It’s been just over a week since I went into labour and we’ve survived our first few nights at home with our little menace – Jacob. I’m not going to lie but the last week has been a complete blur but has also felt like a lifetime for some reason. I wanted to share my birthing experience for any expecting mums out there and to reassure you that whilst I go into a lot of detail here – the experience really wasn’t that bad despite all my fears in the lead up to the big day!
I was determined in the days leading up to Jacob’s birth to do everything possible in the book to bring on labour naturally because I wanted to avoid inducement. I’m not saying that this method is a sure thing but we decided to go to my favourite Szechuan restaurant on the Sunday night and sure enough – I went into labour later that night.
I woke up a little unsettled with mild pain and thought it might’ve been a little *cough* wind but it kept coming every 15 minutes or so. I tried sleeping and eventually decided to wake Chris up in the other room at 4:30am and texted my OB. Luckily for me I had an appointment with my OB early that morning so it was easy enough for me to confirm if I was just panicking for no reason or if I was truly in labour.
A quick ten minutes with my OB confirmed I was in labour and cervix was dilated almost 2cm by 9:30am. I went to the birthing suites for a quick check-in with the midwives to see if I would be admitted or be sent home. Based on a family history of relatively quick deliveries, they decided to admit me. I was sent for a walk in the area to grab lunch and that’s when everything started to really kick in for me. Every few minutes I would be hit with a short wave of contractions and I experienced the pain in both the front end and in my lower back.
Like the diligent control freak that I am; I’ve read many articles online on how the labour process worked and thought that because my contractions were so close together that I must’ve been progressing quickly. We decided to have burgers and sweet baby Jesus was it the most painful meal that I’ve ever had in my life. By the time I got back into the hospital they had a birthing suite ready and I was really starting to feel the pain and no amount of counting, breathing and visualizing happy places was taking my mind away from what I was experiencing.
At about 6pm I was exhausted and basically forced our midwife to check my cervix thinking that she would report that I was about 5-7cm dilated. Then came the most disheartening news that I was barely 3cm dilated. I had barely made it a third of the way through and I was already convulsing in pain and exhaustion. Then came the tears because I just couldn’t breathe through the pain anymore and my OB realized that Jacob was facing upward. With each contraction the little guy would push his head backward and put so much pressure on my back that it felt like someone was sawing me in half.
I was shattered by 7pm and begged everyone in the room for a Caesarian because I couldn’t manage the pain of the contractions anymore. With the prospect of another 12+ hours ahead of me – I literally couldn’t handle the thought of it. We decided to go with the advice from my OB to just get an epidural to take away the pain and see if the baby boy would cooperate and turn his head naturally before we resorted to the C-section (which I am eternally grateful for).
We waited for about 20 minutes before the anesthesiologist arrived (in his brand spanking new Porsche complete with rock star parking out front of the hospital) and decided to launch into the slowest speech on understanding the risks of epidurals. He was great but my god did he talk slow. It was like he had just smoked a joint and was so mellow that nothing in the world could have bothered him (he was great though despite delivering the world’s slowest soliloquy). When you’re convulsing in pain every few minutes the only thing you’re thinking is give me the drugs – NOW! He asked me if I had any questions and my only thought was how quickly can you do this?
Then came the hard part of sitting absolutely still as he worked his magic and four contractions later – the catheter was in and the drugs were being pumped. Within ten minutes I started feeling less and less until eventually, there was nothing. Chris thought it was absolutely hilarious because my demeanor went from being crazed woman in agony to a pleasant fairy on Cloud Nine within just minutes. Everything was smooth sailing from there on in – I napped for a few hours, the midwife broke my waters and I started dilating pretty quickly.
At 2am my OB waltzed in and pretty much launched straight into the big moment. I was still a little groggy headed, Chris was still napping on the chair and my grandma was running back and forth with water to bring down my fever. After just 45 minutes of concentrated pushing – baby Jacob John Turner arrived at 3.75kg at 2:54am. He came out so quickly that I hardly had time to comprehend everything that had happened. I had a baby on my chest who was nuzzling around for my nipple and had his eyes wide open staring into the abyss.
I’m going to leave the next part of the experience for next time because holy sh*t – the birthing almost seems easy now that I’ve had two weeks to recover.
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