It’s all fun and games dressing the bump, eating for two, people doting on you for nine months, and then BAM! at the end of it you’re greeted with trauma that you never could fully prepare for.
I had a grand idealistic plan of a water-birth which never came to fruition after over a day and a half of contractions.
I started to feel cramps on that Monday evening, which got more intense throughout the night before becoming more extreme Tuesday, but after reading stories of hospitals sending patients home due to being in pre labour or early labour, I was determined to stay at home as long as possible.
Numerous pain killers and sage oil back massages from my fiancé Rob later, seeing no sleep, early Wednesday morning came along and at 2am, I decided to head to the hospital as I couldn’t take it any longer.
Thinking I was still in pre labour, I said to the nurse “you can send me home if you need to”, but after she did a check up she confirmed I was three centimeters dilated, and yes I was in labour.
The labour room
She brought Rob and I into the labour room and said they need me to be at 4cm before I was able to get into the water-birthing tub and gave me some Entonox gas, which was a huge relief. It kind of felt like having three glasses of wine and automatically got me into a better mood thinking I was hilarious as I made jokes with Rob and the midwives.
Two and a half hours passed when the midwife came back to check if I had dilated to 4cm. I was still at 3cm!! She then said as I was not dilating as they’d like she would break my water. That’s when the serious pain came in hot and the happy gas was not enough! The thought of changing into a bikini and getting into a tub seemed like a huge feat. I decided it was sweet sweet epidural time!
I gave the thumbs up to have the epidural, (more like pleaded for it as quickly as possible). The anesthetist came along and put the drip into my lower back and my god the relief!!
I actually couldn’t believe it. I could feel no pain! Absolutely nothing! I was wondering how the world was so populated and now I know it’s thanks to epidurals. 😆 I couldn’t feel my legs but just to have that relief was magical. They said I would dilate a centimeter an hour and it was 7am and I was 4cm so they estimated the baby would arrive just after 12pm and to relax or even sleep!
And sleep I did. For the first time in two days! I turned on my Hypnobirthing app (I used IHypnobirth as I found the positive affirmations really helpful throughout the last stretch of my pregnancy) and drifted off into a surreal sleep.
I woke up at about 10.30am and the midwife came to check on me and I was at 9cm! Faster than she expected. Half an hour later I pushed about five hard pushes and my little bundle came out and they placed him skin to skin on my chest.
It’s hard to describe the moment you meet your baby for the first time after imagining him for 9 months. He was a little wrinkly ball of cuteness and I couldn’t stop crying as I immediately felt in love with him and knew all I wanted to do was dedicate my all to looking after him.
After a few mins I delivered the placenta. Can I just give a shoutout to the magical placenta for a minute. Not only is it your babies first best friend, it also acts as a second liver between you and your baby filtering out any toxins or foods that doesn’t serve your baby. It’s the only organ that can actually grow in your body and then expel itself once it’s job is done. It’s pretty magical. So thank you placenta. Forever grateful.
I had a small tear and the midwife stitched me up, and left me to get to know my newborn.
I definitely will revisit the water birth experience if I decide to have more children, but for me the epidural was the best plan for my first as I was in labour for so long and needed that relief. I am glad I waited till the end to get the epidural though as if I had gotten it too early, it may have worn off or it may have slowed down contractions leading to surgical intervention.
I have such an appreciation for women and what we go through to give life.
I am recovering well but my god, I was not prepared for what was in store postpartum. Anyways, I’ll go into that another day.
This blog post is by no means a recommendation as everyone is different and I do feel very lucky to have had a good birthing experience.
The Coombe Hospital
Huge thank you to all the midwives, doctors and staff at the Coombe hospital. From day one of appointments and check ups to delivery day and my hospital stay, I was greeted by some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. They all made the process so much easier and more enjoyable. 🙏🙏🙏