Holly's motherhood story - My birth story (Part 1)
PRE-LABOUR – A term that I had not come across as I obsessively searched the internet for every birth story I could eyeball. When this ‘experience’ happened to me, I was confused and a little peeved about how my birth went down. Here is my mega-story about how I stumbled into motherhood. It all began as no story should…with a Stretch and Sweep!
DAY 1 – Friday (7 days overdue) The day after my Stretch and Sweep (*shudder*), one of my gazillion Aunties called (again) to ask if I’d given birth yet. Like the fact that I answered my phone wasn’t a dead giveaway that there was still no baby yet. After the pointless call, I was kind of feeling “off” and not able to concentrate on my ‘One Tree Hill’ mega-marathon, so decided for the first time in my pregnancy, I’d take a nap.
I woke up an hour later still feeling a bit icky and went to the toilet. Looking down at my undies, it was like a murder scene. Bright red blood and lots of it. I jumped off the toilet and called the hospital. I was shaking and crying as I explained to the midwife that I was bleeding. The midwife assured me that it was most likely ‘the show’ and I kept asking “are you sure?” As hubby made his way home from work and my mum travelled to pick up our fur-baby (Mr Giuseppe), I did something really stupid...I Googled ‘the show’ and ‘mucus plug.’ WTF? Firstly, who takes a picture of it and even puts it on the internet? And secondly, who is so sick to even Google that? (Oh wait, I am...#guilty).
We went to the hospital and you know how it is...sent home (grrrr!) and told that I still had a while to go. Of course my contractions started at home and I got stupidly excited that I would give birth soon. Another visit that night and I was assaulted by a midwife with the largest fingers EVER (aka - an internal examination). My husband had to actually calmly coax me into letting her finish because I was hugging myself at the end of the bed and in shock by the midwife’s matter-of-fact approach. Lady, we just met. No need to be so handsy, mmm-kay?
I was rejected again - sent home and told I would most likely have my baby by tomorrow. Errrr WRONG! I paced around my room having contractions all night and then suddenly the sun came up.
DAY 2 – Saturday (8 days overdue) The hospital called and asked me to come back in to see how I was progressing. Another internal (no. 3) and then I was sent on my merry way again (sigh). I missed the dog, so we went to visit him. During this whole time, I was still having contractions. They cruelly kept switching things up - 10 mins - 7 mins - 2 mins. It was exhausting!
That night, things kicked up a gear and I felt really sick. Maybe it was the Chinese take-away I insisted on having? But I started vomiting and the contractions were still happening. Back to the hospital and finally they decided I could stay in a birthing suite (YAY!). I couldn’t sleep as the contractions were still persistent and I couldn’t lay down because I had severe back pain. At this point I had now been awake for over 48 hours.
Day 3 – Sunday (9 days overdue) I begged them to induce me so it would all be over but it was a Sunday and 'apparently' they don’t induce women on a Sunday. The lovely midwives kept saying they felt sorry for me and they wished they could help but the doctors wouldn’t allow for any medical intervention to help speed things up.
One of the positives (if you want to look at being tortured over a long period of time as positive), was that because my waters hadn’t broken yet, I was able to use the big bath at the hospital. It was glorious. A lovely dim lit room, with candles and essential oils. Honestly, if I hadn’t have been vomiting and pissing myself simultaneously as the contractions got worse, I would have sworn I was at a heavenly day spa. As I was denied any pain relief (because apparently, I wasn’t in ‘real labour’ yet), this was the next best thing. I stayed in the bath for about 5 hours. Walked in as a preggo goddess (yeah, right!) and out as the old lady from the movie Titanic (#wrinklyAF). After I had more internals, some midwife told me that I still wasn’t dilating and perhaps it was better if I went home. I cried! Why was I having non-stop contractions and why won’t this bloody hospital just help things along? I managed to negotiate with them and said that I would go home if they needed the room but if not then I was staying. I could not even imagine getting in a car again with horrendous contractions. I stayed and continued another night without sleep and with non-stop contractions.
Day 4 – Monday (10 days overdue) 72 hours with no sleep.
