It was Monday 16th May 2016 (my EDD was Saturday 21st May) I was getting ready to go to the gym and went to the bathroom before I left. Something was different, I went to the toilet but I felt as though pee still needed to come out. I waited a couple of minutes with “pee” still kind of dripping. Then I put a pad on and left. I was doing a spin and explosive training class and whilst on the bike, the exercise was to stand and cycle, as I stood up I felt a larger volume of “pee” and I thought I’d wet myself. I had 10 minutes of class left so I finished then left. I contacted my friend who is a midwife, she asked me a few questions then said “call your midwife”
I did so. My midwife advised me to have a shower, put a pad on and wait and hour and check the pad for moisture, she said it sounds like my water had broken. I was immediately so excited as my body had possibly started the labour process and I was fearful of induction of labour- this was a good sign. I called my husband as he too was at the gym, I made that call “I think my water has broken” he was around the corner from home and as soon as he pulled into the driveway he was inside within seconds. His face was bright with excitement. I checked my pad after half hour as it felt really wet and told my midwife. She said to meet her at the hospital. We weren’t sure what as happening so I took my pillow and my packed bags along with my birthing affirmations from Calmbirth and all my other Calmbirth tools. We arrived, they monitored baby and I for 2 hours, baby’s heart rate was up and down and they had to wait for it to be a consistent reading. After this time they did a speculum check, and sure enough my sack was torn. The weird thing was, I was not getting any contractions. They explained that I should go home and wait for contractions to start however, if in 24 hours from when my water first broke, my contractions didn’t start and I wasn’t labouring that I would need antibiotics every 6 hours due to the risk of infection (at that point I thought a lot can happen in 24hours). They also said that if by Wednesday morning there was still no contractions, that the best outcome would be to induce me (with syntocinon) to get labour started. I still felt that that was ages away so I didn’t worry too much. We left hospital and came home and slept in our bed. My husband and I had lots and lots of cuddles and kisses and talked endlessly about the amazing child who was telling mummy that they were ready for the world. The next day, I did everything possible to bring on contractions naturally… I ate chilli, I increased my dose of raspberry leaf tincture, I went for a couple of long and hilly walks, bounced on my gym ball, and even accupressure points were stimulated. But nothing! 6pm came, I had dinner, showered and then we made our way to hospital. At this point my worry began to come over me. Oh my God, I could actually be induced, I don’t know what that feels like, Synto won’t cross the blood/brain barrier, I’ll have to work extra hard for oxytocin to fill my body. Oh no, I am so so scared. I began to panic, as soon as we got to hospital, I saw the second midwife who had also been seeing me (my midwife arranged that and I agreed, so I could have my midwife with me the following day while I birthed) and I broke down crying. My husband, the whole time was so so supportive. Reminding me of everything we learnt in calm birth, reading me the positive birth stories from the Calmbirth book and other birth stories book.
I went in, my midwife cuddled me and said, “you will be fine- you’ve done calmbirth and you can do this”!
They monitored me for a couple of hours then began the course of antibiotics. The hospital was lovely, it was quiet in birth unit so they let me sleep there with my husband. Now, looking back- that helped me so much. Although I was not in my home environment for my labour to progress, I was in the space in which I would birth my baby so I made it my own. My bags, my birthing affirmation cards, my pillow and my husband. We slept through the night, I woke up many times but each time I woke up, I repeated my mantra for birthing that I had personally chosen to get me through. Doubts came and went in my mind, but I remained eager to bring it back to a positive. The anxiety and nerves I was feeling were like nothing I’ve ever experienced. During the night I felt some minor period pains, I went to the toilet several times with very loose bowels, I figured it was nerves.
I was woken at 6am for my next antibiotics dose and breakfast. I barely had one slice of toast, I couldn’t keep anything down. I just wanted to get this underway. I was being induced, I had come to terms with it and I just wanted it to start.
