I’m just going to put this out there – I had a fantastic pregnancy.
I didn’t get morning sickness, my skin, hair and nails were suddenly in the best condition they had ever been and I didn’t suffer from any pregnancy related concerns such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. Having friends who have had less than delightful pregnancy experiences, I felt very lucky that my personal experience was so positive. The worst I felt was late in the third trimester when I was simply exhausted and had some heartburn. Minor concerns.
As my due date neared our Obstetrician declared that everything was ready to go. Eggbert (the nickname we gave bub in the womb) was facing the right way, was engaged and my body was apparently ready. Of course, hubster and I got a little carried away, thinking, oooh, it could happen any day now… Any day now… Any. Day. Now.
Nope. Eggbert’s due date came and went without even a whisper of action. Nothing. Nada. Not even a miserly Braxton Hicks came calling. We notched our excitement levels down a little. I had a week post due date up my sleeve and then if Eggbert was still insisting on staying in, our Obstetrician wanted to induce. The next Monday was going to be eviction day one way or another!
On the Sunday night I felt pretty tired (situation normal for that stage of pregnancy – and the rest of my life since!), so I headed to bed early. At some point hubster joined me. I woke up around midnight feeling like I needed to go to the loo (again, situation normal!) so off I toddled.
No sooner had I sat down, I felt a torrential amount of wee coming out and I thought, hang on a sec, that’s my waters breaking! I called out to hubster who went from basically asleep to leaping out of bed as the words “I think my waters are breaking!” filtered into his consciousness…
I’m a bit of a planner (some might say control freak, I prefer the term “organised”) and so of course I had a bag packed.
We called the hospital and because my waters had broken naturally, before I was really “in labour”, they wanted us to come in to lessen the chance of infection passing through to Eggbert. So hubster grabbed my bag and off we went down the street – we must have been quite a sight at 2am, me with my 40+1 pregnant belly and hubster next to me carrying a sports bag over his shoulder! Yes, we walked down – we live approximately 500m from the hospital I was booked into so it was actually quicker to just go on foot.
On arriving at the hospital and checking in I was a little annoyed as we had requested the Family Birthing Suite at the hospital, which is set up in a much more homely manner than a regular hospital room with a big bath and so on, but we were told the Obstetrician on call that weekend “doesn’t like that suite”.
Unfortunately it was my amazing and down to earth Obstetrician’s rostered weekend off and the midwives wouldn’t hear of upsetting the Obstetrician on call. Never mind that I was having this baby and I wanted to feel as comfortable as possible… Sigh.
Anyway, moving on, we were settled into another room and as I wasn’t having contractions, the advice was – try to get some sleep, have a warm shower whenever you feel like, but try and rest. Hubster managed to get a little shut-eye, but I was having some pretty intense back pain by this stage – despite not being in “actual labour” as the midwives kept telling me. I really had no idea, it being my first pregnancy, but damn that back pain was intense! So I alternated between laying on the bed with heat packs and standing or sitting in a hot shower.
By 7am on the Monday morning, the midwives were talking induction as my waters had now been broken since midnight and nothing much else was happening (apparently – my back was still giving me the yips!). For some reason I was feeling very anti induction at that point. I think I felt like, hey, my body started this naturally, I want to finish it that way!
The Obstetrician on call came in and she announced that if nothing was happening soon I basically wouldn’t have a choice re induction. She then advised getting up and doing some laps around the corridors if I wanted to try and get things started naturally. Gee, thanks, I thought. The way my back feels I’ll be lucky to get five steps down the corridor… But I gave it a go, with hubster basically supporting half of my body weight and I managed one walk up and down. That was it. My bloody back was killing me.
Not long after my ill-fated attempt at “walking” to progress things, I gave in to the idea of being induced.
I was put on the lowest dose of syntocin (the synthetic hormone that mimics oxytocin) and boy oh boy that was enough. It was if as soon as that stuff entered my veins my body went, oooooohhh, that’s what you want me to do? OK, let’s do it!!
Contractions started thick and fast. I did some fitball bouncing and breathing and wow, the pain. With the effect the syntocin had on my body, the intensity of the pain dialled up like crazy, there was no natural build up to the contractions. At one point I even considered an epidural which had been a massive no-no on my list prior to labour. Things happened so fast that within forty-five minutes I felt an overwhelming urge to push.
The midwife looked at me in disbelief – until I pretty much yelled in her face “I need to push and I need to push NNNOOOOWWWW!!!”. After that effort she decided perhaps I should get up on the bed for an examination and sure enough, much to her surprise, it was time.
The pushing was good for me – it gave me something to focus on through the pain. Hubster went down the business end to see Eggbert arrive – apparently I nearly had the poor kid out a few times but I just couldn’t push any longer on those particular contractions.
At some point during the pushing stage (which also didn’t last long), the Obstetrician told me I needed an episiotomy. Honestly, I could’ve cared less at that point and I didn’t feel a thing. I was just focused on getting Eggbert out into the world, not to mention being high on adrenaline and all those feel good hormones that get released during birth.
Suddenly Eggbert arrived and we found out we had a little boy. As his heart rate had dropped a little while I was trying to push him out he was quickly checked by the pediatrician before being handed over to us.
Wow. The next few hours passed by in a blur. In fact, we were so wrapped up in our little man that we completely forgot to ring our respective families and tell them our bub had arrived! After letting them know we were heading into hospital at 2am, they were probably a little concerned as to how things were going ten hours later. Oops…
And that is how our now Mr 3 came into the world. Was it exactly how I wanted? Well, no, but pretty close (I just wanted as natural a birth as possible) and having been through the experience now I understand that these things can’t be planned out and what will be, will be.
In the end, a happy and healthy baby is what matters.
My Real Birth Story – Image (c) Mushiyaki Sews (on behalf of Michelle McMahon)
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