The following day the Braxton Hicks progressed into real contractions. I went into the birthing unit at 2 am and was told I was 3cm and I could stay or go and relax at home. I chose to go home as I would possibly try my best without strong medication. The midwife gave me some panadol to help the pain, and I went home to get some rest.
I stayed in the shower for over an hour with the contractions still happening. I went to bed and fell asleep and woke up to nothing happening!! I was so upset and frustrated at this point. I had a stretch and sweep already booked in, so I went to this appointment anyway. I was in the waiting room with all other pregnant women waiting for their regular check-ups, and I was the crazy pregnant woman holding her belly and pacing, waiting to be called in.
Once in the room, the midwife checked my dilation. I was surprised to hear that I'm was now 4cm! The midwife responds, "You're not going home. Call your partner and get your hospital bag here". I was so excited to call him, and when he arrived, we went up to the birthing unit and continued getting through contractions. They had no beds, so I was in the snack/restroom.
I will add that I wasn't offered things you plan for, such as birthing balls, etc. It got to the point when I knew something more was happening, so they put me in a room to recheck me. I was still 4cm. I was so exhausted at this point as I didn't sleep for days leading up due to the Braxton Hicks contractions.
To speed things up, they offered to break my waters. A couple of hours later, still nothing, so I had the induction medicine. They said this would intensify my contractions. I was scared of worsening pain, so I ended up saying I wanted the epidural.
Once I had the epidural, it was amazing. I enjoyed relaxing and waiting with my partner with zero pain. As hours passed, I started feeling more, it hit 10 pm, and I was in agony. I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom to do a number 2 from all the pressure. The midwife told me I was only 9cm, so I couldn't push yet. I was trying my hardest to fight the urge to push. She said to wait an hour, then I can. I managed to get to 11 pm, and then the midwife said, "wait another hour, we need bub to descend".
I. Was. Livid. And exhausted.
Those two hours of pain were the longest time of my life. The only thing that got me through was pushing down onto the bed and holding my bum up to take the pressure off and horses breath with my lips, haha. By 11:45 pm, I couldn't wait anymore. I started pushing by myself.
The midwife ran out, got her equipment and came back. Bubs heartbeat started to drop from stress, and they called doctors in. They had to put the suction cap vacuum on his head, and I pushed while they pulled twice to get him lower. Then I pushed two more times, and he was out. He was on my chest and didn't make much noise. More doctors and NICU nurses ran in and took him off my chest after a couple of minutes. He then was taken down to the NICU with respiratory issues. My partner left to be with the baby, and I was lying in blood with just one nurse. It was super emotional, and now that I think about it, quite traumatic from having everyone around you to no one, especially not even your baby.
I had to get my partner to send me photos and tell me his weight and height I barely remembered what he looked like it happened so fast. Even though the epidural wore off and I felt everything, they still couldn't let me stand just yet due to safety. So I had to wait for hours, then we showered me, and I finally saw my baby again down in the NICU.
He was full-term 40+2, 52cm, 3,815kgs and covered in wires. After his respiratory issues got better and the wires came off, they started worrying about an infection. They couldn't find a vein to give him antibiotics and tried a whole bunch of doctors, going up the ladder each time finding someone higher. After two days, someone finally managed to get it in. So he no longer had to have the antibiotics through his thigh with a needle which was a relief.
It was so sad being in the postnatal care rooms without my baby and seeing all the other mums with theirs. He had a canular in his tiny wrist, and it was so hard to see.
I loved giving birth but writing the story reminds me of the bad things that didn't go right. It definitely could have been worse but also could have been better. Either way, I have my beautiful ten-month-old son by my side every day. I am blessed!