I have been asked a few times for a refresher on my birth stories and I am so happy to share them with you. You might have read it before or maybe you are new to my blog and you haven’t read them yet. This is my first birth story, a natural delivery and for my second, I had a cesarean (I published this post again a few weeks ago not long after I announced my third pregnancy due to people requesting my experience with a cesarean SEE HERE)
I woke up needing to poo. It was 5am and as I sat on the toilet, my sleep deprived husband who was fed up with a tossing and turning 40 week pregnant wife got up went to the kitchen and popped himself a sleeping tablet. He walked back to bed before I had the chance to say, I think I might be in early labour. As you do, I had my iphone with me on the loo and I sent Helen (my aunty) a text message as I knew she would be awake with her early risers (her kids always wake at 5am).
ME: “Think I am in labour, I am doing a poo.”
HELEN: “What? OMG, yes you probably are, have you had pains? Is Josh awake?”
ME: “He just took a sleeping tablet, I have no chance of waking him. I will just jump in the shower and do my hair just incase.”
So, I jumped in the shower and then blow waved my hair, potentially the last one in a long time and the last as a non-mum. Josh woke at about 8am to me sitting on the bed starring at him (creepy style, could you imagine waking up to someone perched on the bed staring at you?). By now I started to have an on and off slight period pain
“ I think I am in labour” I said.
“Yikes” he replied.
Yikes alright, no turning back now, this baby has only one way out and it aint pretty. The period pain feeling came on and off every 10 minutes or so and lasted about 40-60 seconds, quite mild but it was there. I called the hospital at 9am and told them what I was feeling and about the random poo. They confirmed that I was in labour and advised me to take a panadol and go back to bed and also said to come in if we want to but to just hang out at home until it gets worse. What? Ok, ummm good night folks, just going to pop a panadol and take a kip! Not! This is the biggest day of my life and they want me to pretend like it isn’t happening? We drove to the hospital not long after, just to get checked. I was only about 2cms dialated and the pain was mild. We decided to go back home and ride it out there (Ok maybe they are the experts and we should have saved ourselves a trip to the hospital for not much than a check up)
By 11am I pulled the tens machine was out (a hand held remote linked to wires that you attach to your back. When you have a contraction, you press the button and the wires send a pins-and-needles like feeling to your back to distract from your contraction pain.) as I was feeling the full force of the contractions.
For those of you who haven’t felt contractions before, it feels like period pain x100 and for me it was bareable with the tens machine and grabbing onto my husband Josh, digging my head into his chest and breathing through the 30-40seconds of hell and then it stops, just like that and you are back to normal, like nothing even happened. My mum rushed over and was just another support person, making us food, cleaning and folding clothes while I wasn’t doing much between my 6-8 minutes of no pain, just sitting and waiting for the next one. At 12pm the pain was at another level and I thought I would try having a shower, I heard that hot water could help with the pain. I got naked after a contraction, took the tens machine off and got into the shower.
I felt worse, it felt like a suffocating sauna box, mum snuck in and took a photo of me, a photo of me!! AND! I recently discovered she was filming me and sent it to her sisters! Sorry mum but this is not the time for a happy snap for the baby album, my baby album!
It was hospital time, I had gone through the worst of the worst contraction that I knew I needed pain relief options. Two contractions in the car ride to the hospital a couple of speed bumps which felt like riding a bucking bull and one long contraction as we entered the hospital building,
I was checked into the hospital with no escape and was escorted to the labour ward (this is it, don’t get scared now! I was thinking ala Home Alone). I walked into a sterile room with a hospital bed, tv, baby station thingy with a heater and a private bathroom. I starred at that baby station thingy, I couldn’t comprehend that the bump was going to turn into a baby, my baby, that a midwife will place onto in the coming hours, things just got real.
The midwives suggested I try a shower (please no, anything but the shower!!) I got into the shower (because, as I learnt earlier, the midwives are always right!) and I made sure they ushered mum out of the room as I didn’t want another paparazzi moment and I had just busted her letting Aunty Helen hear me during a contraction on her phone (gah!).
I had a huge contraction, my ‘show’ finally came and in that moment I said “ I need drugs”. I must add that I didn’t say a word this entire time in labour, until I had a shot of pethidine, you just couldn’t shut me up! The pethadine didn’t take away the pain, just spaced me out in the head like I was high (not that I have ever been high before but I assume it would be the same.)
The next thing I knew, water was on the floor and I yelled out “ I need to push!!!” The baby was down, I needed to push it out, before I knew it I was on all fours, Josh was watching the Preliminary Football finals on the TV in the corner and my obstetrician arrived with alcohol on his breath. I was turned around to give birth on my back, which I thought wasn’t the way it was done these days, I thought I would be on all fours, rocking on a fit ball, all zen like you know? but I was not in the state of mind to talk, let alone complain. With both legs on each of the two midwives’ shoulders and the obstetrician between the goal posts, I was pushing. All I could think about was, am I going to be OK, will I poo and if so will a midwife scrunch up her nose and give me a bad look? will someone turn off that darn TV so my husband can continue patting my forehead down with a wet cloth and please don’t use those scissors you are grabbing Doctor!
After an hour of pushing, a snip, several stitches and Hawthorn Football Club winning the game, I pushed out a 7.6lb baby boy at 7:12pm September 11, 2011, Aston Hartley Dempsey.
They put this foreign object, slimy little human on my chest and I said “now what do I do?” I was in shock, pain and confused. I didn’t love him immediately after what I had gone through, I just held him, all possum eyed and uncomfortable and wondering why he wasn’t a girl! I was sure I was having a girl. Whilst my baby, Aston, was getting checked, I birthed my placenta and the ob was stitching me up, I called Helen first:
“I had a boy, Aston.”
“I am coming!” she said.
Mum was waiting in the waiting room, I am surprised she wasn’t scratching on the door like a cat wanting to come in. They let her in and before I knew it and before I had even showered, my labour suite was party central with gate crashers: my parent in laws, sister in laws, aunty, my mum, midwives, my obstetrician smelling like he just got back from a Sunday afternoon boozy lunch, Josh, a new baby and a partridge in a pear tree and I hadn’t even loved this baby yet.
To finish off, I did love this baby once the shock went away and we were alone in our room. I loved him with all my heart and he was perfectly made for us, our darling boy, Aston Hartley Dempsey.
My episiotomy got infected which resulted in antibiotics and even more pain and to this day I wonder about a few things, 1: was my obstetrician drunk and maybe that is the reason for my infection? 2: if I had an epidural, would I have loved my baby immediately? and 3: whatever happened to those photos of me in labour?
So, I suggest you read my cesarean story now and see how completely different my birth stories are. Looking back at both births now, and seeing my two beautiful boys, brings tears to my eye. How could I be so blessed with two children of my own? I am completely in love with them and I can’t wait to meet my third little darling in November this year, just to experience that special moment of seeing it for the first time, you don’t get many of those moments in life.
Check out this beautiful video by the HONEST COMPANY about that special moment of birth: