I was ready for labour. Totally ready.
Like an athlete before a big race, I was focused, I was psyched, I was pumped. I felt so mentally and physically prepared and was ready to take on whatever the universe threw my way, however I assumed that what was going to be thrown my way was a brilliant relaxing labour. I was already metaphorically fist pumping the air over what a good job I was going to do. I was smug. I was an idiot.
Once we found out that we were pregnant, I went research mad. I read everything that I could get my dirty little pregnant & soon to be swollen paws on in regards to labour & birth. I watched birthing videos constantly, participated in regular prenatal yoga classes, took all offered hospital classes, and completed a Hypnobirthing course with my darling husband. I meditated like a champion, & listened to positive affirmations multiple times a day.
Totally Me… NOT. Image © Darren Baker via Canva.com
I spent most of my days and nights breathing through my lady parts whilst visualizing a blossoming flower, to prepare myself for my impending birth. My lady parts were going to behave exactly like a time-lapsed blooming rose. Just like on YouTube.
The roses are liars. Labour and birth is nothing like that. Little did I know it would be more like this:
I so had it in the bag. I became so confident that I scoffed at those birthing stories I read where the laboring mother was going through her labour and birth like they were on the wrong end of an Exorcism. I giggled at the hand crushing mothers who would attempt to divorce their precious husbands mid contraction, thinking….pffft soft. I looked forward to my impending perfect & relaxing labour.
Boy oh boy had I lost my marbles. I was as naive and as ridiculously clueless as the hospital bed that I would later uncontrollably wee all over.
Makes sense? No. But that’s labour for you.
I had created a strict birth plan and was adamant that I would go completely natural with no drugs and as little medical intervention as possible, so I could have my mini man in a calming & relaxing environment.
And I almost did. Almost. Well, cough cough…I was pretty bloody tranquil for the first few days anyway.
I went into pre-labour Wednesday afternoon (itchingly 2 days overdue) which continued consistently and fairly intensely until the wee hours of Saturday morning (yes that’s right- SATURDAY- 5 days overdue now) when we finally got the ok to go into the hospital.
My time at home had been beautiful. I felt like a queen in a homemade floral crown, whilst bouncing on a fitball (not kidding at all).
Fitball bouncy bounce time. Image © mummalifelovebaby
I had laughed and relaxed, had looooong calming showers, watched TV with my husband & had chatted with a friend during contractions. My dear friend & yoga teacher Emily from Metta Yoga in Eltham fluffed about with my husband and I, and took me through some amazing yoga sessions to intensify the contractions.
From downward facing dog to facing a dog whose down. Image © mummalifelovebaby
I hadn’t slept a wink but felt so strong, happy and excited that it was finally time to meet our little man.
When we got into the hospital, the staff checked my progress. I was 3-4cms dilated, though scar tissue from a previous procedure was blocking babies exit route, and was holding things up. Once this was cut away by the medical staff, the pain intensified in a way I hadn’t imagined.
My sweet baby was posterior, and over the following hours the pain grew to the point that I could no longer form any coherent sentences. I couldn’t even lift my head up during the contractions, so I got to know everyone’s shoes really well. Oooh –Emily, where did you get those boots from I wondered?
The pain gripped me – wrapping from my left side around my back in waves, and I felt like someone was pulling my muscles slowly and individually out of my body.
How would I get through this?
Breathing wasn’t helping me. Listening to my Hypnobirthing affirmations on my iPod on a loop wasn’t helping me – it was making me cranky, and if I had the ability to lift my arms i would have thrown that thing against the wall.
I began to seriously doubt my ability to do this drug free. I was exhausted, and was in a poop load more pain than I had ever imagined. I had lost the ability to speak (other than dropping numerous f-bombs of varying intensity), instead resorting to terrifying the other birthing mothers on the ward with my guttural moaning and grunting.
I felt like I was slowly losing my mind as well as the ability to control my body. I had gracefully wee’d on my husband’s hand, and later on the bed. Mind you, the bed incident occurred immediately after my midwife asked me if I needed to go to the bathroom and I had assured her that I didn’t need to go. What?! Don’t look at me like that…I didn’t think I needed to! Oops.
