18th of December and still no sign of baby or any sort of movement down there! I was now 8 days overdue and I know due dates are never really accurate but I really wanted to have my baby early and not late. I had my mind set on the 2nd of December initially which would have made me a week early but that Friday came and went without the slightest cramp. My due date was the 9th of December and I wanted to have him way before the rush and bustle of Christmas. So now it was the 18th and my mum had us all in the living room for some good ol’ family devotion time which always turned into a mini sermon when we let her lead (in our family you’re never too old to be cajoled into family devotion time 😁). So we were wrapping things up with prayer requests from everyone and we all decided enough was enough, this baby had to come today ( the 18th of December). So we held hands and put our faith together and prayed. Being pregnant on its own was such a task but being overdue brought on a new level of frustration, not just on me but on the family too. I was so uncomfortable and barely sleeping plus I was super anxious to meet my baby. It obviously did not help that everyone else seemed to be having their babies just fine albeit even early!!! Some days I would just stay in bed all day or shed pathetic tears at night, I was just so tired and in constant discomfort. Hubby would have to rub my back and remind me of how perfect God’s timing is and to be patient . It also did not help that my midwives were unwilling to do anything in the lines of induction because it was my first baby and I was low risk. So I would sit through appointments while they smiled and told me it was normal to be 2 weeks overdue and I should hang in there. Damn you low risk pregnancy!! Anyway, back to the 18th, we went about our business as usual after praying – even with the prayers it still felt like things might never ever kick off (thank God that the prayers weren’t resting on my faith alone as I was running very low). Towards the evening I started getting very intense back aches like more intense that usual and sitting was not enough to make them go away this time. I should have suspected something was off but I had been on my feet most of the day so I just got on with it. When I got home from running erands the pain went back to normal as soon as I sat on my pregnancy ball but my braxton hicks were like every minute now! At midnight I called it a night and got ready for bed. About an hour later I got up to pee for what seemed like the millionth time, I noticed I was bleeding. I had read up on what “the show” should look like and I was pretty sure this wasn’t it but it was still alarming. I mentioned it to hubby who was adamant that we call the hospital and see what they had to say – I was very chilled about the whole thing and very reluctant to call in but eventually I did and I was told to come in. Luckily the hospital was only a 5min drive from home so if they had to send us back home, which I was sure they would, it wouldn’t be so bad. We (myself, mum and hubby) got to the hospital and were shown into a delivery room immediately to wait for a midwife and doctor. Bear in mind that I wasn’t feeling any sort of pain at this time, I found it all very exciting. I had never spent time in the hospital my entire adult life so this was weird being there in the middle of the night. Eventually the midwife and consultant on call came in to assess me and ask me questions about the bleeding. Turns out it was my show so there was nothing to worry about which translated to your behind is going back home… that was until the doctor asked me how baby’s movement had been over the last two weeks as I was now pushing 42 weeks. Told her they were ok but he wasn’t as active during the day as before, which I thought was nothing because he was probably resting getting ready for labour,right? The look of horror on their faces let me know that I was WRONG! I wasn’t naive or nothing, just that I had mentioned it to my midwife at check ups and she didn’t seem alarmed. This changed every thing. They went from not wanting to interfere to wanting to start induction that morning to get baby out as soon as! I was like finally, game time! That enthusiasm lasted for about 5 mins till they went over the process of induction with me.
They were going to kickoff the process with the infamous stretch and sweep (kill me now) this is when they take two fingers into your cervix and move it around to get things going – it was NOT PLEASANT. I hand to squeeze hubby’s hand and do breathing exercises to get through it. Halfway through she asked me if I was ok or if I needed her to pull her hand out, which meant she would have to go back in, gave her a solid NO through my pants. I was so fed up being pregnant that if I had to go through some discomfort to get things going I was pretty much game. Besides so far nothing about my delivery had gone to plan so I was going with the flow and saying yes to everything, I just wanted to meet my baby and get my bladder back.
I got admitted that night and was booked in for an induction first thing that morning. This was my first time in a hospital overnight, my hubby and mum were asked to go home and come back later in the morning. It was weird, I was oddly charged and anxious that this was actually happening. I didn’t get much sleep and having the stretch and sweep brought on some mild cramps which escalated and hand me keeling over by the time I had to go back to my delivery room. I met a new midwife who would carry out the induction and be with me for the whole day…. well till her shift ended. At first I didn’t have any confidence in her, she looked quite young. I actually thought she was a student midwife but boy was I wrong! To start the induction, lets call her Molly ☺, Molly had to check if I was dilated at all and also break my water at the same time. It didn’t hurt getting my water broken probably because her hand was already up there checking my cervix… AGAIN! Once my water was broken the real labour kicked off. I will say this, having your water break makes labour that bit more unpleasant. You literally just sit in a bed with liquid squirting out of you with each passing contraction. They give you this sort of pad thing that absorbs the fluids so it doesn’t mess up the actual bed which I suppose is good but you still have to sit in it. Plus at this point you have no knickers on so everything is out in the open. Not only was I trying to cope with the contractions I now had to cope with the disgusting wetness down there that seemed never ending, I mean how much water did I have in there anyway?!
