My Fiancé and I had decided we wanted a baby - but didn't want to stress or worry about a timeline, or when it 'should' happen. So, we just decided to have fun practising and see how we went.
Well, I have to say we are very, very lucky because much to our excitement we fell pregnant within our first few weeks of trying.
However, at the beginning of the month, I had a late period (7 days to be exact), and when it did come, it was very light in comparison to my regular periods and lasted 3 days. My cycle has always been 28 days, down to the same hour of the morning - 2 am it would be knocking on the doorstep!
I took a test - negative. Another test - negative. I was a little deflated but thought 'that's okay!'
I didn't think much of it until 28 days later - no period again. This time I didn't think much of it and waited until I was 10 days late to do another test.
And well, tah dah - we made a baby!
Cut to our dating scan, and they said I was 6 weeks + 1. So my OB went with that; meanwhile, my Fiancé and I were thinking I was further along because of the irregular period the month prior. The 20-week scan showed me as 22 weeks, and a 4D scan I had at 33 weeks showed me as 35. Keep this in mind for the birth!
Sunday 14th April - 34 weeks + something
For two days, I had felt a strange pressure each time I went to the bathroom. So much so, that I had to squat in a strange position to be able to go. I had no pain or burning, so just went with it!
Sitting in the movie cinema watching Pet Cemetery at 1pm in the afternoon with my mother in law and Fiancé, I felt a trickle of water. I didn't want to make a fuss because I thought maybe I'd lost control of my bladder.
So off I waddled in the dark to the toilet. Looked like a clear liquid but just a tiny amount so I changed my pad and went back to the movies.
The movie finished up, and I felt the need to go to the toilet again. When I stood up, there was a bigger trickle of water. I thought to myself, surely not!
My mother-in-law (who is also a nurse) saw me looking strange and said I'll come with you! Well, as I pulled down my underwear out dropped my pad as it was soaking wet and a rather large trickle of liquid followed. I knew it, my waters had broken!
I walked out of the bathroom and explained what's been going on, and my MIL suggests that yes, in fact, it would be my waters - but to call the hospital and get some advice. The midwives think I'm right and best to come straight in with a pad to show them.
I send a very concerned fiancé off to buy some pads (hilarious to watch him navigate which shops even sell pads) and my MIL to buy a towel for the car.
Standing in front of Target waiting for their return - and GUSH - my waters had definitely broke. The 19-year-old door guy at Target looks down, gives me a thumbs up and says a very awkward "good luck!" haha.
In the hospital, they confirmed that yes it was my membrane rupturing, but no I'm not in labour. I felt nothing other than the waterfall coming from between my legs, but because I was 34+ something weeks, they keep me in to be monitored. I began receiving steroids and started antibiotics in case of infection. The scariest part of this was being shown through the special care nursery because they thought my baby was coming that night, and she would end up in there.
However, 12 hours later, still no signs of labour. They decide to send me home, but I need to return each day to be assessed and see that baby was staying put and not showing any signs of distress.
At home, I get my Dr Google on, and everything is showing up induction, induction, infection, c-section. Each website stated 48 hours is the cut-off and baby needs to come out, but my OB and midwife said that baby will stay put as long as she wants to, and that they won't be doing an induction until I'm 37 weeks.
I was quietly panicked as I was now past the 48-hour mark, and I felt no signs of labour. I was also worried knowing that my baby would be coming soon, which would mean she was premature.
Wednesday 17th April
I woke up around 6.30am and felt like I needed the toilet. Which to be honest wasn't that unusual as I was always very regular, and a morning poop happened often. I proceeded to have this feeling another two times with a little bit of pressure in my back. I told my Fiance to go off to work, and if I feel like anything else is happening, I'll call.
Standing in the shower around 8.30, I have my first contraction, and it was hard and fast. I thought, "that's okay, I can manage that - it'll be hours".
But then quickly following, I had another one that's strong and deep in my butt, and another quickly after that. I decide to get my contraction app out to track, and they were 7 minutes apart. I called my Fiancé to come home (who had just got his tools out) and decide to call the hospital as my app suggested in capital letters - GET TO HOSPITAL!
Luckily because of my waters breaking, my hospital bag is packed, and I'm good to go!
On my way to the hospital, the contractions are intense but not in a painful way just in an 'I can't sit on my ass in this car for another minute' type of way. I turned to my Fiancé and said "I feel like she's going to come out my butt hole" to which he replied very seriously - "that'll be a first for the doctors".
I get to the hospital around 10 am and explain that "I've got this pressure and I feel like I need to sit on the toilet".
The midwives at first suggest that I just try staying on the toilet, because maybe like I first thought that it's a little bit of gastro as I wasn't presenting with much pain. My OB is called and suggests I be given Panadeine Forte in the case it is labour, and it will hopefully slow down.
The midwife asks if it's okay to do an internal check and I agree. Much to her surprise (and MINE), I am in fact 4cm dilated, and they confirm to me - that yes, I am having a baby!
