Ok so you’ve packed your bags and baby is on its way!
And ugh labour is the pits. Well it was for me… Everything that I was scared of, happened to me. And I realise now that I hated it because I had no control, and in the thick of it, I was just a spectator to my own labour. Hovering in and out of lucidity.
Mackenzie was 4/5th’s engaged at 36 weeks gestation – everyone said she’d be born early so I finished up work and went home to prepare for the birth of our baby.
I waited… And waited… Got desperate and tried every stupid thing that the internet said would start labour. And continued to wait.
I was so sore, and tired, heavy, and swollen. I wanted out of the whole pregnancy deal!
At 42 weeks gestation I was delivered of a baby girl by caesarean section. There was absolutely no normal or natural labour for this lady, and I definitely feel that I didn’t give birth. I’d been induced two days earlier, which was hell, and early labour pains started about 6 hours later. My husband got sent home from hospital as I wasn’t in the delivery suite yet, but my waters broke about five hours later and my contractions really ramped up. I was in a room with three other pregnant mums trying to keep calm while I knew I was in labour and the fecking ward nurses were telling me I wasn’t!? (as if I don’t know my own body?).
The hospital midwife checked anyway and I was 4cm dilated. She didn’t even apologise for telling me instead of waters I’d “probably just peed” and instead skipped ahead by telling me I’d be a mum by the morning. I got transferred to delivery, they called my husband and he came into hospital.
That midwife was wrong. So, so wrong!!
No amount of happy gas helped, I threw up all the food in my stomach but they wouldn’t let me eat and at 4am after 5 hours of hard labouring, I was still only 4cm. I cried. I was doing everything they said I should be doing to get my labour going, a lot of hard work for no reward.
It took another 15 hours, a failed epidural and laying on my back (not my plan) before I got to 10cm and was allowed to push. I’d already been awake for 40 hours. Two and a half hours of pushing later, baby and I were not getting anywhere. The doctors decided the risk of infection was too high and I was wheeled into theatre. I passed out in recovery which was not ideal, I lost a tonne of blood and baby was transferred to the NICU. We both had a high temp and were put on IV antibiotics for 72 hours.
I woke up in a dark hospital room and had the shock of my life. I was no longer pregnant and there was a little girl, laying peacefully asleep next to me.
My post delivery recovery was not much better, but every day I felt more mobile. Thinking back, being induced, having the epidural and a c-section were my biggest fears but having survived them, I’d never have gotten over that fear! Now for any subsequent babies I can go in guns blazing. I’m ready for whatever comes at me. And ready to speak up!
My bigger lesson was to advocate for myself early on. By the time I’d had enough it was too late, decisions could’ve been made earlier that might’ve changed things. I can’t help but wonder the outcome if I’d been pushier about not having the epidural, had my own midwife during the earlier hours to stick up for me, been more active and upright in my labour.. With all of these things, perhaps I’d have transitioned earlier and been able to deliver naturally and not have to recover from major surgery!! Still, the end goal was to give birth safely, and I did 🙂
What was your labour experience?
What things went well?
What thing didn’t go so well?
What would you do different next time? (if there is a next time….)