Women fall pregnant every day. This is my birth story.
My due date was 10th February 2016.
Call it a mothers intuition but I said from the start I bet you that our baby will be born on 14th February! It was the 13th February and I started to feel some pains. A niggle you could say in my lower back.
Is it happening? So many questions at this point that I had no idea what the answer was. I googled “What happens when you go into labour?” Then I thought about it. Tomorrow is Valentines Day. My baby is going to be born.
So I went to bed. Sure enough I woke at 2am.
The pains are there and they are not going away. This is happening.
I remember sitting TV with 1001 things going through my head. I still had not woken Cameron.
It got to 4am and I remembered the tens machine. I woke up Cam and told him that I am having a shower and I need him to help me with it.
I stood under that hot shower for ages. Water dripping down my back. Thinking that this could be my last shower for God knows how long.
The pain was still in my lower back and it was a little more intense than the two hours before.
When do we even call the hospital? Could this be false labour? Do people actually have a birth plan? How can they plan for the unknown?
There were so many questions going through my head but it got to 7am and we called the hospital. Have your waters broken? No. Have you lost your mucus plug? No.
I felt like the nurse wanted to say to me “Honey I don’t think that you are in labour” but she did the right thing and said come on in and we will have a look.
I got really paranoid that I couldn’t feel my little baby moving. Is that common? I just needed some reassurance so in the car we hopped and drove to the Royal Womens Hospital.
Still thinking that maybe I am imagining this we go to the front desk. “I am in labour”. We got taken in straight away to the triage where they checked me.
The nurse was telling me how busy they are. At this point nurse I don’t really care. Am I having a Valentines Day baby?
I wasn’t imagining it. I was dilated. 1cm dilated. Is that all!? She told me to go home and rest. It could be hours, days before our baby would be born. So a little disappointed we hopped back in the car and made our way home.
I tried to relax as I was told to. Maybe I will eat something?
Contractions were very bearable. By now it was about 10am and I was trying to eat some leftover pasta. That was making me feel like shit. I don’t want to eat. I want another shower.
So I jumped into the shower again. The pain was lifting now. I downloaded an app. Contraction app. Start timing. Next minute – “Go to hospital” I said to Cam.
This is it. Lets go.
Traffic had picked up now and so had my contractions. I was oblivious that I was sitting in the back making faces and the cars next to us would have been like. Is she ok? Well that was NOTHING on what it would be like back in emergency at the Women’s.
I went back to the counter this time in a lot more agony than a few hours ago and said my contractions were three minutes apart. The receptionist looked at me. I am sorry. We have no beds at the moment. We will do our best to get you in soon. GET ME IN? What do you mean?
So I did what every woman in labour does and stayed calm.
Then I was walking around the whole emergency waiting room having contractions that were three minutes apart. I was bending over the chair when the contractions peaked while some poor couple were waiting to have their weekly check up with a doctor. The look of horror on some of their faces was priceless.
I was that woman. In labour. In the middle of the waiting room.
It was about an hour and contractions were picking up. I said to Cam tell them I need a bed NOW! we finally go into the bed in emergency. Thank GOD!
I remember the midwife did the routine checks that they have to do. All I could keep thinking that please let me be 8 to 9 cm dilated. How wrong I was, The midwife told me I was only 3cm. WHAT! I couldn’t go home because my contractions were so close and she anticipated that things were going to happen very quickly. So I stayed in the emergency bed behind a thin curtain separating myself and a few other mums in labour while we waiting to go to the birthing suite.
Nothing like heavily breathing and screaming mums in labour on your Valentines Day.
Cam didn’t leave my side from the start. He was doing all the right things.
I was still feeling pretty good and then the midwife said let’s get you up to the birthing suite and have this baby. Yay! I am going to have a baby. I remember looking at the bed sheets and it resembled something of a murder scene. What the hell has happened here, I thought? Oh well, let’s go and have this baby.
The midwife asked me if I wanted to walk to the suite. Sure I can walk. I am feeling ok. I stood up and GUSH. Like literally gush.
What the actual fuck was that??
