Part 1 can be found here
Hello! You’re back for some more torture huh? Well, wait no more.
So following the 5am wake up call, and subsequent leaking of some water, I figured I had some time on my hands. Going by previous births, I’d have awkward, irregular contractions for hours on end, be told I wasn’t in labour, only to give birth a few hours later. THAT’S HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO GO. But it didn’t. With more pain and bigger contractions, things were really ramping up. By 5:30am I thought I might start timing the contractions. And OMG HOW GOOD ARE SMART PHONES? There’s an app for everything. I downloaded some dodgy app and timed away. Erm, contractions from the get go were 3 minutes apart, lasting for 30-40 seconds. Not quite the gradual build up I had anticipated. My foggy brain recalled that those sort of contractions kinda meant we were in the throes of things. So I decided to message my bro and have him on hand to help with the girls, in case we had to head in. He got to our house and I was having to hold onto the bench for each contraction. This wasn’t supposed to happen within 30-60 mins of the whole thing kicking off! Time for the trusty TENS machine I thought.
I had become the poster girl for TENS machines after Miss SP. I used it with her and got to 9cm dilated without even realising it. All hail the TENS machine. So this time around I took my trusty TENS, strapped that bad boy on and waited for it to work its magic.
Well, unless you define magic as making me this || close to literally passing out, then yes, it was magic. I was on the phone to the labour ward, and I had to hand the phone to hubby as I was starting to pass out while talking to the nurse. Tres weird. I turned the TENS machine off and immediately felt myself going back to normal. What the fuck, TENS? What.the.fuck. I was feeling all sorts of confusion and a little panicked as my safety net of the TENS was now off the table. I had to freeball this shit. Waaaaahhhhhh.
Given my performance on the phone, the nurse thought it might be handy to come in and get checked out. Miss SP had woken up by this point, and was rubbing my back through the contractions. Bless. Miss DP was fast asleep, much the same as when Miss SP arrived. That girl likes to sleep in pivotal moments. So in the bag the GHD went (never leave home without it) and we took off for the hospital. Hubby was espousing how great it was that I decided to go into labour in the morning, and on a weekday. No worries honey, I aim to please….. *insert death stare here*
When we got to the hospital, hubby offered to drop me at the door and park, but I was all “no I’m good, I can walk”. Yeah. Nah. Turns out walking that 200m to the hospital door resulted in me absolutely soaking my skirt and the ground with my waters sloshing about at every footstep. We got to hospital at 6am, and seems it was the day to give birth as all the suites were packed. Awesome. I love having a collective swarm of screaming labouring women. Might drown me out a bit. We got sent to an examination room to be checked. Hubby bouncing in feeling fresh as a daisy after his full night’s sleep. I’m so happy for you honey……. *insert more intense death stare and clenched teeth here*
By this point contractions were full on. I’d feel a contraction rise up and I’d be saying in my head “one down, one less contraction to deal with FOREVER. AND EVER. AND EVER” Can you tell I might be keen for this to be my last birthing experience? So the contraction would start to ease up and I thought “good, a bit of a break to rest”. No sooner had I uttered those words in my mind then another contraction would literally be right on top of me. I wasn’t getting a break! What the fuck contractions?? What.the.fuck. First the TENS fails me, now my contractions want to mess with me too?
My delightful obstetrician sauntered in at 6:30am. He then looks at me, I look at him, and he asks “so how are we this morning?” Oh just FINE AND DANDY. *insert another death stare here*. I said “Can I have drugs?” and he chuckled at me. Not a joke, doc. I’ve never had drugs before with any birth,so I thought I’d give it a whirl this last time. I was also thinking of the ears of all the other ladies in the overly full labour ward. I wanted to protect their ears from my banshee shrieking. I tend to get a bit vocal. Dignity is left at the door. In fact I left it at the door 5.5 years ago and it’s never returned.
He checked me and I heard him say I was 6cm. Is that it?? For this level of intensity I surely should’ve been ready to push!! So, drugs weren’t being offered. Damn it. My obs then says “can you give birth before 9am please? I’ve got a meeting I have to go to”. He’s lucky I love him.