I also thought it would be amusing to traumatize my poor midwife by vomiting and passing out mid spew, a nifty trick left over from my drinking days. I am pretty sure she thought I was going to choke and die. Oh the paperwork that would have involved! Luckily I recovered, however there was no recovering my graceful, dignified, relaxing labour which had instead turned into a tripped out horror film that just wouldn’t bloody end.
When the doctors, at my request, were finally able to check my progress around 8 hours later, they gave me the most disappointing news that I am sure I will ever receive. I hadn’t dilated a single additional centimeter since I had checked in that morning. NOT. A. SINGLE. ONE. My labour had stalled and I was shattered. I was a broken woman. I had been experiencing a horrendously painful posterior labour and felt my world absolutely crumble.
Look where his hands are. Protecting his bits. Image © mummalifelovebaby
I felt like a failure- how could this have happened? This wasn’t what I wanted. This wasn’t what I had prepared for – there was no way I could get through this. My poor baby wasn’t coming out. Didn’t he want to meet me? Didn’t he love me enough to be born? Was I failing as a mother already?
So I decided to do the one thing that had terrified me more than anything in the lead up to the birth. I asked for an epidural. I asked for an epidural as I could not face the hours and hours of looming labour that was still ahead of me drug free. I just couldn’t. I was done.
The needle used to administer the epidural was so large they could have popped it in my back from the nurse’s station down the hall. And I think the doc might have tried to do just that, as it took her 5 glorious attempts to get it into my back in the correct spot. In all honesty she was great and did an excellent job really, as it would be very hard to get the right spot when you have to sit approximately 4kms from that whom you are trying to stab said giant needle with.
Once the epidural kicked in there was no more pain, there was only relief. I felt like I could now do anything. I could labour for the next month with ease! I could have 45 babies. Excuse me midwives! Bring in all of the other laboring mothers! I will do it for them! Geez, its a bit bloody easier now isn’t it? I thought.
How my labour felt post epidural. Image © Dolgachov via Canva.com
I sat back, felt an innate sense of calm and started to enjoy the process again like I had from stupid Wednesday to doubly stupid Friday.
Since I was calm and happy, my darling husband was sent to get something to eat and to have a little rest, as I was, and I quote “fine now”. Though I should have known that my new feelings of enjoyment and empowerment were too good to be true. As, almost as soon as husband had left the room, a doctor walked in and told me that amongst other things, my bubs heart rate had dropped and was showing signs of distress which meant that I had to have an Emergency Cesar, and that it had to be done right away.
Great I thought! I am hungry. Though looking around and not seeing any food come in, I quickly realised that she meant the operation not the salad. Disappointment and hunger aside, I was next in line to have the operation and as soon as my husband got back and finished his chicken schnitzel sandwich (in 3 impressive and panicked bites), into the operating theater we went!
The doctors were lovely, and it felt like the quickest operation in history. During in-depth discussions about the football between the nearly all female staff which delighted my darling husband, a blue curtain was thrown up in front of my face, and a thick bandage which started on the other side of said curtain was thrown over my shoulder, held by the anesthesiologist behind me. I think she was playing a tug of war with my insides. Only kidding, but she was holding open my insides which was kind of her.
Whilst my upper body shook like I was having a fit, our little baby boy was delivered to the sweet sweet sounds of “Jesus- look at the size of his hands and feet!”. Insert delighted husband again here. Then a frowny hairy squishy faced little baby boy was placed on my chest.
Baby is born! Boom! Image © mummalifelovebaby
He was here. Our son was finally here. He was the most beautiful precious little angel that I had ever seen, and my heart was bursting with love. I looked at my husband. I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful man to have as my husband and as the father of my child.
Our world was now perfect. Our son was perfect, and now our lives could really begin.
And raising this cutie pie is going to be a bucket load easier than what we had just been through.
Did your labour go to plan? Tell us about it below!