On the day before I went into labour nothing was overly different. I was tired and getting over being uncomfortable, but doesn’t every woman start to get this at 36 weeks? On the 21st of March, I still hadn’t started maternity leave. I had one more day of work on the 23rd and then I was done.
I went about my day as per usual. By the time dinner rolled around I was so queasy I went to bed early without anything to eat.
At 3.10am I woke up to go to the toilet, which wasn’t uncommon. As I hoped out of bed I noticed my shorts were a bit wet. Thinking I’d obviously wet myself I headed to bathroom only to sit down and felt a big gush. That was not wee I thought to myself! I went back to the bedroom and stood there staring at Jim, wondering if I should wake him or not. As I stood there I felt another trickle down my leg. I woke Jim. “I think my waters have broken,” Jim flew out of bed, “I have to call Matt!” (his boss) “I don’t think Matt wants to know that I’ve gone into labour at 3 in the morning,” I laughed.
I called the hospital to check what I should do. As I was talking to the Midwife she had to put me on hold to help another lady. I could hear screaming in the background and all I could think was what the hell have I gotten myself into?! As she took me off hold I stood up from the couch and had another huge gush of water all over the floor. “You better come in straight away,” she said.
Funnily enough earlier that day I had packed my hospital bag.
I could feel the nerves starting to kick in and my anxiety levels stepping up a notch. As we got into the car I said to Jim, “I’m nervous now, if I want drugs give me all the drugs.” I had hoped to have a natural birth without any drugs and had completed a Calmbirth class and practised my breathing every night.
As we got to the hospital the lovely Midwife Laura greeted us. Laura explained as I was only 36 weeks I had to be monitored pretty much the whole time, unless my obstetrician was happy. The funny thing is my OB was holidays! I ended up having the Doctor who was on call for him instead. We discussed our birth plan with Laura and she was so supportive of our wishes. As I had to be monitored, I started labouring on the bed, which I really didn’t want to do but obliged anyway.
My labour started to progress rather quickly and I was soon becoming extremely uncomfortable on the bed. After about an hour of laying I moved to standing. This was the only position I was comfortable in and stayed standing for the next seven hours.
My labour was progressing well and I continued to use my breathing techniques which really helped as I had something else to focus on. The whole time the room was calm, quiet and dark. After a couple of hours, my waves (contractions) were getting a lot stronger and closer together and at about 6.30am I was checked by the OB. This was my first internal during labour and let me be honest, they’re not fun! The Doctor asked if I wanted to know how far along I was to which I replied only if I was 5cm or more. So, he didn’t tell me. Oh god I thought, I’ve still got so long to go! He suggested I have a shower to help freshen up and be a bit more comfortable. I spent over an hour in the shower with Jim holding the water to my back.
I didn’t leave the bathroom for pretty much the rest of my labour. My new-found friend was the towel rail next to the toilet. I stood and leaned over that towel rail for hours. It was the only place I was comfortable.
By around 10am the waves were extremely strong, with almost no break in between and were starting to make breathing hard. They were literally taking my breathe away. I knew the only way I could get through this was to concentrate on my breathe. I really began to rely on Jim applying pressure to my back. It helped counteract the pain and gave me something else to focus on. He really was amazing.
Looking back, I now realise I was in the transition phase. I’d been standing for close to eight hours and was becoming exhausted. Transition really isn’t fun. The only way I can describe it is to say that it honestly feels like all your insides are about to explode out your rear end. I now wasn’t having any breaks between waves and the pressure I was feeling was out of this world. I had never focused so hard on my breathing in my life.
It was at this point I was questioning how much longer I could do this for. The Midwife kept asking me if it would help if I knew how far along I was and that she would get the Doctor to check me when he got here in half an hour. I swear she said this to me for the next hour.
Suddenly, I had the urge to push. The Midwife was on the phone asap. Within half an hour I was checked by the Midwife and Doctor and had started pushing. After 25mins of pushing on my side I was rolled to my back as there was no progress in baby moving down. After a couple of pushes they could see the head. The Doctor made Jim look, the poor guy is scarred for life!
After a few more pushes the baby still wasn’t coming. Our baby was stuck, so I ended up needing an assisted delivery. The ventouse (aka vacuum), was placed on our baby’s head. They quickly noticed the cord was wrapped tightly around the baby’s neck so that was cut straight away.
Then with three more pushes our baby was born.
At 12.28pm on Wednesday the 22nd of March 2017, after nine hours of labour, Hugo Slobodan Levy was born weighing 6lb and 48cm long.
My whole labour was so calm. Once you get to see your baby nothing else matters and you are just overwhelmed with love. When can I do it again?!
After working in childcare for seven years I'm enjoying my new role as a mum. I love the beach, musical theatre, yoga, holistic healing and living as naturally and organically as possible.
Children: One - a gorgeous 5 month old boy Hugo.
Motherhood in 5 words: Life changing but amazing!
Fav family-friendly place: King of the Castle Café in Geelong.
Coffee order: Soy latte..as big as it comes!
Blog: Honestly Mumma Erin
Sharing my motherhood ride as openly and honestly as possible. Hoping to help other Mummas out there know they're not alone.
Professional photography images shot by Steph Brown Photography.
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