It was our due date- the one day statistically speaking that I was very unlikely to go into labour. But, at 12:05am on that morning, I experienced my first surge! I was in disbelief that this was really “it” (in fact, I laughed!). A little sceptical, I went back to bed and waited for a few more surges before waking my husband up to tell him I was in labour. Knowing I likely had a long road ahead, we both went back to bed to try and get as much rest as we could. Despite this, my surges were quite regular and began to intensify, so I put my TENS machine on shortly after this and I timed them at 10 minutes apart. This continued until 6am when I got up for the day and out of nowhere, the surges slowed right down.
Not wanting to get too caught up, I went about my day as normal, experiencing irregular surges throughout the day. Some were 5 minutes apart, some were 20 minutes apart- I really didn’t know what to think at this point. Being my due date, I thankfully had a pre-arranged appointment with my private midwife who visited me at home. We spoke through my birthing preferences, when to present to hospital, she talked me through a few of my surges and spoke words of encouragement to me. I felt so ready for what was to come! After she left, I retreated into the bedroom to get into some lower light and sat on my birth ball to try and create space in my pelvis for bub to move through.
When my husband got home from work, we went for a walk to try and get things moving along (and oh boy did it ever! Strangers would stop to check if I was okay because I kept getting intense surges in the middle of the walkway!). After the walk the surges started coming thick and fast. It was at this point we turned all the lights low, diffuser and essential oils came on, we used light touch massage and some rebozo to try and get baby engaged and ensure he was in the right position. The TENS machine was a life saver during this time!
By 11pm my surges were only a couple of minutes apart and had been that way for about two hours. I could tell things had changed as the pressure intensified and each surge took all my efforts. At this point, my husband suggested we pack the car and get ready to head to the hospital. Even though I agreed, I still had convinced myself I had a long way to go and thought I was only a few centimetres dilated!
When we arrived, I asked to be left in the assessment area alone to allow my body to re-adjust after the car trip as I didn’t want to be assessed and then be “put on the clock”. Despite this, my surges didn’t cease and were coming every minute or so. The midwives strongly encouraged me to have a vaginal exam so that they could check where I was at and then move me to the birth suite. The midwife advised I was 8 dilated and they took me straight to the birth suite. As soon as we got into the room, my waters broke.
Almost immediately and without instruction, my body began pushing to signify it was ready. I got in the bath- I thought it was go time. But the heat of the water started to make me feel ill and I struggled to control my temperature. Out of the bath and into the shower we went. For about three hours, my body kept pushing with each contraction, despite “just trying to breathe”. I was exhausted. I didn’t think I could do it anymore.
It was at this point my midwives suggested I get back into the bath so that I could get into more of a comfortable position. Almost immediately, my surges ramped up and were coming with barely a few seconds break between each one.
At 3am, my midwife had left the room to consult with the doctor – they had given me until 3:30am before they wanted to begin the discussion of intervention due to the prolonged and involuntary pushing my body was doing.
Almost as if my body knew, the next surge bought with it the famous “ring of fire”. I looked at my midwife and said, “I think I can feel the head.” She looked me dead in the eyes and said, “I can see the head”. I cried.
Three surges later, at 3:13am, I was able to pull our sweet boy up from the water and straight onto my chest. He was finally here.
Never in a million years did I think that this could or would be my birth story. I was so afraid of birth. But after learning Hypnobirthing and optimal maternal positioning – educating myself with around my options and gaining an understanding of how our bodies have been designed to conceive, grow and birth our babies, I felt so empowered to give birth.
Thanks again, Steph, for all that you contributed to making this possible for me!
Shared with permission – Thank you so much Emily & Mitch ❤️