My midwife arrived on shift at 7am and she was bright eyed and beautiful, I remember looking at her and thinking this is the woman who will bring our baby into the world with us (I have the best relationship with my midwife, I am in awe of her) she made me feel better instantly. She told me she was preparing birth centre 5 because this was a room that she had many positive birth stories in and she believed I’d be the next positive birth in there. This gave me a sense of strength and positivity. As soon as I walked into the room, everything changed! I felt this strong powerful sense of positive energy and I said to myself, this is where I will meet our baby. The room was dark, curtains drawn and no lights on, lavender was burning lightly and it was quiet with some very soft music playing in the background- exactly what I needed.
At 8:30am, I was checked by my midwife, I was fully effaced and 3cm dilated. This was such a positive start and I felt great. The syntocinon was very shortly turned on. I continued to have conversations with my
Midwife and my husband. Funny stories about our lives, about her life and general chit chat. Every hour for 2-3hours my midwife increased the syntocinon. At approx 11am I had a wire inserted and placed on baby’s head to monitor baby’s heart rate etc, this was then plugged into the monitor on my stomach monitoring my contractions and my heart rate etc. I had a wireless one on so I could freely move about and be in water. Contractions continued and got more intense, during this time my husband and I hugged and kissed and he used the Calmbirth techniques of touch and massage on me which helped me so much. My husband read out to me, my positive birthing affirmations and at times just popped a card in front of me as he sensed I did not want to talk. At approx 1:30pm I asked to use/try the gas. It made me feel instantly sick, but was helping. I persevered with it for half an hour then felt really ill. At approx 2:15pm I had had enough, I was in a lot of pain and I couldn’t even talk, I was over it and I felt like I couldn’t take not even one more contraction. At this point I asked for the epidural. My husband reminded me of my preference to not have the epidural and that I would get to this point but to persevere. I got so angry and told him to support me and he reminded me that he was supporting me by reminding me of this point that I would reach and what I wanted. My midwife asked if I would try morphine instead as I was persisting for pain relief. I agreed. I was checked to see how dilated I was, I was 6cm. I was given the morphine by approx 2:30pm and once that was given I went straight into the shower.
The morphine helped me so very much! With each contraction, I felt as though they were not as long as they actually were (as per what the monitor showed) but the intensity was still strong. I felt as though they lasted about 15 seconds. I was in a zone, nothing else existed and I could feel myself almost falling asleep in between contractions with how relaxed I was. With every single contraction I felt the need to move around, the most comfortable position was to stand up and squat deeply with every contraction that came. At approx 3:50pm I felt the need to go to the toilet, really strong urge. I moved to the toilet but nothing came out, the urge was still there. I looked down and noticed some blood moving down my leg. I felt a few more contractions and at some point soon after, I felt this driving force pulling me down, as if gravity was grounding me to the surface below me- it was powerful. I felt my body and my uterus bearing down with all my might. I don’t know what came over me but I felt the need to touch between my legs. At this moment, I felt something soft, wet hair and soft. I felt a little scared as I wasn’t aware of the progression of my labour as I had been in the shower the whole time and I didn’t know what this feeling was, I looked down at my midwife as she knelt below me, with a semi scared but anticipating voice I asked her and my husband, “what is that?” I will never forget the look in my midwifes eyes as she responded “thats the head honey” at this point I immediately “woke up” (I now know it was the adrenaline that we talked about in our Calmbirth class) in a matter of minutes, I felt my body keep pushing, the contractions coming and suddenly I felt a huge gush of water and our baby coming out. I looked down and saw our baby for the fist time (writing this right now I have tears streaming down my face). My midwife held our baby as it came out and immediately looked down and I announced that it was a boy. The emotions that came over me, were indescribable. My husband was incredibly amazing the whole way through, so much so that through all those emotions he was feeling and the tears steaming his face, he captured the most amazing image our our son in my arms for the very first time, with the clock showing his time of birth in the background. The experience was incredible. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about my labour, even a passing thought.
My baby boy was born on Wednesday 18th May 2016 at 4:25pm weighing 3.17kg and 49cm tall.