My birth story was quite similar to a soap opera. I am Colombian living in Australia for over five years, married to an Australian-Greek man. So, you can imagine the mixed cultures we have in our household.
My husband and I got married on Saturday, February 18 2017. From day one, I stopped taking contraceptive pills as we wanted to start our family immediately. We thought it might take a while due to health issues in the past with my husband.
Soon after we returned from our honeymoon, I felt dizzy while having a glass of wine. I wasn't sure what it was as I was on my period, but it didn't last or feel normal. I thought; OMG! I'm pregnant. So I took a test a couple of days later and just like that - I was pregnant with our honeymoon baby.
We went to the doctor to confirm that the pee stick results (that's what my husband calls a home pregnancy test) were correct. We had some blood and ultrasound tests done and confirmed I was 4 weeks pregnant. We decided on telling everyone about our beautiful news after the 12th-week scan; however, that wasn't possible. The following week I felt a very strong pain in my stomach, and I had a bloody discharge.
We called the doctor, and he said over the phone that I was miscarrying and it was quite normal. I cried non-stop. We went to the hospital to make sure everything was ok. Unfortunately, they couldn't help me as I was so early on the pregnancy and the only solution was waiting.
I was treated for threatened miscarriage and having tests every week as I bleed every single day for the following 10 weeks. Going to the loo and seeing blood each time was devastating. Not knowing when would it stop or if our baby was ok. The bleeding stopped at week 16; our baby was stronger and developed almost full-term without issues.
I was due on December 18 2017. During my pregnancy, I planned for a natural water birth with no drugs involved. I wanted my husband, my mother and my sister with me. One week before the due date my mum and dad came from Colombia, for the birth and also for Christmas.
On December 15, I did lots of walking while Christmas presents. I felt I couldn't breathe the whole time, but I thought that was normal, especially being so close to my due date. At the end of the day, we went for dinner with my parents and husband, but I was still short of breath and had a stomach ache.
At 10 pm, I felt the first contraction. It was so intense - like my hips were breaking! We arrived home. I was in bed, thinking that it is not time just yet as it wasn't constant pain.
I started using the tens machine, but it didn't work. I was very uncomfortable. My mum said "it's happening, just try to be calm and take a bath. This could take a long time".
I must admit I was in denial but maybe more scared of what was about to come. I had a bath and still no relief. Everything was annoying me. Being in bed, sitting down, walking, absolutely everything! The pain was becoming stronger and more frequent. We called the midwife, and she said to wait until I couldn't handle the pain. It was 4 am, and I said, "take me to the hospital now!" So, we called again, and because I chose a hospital outside of our area, we got the ok to go.
There was four of us in the car: my parents, my husband and me. My husband called his parents and my sister and by 5:30 am, there were nine of us at the hospital.
I was admitted at 5 cm and started practising all I learnt from the birth course: breathing, music, different positions and the pain was getting stronger and closer. My in-laws were that excited they even called few of their friends to announce I was in labour and believe or not, some of them rocked up to the hospital.
My mum couldn't handle my labour. She cried and was more stressed than me! She was in and out of the room while I was trying to relax and keep focus. I had regular checks, but I was dilating slowly.
By noon, the midwife checked, and I had stopped dilating at 7cm.
The pain to me was brutal and so awful that my mum gave up. She left the room crying asking for help in Spanish (imagine that!) as if I was being murdered or something. (NOTE: I understand her now; I would hate seeing my daughter in that much pain).
My mum was kicked out of the room, so my mother in law was ready to jump in. I lasted another three hours of ongoing pain but no dilating; so I begged with tears and cracking voice for the epidural.
The midwife a little bit hesitant, said yes, I will be getting the epidural. The OB assessed me and said I must dilate within the next two hours, or I will be having an emergency C-section as my baby was distressed. My waters still weren't even broken.
While I was getting ready for the epidural, I stayed in the room just with my husband. It was in that instant that I crashed on the floor in tears and in pain. He went down right with me, holding me tight, and with tears in his eyes, he asked the nurse for help.
I finally got the epidural. I held together every piece of my sore body during contractions while the needle was going in. After that, I slept for an hour or so, while my husband slept right next to my bed. I only had the initial dose of drugs as I wanted to keep feeling the contractions.
I felt a strong contraction and the urge to push. I tried to wake my husband up, but he is like a rock when he sleeps; I called the midwife in, and she said my baby has crowned, and it was time to push now.
We woke my husband up and started pushing around 9pm. The midwife soon found after the first push that my baby was coming sideways. So, I had to put my body on the side with my husband holding my leg up as high as possible. I kept pushing, but every time was more hard, intense and painful; I was too weak to push, so it took a long time to get the baby out.
The midwife and I were worried, thinking I might not make it to the end, and then giving all the strength I had left, I pushed one more time.
I saw my husband burst into tears of happiness at 11:18 pm as our baby girl Faith Alice Davies was born.
All our family members came in an hour later; it was the most beautiful moment of my life.