At 38 weeks and five days with my first baby, I went to the toilet only to feel a large gush of liquid. I called my midwives and was told to come in as it sounded as if my waters broke.
We drove the half-hour, and once there our obstetrician took a swab and said that whilst there was blood on the swab she wanted to induce us the next day so to come back at 7:00 am the next morning, and we would finally get to meet our little boy.
Driving the half-hour home, we were so full of excitement as we finally had an end date and were about to call our families and let them know the exciting news when we got a call from our obstetrician. They said: "there was blood on the swab which can sometimes give a false negative for your waters having broken, I am comfortable with leaving you as you are, cancelling the induction and we will rediscuss at our next appointment".
Trusting our doctor, we agreed and hung up, in utter disappointment, we sat in silence. It was such deflating news, but little did we know our boy would make his grand entrance in a few days and quite an entrance!
At 3:30 am at 39 weeks, and two days I suddenly woke and went to the toilet, only to see my underwear soaked with liquid. Surely I haven't peed myself! There was nothing on my PJs and it kind of smelt like semen (yep just what you want right!?)
I rang my midwife who after asking her questions - including what does it smell like - was happy to say my waters had broken and that if I felt fine to go back and get some sleep and come into the hospital at 7:00 am. Knowing as it was my first we might be in for a long labour, I went back to bed to rest and allowed my partner to keep sleeping. I managed to doze off, but the excitement of meeting our little one and the anxiousness of the unknown certainly made it challenging.
At 5:30 am I gently woke my partner to let him know my waters had broken and we were off to the hospital at 7:00 am. My doctor inspected me again and said my cervix was more ready than last time and that she didn't think that anything would progress that day, however as I had had a prolonged rupture of my waters that I would have to come back at 6:00 pm that night to have antibiotics and be induced the next morning.
To be honest, no one thought I was in labour, I wasn't in any pain, and after my initial water breaking, I had no other leakage – thanks to a very low sitting head that had been sitting engaged for six weeks prior! We went home with instructions to call immediately if anything changed.
I was having minor cramps in my pelvis and legs, but I put that down to general pregnancy pains I had been feeling- lightening crutch is real and not talked about enough! Excited and ready to get this done, we went back that night, but not before our final meal together alone at subway.
I remember having my TENS machine (on the lowest setting) on as my legs and pelvis were quite sore and I was having minor stomach cramps (what I know now was all early contractions). We were standing in subway, and it was full of only men as I am trying to order with these pains happening - good times!)
We made it to the hospital, and everyone was chill about the induction the next day. I, on the other hand, was feeling more and more intense cramps in my legs and pelvis, the midwife put me onto the machine to check my contractions which were hardly registering in my stomach, even when my legs and pelvis were.
Everyone was adamant that I would be induced and there would be no baby that night. At 8:45 pm I vomited for the first time in my pregnancy (winning streak gone!) I was constantly on and off the toilet while I emptied my bowels, just when you thought there was nothing left surprise!
The pains in my legs and pelvis kept happening, but nothing registered on the machines, and as I could talk through them no one remotely thought I was getting close to having my baby boy. At 10:15 pm I was given a dose of antibiotics, my obstetrician came back to check on me and happily said: "here's a sleeping tablet and a Panadene Forte to help with your leg pain, I'll see you in the morning and we will have a baby!"
I quickly dozed off only to be awoken every 5 minutes to "run" while laying down as it was the only relief on my legs, my partner started timing these and quickly said they were minutes apart. I got up to go to the toilet and all of a sudden; my body started pushing, all the pain went away, and I was suddenly relieved and happy to feel a different sensation in my stomach over my legs.
My partner called the midwife who said we would go to the delivery room and see what was happening; I was hoping they would at least say I was 4cm dilated so I would know we were starting. I walked down to the delivery room with this pushing feeling growing, the midwife had a look and quickly said: "I'm just going to grab the other midwife be right back". The next midwife came in had one look and said: "Sarah, there's a head you're fully dilated and ready to have this baby!"
Within what felt like seconds they were all dressed and down the business end and we were ready to have our boy. At 00:12 am the next morning, my little boy George Andrew was born weighing 3.4kg. My first-time active labour had been a total of 1:54 minutes, 1st stage 1:18 minutes, 2nd stage 24 minutes and 3rd stage 12 minutes.
The only concern at my birth was that my placenta was gritty and I remember hearing the doctor say if it doesn't come in the next minute, we're going to surgery and with that my body naturally laboured it. I had a second-degree tear that was sutured. Fifteen minutes after birth I became concerned as I had a tingling in my back, we quickly realised my TENS machine (still on the lowest possible setting as we had completely forgotten to turn it up during labour!) was still on and causing the issue.
My little George was born with a temp of 38.1 and had a score of 5, I remember not hearing him cry immediately and then the midwife putting him on my chest and rubbing him – just like they did to the puppy in 101 Dalmatians!
Within seconds his little cry filled the room, and that feeling of utter elation, fear, joy, love, awe, panic took over. He was given antibiotics, and his temp was back to normal with an hour. The midwife said after 40 minutes did I want to try and feed and with that my little man latched on himself and the midwife turned around and said oh we got it!
That little boy stayed attached to those boobs until one month ago at 14 months. I was so lucky and blessed to have an easy pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding journey as I know not all women get that. I am about to have my second baby in December and have been told that as soon as I feel the slightest twinge, I need to go to the hospital as this time could be quicker! My partner is already preparing the hot packs for my perineal ha-ha.