It’s literally been forever since I’ve written a post and life has turned itself upside down but I’m attempting to ‘put my thoughts onto paper’ before I forget.
I can’t believe that it has almost been over 12 months since I gave birth to my little munchkin. I remember it like it was yesterday. The time has flown by and I keep asking myself again and again, where the pause button is. I want to treasure every single moment and etch it into my memory because next thing I know she’ll be all grown up, completely independent and won’t want cuddles from me anymore!
My birth plan was to have a natural birth but I was open to pain relief if absolutely necessary. I think it’s hard to be completely adamant against pain relief when you haven’t experienced labour before because you don’t know what to expect. I was so nervous (and kind of freaking out) about what the whole experience was going to be like and tried to prepare myself as much as I could. I hired a TENS machine which was my lifesaver and read ‘Birth Skills by Juju Sundin with Sarah Murdoch’ which I found to be invaluable.
On Thursday 17 March, exactly 2 weeks before my due date my fiancé and I joked about how it would be funny if I went into labour that night. So later that night…my hind waters broke at 11:30pm and the contractions began. They were 15 to 20 minutes apart and the pain in my abdomen was pretty mild. I remember thinking to myself, ‘if this is the extent of the pain I can totally do this, completely manageable!’ (How naive I was!) We called the hospital and they advised to try and get as much rest as possible and to call back in a few hours with an update. Even though the pain was mild, it was enough that I couldn’t sleep and lay there tossing and turning until about 5am the next morning when my waters broke for real! (Ladies, keep a bunch of towels next to the bed and in the car incase!) One of my biggest fears was my waters breaking in public but apparently, more often than not it happens at night.
The pain increased steadily, however the contractions did not get closer together. Time to pull the TENS machine out! It was a great distraction from the pain and I’m not sure I could have coped without it. I went into the hospital at about 9am for a check over, they monitored the baby and with everything checking out I was discharged and allowed to go home. They advised me to call once my contractions were more consistent and closer together. Right then I knew it was going to be a long day!
The best part of the afternoon was spent trying to sleep, only managing a 30 minute catnap out of exhaustion and with my finger jammed on that TENS button. By about 5pm in the evening the contractions still weren’t getting closer together but the pain had increased pretty significantly. My fiance distracted me with stress balls, deep breathing and foot stomping (for the non-mummas out there, you must be thinking that’s a little weird/crazy, but I swear it helped!). I was on the phone to the hospital asking if I could come in but as my contractions were still inconsistent they advised me to take some panadol and wait until my contractions were about 5 minutes apart consistently over an hour period.
By 8pm Friday 18 March, I had had enough. I was ready to get that baby out of there! With the contractions a bit more regular and a bit closer, I contacted the hospital and said that I was coming in.
With the use of the medicine ball, the TENS machine, stress balls, my overtired but super supportive partner and a lot of animalistic cavewoman yelling – I had only dilated 1-2cm in the span of 5 hours (so only 5cm in total). By this point I was beyond exhausted, and the pain had doubled. I decided to try the gas to relieve some of the pain since I didn’t know how many more hours it was going to take for me dilate another 5cm. Unfortunately I found the gas unhelpful – it didn’t relieve any of the pain, made my mouth dry and left a horrible aftertaste in my mouth.
I continued using the TENS machine, sat on the medicine ball in the shower with the water running down my back and did a heck of a lot more yelling! One of the midwives was worried I was going to go hoarse from channeling my inner cavewoman war cry (but I secretly think she wanted me to shut up for the sake of everyone else in the maternity ward!) and was trying to convince me to use the gas again and to “just breathe”. With some contractions lasting over 2 minutes I think I was beyond”just breathing”. After 33 hours of labour and only 7cm dilated, my OB suggested I have an epidural so that I could rest until it was time to push. Agreeing out of utter exhaustion and deliriousness, the half hour wait for the anesthetist pushed me into hysteria and I was bawling my eyes out. But, finally after receiving relief I managed to nap for an hour before I pushed out a baby in 2 swift pushes.
My little miss was born on Saturday 19 March in the early afternoon, almost 2 weeks before my due date. She put me through 36 plus hours of labour before she arrived into the world and despite the grueling labour I am still pinching myself everyday that I am a mummy to a beautiful baby girl.
And now, thinking back on it, the labour really wasn’t so bad. It was just exceptionally long and although it wasn’t like a pain I’ve ever felt before I’d do it all over again. The light at the end of the tunnel is that the labour ends and you have a beautiful little baby at the end so it’s totally worth it. A woman’s body is incredible and is made to go through childbirth. I’m ready to do it all again in a heartbeat – hopefully with a shorter labour this time and maybe I won’t need the pain relief!
Thanks for reading, any questions just holler!