· By Tiny Hearts Education
I had been having back pain during the day on Tuesday but didn't think much of it as I was nearly 40 weeks pregnant. That night around 7:30 pm, I started noticing contractions around half an hour apart. They weren't overly painful or intense but consistent. There was not a lot of sleep that night but did my best to rest in between.
The next day it continued so I called my midwife, and we booked an appointment for the Thursday morning to get checked if it hadn't ramped up by then. Wednesday night around 1 am the contractions got closer together so anywhere from 4-16 minutes apart. I'd set up our bedroom with blankets, the salt lamp and my exercise ball so that I could get in the zone. I told my husband to sleep - no point is both being exhausted.
I rested again as much as possible in between the contractions, but it was another night of next to no sleep. Right before we went to the hospital for my checkup, the contractions dropped to 2-4 minutes apart, so I was really convinced that it was all starting to happen. In between contractions, I still felt good, but just thought I must be one of those people who didn't feel too much pain...hahahahha.
We got to the hospital got set up in a birth suite to get checked and was told I was 2cm dilated, which I was happy with. But then my midwife said to me that labour can stop and if it does we might be inducing me the next day. I was really confused because I had already gone through two nights of what I assumed was labour, and you feel like you put in all of this work for nothing. She did a stretch and sweep, and I was monitored for a little while before going to my parents place so I could use the bath.
On our way to my parent's house, the contractions really ramped up. I had been using a TENS machine for the last day, which was working amazing, but the change of environment to the water in the bath was great. It was getting to the point where I couldn't talk through the contractions, and they were really painful. My dad organised food for us for lunch. I took one bite and threw it up before it could hit my stomach. Little did I know this would be a theme for me the whole way through labour. All of this was really good signs, so I felt like I was getting somewhere.
I called the hospital again after 3 hours ready to go back so they let me go back and we got admitted. My midwife didn't check me straight away; she wanted to wait as long as we could in the hopes I had progressed. By 7 pm Thursday night we checked and also got ready to break my waters if I hadn't gone anywhere. WE WERE 6cm! It was such a confidence boost.
But as soon as you feel like your taking control, the contractions just got worse. My midwife finished for the night, so another came in who was terrific. In the next 4 hours in between checking my dilation I had started to struggle so, we did heat packs, tried the gas, different positions for contracting and finally got to 11 pm so I could check my progress... still 6cm.
We broke my waters at this stage, and I knew this was normal, but the thought of my 3rd night without sleep was starting to get to me, so the idea of the epidural came in. We spoke about it for nearly two hours whether I was 100% sure I wanted one. I asked 100 questions if it was safe what the risks were, and I felt super comfortable having one. Thank god! The relief was everything. My husband was able to sleep, and I was at least able to rest. However, the baby wasn't loving the oxytocin drug that they use to get labour going. The heart rate was fine, but there wasn't as much variation as they would of like. I had to move around a lot to get the babies heart rate and make sure all was well. 3 am rolled around, and it was time for my next check...still 6cm.
The doctor was called in, and this was the first moment that a c-section had been suggested because they weren't 100% sure how the baby was coping. No one was really sure which option was the best, whether we kept going or whether I had a c-section then. They decided to do a lactate year where they take blood from the babies head and check for a number which indicates how they are. The numbers were perfect, so we kept going with labour.
At this stage, we were hoping that I would progress and at 7 am hopefully be able to start pushing. The bonus of the wait was my midwife was back on that morning. When she arrived, we did my final check—still 6cm. So we made the call for a c-section which I was actually really excited that we knew we were going to meet our baby soon!
I had had the attitude the whole time that whatever happens in labour is what happens, so a c-section didn't scare me. We met the surgeon and the theatre tech, who was hilarious and really set a good mood! We rolled down at 8:30, my husband Cam scrubbed up, and as they started prepping me, he came in. Within a few minutes, we finally heard the cry of our baby boy!
He was perfect; I was overwhelmed with emotion. It had been the longest three days of my life and not at all what I thought labour was going to be like. However, it was and still is an amazing and really positive experience for me. I've had so many people say to me after all that work it just of been disappointing to have a c-section. But to me, it wasn't. Any form of labour is incredible and what our bodies go through and recover from is something that should be celebrated no matter how your baby comes into this world.
I hope from my story, people know that you can take a positive experience out of your labour journey even if that does mean having a c-section.