I woke up at 4 am snuggling my nearly 2-year-old. I was 39 weeks and six days pregnant. It wasn't unusual for me to wake up a lot overnight, so I didn't think much of it and tried to go back to sleep.
Then my tummy started to tighten, but I just figured it was Braxton Hicks, as I'd had them during recent weeks. I looked at the clock and closed my eyes again. About 6 minutes later, my tummy tightened again, and it continued regularly from here.
I stayed in bed until 7 am when our 4-year-old came in to wake me up for breakfast. We got up, and I made some breaky and then got the boys dressed. At about 9 am, I called the hospital because the contractions were still coming between every 4-6 minutes. They told us to come in because we had a 40-minute drive to drop the kids at their grandparents and then another 20-minute drive to the hospital and living in stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, we also had to account for possibly getting stopped by the police on the way.
On the drive to drop the boys off, the contractions pretty much stopped. We still went into the hospital to get checked. When I was walking the contractions continued, but they stopped each time I would sit or rest. I was put on the machine for monitoring, but the contractions were inconsistent. They did an internal exam, and I was 3cm dilated. They sent me home and said to go on a walk and try to establish labour.
After having some lunch and walking around the house for a while, we decided to go for a decent walk. About halfway through our walk, the contractions ramped up. I could hardly walk during them, and my husband almost ran home with our dog to get the car, but I insisted I could walk home.
When we got home, the contractions stopped again when I sat down. By now, it was about 4 pm, I was exhausted from having contractions, but they were just not consistent enough at rest. I decided to have a hot shower, and then my husband and I put on Jurassic Park (because I'd never seen it). While we were watching, I was using a contraction timer, and about halfway through the movie, I could tell things were progressing.
The contractions were worse, I couldn't speak, and deep breathing was all I could do to get through. I decided to call the hospital back but went to the toilet first, and when I wiped, I discovered I was bleeding. I called the hospital, and they told us to head back down there. I had a student midwife follow me through the pregnancy, and she met us there.
When the midwife saw me she didn't bother putting me on the monitor; we just went straight to an internal and I was 5cm dilated, so we moved to the birth suite. The contractions were coming thick and fast now, and it was around 8 pm. I guessed the birth time would be 11.35 pm.
Once we were in our room, I stood up to labour because it was the best way to keep the contractions consistent for me. The midwives could tell I was hurting and reminded me there were options for pain relief and all I needed to do was ask for them if I wanted them. I declined any pain relief and said I was fine for the moment. This was also the time they put on their PPE: Orange N95 masks, full aprons, face shields and gloves.
Thankfully I had been told about this before birth because it was quite confronting and a very different experience to my last births. On the next contraction, the midwife started to massage my back which was actually amazing and really helped with the pain. So each time a contraction would start, she would massage my back.
They checked on baby with the doppler every so often, but he was doing fine. At 11.25 pm I looked at the clock and said "I don't think this baby is going to come anytime soon" and laughed! The next few contractions were intense; I squeezed my husband's hands and just tried to breathe.
All of a sudden, I got an intense urge to push, and my water ruptured everywhere! I was standing up, and next thing I knew there was a lot of movement as the midwives threw blankets and towels on the floor ready to catch this baby and they helped me take off my undies. But I did not want to have baby standing up, so I moved onto the bed.
They couldn't find his heartbeat with the doppler, so they grabbed the monitor, and I was vaguely aware they were frantically trying to find a trace with it but were having no luck. Another midwife entered the room and told me "you need to push into your bottom on the next contraction" and so I did, they pushed my knees down to make space for the baby.
On the next contraction, I pushed like hell, and they told me they could see my baby and not to stop. Next thing I felt was instant relief as his head came out, and the rest of his body followed. Our third beautiful boy Bailey was born at 11.43 pm on 9th of August weighing 3.24kgs.
When they placed him on my chest, and he cried that first little squeak, I was so happy and relieved and felt so completely whole and incredibly happy and blessed with our family of 5.