Birth Stories – It was my first baby and I wasn’t ready…
Dan and I had just gotten married when we found out we were pregnant with our first child.
In all honestey, it was a bit of shock, especially when we traced back the dates and realized we had fallen pregnant on our wedding night. Although, If there was anything that could have made our wedding more special, this would be it.
I had gone with Dan up to Cairns where he had a meeting. We made it a ‘long weekend’ as you can when you are footloose and kid free.
It slowly dawned on me that I hadn’t had my period in a while, but I couldn’t actually trace back when I had last had it. Sometime before the wedding, but I wasn’t sure how far before. Not in the week before because I hadn’t been worrying about having my period on my wedding day, but sometime before that. Since the wedding had been over 4 weeks before – we started to wonder…
We went to the Great Barrier Reef on Saturday and I started to feel sick, but we put it down to sea sickness. On Sunday – we thought that maybe, just maybe, we should get a pregnancy test and put the matter to rest.
We walked for 2 hours around the Cairns CBD before we finally stumbled across a pharmacy that was open. We grabbed a test and went back to the hotel as quickly as we could. I headed to the bathroom and I left Dan in the bedroom. I followed tests the instructions to the letter – and the two little lines appeared right away.
It was a big surprise!
I was due for a promotion at my new job, we were meant to be going to Nepal and Tibet on our delayed honeymoon next year, we needed to renovate the house. I had things I wanted to do before we had a baby.
But all of that changed in an instant.
Dan was elated, he gave me the biggest hug and his enthusiasm was infectious. We spent the rest of the day lounging around the pool and gazing longingly at cocktails going past. Oh and googling random pregnancy facts.
The next day, while Dan was in his meeting, I went to the local bookstore and stocked up on every pregnancy/birth/parenting book I could find. I am nothing if not prepared.
My pregnancy progressed pretty smoothly, as far as pregnancies go.
I didn’t have morning sickness, I had plenty of time to rest and relax, whenever I wanted to actually.
I probably took eating for two a little too literally, but otherwise, everything went pretty well.
Until the last few months that is.
My blood pressure began to creep up, my heart started to do funny things, I was tired and swollen, and more than ready for the baby to come out!
I went along to my 39 week check up and my blood pressure was through the roof. They tested my urine and there was starting to be indications of protein so my obstetrician said that I would be induced that night.
The receptionist made some calls and we were booked in for induction at 9 pm. It was 10 am. It felt like such a long time to wait.
I went home, tidied up and packed my bag (ED note: This is the only time I have managed to pack my hospital bag).
Dan came home and we went to his sisters’ place for a pre-planned Mexican dinner. I decided that Mexican food probably isn’t the best dinner to eat before the night before you have a baby, so I bought some soup instead.
We headed to the hospital at 9pm.
We naively thought we were ready.
They inserted the balloon (or ribbon – or whatever it is that they insert) to soften my cervix before putting the drip in in the morning.
We were kept in the birth suite until 1 am and then moved to a ward room. We both got no sleep (Dan tried to sleep on the floor) and we were taken back to the birth suite at 6 am.
The drip was inserted just after 6 am and my waters were broken at the same time. I was so surprised that it felt just like I was wetting myself and then it kept on coming. I had always just assumed that they would all gush out and that was it, not that it would keep coming in a gush every now and then.
Labour starts in ernest…
My labour started straight away. It was hard and fast and intense immediately. I barely got any respite as the contractions were 1 minute apart and lasting for 30 seconds.
It was the most intense pain I had ever experienced. Like bad bad period pain but also 1 million times worse. Like I was being ripped in two. I tried the Gas and Air but it didn’t really numb the pain for me and it made me feel like I was stoned, so I stopped it.
I couldn’t talk – I kept trying to communicate with Dan via hand signals that he couldn’t understand.
At some stage I ended up almost completely naked.
We tried every position to try to ease the pain. As I was being induced they wanted to monitor the baby so I couldn’t have a shower, bath, or move around too much.
After 3 hours of the super active labour, I asked for an epidural.
It was so hard to stay frozen in one place while they insert the needle when your body is wracked with contractions every 30 seconds. But I managed it (just).
Once the epidural was in, things settled down for a while. I tried to get some sleep as I had been up for over 24 hours, my mum came in to help out and it was all quiet in the birth suite for the next few hours.
We watched the contractions happening on the monitor. Dan had some lunch and I ate some ice since I wasn’t allowed to eat anything.
I slowly dilated from 5 to 7 to 9 and then it was time to push. By now it was 4.30.
I didn’t really know how to push, but I did my best. Nothing seemed to really be happening. I didn’t feel like I had to push (with baby no 3 I had no choice – it was time to push and that was it, I couldn’t have stopped myself if I tried) and I guess that was the result from the epidural.
After 45 minutes of pushing with not much progress, I think there had been some, but I felt like no one was really appreciating my efforts, the obstetrician came over to see how things were going.
It was right then that the baby’s heart rate dropped then disappeared.
Everyone froze and then all of a sudden everyone was moving at once, but in silence. Dan says he has never been more scared in his life. I was so exhausted by then that I watched proceedings with a detached focus, I knew something serious was happening, but I was so tired and overwhelmed I just couldn’t really comprehend what was going on.
They said they had to get the baby out as quickly as possible. The Dr got out the vacuum and within the next two pushes, she was out.
They put her on my tummy.
Blink, Blink, Blink. Then WHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
It was one of the best sounds I have ever heard. I will never forget that moment – Where she blinked 3 times and then started crying.
Dan was crying. He got to cut the cord and then we got to have a proper cuddle with our new, precious baby. She was divine.
I had to get stitched up as I had a second-degree tear – it didn’t seem like the worst thing that had happened to me that day.
We spent the next few days awed and terrified of our new baby. We could hardly believe that we were going to be bringing her home with us in a few short days.
Katie is the Managing Director and Editor at Mums of Brisbane. Most days will find her drinking coffee, playing racing cars and trying not to step barefoot on Lego. She lives with her husband and three children in beautiful Brisbane. You can read her story here.
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