The time has come; I am now ready to present to the world my little girl Alessandra. She was born 6lbs 11oz at 5:49am. I was in labour for 9 hours with the second part of labour taking only 14 minutes. I had a waterbirth and the only “drug” I used was gas and air which was INCREDIBLE. So now that I’ve read you the sparknotes version, here is the full story.
So I started feeling cramps on Friday after a membrane sweep (which HURT LIKE CRAZY O^O). They got a bit worse by night time, but not enough for me to make any big decisions like calling up the Maternity Triage.
Around 4am saturday, the cramping had gotten a bit worse and was happening more frequently. I knew that they weren’t “actual” labour pains as they were happening quite quickly and were quite irregular so I just tried my best to fall back to sleep and relax. Spent the day as normal, but called up my in laws to just make them aware that I might be in labour at some point during the day.
This carried on until about 10pm which is when I finally called up triage and they advised me to take a bath and try to relax a bit which is, of course, much easier said than done. At one point I just got so upset that I put my phone down and sobbed as the contractions came piling in. I didn’t think I was ready for giving birth really, but I was ready to not be at home and instead in the hospital
where there was gas and air.
So after reluctantly taking a bubble bath, we made our way over to the hospital. Unfortunately, I was turned away thanks to the fact that I was only about 3cm dilated and as there’s no where else to really go, we made our way back home to wait for what felt like forever.
At first my husband and mother in law insisted on me grabbing their hands during each contraction. I actually didn’t enjoy this at all. Why would I want to inflict pain to other people when I’m in so much myself? I just couldn’t see the logic, so when I went home this time, I decided enough was enough and that I was going to instead use a breathing technique I learned in aikido. You essentially imagine that there’s a box in front of you with four sides. One side is to inhale, the next is to hold your breath, next is to exhale, and finally to hold your breath once more thus creating a box of breath. You handle each side with the same amount of time so if you’re a newbie like I am, don’t try to do this with 10 count breaths/holds right off the bat. Instead try 5-6 count breaths/holds. We don’t want to pass out. 😛 By doing this, I DEFINITELY didn’t stop the pain of the contractions, but it was enough to keep my mind at ease… well as ease as it could be with a little baby on its way.
After about an hour and a half, I decided enough was enough. I was going back to the hospital and staying there. Riding in the car was exacerbating my contractions, so either I was going in or staying in the parking lot keeled over in pain. When we got there we actually saw a family who was doing just that standing outside… great minds.
Anyways, this time I was FINALLY let through. I had dilated to 4cm and was now armed with gas and air, yippee! Although, a bit after I was admitted, they made me walk all the way to the maternity ward…. which wasn’t a fun experience. A lot of stopping and starting. They also put me in a normal room when I requested a water birth but they were happy to change me, so off I went again to the waterbirth facility.
I would HIGHLY recommend waterbirth to any mum considering it. Granted, it’s quite hard to get in as 1, you have to have a lower risk delivery, and 2, you have to be in your first stage of labour for a considerable amount of time after being admitted as it takes at least 30 minutes just to fill the bath.
I didn’t wear any swim trunks because, let’s face it, birthing doesn’t need anymore obstacles and everyone’s going to be seeing your private bits anyways. I did wear a top just because I felt I was a bit more comfortable in it.
They allow you to have gas and air in the bath which is AWESOME. So I got quite drunk on it. There was a point where I proudly stated how I had named my contractions. Berthe was the worst.
I also had a very emotional moment where the midwife told me to push and I whined how I didn’t want to tear. I tore a little bit anyways, but they were internal stitches thankfully and were actually due to me holding the baby in a certain place for too long. Oops.
The actual birthing bit is hard to explain. My second phase of labour (which is when the baby comes out), took only 14 minutes, but man, was that a horribly uncomfortable 14 minutes. It’s a bit grim but it was as if I was the most constipated person on the planet and my body was shouting at me to push, but the hole my baby was coming out of was shouting, “NO!”
The initial pushes were really strange. They almost just came out of no where and I wasn’t really sure what was happening. I would feel a strange urge to push and then it would fade. This also was the point where I grunted and moaned a great deal. I didn’t scream, but ugggh, I needed to let those noises out.
Eventually we reached the point where I was crowning and I could see my little baby’s head between my legs. It was really bizarre to see. Almost like a sudden realization that this was it. She was on her way.
The only way I could describe the way birthing feels is that it’s almost like your whole pelvic region feels like it’s on fire. There’s not really a pain as much as there’s just this burning and it doesn’t stop until you let the baby out.
A few more pushes and out she came and I got to cuddle her in the water. It was really lovely. I cradled her in the water for about 10 or 20 minutes until my midwife asked me to push once more to get ride of the placenta which was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Apparently I had delivered even earlier than a couple of the other gals who came in hours before me. I’m just super efficient apparently 😉
After the birth, I handed the baby off to my hubby so I could get stitched up. The pain does not stop with the birthing, lovelies. It carries on. At least it did for me.
Once that was all over, I got myself cleaned up and put on some of my disposable knickers with a maternity pad. The midwife who came in was shocked that I was already dressed. But really, I just didn’t know if we would need to be turfed out by a certain time to accommodate other people who had water births.
My first challenge after birth was to go pee and geez. That was HARD. The stinging was just horrible and to make matters worse, I went initially but accidentally dropped half of the urine back into the toilet so I was required to do it again.
After this we headed to a sort of “recovery” room where there was a bed, some chairs, a bathroom, and a tv that didn’t work. Needless to say, I wanted to get out of there. A few nurses came by to discuss things with me during this time. I also got some advise on breastfeeding and such which still proved to be quite difficult to get the hold of.
I was discharged same day at my own request mainly because we had such a successful first day. Granted though a part of me thought that perhaps I should’ve stayed for at least one night just so that I could get some rest. But c’est la vie. I made it out in one piece! Well two if you include the baby.
And with that, I am now home safe and sound. I’ll be posting about the first week home with the baby so keep a lookout! Not to be all corny and gross, but they kept saying to me how I would love my little Alessandra more than anything I’ve ever loved before.. I laughed it off.. but really, I can’t get enough of my little girl. I want to spend ages just glancing at her. I can’t help but kiss her little head and man, does she have the softest skin I’ve ever felt in my entire life.
I love my little girl so much and can’t wait to see how she develops over the coming years. She’s just so incredible… and how often can you say that about someone who wakes you up at 4am to suck on your nipple and shout at you for not changing her faster?