I went into labour with Willow on the day I rolled over onto week 39 – Saturday 3 January.
Hubby and I had had a very quite New Year celebration at home just the two of us and he had gone back to work on the Friday morning. Every night of that week I would have the most intense Braxton Hicks contractions that were keeping me up at night. And I was sure the baby would be here the following week.
When I woke up on Saturday I was suffering from such cabin fever and all I wanted was out of the house! After much cajoling Hubby agreed that we could go to a movie and we headed off to watch Big Hero 6.
During the movie the Braxton’s came back in full force, but I marked it down to being slightly dehydrated and didn’t pay them much mind. After the movie we headed to do a bit of grocery shopping for dinner and lunch on Sunday before we went home.
While walking around the shops the contractions started getting even more intense. It was now about 2 in the afternoon I had to stop walking when they hit. They were still quite far apart though.
When we got home I was sent to sit on the couch and watch TV with an contraction counter app. After about two hours we were having six contractions in 20 minutes – which is when my doctor said we should head for the hospital so we quietly gathered up the bags and headed off. It was now about 5pm.
At the hospital I was hooked up to a monitor that measured the baby’s heart rate and my contractions in order to determine where in labour I was. The staff agreed with me that I was indeed in labour, but that it was still very early.
After a lot of discussion we decided to stay at the hospital and labour there, rather than head home – a very good decision in the end.
We walked up and down the hallways, sat in the delivery room and just worked through the contractions. At 11pm my doctor said that The baby was probably not going to come that night. She gave me a sleeping pill so I could get some rest and sent my husband home.
About an hour later I was woken up out of sleep by very intense contractions. I called the sister in and asked for something for the pain, but I was feeling very drunk from the sleeping pill. They hooked me up to the monitors again and went to check with my doctor about what pain medication they could give me. I was given a shot that I later found out was pethadine and I was on the monitor four about 10 minutes when my water broke. I was messaging my husband the entire time and its quite funny now to look back on the texts.
At about 12.30 I told him to come back to the hospital. He arrived just before the doctor did to my shouting about how badly I needed to push and the sister telling me to wait for the doctor. For the record that is some lousy advice!
Things had escalated very quickly. I had gone from 3 centimetres dilated to 8 in two hours. The progression was even faster after my water broke.
I don’t remember much after Hubby arrived because I was still pretty out of it from the sleeping tablet and then the pethadine. I remember asking for the epidural and being told it was too late for that and Hubby talking me through it the entire time. I remember him wiping my face with a wet cloth. I remember being told the baby was crowing and I needed to push harder to get her out. I also remember the intense relief that I felt when her head finally came out. After that it was easy. The rest of her came out with one small push and I don’t remember anything except holding her and trying to get my breath back. I was told later that all this happened in just 35 minutes.
I can’t remember anything about what happened afterwards. I had been given and episiotomy so I had to be stitched up but I didn’t feel a thing. Willow was an angel, she did skin to skin time with me then she started rooting and latched on like a champ for her first feed. My husband cut the cord then they took her to get cleaned up before we where moved to the maternity ward.
It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I’m really grateful for all the support I had during it. It was not my intention to give birth drug free (relatively speaking) but having done it it was not as bad as I expected and I definitely wouldn’t have had it any other way.
We had the whole of Sunday to spend with the baby and I was up and walking around after I had had a nap to recover some of my strength.
Wow this was a very wordy post. Thanks so much for reading all the way to the end!