Now I didn't have much of a birth plan, other than some music I knew I wanted playing in the background. I also said that I'd love to be in the water for as long as possible and that I wanted to go with the flow of my body. I'd also said that if I needed drugs, I'd have them - but I really wanted to try and go as long as possible without them.
Cut to 15 minutes later I ask for gas as I feel my contractions coming in waves closer and closer together and the breathing and swaying just isn't cutting it. The gas didn't work for me, and I ended up throwing up after each suck, so I put this down and go back to breathing.
I ask to go in the shower while my partner goes to get our bags from the car and I'm allowed 10 minutes as I need to be hooked up to the CTG as the baby is premmie.
In the shower, my contractions seem to take on a new level, and I couldn't stand any longer. Instead, I was sitting on the edge of the chair arching my back before I'm told times up - come on out. I think this was the most disappointing part of my labour for me as I envisioned spending the majority of my labour in the shower.
By this stage, it's about 12 o'clock, and my contractions seem to be ramping up and getting closer together. The student midwife decides to start monitoring and timing them and goes quiet. She later told me that she suspected I had moved into the transition phase but wasn't sure as my body language wasn't yet showing where I was at.
My amazing partner has put on the music I wanted and asks me what I need and what he can do. Honestly, I just wanted to be warm. I had left my wet cozzie top on and had nothing else on but the gown - and was freezing and shaking (probably shock). I asked for a heat pack, not for pain but to warm my back, and he stood holding me and keeping me together.
I said to my partner that I want an epidural and that I can't take it any longer. He looks at me strangely but says he will get the midwife and ask.
My exact words were "I know it's really early in the labour, and I feel like a pussy, but I need an epidural". I could see on their faces they all thought it was early, but they paged the anaesthetist who took about 20 minutes to arrive.
I felt the shift in my body and my Fiancé could see it in my face. I didn't know it at the time, but I had moved into the transition phase.
The anaesthetist arrives and begins his blurb about risks, and I couldn't even see his mouth moving I was in so deep. I was rocking from side to side, my Fiancé was holding me upright as I felt my legs had given out on me, and I couldn't hear a word he was saying.
Finally, he says "okay, sit down", and I just couldn't do it. I had this intense pressure between my legs. He speaks slowly so that I can comprehend, "if you can't sit, you can't have the epidural".
Instead of sitting, I throw a leg up on the side of the bed and push. My midwife looks at me confused and says "before we do this lay down and 'I'll do another internal examination". I agree because, at this point, nothing could compare to how out of my body I felt.
Laying back in all my glory, my midwife says tell me when you have a contraction. "NOWWWWW", I let out with a huge push. She says "you are 10cm and ready to push", "Sorry you can't have the epidural we are having this baby".
I sit my head up enough to see the medical staff and say "can I have morphine", to which they reply "no it's too late". I let out an almighty "FUCK" and start crying.
I was completely taken aback. I had been in the hospital for two hours expecting the typical 18 to 24-hour labour that most first-time mums have. And here I was, ready to push.
The one thing I remember about this time was my Fiancé's face when they said: "it's time to have your baby". I've never felt more supported or motivated in my life to do something, purely because he was beaming with excitement to meet his little girl.
The next thing I remember is being told to breathe through my contractions and not push so my OB can arrive (haha). I turn onto all fours as it gave me relief while I was trying to breathe through and not push. My OB arrives just in the nick of time and applies warm compress onto my perineum, and I can't explain the relief this gave me.
I push through a couple of contractions on all fours, but it's not doing anything - so my OB flips me and asks the midwife for a mirror. Now, this was something I definitely didn't plan on, but thank my lucky stars he did. He showed me my daughters head crowning and explained how I needed to keep pushing through for her to enter this world.
It was the exact visual and motivation I needed because, with one more push, her head was out.
He guided me through breathing and pushing and with one more, my little darling entered the world at 12.56 pm. My Fiancé caught her and put her on my chest before he cut the cord.
I had requested an assisted third stage, which went really well. My OB asked for me to push a little and when he pulled, and I pushed, my placenta came hurling out of me with a spray of blood across the room haha. My OB checked, and I had no tears of grazes! Incredible!
There I was less than 3 hours after arriving at the hospital with my baby girl in my arms. It was heaven, and I was equal parts in love and in shock that it was all over.
As my girl was premmie, I had a team of paediatric doctors watching me pushing waiting to assess her, and by all accounts, she was perfect. No breathing difficulties, she was a healthy 2.65kgs, 48cm and a head circumference of 35cm. No special care needed just monitored for 48 hours, and she could stay with me where she belonged. Lacey Dawn was here, and she was perfect.
By 2 pm, I was sitting in my bed eating a bowl of cornflakes looking at my Fiancé holding our little girl. I spent 4 days in the hospital as Lacey had some jaundice needing light therapy and we were home.
I wouldn't change a thing about my birth story and hope that first-time Mums have some hope that regardless of what you read, or advice you are given (without even asking) - your birth will be your own story to tell. And that you will have that ah-ha moment when you are sitting looking at your newborn in your arms.