After 39 weeks of hyperemisis gravidarum, I was very much over being pregnant and becoming impatient to meet our little man.
I was using clary sage oil, raspberry leaf tablets and evening primrose oil tablets to try to help labour along.
My nausea started increasing again and I was hoping it was due to a new surge of ‘baby is coming hormones’ but I was only having one tightening (more like a period cramp) each day for three days prior to going into labour and was getting disheartened that nothing was happening.
On Thursday night, Laura and I went on a 1.5 hour walk and he felt much lower when we got home. I still thought labour would be far off and went to bed.
I woke at 7.30am to Laura’s alarm on Friday morning (the 19th … which was the date Laura had guessed he would be born) and I noticed I was having a tightening. I had five more in 45 minutes so Laura went skipping off to work with a crazy big grin and her phone on loud!
The tightenings weren’t too bad, just like period pain but I was keen to try keep them up so got up and cleaned the house… Vacuumed, mopped, toilets, bathrooms, kitchen then swept outside. I had planned to pierce my sister-in-law’s nose so told her nothing much was progressing so she could still come over. I pierced her nose and chatted for a bit, having small tightenings throughout.
I tried to keep time of the pains which were averaging about 15-30 minutes apart and lasting about 20-25 seconds. I could talk through them so thought it was nothing although was happy they hadn’t completely fizzled out.
At 4pm I felt tired so slept for an hour. I woke up and tightenings started again a bit more intense at 15 minutes apart.
Laura got home around 6.30pm and we put our bags in the car. We then went down to the shop to get pizza for dinner. While it was cooking we walked around and my tightenings became more frequent but no more intense. We ate dinner then I played Nintendo DS while sitting on my fit ball.
At 7.30pm my now ‘contractions’ were painful and more regular. I still didn’t want to get my hopes up but kept timing them. By 8pm they were five minutes apart and I had to stop what I was doing and rub my thighs to get through the pain, I called the midwives at 9pm to let them know of my progress and they seemed happy.
At 10pm I had a shower and noticed a fair bit of very bloody mucus. I was in a lot of pain and the contractions were now every two minutes lasting a minute each.
I got out and told Laura, called the midwives again who said to come in.
We arrived about 11pm. I had to stop in the carpark and in the hallway due to overwhelming pain. Each contraction would start with me saying ‘ohh’ then I would be silent while copying Laura’s breathing (I would hyperventilate otherwise).
I couldn’t keep my eyes open either, just went into myself. (Didn’t use my homemade stress balls at all or any techniques I had practiced)
We got into the labour ward and I asked for an epidural. I was examined and was told I was 8cm and it was too late! I was so surprised! But still kept asking for one. I was shaking uncontrollably by now and was showing signs of dehydration so got hooked up to IV fluids and luckily the anesthetist was close by and gave me an epidural (thank the heavens!!) I dreaded each contraction and was so scared of birthing without drugs.
At 1am-ish I could now talk and hold a conversation and was getting pressure but not that crazy intense pain. I was checked again and told I was fully dilated but my waters hadn’t broken so the midwife broke them for me.
I then started to push with each contraction but had to stop as I was loosing a lot of blood. Seemed after my waters broke, my cervix had shrunk a little so was back down to 9cm.
After an hour of contractions and not pushing it was then go time. Again.
I pushed for 45 minutes and it was soooo hard. I was burning hot even though I was in nothing but a bra. The midwife put pressure on my perianal area to show me where to push because I couldn’t feel what I was supposed to be doing, she kept saying baby’s head was ‘just there’ but I couldn’t get him out. I started bearing down as hard as possible but I couldn’t breathe and I felt like nothing was happening. I started yelling ‘I can’t do this! Just get out, why won’t he come out?!’
Laura was amazing support and held my legs and encouraged me. I was doing it! And reminded me how to breathe!
Noah’s heart rate was dropping with every push and I was struggling so a doctor was called in to assist the tow midwives and student midwife that were already there.
I have a scar at the bottom of my vagina from a bike accident I had as a kid and apparently the skin wasn’t stretching to let him out so I had an episiotomy. Then it was made bigger as it wasn’t cut enough the first time (thank heavens again for the epidural!!).
Two contractions after that and some big pushes that sent me purple and suddenly he was here! The last push he came out all in one.
He was put on my chest and I just looked at him in shock. I was like a stunned mullet, I didn’t blink or cry or talk, I just couldn’t believe he was out! I looked at Laura who had tears rolling down her cheeks and she told me we had our son.
I told him I loved him and thanked him for coming out. He cried a little but more grizzly than screaming and he breastfed for about 20 minutes.
Noah John was born into the world on Saturday July 20, 2013, at 3.09am. Weighing 3.1kg (6lb8oz), 49cm long, 34.5cm head circumference.
I had no side effects from the epidural and I do not regret it one bit. I could walk straight away afterwards and I know I would have fainted for sure during pushing without it! But I’m pretty happy I got to 8cms on my own!
I had reflux throughout labour, which made me feel so sick and I was retching the whole time but as soon as Noah was born, hyperemisis gravidarum was gone!
Laura and I are just so totally in love with our little hyperemisis gravidarum co-survivor, Noah. We are two very proud and happy mummas!
Thanks to Ashlea for sharing this amazing birth story with us.
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