· By Tiny Hearts Education
I had a textbook pregnancy (that's what my midwife called it). I was measuring on time, and everything was great; she even said at my last appointment that my little boy felt small around the 7-pound size which made my day, as birthing a big baby terrified me!
I was offered stretch and sweeps at each appointment from 37 weeks but kept declining as I was determined he would come when he was ready! So, on Sunday the 14th of October at 39 weeks and four days at 5 am I got up to pee like I did any other morning and climbed back into bed. I got comfy and thought I wonder what I should do today? Next thing I felt a weird pop/ kick right down low, I had no idea what your water breaking was meant to feel like, but I just knew it had happened as I'd just peed.
After managing to get to the toilet and fix myself up, I stood in front of the mirror and took my last ever bump pic and thought this is it I'm having a baby today. My husband works away on a mine site two hours from our home; seven days on, seven off and he was just coming off a 12 hour night shift as I called and told him what had happened and to get home quick. My next call was to the hospital who told me to come in when my husband got home but to relax at home until then.
I called my cousin/best friend, who is a student midwife. She talked me through what might happen in the next few hours, she asked me if I'd had any contractions yet which I replied no and hadn't realised the period pain feeling that was coming and going was actually the start of my contractions. I started timing them, and they were 5 minutes apart. I began freaking out thinking that the baby was coming in the next hour or so. Man, was I wrong.
My husband got home around 8-8:30 am. He, my mum and I made our way to the hospital. The car trip was horrible and amplified the contractions and sent them straight to my back (I got a lot of weird looks from people at the traffic lights). When I got there, the midwife that saw me was very relaxed and told me I probably was only a few cms being my first baby and all and suggested to take me to the day obs room. After having a massive contraction in front of her she then quickly changed her mind and took me straight through to labour ward where I was checked and was at nearly 5cms!
As time ticked away, the back pain got worse and worse. The gas wasn't cutting it, so my midwife suggested saline water injections to take the back pain away (hot tip say no to these next time around). Let me just say the whole hospital heard those injections being put in. They gave me some relief for an hour or so but soon enough, the back pain was back, my contractions had gone to 1-2 minutes apart, and I was having practically no break in between; it was killing me. Hats off to my amazing husband who rubbed my back for 12 hours straight.
My cousin rang to check in and said to my husband I think she's at the point of epidural to which I was in so much agony I would have taken anything, so at 12 pm the epidural was ordered. Two hours later the anesthetist arrived, and after a first failed attempt, it was in. As I was laying they did an ice test and I told him I could feel all my right side and the right part of my back was still in agony each contraction, they then tried to tilt me to help it "trickle" into the other leg (this didn't work). He then said it looked like it was going to be "patchy" at around 3 pm I felt a funny feeling like I needed to push and asked my midwife to check me, she told me I had reached 10cm, and I could start pushing when I felt the need.
So after a few more contractions, I started what would end up being two hours of exhausting pushing. I was finding it so uncomfortable lying on my back to push I told my mum and husband help me up I needed to get on my knees and get gravity working on getting this baby out. My midwife told me I shouldn't be able to get on my knees with an epidural, but at this point, it was not even remotely working, so I was on my knees for what felt like an eternity.
A million pushes later, and I reached a point where I left my body and thought this is it this is what dying feels like, I cannot possibly go on any more. I later found out this is transitioning. I gave it all my might despite feeling the ring of fire (which I shouldn't have thanks to the "patchy" epidural), and I got his head out. My midwife then told me to wait and not push until my next contraction which at that point I was so exhausted I ignored this important piece of advice and pushed the rest of my baby out and earned myself a 2nd-degree tear. Please listen to your midwife when she says wait.
At 5.04 pm baby Lincoln was born. I was so exhausted and still coming down off a contraction that I almost forgot that he was out until I looked up and saw my husband bawling his eyes out. I could hear my mum crying and saying how beautiful he was, then my midwife passed me, my baby, through my legs and it was love at first sight.
I opted for delayed cord clamping and to deliver my placenta naturally, but after waiting a bit, I started to haemorrhage so was given the injection to speed things up. After the doctor stitched me up and all was good, the midwife and my husband were doing the weights and measurements of Lincoln, and I remember asking how much he weighed and being told 4.2kg! (9-pound and 5 ounces). I didn't believe her and said no that couldn't be right; I was having a tiny baby!
Every time a nurse came in and read how big he was, they always said something like pat on the back for birthing a big boy like that, and you go girl that's amazing! It made me feel so proud of myself after being so scared to birth a big baby. After two days in the hospital, we got to go home and start life as a new family of three.
I personally think I did have quite a traumatic birth, and it did leave me terrified. But some great advice a home midwife gave me was the more you talk about it, the more you will accept it and heal, and she was right. I have shared my story, and the more I share it, the better I feel.