I found out I was pregnant with my first around this time last year. I found bubhub a couple of months later, and the information I got from here was invaluable. I didn't have to post a single question throughout my pregnancy, as they were mostly already answered in other peoples threads (you know, the good old 'weight gain in pregnancy', 'when do you feel movement' etc).
I never had any huge expectations about what labour would be like, I had the mindset I would just go with the flow. I read alot of birth stories on here, good and not so good, which helped me prepare for the best and the worst. I thank everyone who shared their stories, and hope that perhaps reading of my experience might be of some use to other first time mums delving into the unknowns of having a baby .................................................. .
My midwife was going to make a home visit on Wednesday 5th January – 41 weeks, but she phoned that morning and had to cancel and was going to come the next day. I wasn’t too concerned as I was convinced bub was hanging around a bit longer. I was mentally preparing myself for induction at 42 weeks. I had had no signs of labour, no ‘dropping’ of belly, no pains, nothing. I never got very big during pregnancy – fundal height always measured 5-6 cm’s behind, so at 41 weeks I was still feeling pretty good, still very active and sleeping well at night. I didn’t feel like I thought I would when I was ‘about to drop’.
That same day I had my bloody show. I didn’t get too excited as I had no other indications of labour. Early afternoon I was sitting at my computer (on BubHub!) and felt some light period-type pains, but didn’t think much of it. I was still feeling these pains around 7pm and starting keeping track of them – they were around 10 minutes apart and gradually getting stronger, but not painful. I went to bed around 9:30pm that night thinking I could sleep through the pains. No such luck. They started getting stronger and DH started timing them; about 5 minutes apart. At around 11pm they increased in intensity, I was having to get out of bed and walk/sway through them and they were around 3/4mins apart.
I rang the midwife at around 1am telling her I thought I was in labour. She said ‘I think you’re going to have you’re baby today’ and it sunk in that I actually had to give birth! She told me to try to stay home a bit longer as it’s only early days, take a hot shower and ring her back when I no longer felt comfortable at home. I walked through some more contractions then got in the shower with the nozzle on my back – this was bliss! The pain of the contractions halved in the shower. We were running out of hot water, so I got out, but had to get back in after around 20 minutes. DH was getting anxious and when I realised we would be completely out of hot water very soon I got him to ring the midwife and tell her we wanted to come in, it was 3am by this stage.
That 20 minute drive to the hospital was excruciating, I couldn’t change positions to get any relief when a contraction came. We got to the hospital, DH wanted to drop me off at Emergency and find a park, but I didn’t want to go in alone, so he found a park down the road and we walked (he walked, I waddled) to Emergency. A midwife came down and took us up to the birth suite. I remember walking past the midwives at the front desk. One looked at me and said to another midwife ‘I think you’re right’ (I later found out from my midwife they had guessed at how far dilated I was and they thought about 4 or 5 cms).
We got into the birth suite, my midwife walked in and smiled and I just started crying. She asked if I wanted an internal to see how far along I was. I did. I was so scared I was going to be told I was 1 or 2 cm’s. She was feeling around and had a surprised look on her face – I was 9cm!! I was so happy I started crying again. I got my gear off and jumped back in the shower while the midwife ran around frantically getting organised to deliver a baby!
DH pointed the shower nozzle on my lower back and gave me sips of water when I needed it. I just swayed through contractions and must admit the thought of pain relief didn’t even enter my head. At about 5am I got out of the shower and started pushing, kneeling on a mat with my arms folded on the bed. I was exhausted and kept telling the midwife I just wanted to go to sleep. Ummm no, you have to have a baby! I remember pushing what I thought was the head but found out it was my waters bulging! They eventually burst, then it was time to push the head – this was the most painful part of my labour, I certainly experienced the ‘burning ring of fire’ as it was described in our antenatal classes. I would push then when the contraction was over felt everything move back up, I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere and started getting disheartened. DH and my midwife just kept encouraging me.
Finally that little head came out and stayed out! Then a couple more contractions and his whole body slipped out at 5:46am. A beautiful little boy! (weighing in at 3.16kg’s or 7lb). I remember the pain being completely gone and a wave of relief came over me. An hour later my placenta was delivered, I was checked and there were no tears or grazes. We were all home 4 hours later.
My labour was classed as 6 hours (from contractions being 2 mins apart), but from bloody show to baby it was around 20 hours.
It truly was the most amazing experience of my life!