On Saturday the 27th of October at 1:30am I woke up from light contractions, at first I thought they may have been ‘Braxton Hicks’ contractions (false labor pains), at this stage I was 40+2 and had been experiencing light contractions that hadn’t eventuated to anything for at least the final two weeks of my pregnancy. I nudged my hubby to tell him I was having contractions, but the typical male he is, rolled over and went back to sleep….He later argued that he thought they were ‘Braxton Hicks’ again, but something felt different this time!
At my last Dr’s appointment I was told that if labor hadn’t started spontaneously by the 30th of October, I was going to be induced, which I absolutely did not want. So the day before I went into labor I went on two massive walks, I did squats in the park, vacuumed my entire house, and not to mention made my husband have sex with me every day that week, haha! I don’t know if any of these activities triggered labor, however I do believe that staying active did help.
When I read up about ‘Braxton Hicks’, sites recommended having something to eat, taking pain killers or having a warm bath and trying to go back to sleep. If the pain subsided, then it isn’t labor, rather false contractions. So when I woke up with those light cramps early Saturday morning, I did all of the above! An hour and a half later I couldn’t lay in bed any longer, the cramps weren’t going away and at this point they were happening pretty regularly. I woke my hubby up again and I told him that I was in labor, we then started to time the contractions, they were at least 10 minutes a-part at this point and lasting less than 60 seconds. I know this sounds totally ridiculous but I made my hubby help me apply a one hour express tan…. I know, I know…. But my one request for labor was that I need to be hairless and tan, hahaha. So at 3:30 am I was drying out my fake tan nude, while hubby and I ran around the house frantically cleaning it. I even did a load of washing! I actually found the contractions quite bearable and doing housework definitely distracted me from the pain.
At 5 am I went back into the shower to wash off the fake tan and let the warm water run over my back, my contractions were roughly 5 minutes apart at this stage and I was beginning to lose my mucus plug slowly. Again, I was somehow managing with the pain and decided to style my hair and get myself ready, stopping every so often when I would get a contraction. At around 6am my hubby called the hospital to let them know that I was in labor and that my contractions were roughly 5 minutes apart and that they had been consistent for the last hour; but they encouraged me to stay at home a little longer and call back when we decided that we had to leave for the hospital! So back I went into the shower, I found the warm water on my back and stomach really helped with the pain. I think I was in the shower for almost an hour when I said to my hubby that I thought it was time we better ring the hospital again. I could feel that things had definitely progressed at this stage and I was terrified of having my baby at home!!! We packed ourselves up just after 8 am and headed off, stopping through the Maccas drive thru because I was starving and craved fries. Let me tell you laboring in the car especially being in a drive thru was an experience, I can assure you, there was plenty of swearing and abusing of the other drivers!
We arrived at the hospital at 9 am and got taken through to the triage to get checked by a midwife to make sure I was at least 4 cm before I could be admitted into the delivery suite. I was actually so nervous that they were going to tell me I wasn’t dilated enough and would send me home, I was not ready for another drive in the car whilst contracting. To our surprise, I was already 7 cm dilated and taken straight to a delivery suite! I honestly couldn’t tell you how I managed to stay home for that long, don’t get me wrong, labor is painful but I definitely found it manageable.
Well… Once I got to 8 cm shit hit the fan! I was kneeling on the bed hanging over the top trying to breath in the gas (which is pretty shit, might I add), while my hubby rubbed my back. At this point the rest of my labor and delivery is a blur, it truly started to feel like an outer body experience. I labored in the suite for 3 hours and our lovely midwife pretty much left my hubby and I to it, popping in and out to make sure I was going okay and to offer support. I opted pretty early on not to have an epidural, I personally wanted to experience labor for all that it was, and to be quite honest I was terrified of the epidural and didn’t want anything to hinder my birthing experience. I’m a big believer that our bodies were created specifically for birth and I prepped myself mentally before I went into labor to encourage a positive outcome and to effectively allow my body to do its thing!
An hour before I was about to push I remember the contractions were starting to feel excruciatingly painful, I was starting to make all sorts of noises, and lifting my heels up off the ground; that’s when the midwife realised it was time to start pushing. At this stage my waters hadn’t broken so the midwife did it for me with a little pin attached to one of her fingers, a splash of water gushed out and then it was time to start pushing.
I can’t remember how long I pushed for but it was no longer than 30 minutes, it happened all rather quickly. I pushed laying on my back slightly elevated, originally not what I wanted to do but at this point I was tired and I found it easier. My hubby stood next to me holding my hand and I held one of my legs back as I beared down to push on each contraction. I couldn’t feel my contractions anymore but the burning sensation in my vagina that I just had to keep on pushing through was like torture. After about four pushes the babies head started to crown and the midwife directed my hand so I could feel it. I remember my midwife telling me to push really hard and as my babies head was being pushed out, I yelled out “Fuck, it burns”. A couple of pushes later my baby was here and a shitload of water gushed out of me, apparently most of my amniotic fluid was trapped behind the baby.
My one request throughout my pregnancy was that I wanted my hubby to tell me the gender of our baby, I remember him going down to see his baby being born and coming back with tears to tell me it was a boy! But before he could tell me I copped an eyeful of my sons balls as the midwife placed him on my chest, oh man they weren’t hard to miss haha. After delayed cord clamping, my hubby finally cut the cord and our baby was passed to him for a cuddle while I got stitched up. Our son Brooklyn George van Gruening was born at 12:45 pm on the 27th of October, weighing 8p 9oz at 55cm long. The midwife couldn’t believe how big he was, throughout my whole pregnancy I was told that our baby was average size and on the 50th percentile, well that was joke!
This chunky boy shredded my vagina, I had a second degree tear to my perineum and a tear to my inner vaginal wall. Oh my god, the stitching up process was the worst part out of my whole experience! I had a Dr come in to do the procedure and because I hadn’t had any pain relief I had to have local anesthetic injected into the area, which was incredibly painful. Unfortunately I was given the maximum level of anesthetic and I was still in so much pain, I could feel a lot of the procedure when the Dr attempted to stitch the tear inside my vagina. At one point the Dr actually stopped to attend to another patient and to give me a break. Luckily at this point my mum arrived and she held her grandson while my husband came to hold my hand and give me the gas to inhale as the Dr attempted to stitch me up for the second time! At this point I was told to keep inhaling the gas (which got turned right up), I vaguely remember hearing the Dr panicking saying that she couldn’t stop the bleeding and was having difficulty reaching the area and telling me she might have to take me to theater to put me under. At this point I absolutely lost it, and was panicking. I didn’t want to leave my baby and I was terrified that I wouldn’t wake up again! So I sucked it up and cried so many tears but eventually it was done and it was all over.
I remember thinking after Brooks was born, that I never wanted to do that again, but it’s true what they say, you forget about all the pain! I couldn’t even describe to you what a contraction feels like. And the love you have for your child is in-describable, I can see why women go back again and again to have more babies. Eventually hubby and I will go back for round two…. Just not any time soon!
Love and Light,