My birthplan included me labouring in a birth pool and giving birth there if possible but with the induction the baby had to be constantly monitored and I had a drip put in my hand eventually to speed things up. By the time I had my water broken hubby and mum were back in the room, just as well too, the contractions felt like my midsection was being ripped through. I needed help sitting up for every contraction because taking them laying down on my back was not an option.Contractions were getting closer and closer and I had been offered painkillers along the way but declined willing myself to do without anything till I physically could not go on anymore. The thing about contractions is that they tire you out so after about 5 hours of going at it with nothing, I gave in and with an approving nod from my mum, I uttered the blessed word – EPIDURAL!!!!
Now the thing about me and an epidural is that I hate needles! Like absolutely petrified of them, I’ve always joked about needing an epidural to get an epidural. And where they have to stick the needle in as well… goodness, it’s just all bad! With the day I’d been having everything I had put down as never wanting to happen had already happened so I just gave in. Plus the contractions were demonic at this stage so I was briefly distracted from processing what getting an epidural actually entailed. Plus it was too late, I was already in the hospital gown that shows your arse and sitting on the edge of the bed with my back bent leaning into my mum’s chest to steady myself. I was so thrilled my mum was there as hubby had to sit this one out once he saw the anesthetist’s instruments. Its a good thing I didn’t see them myself because I would have changed my mind. Getting an epidural with contractions so close together is such a delight as the procedure requires you to be exceptionally still because of where it’s being placed, and my contractions caused me to vibrate violently from head to toe. Let’s just say it took a lot longer for him to find the right spot in my spine and I can swear he hit the wrong nerve at one point because I had pins and needles on one side of my body and my legs began to jerk of its own accord. Like I said, it was an absolute delight 😑.
Right so I had gotten the epidural and everything thing had started to slow down. I was ready for my nap- everyone told me you get a nap when you get an epidural because it slows everything down. Even the midwife told me to get settled in for a nap- I was exhausted! I asked hubby and mum to go home for lunch, it was going to be at least 3 hours and we only lived a 15mins walk from the hospital- plus, I was only 4cm dilated! It would take me ages to get to 10cm, or so I thought. After much persuasion they left and I was settling in for my glorious nap, even asked Molly to turn down the lights, I was about to go in on this nap! If only the bloody monitor would stop making that beeping noise every so often. Oh, I forgot to mention, because I was wriggling so much during my conractions they couldn’t get a steady read on the baby so they had to stick something on is head to monitor him better- you know what that meant- yet another hand up my hoo-ha.
Molly came back in to check the machine every so often, and I knew it had something to do with baby so I had to ask. She said baby kept having dips in his heart rate and that was what that reoccurring beeping noise was. She looked a little worried so I was super worried, she tried to break down the medical jargon for me but I was starting to panic! A consultant came in to talk more jargon to me, all I heard was baby was getting tired and if I wasn’t fully dilated they would have to get him out through cesarean. The smallest part of me was calm about this part because low key, I was petrified of pushing. I didn’t think I could do it 🙈. I was asked to call hubby and mum back to the hospital in case they had to wheel me to the theatre. I’d never had surgery in my life! Even though it was routine for them it was pretty scary for me- called hubby and mum ASAP and asked them to come back! The consultant check how dilated I was and surprise surprise I was fully dilated. I went from barely 4cm to 10cm just under 2 hours in spite of the epidural. After they had emptied my bladder with the catheter (another thing I did not want happening ticked off my list 🙃) thankfully they did not have to leave it there. Once my bladder was emptied it was time to push… but I wasn’t ready, I mean my mum and hubby weren’t there and I didn’t want to do it alone. Plus I didn’t even know how to push and I wanted it to be like in the movies where I’d have my hubby holding my hand telling me I could do it while wiping my forehead. Instead I was alone in the room with Molly who was eager for me to start pushing because of baby’s heart rate. She told me to push into my bum like I wanted to do a big poo. I told her that was precisely what I was trying to avoid ( that was the one thing on that horrid list I refused to have ticked off!)
Pushing with an epidural can be tricky but I had only had the initial dose and was never topped up so I was very aware of everything that was going on down there. Where there was no pain per second because of the epidural I could still feel the intense pressure of each contraction so instead of molly having to look at a monitor to check for contractions I could tell her myself. My first go at pushing was pathetic, I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t actually think it was going to make anything happen. The epidural was obviously at work masking the actual effort I put into each push. Thankfully 5mins into me pushing my hubby makes an appearance without my mum. I was getting better at my pushes now and still trying really hard not to crap myself. And because there was one thing left un-ticked on my list of horrid things that I never wanted happen to me, it was only natural that Molly would say that she would have to cut me on my next contraction to avoid me tearing. At that stage I did not care- I was tired and the effects of the epidural had pretty much worn off. I was over the process, I wanted to meet my baby and put this pain behind me. On my next contraction I felt her make the cut as I gave my last push and the sensation after that was sooooo weird! It went from stinging and burning to a quick slither of limbs and then a glorious cry. I did it! My baby was out and screaming for everyone to hear. Two seconds later my mum walks in as they placed baby on my chest. I could not believe it. I mean I knew I was carrying a little human this whole time but seeing him instead of just feeling him was surreal. There he was on my chest as content as ever quietly sucking on the edge of his hand and falling asleep peaceful. I was in awe of what had happened and the fact that I did it. God was behind it all from his conception to that very moment! Not like I needed more reason to be grateful to God but I was, and speechless too! Just overflowing with gratitude- my baby was finally here.