Birth stories. We all love to hear a birth story, and I thought I should share mine.
I have 4 wonderful birth journeys to share with you and I hope you can relate to them, or even perhaps learn something you didn’t already know. So we kick off with birth story number one.
I was 20 when I had my beautiful eldest girl. I hadn’t wanted children and was absolutely terrified of labour and birthing. Thank goodness for my fabulous mother and midwives! I had finished up work on the Friday afternoon, expecting around about a week before madam arrived. After all, it’s common for first babies to be late right?!?!? Of course that wasn’t to be the case, I began labour with a slow leak of my ‘waters.’ As a first time mum of 20 who had no idea what to expect, I rang the hospital, panicking. The midwife on the phone was lovely and said I could come in to be checked if I was more comfortable with that. So I rang mum, who came down to pick me up and take me in to be checked out. I don’t remember how much I had progressed but it was certainly not enough to be admitted, so they sent me home to labour there. I asked mum to stay with me as I had no idea what was going on and needed the support.
I continued to labour at home through Sunday night and Monday morning finally deciding that I wouldn’t cope with the 30 minute car ride in around lunch time on Monday if we left it any longer. At this point I feel you should know that while I wasn’t really sure what was happening, I was absolutely adamant that I wasn’t having an epidural, everything else I would deal with as I came to it.
We arrived at the hospital where I was pleasantly surprised to find that the student midwife I had met through the Young Mothers clinic I was attending, was to be one of my birth attendants. Looking back, I honestly couldn’t have got through that particular birthing without Ruth. A good midwife can make all the difference in the world. Once we got to the hospital, I stripped off and hopped under a hot shower for pain relief. It appeared that I was having a posterior labour and nothing we did would shift Big Miss A around (she’s just as stubborn now at 8 years old!)
I laboured in the shower for hours. I was exhausted. At 5am on the Tuesday morning, I felt like my energy and my mental strength were spent, so I agreed to getting an epidural. Gas makes me violently ill and I didn’t like the idea that pethidine could potentially make my baby sleepy for a few hours. The anaesthetist was amazing and gave me almost a perfect epidural. At 6am I was able to drift off and rest. I could feel pressure still, but had no pain at all, and was able to allow my body to shore up those hidden reserves of strength every human being has.
At around 10:30am, I was woken up to do some observations and found I was around 9cm dilated. I would have celebrated but I was still absolutely exhausted and need to conserve my energy. I don’t really remember too much after this point. I remember that I was encouraged to push, and I remember the moment I got to hold my beautiful girl. I was later told that had she not arrived within 3 more pushes I would have been wheeled off for an emergency caeserean. I was also told that I lost a lot of blood and that I had minor tearing.
I was so lucky to have a wonderful student midwife, Ruth, who stayed for the whole birth even though she didn’t have to. And my mum, who, as always, was amazing, and calm and grounding. Love my mum so much!