I’d had lots of pre labour warm ups in the week before my baby was born, prompting my husband to finish up work early, our 2 year old having a sleep over at nanas and my sister/doula organising back up teachers for her HypnoBirthing classes as we were pretty sure baby was on their way multiple times. However my body was just slowly preparing for the big day.
With Christmas getting closer and closer and my EDD coming and going I was started to struggle to remain in a good head space, but just kept trying to relax and do lots of oxytocin inducing activities with my family.
Each morning I’d wake up disappointed that I’d slept through yet another night without a baby making an appearance, but I was hanging in there.
On Monday the 23rd I woke up and things just felt a bit different. I was having reddish discharge and regular period like cramps. I called my mum and said I think I might have the baby today or tomorrow. She had planned to take our son for a few hours that morning and said she’d keep him as long as we needed. So off he went with an overnight bag just in case.
My husband and I then went out for breakfast and saw the new Star Wars movie. My ‘surges’ were super inconsistent in length and strength, and after a very long posterior labour with my first I was nervous about this babies position so headed home to do lots of spinning babies stuff and bounce on my ball. All day things remained much the same, sometimes they’d amp up and I’d get excited, then they’d fizzle out again. My sister brought over a herbal tincture to try to kick things up a notch. I watched our wedding video, rubbed clary sage on my tummy, expressed colostrum and tried to relax and rest as much as possible. By 10pm I figured I’d just head to bed and whatever happens happens. I struggled to sleep much, but while I laid down the surges spread out so I could rest a little bit.
Just after midnight I woke up to a much stronger surge and decided to get out of bed.
I laboured in the lounge room by myself for an hour or so, and when I realised the surges were coming every couple of minutes and lasting a minute I thought I better wake my husband. We then called my sister and told her to come over. I just kept labouring, sitting on my fit ball and chatting as normal between surges, and then standing up and leaning forward during them. At about 1.30am both my sister and husband thought we should go in to the hospital, but I had a flash back to my first birth and thought it felt too early to go, I wanted something drastic to change in the intensity or my mental state before going, I felt too ‘normal’ between surges still.
I eventually decided to go back to bed at about 3am as I was pretty exhausted. Surges spread out again and I got some sleep, which was great, but had me thinking that this couldn’t possibly be active labour if it’s stalling enough for me to sleep. But at 4am I was woken with another very strong surge, got up, vomited and then things kicked up another notch. I woke the others who were also resting and said I’m ready to go to hospital now.
We got there just before 5am, and my water broke with a little gush on the way to the birth suite. I had another bigger gush when we got to our room and the waters were stained with meconium. I was 41+1 day at this stage and felt that baby was just ready to be born and not in distress, which the Doppler reading confirmed, so I refused continuous monitoring.
I just kept labouring away, still really chatty between surges, and just breathed my way through them when they came. I’d thought to myself earlier in the night that if I don’t have the baby by 6am then I’d want to get a VE at 8am. At 6am there was no sign of baby, or anything changing in my labour so I decided to have a rest. Yet again, surges spread out and I slept on and off for an hour or so. At 7am I decided I’d give it a red hot go for an hour then get checked. My sister read me a HypnoBirthing script to help let go of any worries and fears, then I got up, and walked, danced, sang to Justin Bieber, wiggled my hips and tried to keep my pelvis as open as possible during surges. At 8am my midwife asked what I thought about a check, and I said I felt like I was coping really well so didn’t want to rock the boat so said I’d wait a bit longer. I kept doing what I was doing and at about 8.45am my midwife suggested trying to do a wee to make some more room for baby to descend. I sat on the toilet, and with the next surge had a big gush of water come out and my body pushed.
I caught my sisters eye from outside the bathroom, grinned and said ‘I’m pushing’.
We all were secretly terrified baby was posterior again and we’d be there for a couple more days. So to feel my body push by itself was amazing.
I’d had a forceps delivery in theatre prepped for a csection with my first so never experienced the pushing stage or the FER.
It was intense. And indescribable.
Someone asked it if was hard, and I said it wasn’t hard or easy, it just was. There was no choice in the matter. It was just happening to me, I didn’t have to work, I just had to endure it. So endure I did.
And at 9.15am my second son was born. Caught by my husband on the bathroom floor of the birth suite.
It was exactly what I wanted.
We waited a bit over an hour for the placenta to come, but I didn’t want to wait any more or push again, so I opted for the injection to speed things up at about 75mins post birth.
My bleeding was minimal and although I had a 2nd degree tear I opted to not get it stitched as it wasn’t actively bleeding or overly deep.
Being Christmas Eve we were hanging out to get home, so we left 6hrs after he was born and got to have a beautiful Christmas Eve and Christmas morning together as a family of 4.
Life is good ????
*This was my second baby, born at 41+1 at Box Hill hospital in Melbourne, under MGP care with an amazing midwife who was also present during my first labour.