretty strong and close together. Contraction 1- done, contraction 2- I stuffed up and didn’t time properly, contraction 3- all of a sudden my waters broke everywhere at about 12 noon mid contraction. This was the weirdest feeling- not painful just bizarre. Like a water balloon filling up with water. My waters continued to keep breaking while in the car on our way to the hospital. Not painful but gushing everywhere. My contractions were increasing and getting more uncomfortable. By the time we got to the hospital my clothes were soaked. I was worried about what everyone would think when we got to the hospital. My partner said don’t worry no one will even care.
I walked into the hospital with a towel around my waist. By this stage I actually felt sorry for the pregnant ladies in the waiting room at the women’s clinic looking at me, while waiting to see the midwife for their regular check ups.
Contractions were getting pretty bad. I went into the day assessment clinic down stairs for a few hours while they monitored my contractions and waters. My partner had to move the car as he had dropped me off out the front of the hospital.
Laying/sitting on the bed hurt my back so bad. I was getting a sharp/pinching pain across my lower back every contraction. They had to do a strep test before anything else happened (routine test). Then I got hooked up to a machine so they could monitor baby’s heart rate and my contractions. They moved me from the private room into another bed to continue monitoring my contractions. Once they reached a regular pattern of more than 2 in 10 min they decided it was time to send me up to the birth unit.
I walked to the birth unit via the lift and was taken up by a midwife. When we got up to the birth unit floor I had to sit and wait for them to put me in a room. I was in a fair bit of pain by this stage. We walked into the room- birth unit 11 and the midwife looking after me was Ester- the first midwife we had at our 12 week appointment in the women’s health clinic. Amazing how we started our journey with her and finished it with her. She remembered us also which really helped make me feel comfortable.
Contractions just kept coming and I was 6 cm dilated when we got up into the birth unit. Getting checked for how dilated I was, was rather uncomfortable. My Partner was amazing! Always making sure I was OK and trying to be as supportive as he could making me laugh/smile when he could. I couldn’t wait to get off the bed as it was hurting my back.
I really wanted to try the bath but wasn’t allowed to until my results came back from my swabs. So I hopped into the shower for some pain relief as advised by my midwife. This is where I stayed for majority of my time before the baby came. I am not sure of how long that I was in the birth unit as once we arrived I didn’t, 1) have time to concentrate on what the time was and 2) didn’t want to know what the time was.
Once I began to feel like pushing I had to get back on the bed to see how dilated I was. Again I couldn’t wait to get off the bed. I had reached 10 cm!!!! Here we go.
Back to the shower. Ester was amazing she really guided me while I was pushing baby out. She was very encouraging to me and also to my partner. I tried kneeling, squatting, standing etc in the shower as my legs were tiring. The water really helped distract me. Pushing was really mentally draining and difficult but I was able to win the challenge and pushed so hard when Ester told me too.
“I don’t want to” I said a few times when she wanted me to push again during the contraction. I got to a stage where I began to push so hard and hold each push for as long as I could as I knew it would help get the baby out. “ Every contractions is one less you will have to do and one closer to meeting your baby”. They had a mirror on the floor under me. “I can see a head, there’s not much hair” said Ester. This made me laugh- I had hardly any hair as a baby. I saw the top of baby’s head! WOW amazing.
I closed my eyes and had my hands over my face for majority of it so 1) I could block out the world and pain and 2) concentrate on each push! It really stung as the head was coming out but I didn’t want to stop as I was afraid it may go back in a bit. Once the head came out the baby flew out and into the arms of the midwife. Amazing how fast that part happened. I was in an amazed shocked state when the baby came out. Still attached to me I sat down and they gave my baby to me.
Still unsure of the gender!! All I could see was the back of the head and baby’s back. The baby cried so much when it came out.
I gave birth in the shower. I didn’t have any drugs. I wasn’t interested in gas as all I wanted to do was breath out not in. My back pains made me want to get up and away from the bed so an epidural wasn’t an option. The water running on my back was my pain relief.
My partner saw the whole thing. He was amazing, so supportive. Rubbed my back during labour. Held my hand while on the bed and said things to encourage and support me. When the baby was out he had tears in his eyes and was so happy.
They turned baby over. “It’s a girl” they told us. They clamped her cord and my partner got to cut it. It took 3 attempts for him to get through it. Strong little cord.
Once the cord was cut they took her back into the room to rub her down and warm her up. I walked back to the bed while the midwife held the cord still attached to the placenta inside me. I felt a bit like a dog being led back to the bed . The student midwife and a senior midwife delivered the placenta. They delivered the placenta by controlled tugging. Before I left the shower, straight after her birth they gave me an injection in my leg to help get the placenta out.Once back on the bed my baby girl was placed on my chest for a skin to skin cuddle and eventual breast feed.
I was checked to see if there was a need for stitches. A 2nd degree tear and 2 others. So they stitched me up while I cuddled my baby girl.
They weighed and measured her. The Dr ( 1 male and 1 female) came in the stitch me up. That took a bit of time but wasn’t too bad after the injection to numb the area.
After I was stitched up I was able to shower and try to wee. As ridiculous as this sounds I struggled to wee. I really needed to yet I just couldn’t. I guess because of the swelling and trauma of birth my body was in a bit of shock.
I felt a bit faint and weird after my shower. So I sat in the birth unit and ate some food and drank some water. After all I had barely eaten anything that day besides some light breakfast and that chocolate bavarian I had before my waters broke.
After a while they wheeled me upstairs to the maternity ward. I was meant to be in a room with another person but the bed wasn’t ready so they got me a new room, which was a private room. Yay! We settled in and we had another feed.
We were able to hang out in my room together for a few hours and my partner wasn’t forced to leave even though it was past visiting hours. He was able to take his time and enjoy spending time with us for a while.
I was sad when he had to go home.
I rang mum and dad. The few hours after she was born were just a big crazy few hours. Amazed that she was ours. And that she was a girl. And loads of emotions running around. I couldn’t sleep at first or much of the 1st night as I didn’t know what I was doing, I was pumped after birth and emotions were going crazy after a big day.
The midwives helped me a few times during the night with feeding, changing, etc.
We couldn’t wait for daddy to return the next morning. And he couldn’t wait either. My mum, dad and Nan came to visit in the hospital. It was so wonderful seeing them.
We attended a bath class that evening which was great. This really gave us some confidence in giving her a bath when we got home. As we really had no idea what we were doing prior to the class.
My partner had to go home again around 8 pm. Miss A was a bit more unsettled night 2 (I was warned about this as it is common for babies to be more unsettled the 2nd night). I had a mean midwife make me feel bad after telling me I wasn’t reading my baby.. I’m a new mum who hasn’t had a baby before, leave me alone!! She was just over 24 hours old. How was I meant to perfect her signs in that short amount of time?
I was determined to do everything myself that night, I didn’t buzz the midwife. Miss A and I smashed the second night. A few feeds and nappy changes no help required !
My partner was back first thing Wednesday morning to help us pack up and get ready to leave hospital. Miss A had a few tests and I had my stitches checked.
It was time to go home!!! By midday we were home. Such a chilled afternoon hanging with my partner and our new little girl. We laughed on the couch about funny things that happened Monday and about funny faces Miss A pulled. It was so nice to hang out together.
That evening I was in lots of pain- contraction pains, milk coming in pains etc.
I was so exhausted and I think knowing my partner was around to help look after Miss A allowed me to drift off into a deep sleep while he stayed up watching over his little girl (it was the first night he got to spend with her so he was more protective of her).
By Clare at Relaxed Parenting