The midwife screamed with joy “Your waters have broken?” What now? My waters just broke now at 4cm dilated and it certainly wasn’t a trickle.
Then it was ON! There was no way I could walk to the suite. I was screaming the hospital down with not a care in the world. The midwife got the wheelchair and I kneeled on all floors as she wheeled me to the suite.
We arrived to the birthing suite where I got told that I they need to monitor the baby. Why? Why do you need to monitor the baby? Is everything ok? She did a poo inside me and she was a little stressed. So I cooperated and sat on the bed….for about 30 minutes.
Then I said there is no way that I can stay on this bed. I was in so much pain. I hated lying on my back and needed to move. I asked if I could go and have a shower. I remember clearly the midwife saying “Well we can’t really pick up the heartbeat so let’s try the shower” Great. Just the words you want to hear!! But I moved into the shower.
I sat on the chair while Cameron held the shower head over my back. He was looking into my eyes with every painful contraction. He kept telling me what an amazing job I was doing and like the Ironman that he is with every contraction he told me I was another kilometre down.
I can’t do this baby. I need some drugs. Something. This is so hard. When is it over. He kept telling me that I am doing it. So I trusted him.
My mum had joined us by this time. It was very special to have my mum as part of the birth. She very calmly sat in the suite with Sarah & Suzy our midwives while Cam and I did our thing in labouring this baby.
The pain of contractions is something that is so hard to explain. The peak of the contraction feels like your asshole is going to tear from the inside out. I felt like my head was going to explode and I had the urge to push. Every time.
It was 6pm. Sarah came up to me. Very firmly. “Louise… you need to stop pushing” Your baby is right there but you are pushing and it is swelling your cervix and it is going to take longer. You need to listen to me.
Can I do this? We are born to do this right? I don’t know if I can do it.
Ok – Louise. Switch on. Listen. Focus. You can do this. So I asked Sarah if our baby was going to be born on Valentines Day.
It was 6:01pm. She answered with a smile. “Your baby will be born on my shift and I finish at 10pm”.
So I switched on. I focused. I didn’t let Cam leave my side. I tried with every ounce of me to not push when that contraction peaked. It was so hard!
I will never forget the 90 minutes Cameron and I were in that bathroom. The partnership and unison of the two of us was something that I remember so clearly. The midwife even said to my mum. This is one of the most beautiful partnerships of a birth I have seen before. That’s exactly what it was and I was so lucky.
It was about 6:45pm. I stood up out of the chair I was sitting on. Roared like a lion. Like actually something inside me sounded like an animal and I was sure that the whole ward could hear me. I looked at Sarah and I said “Do not tell me not to push…this baby is coming… and she is going to fall on the bathroom floor”.
Sarah wasn’t convinced. I could see it in her eyes. She looked at me and said lets go and check you. Sure enough it was on. I was fully dilated and we were ready to push. Finally!
I switched on like I was about to cross the finishing line of a race. This was the end of the line. This was it. With every push I am one step closer to meeting our baby. So I got on all fours. I held on to the bed head and listened to my instructions as I pushed.
Cameron, mum and my two midwives were at the business end. God knows why you would want to be down there. I felt like Giselle came out of my ass! Apparently it was something like that. Out and in. Out and in. Gross! At that point I didn’t care what parts of my body were protruding.
There is her head. Another push. Out come the shoulders. One last push and out slipped our baby girl. In all her blood and muck and bodily fluids, out came our beautiful girl.
It was 7:01 pm and Giselle Evie Larkin was born. A perfectly healthy 3.552kg girl was born. I smiled. I smiled because she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I was so proud of us. I was so proud of Cam and I. I was so proud that we got through a beautiful labour and created this beautiful little girl.
I can’t say that it will be like that the next time but I can say that if our next labour was just as perfect as this one then we will be happy.
Giselle lights up my world more and more every day. She has taught me so many things. She has taught me patience. Unconditional love. She is my world and nothing can ever take that away from me.
Being a mum isn’t easy. There are days when you just want to crawl in a hole and make it all go away but after that split second you look at this little human and fall in love 1001 times over.
Till the next time we create such beauty.
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