In the morning, the Doc finally showed her face, checked me and said I was 3cms dilated. I wanted to bang my head on something. However, now that it was a weekday, they were willing to break my waters and speed things along. THANK YOU but gosh that would have been nice 2 bloody days ago!
As soon as she did, I cried hysterically. Not because it was painful but because I felt like finally something would happen. Shit just got real. And it did. If I thought the contractions were bad before, they just got a whole lot worse. To the point I told my partner to “just shut the fuck up” when he tried to get me to do some bullshit breathing exercises.
I was ready for the drugs. I was in so much pain that I actually thought I would die and I kind of wanted to. Yeah, scary thoughts hey? I was told that I could have an epidural in about an hour (geez they take their sweet arse time around here with things).
The epidural was magical. I had a chit chat with the midwives and then completely zonked out for a few hours. Who knew you could nap during labour? Then I woke up and it was like a scene from the exorcist. The pain had come back and with vengeance. I started throwing up everywhere. What was happening? I screamed and cried and just wanted to go back to ‘No-pain Land’.
Something had happened with the epidural. They were calling someone to come back to work it out but they wanted to do another bloody internal as they thought I might be close to pushing time. I flat out refused. I had so my internals over the past 4 days, I’m sure everyone in the hospital had been up there at some point. Nope. Wasn’t happening!
Three ladies tried to convince me, my hubby tried but I would not consent. Finally, they sent in Dr McDreamy (young hot doctor who sweet talks pregnant women into opening their legs for internals). In my version, it took a while and I finally allowed the process to happen. However, my hubby insists that the moment the Doc spoke, my legs were open. Who you gonna believe?
I can’t remember how far along I was but they agreed that I could have the epidural fixed and return to my happy place.
Day 5 – Tuesday (11 days overdue)
At midnight, the medical team were a little concerned about the baby and it was now time to get the baby out. The OB then asked my hubby and I the strangest question – would you prefer that we use the forceps or have a cesarean? Huh? We were so baffled as to why this was proposed to us. They seemed like two completely different extremes. As confused as we were, we agreed to the giant salad tongs first but if things went pear-shaped, then we were happy with any method that would safely deliver our child.
I started pushing and then resting in between, excitingly chatting to my partner. Thanks to the epidural, this process was nothing like the movies with all the screaming etc. It was actually really peaceful and calm. One of my nicest memories of birth.
Thirty minutes after pushing, bubs was out. We had a little boy…a very little boy. To be honest, he looked like a skinned cat. He was placed in my arms and as I looked down at him, I lovingly thought, “why is he covered in shit?” Yep, he had done a giant sloppy joe as he came into the world. That’s my darling son. That’s my Little Bear!
Present day It didn’t matter how many birth stories I read, watched or heard, NOTHING prepared me for that. It took a long time to deal with the mismatch between my expectations and reality. I now understand why women want to share their “horror stories” with you when you’re pregnant. It’s not to scare you but because they didn’t have the chance to process and debrief it properly. So, I created Motherhood Melbourne to allow women to tell their tale. If you’d like to share your story (birth or beyond), this is the place for you. Share your motherhood story and begin to heal yourself and help others.
I like big butts and I cannot lie...no, no wait. Sorry, I often break into song. Sarcasm is my default and it helps me get through motherhood and epic reality TV sessions. I like long walks along the beach with my pug Mr Giuseppe and occasionally hanging out with my hubby and son (told ya I was sarcastic)! I am the Chief Mama of Motherhood Melbourne.
Hood: Hoppers Crossing
Children: 3 year old son and another bub on the way.
Motherhood in 5 words: Give me all the coffee!
Fav family-friendly place: Werribee Zoo - I have a free range child.
Coffee order: Skinny mocha
Biz: Motherhood Melbourne
A rad community for Melbourne mamas who are surviving motherhood one coffee at a time.
This is a place where you can connect with Melbourne mothers to share the good, the bad and the topics that we don't talk about but really need to.
Join the hood.
Share your motherhood story.
The information in this story is a unique and personal reflection of the writer's experience. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.