I went in for my final appointment a few days before I was due and was very excited to be offered a stretch and sweep to see if we could get things started.
I’m guessing the procedure worked, because less than 24 hours later, while lying in bed trying to get comfortable with my nine-months-pregnant belly not helping any, I suddenly felt a ‘POP’ and felt the hot liquid gush down between my legs. There was no mistaking it – it was 3:15am and my waters had broke!
With a surge of excitment and adrenaline, hubby and our eldest boy, 12, began the mad dash to the hospital; I quickly showered and remember saying to my husband – “This is going to be a fast labour” as I was already experiencing contractions between 5 and 3 minutes apart.
So we arrive at the hospital (me soaked and leaking as I hobble down the hall to the nurses’ reception) and I’m hooked up for monitoring. Nothing. We wait a couple of hours. Still nothing. Suddenly our excitment turns to frustration as every niggle and twinge subsides and I’m sent home to wait.
We go back the next day as advised, at midday and still nothing has progressed. Back home and more waiting – I try to sleep but find it impossible.
Back again at 6pm that same evening and we are told that if nothing happens overnight then I would be induced the next morning. I go back home again and experience some strong, irregular contractions throughout the night and only manage a couple of restless hours sleeping until we’re back at the hospital bright and early for my induction.
I’m examined and told, much to my dismay, that baby is in the posterior position – something I’d known throughout my pregnancy and had spent hours on the ground rocking back and forth on all fours trying to reverse, willing getting bub to “spin” the other way. I’d been informed a few weeks earlier that my baby had turned the right way so I’d stopped worrying; until now. I worried that a posterior baby would equal a longer, more painful labour and possible trouble with pushing.
I was given the gel to get the induction started and after a full day pacing up and down the hospital wards, we came to realise that it wasn’t working. I was finally placed on the drip which really kickstarted the contractions. Almost immediately labour was in full swing.
With my first labour I’d had a shot of Pethadine for pain relief and swore I’d avoid it this time as it seemed to do very little for the pain and only made me groggy. With this labour I found the pains to be much stronger right from the get go – but I pushed through each one by gripping the barrier on the side of the bed for dear life and used the gas throughout each contraction, biting down on the device so hard that I ended up closing the valve with my teeth!
By 8cm dilated I’d had enough. I asked for the epidural and felt immense relief as my contraction pain eased.
At 11:50pm, on Saturday the 28th of July 2012, my actual due date, it was time to push. Luckily bub had turned the right way for me by this stage and my beautiful daughter was born after just 5 minutes of pushing, making her entrance into the world at 11:55pm.
All was not good straight away, though; I panicked when I heard the nurses saying something about the cord being around her neck and was filled with absolute dread and fear for the few minutes it took them to remove it.
My baby girl was placed on my chest and instantly took to me for a guzzle and fed away like a pro for the first few hours of her life.
The moment you have your baby in your arms is the single most amazing experience in the world. the feeling of instant, pure love and joy consumes you.
So much for my prediction of a “fast labour!” But, weighing 7 pounds 6 ounces, C.J completes my family and I’d do her birth over again any day.