Thursday 12th of April. I was already 10 days over, I’d literally done everything you can think of to help naturally induce labour but nothing seemed to work. Physically I was feeling really good but mentally I was so drained. That morning I went to see my OB who did, let’s just say, an “extensive” stretch and sweep. She really got all up in there because I was already 3cm dilated so we just needed something to kick start my body.
2pm is when I felt my first contraction. It wasn’t just a “tightening” it was a contraction. So from 2pm we timed them. They were all over the place, they’d go from 2mins apart to 8mins apart. We rung the hospital and let them know, they said to check in with them in a couple hours as my water hadn’t broken & that it would be more comfortable for me to be at home at this stage. To pass the time I used my adult colouring book (note to self: I am not very good at colouring) & found that bouncing on our fitness ball helped with the pain.
Around 8:30pm I got into the bath as the contractions were starting to become more regular & around 4mins apart. Brad was in charge of timing them, he made sure I had everything I wanted, he kept calm & we were both just talking about how incredible this was because it meant we were closer to meeting our son.
At 9:30pm we made the decision to go to the hospital. We got into the assessment room & they reviewed me. I was still 3cm dilated. They also felt that baby was posterior (his spine was on my spine) which made sense because my contractions were hurting not just through my front but my back as well. They were monitoring Jagger’s heartrate and weren’t happy with it so they wanted us to stay. Around 12am it was clear things weren’t progressing so we sent Carmen (our incredibly amazing & talented birth photographer) home – I felt so bad she’d gotten up & nothing had happened!!
At 2am I asked them for the water injections. They were FUCKING painful! It felt like a swarm of bees stinging me all at once. But – they worked wonders, even if I threw up heavily after them. I could now only feel my contractions at the front.
After a urine test they found that I was quite dehydrated so started me on a fluid drip. I was booked in to be induced at 7am that morning (Friday 13th) anyway so they made the decision to admit me & keep me in the assessment room until then. They gave me some pain killers so that I could have a nap whilst Brad sat in the chair next to me the whole time. The other thing that happened was that I couldn’t stop shaking. My adrenalin was trying to kick in so I had to work hard to calm myself down. I managed maybe 45mins sleep with the contractions still irregular that whole time.
At 7am we graduated to the labour room. My Mum had arrived and walked in with us. We also met our midwives for the day, Aimee was in charge & Jess was a 4th year.
They manually broke my waters which didn’t hurt at all, double checked that I was still 3cm dilated & started me on the drip.
Aimee spoke to us about what it meant for baby to be posterior & that she would love to help us rotate him. She’d just done a course called “Spinning Babies “ which teaches different techniques on how to move babies into their rightful positions. I loved that she was so eager to try these natural ways, that she believed in this approach & that she was so invested in helping us.
From 7am-10:30am my contractions were more regular, I was getting about 4 in 10minutes which is what they wanted to see. Jagger was being stubborn though and not moving so my back pain became extremely painful. I went for my second round of water injections. Again – they FUCKING hurt but they helped a lot & this time I didn’t throw up so that was a positive.
11am rolled around and I headed into the shower to see if that could give me a little more relief. It was my goal to have as natural a birth as possible, I didn’t want the epidural if I could help it. I got in the bathroom and Aimee said it was time to review me, to see how much I was now dilated. She put a mat on the bathroom floor and did the review.
I thought to myself “if I’m at least 6/7cm I’ll be happy!” I mean, I’d been having steady and painful contractions for 4hours now that were always about 2mins apart!
I remember looking at Brad smiling because I felt like everything was progressing. I remember the feeling of panic that literally washed over me when Aimee said “your about 4cm”…now this is when a couple of things happened simultaneously.
As soon as I heard her say that my heart dropped. My brain just couldn’t handle thinking that through all that pain, all those contractions, I’d only progressed another centimetre. Then, the next contraction hit me like a freight train. There was such pressure in my back. It felt like I was going to shit myself. I couldn’t handle that pain. It was excruciating and it had come right at a time where I was mentally at my weakest. I kept saying “something’s wrong, something isn’t right!”
What I didn’t know at the time was that during my review Aimee was able to just slightly shift Jagger’s head and he had turned into the perfect position. It was like my body was waiting for that cue, that once my body realised Jagger was where it wanted him to be, it just went “ok cool, we know what we’re doing now!”
The bathroom floor was my turning point. I went from being very positive & calm to being in utter panic. “I’m going to fucking shit myself!” I said, and to Aimee’s credit she simply responded with “then we will clean it up, Maggie nothing is wrong, this is great, your body is doing everything right, Jagger is in the right position.” I remember not being able to comprehend that information, I was too far gone into my panic. I asked for the epidural, Aimee suggested we try to the gas…my response? “I DONT WANT THE FUCKING GAS I WANT THE EPIDURAL THE ONLY REASON YOU WANT ME ON THE GAS IS BECAUSE YOU WANT TO GO TO LUNCH!” I can’t remember her exact words but I remember I had a choice to make – to trust Aimee or to stay in this panicked state. I chose to trust Aimee & it was the best decision I could have made.
Now, in my head all I had really heard about the gas was that it made people feel sick. But not me. It was made for me! The contractions were still painful but I could now cope. Mentally my Mum got me back on track. She spoke calmly in my ear, she reassured me that everything was ok. During that time though I was still adamant that I wanted the epidural, I kept thinking “I just don’t want to be in pain anymore, I just don’t want to be in ANY pain anymore.”
Aimee kept saying “we are really close though, baby is almost here!” I looked Aimee in the eyes, I focused so heavily on her and in no uncertain terms I made her aware that if she was lying, that if she was fucking with me about baby nearly being here, about labour nearly being over, I would punch her. I would obviously apologise for this later that day.
From that review on the bathroom floor at 11am to me starting to push was 45minutes. I went from 4cm to fully dilated within 45minutes. That 45minute period is a bit of a blur to be honest, I mostly remember holding onto brads hand.
The pushing was the easy part! All I wanted to do was to push the whole time, it was such an urge! But I followed Aimee’s instructions and only pushed with each contraction. I gave birth to Jagger on all fours, gripping Brads hand as my Mum was able to watch her grandson being born.
The feeling of birthing him, of feeling his head come out is literally indescribable. I can’t put into words what that felt like – it was such a physical & mental relief.
Aimee passed Jagger to me the moment I laid back down. He pooed all over me – I never thought I wouldn’t care about another human pooing on me, but he was allowed to. We had skin to skin and I watched him as he crawled from my belly to my nipple & he fed for the first time.
Brad cut the cord, I birthed the placenta as Aimee said to me “don’t worry, this one doesn’t have any bones!” I couldn’t take my eyes off of my son. He was perfection in all its glory. He was ours.
I didn’t tear at all but I still needed a couple stitches on the inside as Jagger’s hand had nicked me on the way out. So as they were tending to me, Brad got skin to skin with Jagger.
I had high blood pressure so wasn’t allowed to get off the bed for awhile. They gave me some medication & checked it again. I was fine.
I got up – I walked to the shower leaving a blood trail behind me because yes, you do bleed, quite a bit! I turned the water on & just breathed. I’d done it. I’d had a natural birth with little pain relief…and most importantly, I’d safely given birth to our son. In a matter of moments, my life changed, my world shifted, my heart was now his heart.
The Peninsula Mumma xo