Thursday 21st January 2021 – 40(+5)
I went into my midwife clinic at the hospital for my weekly appointment. I was told I would need to book in before I reach 42 weeks to get induced they are not allowed to go past 42 weeks because of the legislation, which I had no problem with so I had decided to book in for the following Wednesday/Thursday to be induced and have my waters broken. This appointment had them checking my cervix and to monitor me for 20 minutes on the machine. At this stage I was only at 1cm dilated to which I had asked if they can do a stretch and sweep, knowing that it may not really be effective at 1cm and may need to go back in and get another done before being induced as I wanted to try and get labour started before I had to be induced as I still wanted to avoid it if I could.
I was told after the stretch and sweep that I may feel a little discomfort afterwards that can feel similar to period cramps and could last for a few hours.
They continued monitoring me on the machines to check the babies heart rate and contractions. The appointment should have been for 30 minutes however, they kept me in for about 2 hours to monitor even though her heart rate was normal and looking healthy, but they said I was having contractions and were surprised I couldn’t feel them so we figured they may have been Braxton Hicks. The midwife said she reckons I won’t need to be induced and that she’ll make her way into the world by the weekend.
For me, the period like cramping sensation from the stretch and sweep did occur by the time I got home. I continued moving around, walking up and downstairs, continued meditation and breathing practices as well as the acupressure points to help try and bring on labour.
Friday, 22nd January 2021 – 40(+6)
Woke up the next morning, and continued my normal daily routine but had to call in and cancel going into work as the discomfort from the stretch and sweep the day before had not eased but in fact, had gotten a little worse but I had thought maybe it’ll ease up a little later on but decided I would contact my husbands step mum as she is a midwife and got her to advise on how long this should last or whether I should go and get checked again, to which we agreed to try and relax and meditate and to continue moving around and try and bring on the labour and to go get checked if I feel that it’s just not easing.
The day went by and by bedtime, the cramping sensation hadn’t ease even slightly but had remained incredibly uncomfortable as I was feeling it in my pelvis only and at times in my lower back. Friday night remained sleepless as it was just becoming beyond uncomfortable and couldn’t find a position I felt comfortable in.
Saturday, 23rd January 2021 – 40(+7) *The Big Day*
Morning time came, I was pacing between trying to lay down in bed and walking around the whole house to bouncing on my birth ball. However, the pain in my pelvis and lower back did not ease. I then started trying acupressure points for pain relief which to my disappointment didn’t help. I moved on to taking a hot shower to help relieve it and help me relax, Hoping that I might be able to go to sleep for a few hours as I had not gotten any sleep yet. I called the midwives and explained that I was experiencing a lot of discomforts but wasn’t sure if anything was starting or if she was just in an awkward position and maybe pressing on nerves.
My husband took me over to the hospital to go and get checked at 8:40 am. They checked me over and I had explained I couldn’t feel any cramping sensation in the uterus but was only feeling it in my pelvis so I had assumed it was because of where her head was pressing down. They hooked me up to the machine to monitor me and her heart rate was looking normal but they couldn’t see any contractions so was told to go home and try and get some sleep. She said she reckons ill be back in by the afternoon.
We got back home and had tried the meditation and pressure points again in hopes I could get some pain relief and rest. Still nothing. I told my husband to go and get some rest himself if he could because it could be a long time and had no idea if anything was going to happen anytime soon.
I was on the phone with my mum and talking was becoming a struggle but I didn’t realise that she was paying attention to my breathing and counting when I’d go into a state that I was struggling to talk and would go silent. So by the next phone call around 3pm she told me to go back into the hospital as I was obviously experiencing contractions every 2-3 minutes apart. 20 minutes later I had lost my mucus plug.
By 3:45pm we were back at the hospital, and still no feeling in my uterus. But the pain was slowly getting stronger. But the surges remained the same distance apart. The night shift midwife explains that I was only 3cm dilated so it was still going to be a while. I was then offered panadeine forte to see if that’ll help ease it as I still haven’t slept since Friday morning as they were concerned that if I go into the final stage of labour I’d become too exhausted to push and may require a C-section. At this point Nick (my husband/birth partner) had explained that I wouldn’t be able to keep anything down as I tend to throw up when in intense pain and that I had advised in my birth preferences that unless I ask for any form of pain management to not ask as I do become quite susceptible to suggestions while like this and I had wanted to do things as natural as I could.
She came back and continued asking me about pain management to which my husband had to step in and advocate for me again and asked her to read through my preferences as I wasn’t able to talk with her and I had advised I won’t be able to talk while going through my surges and would need to discuss options with my birth partner as I would either be in too much pain or would be in the middle of trying to meditate.
By 6pm the night shift midwife came back and asked me again if I thought I’d need to have an epidural as they’d have to call someone in and it may take some time if I wished to have one. At this point I was so thankful for my birth partner stepping in and standing up for my wishing and what we wanted. We said no. I tried going into the shower for a few hours trying to help as the pain intensified but was remaining the same time apart.
By 10:15pm my waters broke. Hurray!
The midwife quickly rushed in and got us changed into a gown and we walked over to the birth suites. Within 10 minutes of my waters breaking the surges became so much stronger and unbearable but my body had taken over at this point. I tried using the gas but really struggled with trying to suck in while bearing down. I decided to go onto my side as that or leaning over the bed was my most comfortable.
I was advised to not push but my body had other plans and began to push on its own and even if I tried to stop I just couldn’t (not sure if it was just the exhaustion). She then came back from grabbing gloves and calling for help saying “never mind start pushing”. My body knew what to do.
My partner continues to try and help me with my breathing (more like screaming and grunting at this point) and the use of the gas however, I ended up throwing up in the tube from the pain so decided to just soldier on without it as I really didn’t want to use it anymore as it only really didn’t seem to help much anyway. Apparently, I was hyperventilating between my pushes which to me I was just trying to get my breath back as I knew I’d have to push again within a few seconds and was already so exhausted.
Within 15-20 minutes of pushing she was here on my chest looking up at me with her big beautiful blue eyes! Instantly we both were filled with so much love for our little baby girl! With only a single tear and a little graze (so asked for no stitches as it would heal on its own without it). She then asked if I was okay with the syntocinon to get the placenta out to which I had said yes at this point. We had a good hour of skin to skin and feeding. Before deciding to have a shower. Gotta say, the shower felt amazing but trying/wanting to go to the bathroom after birth was the next big challenge. We were discharged from hospital 2 days later, and she’s feeding so well and been gaining weight like a little champion.
We are so filled with love and absolutely adore our little girl. This new level of exhaustion isn’t so pleasant but it is so worth it! We are beyond thankful we had a safe and positive experience as this was our first.
Want to thank Shari from Belly2Birth and Hypnobirthing Australia for your course and guidance in having such a positive experience and giving us first-time parents the knowledge and confidence in making our own decisions and demands on what we wanted for our birth to ensure a safe arrival for our little love.