Just when I thought things were intense enough, it knocked up a notch. Shit was getting real. I tried again to use all those psych skills that I’d spent nearly a decade and 60k learning. I was picturing a wave coming up and going back down, I was using my diaphragmatic breathing, I was using distraction techniques like moving my hands and feet…..
And as a result I’d like to apologise to anyone I’ve ever tried to teach skills to in such a moment. What a croc, huh? Well the breathing actually did help, and moving my hands and feet actually helped to keep me conscious. Things were moving so fast and were so intense I was getting pins and needles in my hands and feet- for me that’s a key indicator that I’m going to faint. So clearly my immense HECS debt was money well spent. Sorry again. I am a twat with ridiculous strategies. I mean, they do actually work (*now back-peddling to save my job here*), but only with practice. And clearly I’m a shit practicer. Oops.
Then just when I thought it couldn’t get any more fun…… transition time. Ohhhh yeah. That. I hadn’t missed that at all. If you haven’t gone through transition, the best way I can describe it is hell. In your arse region. It’s that final stage where the baby is getting all up in that birth canal, ready to pop their head out, and you just feel this ridic pain in your butt region. Amongst all the other pain. GLAMOUROUS. I knew what it was, I knew it would be over at some point, but fuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccckkkkkkkkk. That’s about all that was going through my mind.
Everything felt like it was on warp speed. I wasn’t getting any rest time between contractions, I felt dizzy and out of control, and intense. It was all just intense. I kind of felt like I needed to push, but it wasn’t that urgent I NEED TO PUSH that I had with Miss SP or DP.
In between the intensity and profanities I may have been chanting in my head, I could hear the midwife and my obstetrician having a lovely old chat. I then heard them squabbling over whose student was going to assist in delivering the baby. They both had a student each. I was kind of hoping for a Hunger Games style fight to the end to see who would take out the title, but my obs just shrugged and let the student midwife have at it. Where was the fight?! They also banged on about how I give birth quickly. It sounded as if they were gearing up for a baby to leap forth from my nether regions like a human cannon ball being shot out of a canon. I wondered whether they were suiting up with baseball mits ready for the big catch. Kegels come in handy peeps.
And then right when I was in that ‘am I needing to push? Or am I still in transition hell?’ phase I heard “baby’s heart rate going down…… needs to push……”. So that sorted that then. I felt a bit panicked at hearing the heart rate was down, and I didn’t want to mess around. So I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. I felt like I was getting nowhere…. But then…. The burning ring of fire. Oh yes. How the hell had I forgotten you?! God damned evolutionary processes that keep us coming back again and again to birth. I could feel his head and I thought “right, he’ll be out in a second” when I suddenly hear “OK, you need to take a break now. Stop pushing”. Ummmm…. What? You want me to stop right now? With a head stuck riiiiiiiight there?
Without a doubt the most awkward feeling in the world. I’m sure you get the picture. Let’s not be descriptive in this section.
After what felt like an eternity (but was probably just 20.346 seconds), I was told to push again. I was sure my stomach muscles were going to burst through my skin with all the pushing, but at last that reassuring feeling of the baby being born and sliding all the way out. Eeeeew but awwwww all at the same time. He was out! Thank.fuck.
With that he was put on my chest, crying his little lungs out. The first of my babies to actually come out crying! Typical sooky male. My obstetrician checked to confirm he was indeed a boy. We had known from our 20 week scan but we kept it a surprise for everyone. I love surprises! And keeping surprises muahahahaha. I took one look at little OT and remarked at how much he looked like Miss DP. As did hubby. I can’t wait to see him grow and to see if he indeed takes after his biggest sister.
He was a neat 3.53kg and 51cm. And he was adorable. The perfect final addition to our family. All the previous 3 hours of madness just slipped away. Except for the burst capillaries allllll over my face. They weren’t going anywhere. As an aside- Napoleon Perdis, I heart you hard.
If you got to the end of this you deserve a medal. Truly. How the hell did I turn 3 hours into this saga? My mind is boggling too, don’t worry.
What are your top coping skills for getting through the haze that is childbirth?