Everyone remembers their first time. Maybe you’ve had it, maybe your about to, it rocks your world. This is my first birth, its a bit hazy cause it was 6 years ago but still to this day Im proud of my 20yr old self. I didnt know all the stuff I do now and I would’ve of done a couple things differently but overall I think I did really well for a girl who at the time had know idea how passionate she would become about pregnancy and birth.
Lets start with the story…
10am March 16th 2010,
My waters are broken to induce labour at 39 wks 5 days. Im a gestational diabetic mum, insulin dependant (aka, I inject myself 4 times a day). I am 2-3cms, I have lost my mucous plug (bloody show), have been experiencing braxton hicks continuously through the night but no real contractions. So I had a reasonably good night sleep, I actually had a TENS machine (natural pain relief using electrical nerve stimulation) which I hired from the hospital and had that on my back throughout the night, worked like a treat 🙂
So Im in birth suite in the examination room at Townsville Hospital, having my waters broken was painless in case any of you are wondering. A lovely big warm gush followed… and so did the REAL contractions. Pretty much within 10 minutes I was getting regular strong contractions at least every 5-10 mins. Once your waters have broken and labour starts it CAN be full on from the get go without much preliminary build up. This sounds great in theory but our waters are actually best kept intact until 2nd stage (pushing) they act as a cushion for baby’s head and can make a more smoother comfortable labour, yes maybe a little more build up but who said super fast labours were actually better for us?
So BAM I was in serious labour, my first memories of trying to deal with the contractions were when I was still in the examination room, I’d close my eyes and just think “Jesus” and call his name silently. I wasnt brave enough to use my voice during my first birth, I was dead quiet the entire time, although inside me was crazy. I dont think I had bottoms on cause I remember using a sheet draped around me to move through birth suite into a room in between contractions. Hey why not just totally get into it right at the begining!
My birth support was and always has been, mum and my husband, my sister didnt join us until my third. I had the monitor strapped to me the entire time, could’ve asked for it more intermittedly but again, first time mum doesnt think of this. It wasnt bad, I still had a very active labour and never used the bed until the end when I kneeled on it. I eventually started using the gas, probaly around 11am (7 hrs till birth). I sat on a birth ball, rocking and gently bouncing. When I used the gas I held on to the side of bed cause it made me a bit dizzy.
Around lunchtime my birth support were munching on their subway lunch right behind me, I snapped at them and told them to stop chewing so loudly! They quietly moved away from me looking at each other. I spent alot of time on the ball next to the monitor machine, I could see the numbers rising quickly as my uterus began contracting and sometimes they would peak, subside and then I’d see the numbers rising again and think “oh no!” a double peak!
Somewhere around 1-2pm I asked for a shot of pethidine, it was the one thing I’d decide was not off limits. The reason I took it was actually not because I was in overwhelming pain at the time, it was because I was afraid I wasnt going to make it till the end, a fear that its going to be worse later so try rest now. Pethidine does not take away all the pain by far, only an epidural can do that, but it feels like an intensified version of the effects of the gas. You feel a bit spaced out and probably are not going to do well standing up, so I sat and tried to keep my head looking in one direction, cause if I turned the world spun. Probably made me feel worse than I would’ve without it. Lesson learnt. I spewed twice and then after 2-3hrs it wore off and I was like “Thank God!”. Did not even dream of having any more EVER.
So with that episode behind me, I was on my own again, we also ditched the gas as I came into transition. That was the last time I ever used gas in labour. I had a little cry, always a good sign, I hoped that it would be all over soon, and it would. I was fully dilated and a midwife suggested I sit on the end of the bed with legs spread. So I tried it, it was so friggin unfomfortable! Like I want to SIT on anything when someone’s head is down there! I sat in that awkward position for awhile. Everything died right off, contractions stopped their crazy 2 minute apart thing and spaced out, we waited, and waited. Probably less than 10 mins but it was weird. The calm before the storm, sometimes the body’s way of allowing the mum to catch her breath before she needs to push. This was about 5pm.
We changed positions in this lull and I opted for a kneeling position, holding onto the raised back of the bed. I always thought you were supposed to get this uncontrollable urge to push and that u just went with it, I was wrong, its not like this for a alot of women. It never has been for me. In fact baby can make its way all the way down without much huffing an puffing, but I didnt know that then. And miwives generally coach you into making big deliberate pushes whether you feel like it or not (times are changeing though). So I listened and I pushed anyway, for over an hour, I was very tired but maintained my position and effort. I was just so happy to be done with stage 1 and transition, I always welcome 2nd stage! Whoo hoo!
Finally, a head came out, I felt it between my thighs and it cried. It was the most surreal moment out of all my three births, a baby with only its head out between my legs, crying. The sound filled the room, we didnt even know if it was a boy or girl but it was the sound of our baby. Then I pushed one more time and it fell out onto the bed between my knees, I was so surprised. I saw instantly it was a boy and the first thing I said echoes what a first time mum wonders continuously… “What do I do?” thats exactly what I said. The lovely midwife said, “Pick him up, he’s your baby.” So I picked him up and rolled unto my back with him on my chest. Bliss. I did it!
Hours later in maternity I lay awake with Jacob asleep beside me thinking “Holy crap, I will have to do that all again!’
To read Giving Birth A Second Time click HERE
LESSONS I LEARNT
- Really ask why your being induced if it’s being offered. Many times it is not necessary If there is only suspicions or if you are worried, realise you have the power to ask for an alternative. A great alternative is to be regularly monitored to see if baby and you are well. I agreed to do this every few days with my 2nd and 3rd when I refused induction. Gestational diabetes is not always a good enough reason for routine induction if all is managed well. Being overdue is NOT a reason to induce, if your worried, again, choose to be monitored. Why can induction be bad? read this article Induction Article from the Australian BellyBelly website. You and baby deserve the best birth, don’t cut yourself short just to get baby out quicker cause your “over it”.
- Drugs usually make things worse.
- Birth Plans work. Prepare for birth, prepare for the best, visualize the BEST. Why imagine anything else? Sometimes things don’t go to plan and thats ok, but alot is in your power and the decisions you make in labour are important. Be the one thats informed and educated, dont leave your birth up to everyone else to decide.