Saturday November 17th was already a special morning as it was my Dad's birthday. My immediate family met that morning for breakfast and to surprise Dad with a gift he had been really wanting, but couldn't afford. Later that night at 11pm, I began having regular 10 minute apart contractions and thought there was a very real possibility that we would be meeting our baby soon. I rang the hospital when the contractions got down to 3 minutes apart (3am) and said we'd be coming in soon. However, after contracting all through the night at around 7am the contractions slowed down and by 10am they had stopped all together. I was pretty annoyed.
Over the next week or so I had no action at all....not even braxton hicks, but on the night of Wednesday 28th that changed. At about 9:30pm I started having contractions, once again about 10 mins apart and by 10:30 they were around 3 mins apart. I called the hospital and was asked to come in right away. I then called my mum to come and stay over night with our daughter Eden. As soon as she arrived, we left with bags in hand. I was pretty uncomfortable by this stage, but also so excited!
The hospital is around 10 mins from our home and as soon as we arrived we were greeted by our midwife who was a real trooper and got me prepared for IV antibiotics and also came in and out over the next few hours to help me and give me tips. I began to get a little discouraged when at around 3:30am the contractions began to slow again. The middie suggested bouncing on a fitness ball to remain active as my legs were stuffed from being up walking around all night!
After bouncing for what seemed like forever, I got up to walk again as contractions had slowed to 10 mins, but it was no use. By 5am they had pretty much stopped. I had some super mild ones a couple of times over the morning, but nothing to write home about. I felt so deflated. Shane (DH) suggested I have a shower to relax a bit as I (him too!) had been up all night. I stepped into the shower and cried.....well.....sobbed actually. I think it was my hormones taking over!! I was over it and at no other time during the pregnancy had I felt that way. I didn't like the feeling at all. We hadn't found out the sex and I wanted to meet my new little boy or girl so much.
At 8:30am the doctor came to see me and said I could either go home or she could break my waters and see if anything kick started again. Without reservation, I went for option number 2!!! Only I asked her if I could get some sleep first, so she said she'd be back around 2:00pm to get the ball rolling.
I slept for about 4 hours (Shane went home to help mum with Eden, while I slept & came back at 2) and had some lunch, all the while feeling like I was ripping the hospital off as they kept feeding me and there was no baby to show for it. I kept thinking they were going to think I had one of those "fake" pregnancies!!!
At 2:00pm I was informed that I may have to wait for the doctor because someone else had come in and she was in the delivery suite. I was starting to feel like this when around half an hour later the doctor came in and said she'd 'help me out' then as the other lady wasn't progressing very quickly. So my waters were broken and from then on things went very quickly.
At 2:45ish the middie (the third one as 2 others had finished their shifts!) said she'd be back in a while to check on me and I told her to stay as I felt like it wasn't going to be long until the baby came. She gave me a sort of 'every woman thinks that at this stage' kind of look and I insisted she stay. I was hardly able to stand up the contractions were so strong already.
I think she picked up on my winces and asked if I have a high pain threshold, to which I replied yes. After giving me an internal at my request, I was told I was 7cm dilated. I think she thought I'd still be a couple of hours, but 5 mins later I felt like I needed to go to the delivery room. I was given the choice to stay in my room a bit longer, but I wanted to go.
I settled as much as I could on the bed and said I was feeling like I would need to push soon. I also asked for some gas. It was getting pretty ouchie! It was 3:45pm and the doctor did an internal to see if the cervix was completely out of the way. It was!
At around 4:30, after breathing (& sucking!) through contractions, I had the sensation to begin pushing. I told the middie and she said to go with my body, so I did. The doctor had gone to check on the other woman who was in the room next to me and came back as I was progressing much faster. I put the gas down and pushed for 40ish mins without it. At one stage I looked up at the clock feeling like I'd been pushing forever, to discover that in reality it had only been 10 mins!!
I tried a few different positions and wasn't comfortable with them and also was pushing ineffectively so went back to traditional semi-recline, which the middie acknowledged was the most effective (so why the change??). Just after 5pm I was told I would feel a burning sensation (which I later found out I didn't have with DD as the venteuse cap had cut off my pain receptors! Nice!) and I did, but pushed through it (pardon the pun) as I knew baby would very quickly be here.
The doctor told me baby was crowning and asked if I wanted a mirror. I said a polite 'no thank you', but did put my hand down to feel. Shortly I had a massive contraction and I was able to get 5 pushes done through it. I put my hand down again and held my babies head that was now completely out. I instantly felt a huge surge of happy hormones go through me and I started crying as I looked down at this little person that DH and I had made.
After a couple of softer pushes my baby was delivered and put on my chest. Still crying, Shane told me it was a boy (then he got a bit teary) and the pain went almost immediately as I looked down at my perfect little man! He was truly beautiful.
Caleb James came into the world at 5:08pm on November 29th, after a wonderful pregnancy and a very positive, empowering labour and birth. Again, I had got through it with a bit of gas and a lot of support from my amazing DH.
Stats: 3.2kg / 7lb 2oz, 49.5cm long, head circ. 33cms.
Life is going well and we look forward to many fun and rewarding times with Caleb in the future. Thanks for reading my birth story. You can see some pics here: