Baby's name: Mikayla Rose
Date and time of birth: 25/07/11 5:35pm
Baby's stats: Weight 3.52kg, Height 54cm, Head 34.4cm
As many of you know, my birth with Hayden hadn't at all gone to plan. I was very naive and trusting of my obstetricians, and allowed myself to be induced for social reasons (to avoid having him too close to Christmas). I am to this day embarrassed at how I handled myself throughout his birth. I lost control early on and ended up dehydrated, exhausted, strapped to a bed on a drip being monitored, epidural, vacuum delivery, 2nd degree tears etc. Hayden was healthy as was I and I didn’t need a C-Section, so all in all it was a great outcome, but I promised myself that this time I would handle things a lot better! From the day I found out I was pregnant this time round I was looking forward to the day! No fear about it at all, I just couldn’t wait! I wanted to have a natural active birth, no being strapped to beds, monitors and drips, walking around, using the shower for pain relief etc. I couldn’t wait!
3 days before my due date I started having contractions at 11pm. They were 4 mins apart from the get go. Not overly painful, but definitely there and coming regularly! I Was super excited! I stayed in bed as I didn’t want to exhaust myself like I did during the lead up to Hayden’s birth. They went on for 6 hours, and then all of a sudden for some strange reason, Hayden woke at 3am (he rarely wakes through the night). He was not distressed or crying, just talking REALLY loud, and yelling stuff out. Next minute he yells out SIT DOWN! And then goes back to sleep. My contractions then stopped. Lol. Guess Hayden wasn’t ready to meet his sister yet. I had no more contractions after that.
My due date came and passed, and I was concerned that the obstetrician would start talking about induction. I went along to my appointment on Monday the 25th at 40+2 promising myself I would not be talked into induction! For the first time in the pregnancy she checked my cervix. She told me I was already 4cm dilated and baby was in a great position for birth! Yay! She then tells me if baby hasn’t come by Thursday they’d book me in to break my waters. Umm no, No induction I say. She’ll come when she’s ready. Well… I’m absolutely useless at defending myself and what I want, because I left that day booked in on Friday to have my waters broken.
I went home and played on the trampoline with Hayden for a while, Then I decided to use my breast pump to express a bit of colostrum. Thought it might help get things going, and if not it wouldn’t hurt to have colostrum on hand in case of emergency. Well only minutes into expressing at 11am, contractions started! Once again I went from absolutely nothing, to regular contractions four minutes apart. I waited about 2 hours before I called Rob to come home, they were becoming more painful and I thought it was probably the real deal this time! Rob called his dad to come get Hayden. I kneeled on the floor and lay my head on our rocking armchair and rocked back and forth through the contractions. It was soooo comfortable, and I hoped to stay home doing this for as long as possible. After Rob was home and Hayden had gone off with his Pop I had a shower, but the rocking couch was better so I got out and went back to that. I remember saying to Rob at one point “Oh my god this is so EASY when you’re not stuck on your back on a bed!” Things progressed quickly and soon contractions were 2 minutes apart and they were quite strong, so we decided we better head to the hospital. I had a contraction at the desk as I was signing in, and was smiling and laughing between them. Things were going perfectly and exactly as I’d planned!
So I’m taken to the labour room, and the midwife tells me to hop up on the bed for monitoring! Umm.. no I said. I don’t want to be monitored. Oh it’s just for 20mins she says. I ask her if she can’t do it while I stand up? She giggles like I said something ridiculous and says no, up on the bed. So once again, useless at standing up for myself, on the bed I get. The pain tripled immediately! I told Rob to grab me a spew bag and dry retched into it after each contraction. My ob arrived and checked my cervix, 6cm. She then broke my waters. I have absolutely no idea why I agreed to that, as I hadn’t wanted any intervention, but I guess I was just passed arguing when I never got my way anyway, so I just went with it. My 20 mins of monitoring was nearing an end, when the midwife says to me “bub’s not moving around much, here have a cold drink of water and see if you can get her moving”. Sigh. So I did, and then she went nuts moving and kicking around, and her heartrate went a bit crazy… and then all of a sudden I’m told because bubs heartrate went a bit unstable, I now have to stay on the monitor. WHAT?! Meh.
At one point I tried to trick them by telling them I needed to go to the toilet. I didn’t, but I just wanted to get off the bed. Sitting on the toilet was even MORE painful, and all I wanted to do was get in the shower, or get back in my position I’d been in at home of kneeling over something and rocking, but I was told to get back on the bed. So of course I did. I asked if I could at least lie on my side, to which they said “of course!” (meh why didn’t you tell me that in the first place??) and so I rolled onto my left hand side, and it was at that point that I became at peace with the way things were going and decided to make the best of it. If this was it, this was it, and I would NOT lose control. And at that point I closed my eyes and disappeared into my own little world. Contractions came and went, and I never uttered a sound. My breathing stayed the same contraction or no contraction. My body didn’t tense. As I felt a contraction coming I chanted in my head “it’s just a muscle doing a job, there’s no point fighting the pain, my baby is coming.” People would ask me questions, and I would just give one word answers or ignore them completely. I was well and truly in my own space. I did notice that the monitor was picking up bubs heart rate, but was not picking up my contractions at all. So the midwives really had no idea where I was at. All of a sudden, the chants in my head at each contraction changed to “THIS ****ING HURTS, but it’s too late now. JUST DEAL WITH IT, baby is nearly here”. It was at this point I knew I was in transition. Having never experienced transition with Hayden due to having an epidural, I could not quite believe the extent of the pain. It’s completely indescribable. I thought I had experienced labour before, but I can tell you now I had not. Still, I did not move, utter a sound, tense up or change my breathing. Soon I felt my body bearing down slightly with each contraction. I told the midwife that I thought I was going to need to push soon, so she did an internal, and told me that I still had a lip of cervix and that maybe switching to the other side would help. I did so, and within a few more excruciatingly painful contractions I was involuntarily pushing and grunting. OH CRAP say the midwives, she really is pushing! They had not yet called the ob. So they get onto the ob and tell me to roll onto my back. I ignore them and continue to push on my side for a few more contractions. Eventually I can feel her head is right there, and for some reason I comply and roll onto my back.
The midwives coach me to push and push hard! I again ignored them, and just went with my body. Pushed as hard as my body told me too as often as it told me too. At one point when they told me to push harder and longer I told them “I DON”T WANT TO TEAR” and they told me “you won’t”. I remember thinking “how do you know that?” lol. Anyway, I eventually got sick of waiting and did start pushing harder and longer. My legs were shaking like crazy, adrenalin I think. A few pushes and at 5:35pm, 6 and a half hours after that first contraction, bub was out! The obstetrician never made it. Oh well!
She was put straight onto my chest where I cuddled her close and kissed her bloody little head and just chanted “we did it baby girl we did it” over and over again. Haha I’m getting teary just thinking about it. Rob was in tears. Her chord snapped!!! Scary stuff. It was obviously not very strong to just snap like that as she was born! So we didn’t get to wait till it stopped pulsing, and Rob didn’t get to cut it, but at least it held on till she was out. I had the shot to help the placenta come (meh I'd stopped worrying about intervention at this point) and in 2 contractions it was out. Within a few minutes of being born she started feeding, and fed for a good 45mins! Clever girl. She also did her first poo all over my tummy! Little did I know till I went for a shower a couple of hours later
So yeah, birth didn’t go at all to plan, but it was still a fantastic experience, and I am SOOOO proud of myself for getting through it completely drug free and without losing my sh!t. I am sad I didn’t get to have the active birth that I’d dreamed of, but really.. I can’t know for sure that it would have gone any better or even as well as the birth I did have went, so there is no point complaining about it now! I do hope that if we do decide to have a 3rd child (in the distant future) that I do get to have that birth, and will NOT go to that hospital again.. not only because of their monitoring policies, but also their aftercare – which is a whole other story.