From the “pop” of my waters breaking to Jake being born, it was only four hours – and I was five days overdue!
At five days overdue, there was still no action, and at that stage I thought I’d be pregnant forever. My midwife came to our home around midday to perform a stretch and sweep, to see if she could get things moving. Little did I know I was already 3cm dilated and she was able to stretch me to 5cm. She said that she could feel the baby’s head, and my waters were bulging.
I was determined to encourage things along, so I went to the mall with a friend and walked around for two hours. I was getting the odd niggle, but nothing to think about. At 5pm I went to my weekly Pilates class, and I managed to do the whole class with a couple of time outs where I had strong Braxton Hicks contractions.
I got home, cooked dinner, and felt a little off, but thought maybe I was just tired. I ran a deep bath and relaxed for close to an hour – it was amazing. I was in bed by 8.30pm, but was struggling to get comfy and fall asleep.
At around 9.20pm, I heard a weird “pop”, and thought, “Could it be?” I stood up and, sure enough, my waters started flowing. I called my midwife to say, “We have action!” She advised me to take two paracetamol and get back into bed, as I could be in for a very long journey ahead.
I decided I’d finish packing my hospital bag instead. But within 10 minutes, I was back on the phone to my midwife, saying, “We need to go to the hospital now!” The contractions had come on thick and fast.
We arrived at the hospital by 10pm, and the contractions were super-strong, so my midwife checked me and I was 8cm dilated. I laboured upright with my husband for as long as I could. When the exhaustion hit from the intense contractions, I moved to the bed, but was adamant I wanted to stay upright for gravity to do its thing, so I laboured on my knees with my arms hanging over the back of the bed.
My midwife offered me gas and air which I thought I would try. It was great and totally spaced me out, but it made me lose focus and not breathe through the contractions, so it was taken away shortly after.
As we worked through each contraction, I tried my hardest to stay focused, and knew I needed to trust my body, so I went with it as much as I could. My midwife then noticed my body started pushing through each contraction. She asked if that was me pushing, to which I replied, “No, I can’t help it.” That’s when we knew our baby was on its way.
I turned over and lay on my back, and a nurse was called into the room. I breathed and pushed through my contractions, which was hard work. I was struggling with “holding baby there” between contractions – I would push and he would move down, but then when I stopped pushing, he would go back up. I focused on holding him down low between contractions, and I finally got there.
The head was definitely the hardest part to push out, as our baby had his fist on his cheek, so I had to get the head AND an arm out together!
After close to an hour of pushing, one very exhausted mum and one emotional dad, our little boy Jake was born at 1:19am on Thursday. He clocked in at 8lb 7oz and was 52cm long. It was such a surreal moment having the baby that you have carried for nine months now on the outside and placed on your chest.
From the “pop” of my waters breaking to Jake being born, it had been four hours.
Jake and I had skin-to-skin contact for a long time. We waited for his umbilical cord to finish pulsating before it was cut, and I then birthed the placenta about 30 minutes later. It was a pretty straightforward procedure, where I pushed and my midwife pulled – sure was a lot easier than delivering a baby!
I ended up having one tear which needed stitches, and lost a little blood, but nothing too serious. I was stitched up while Jake lay on my chest, and then we tried breastfeeding, which was the beginning of a very challenging but rewarding journey.
I feel privileged to have had a rather easy and straightforward birth, which resulted in a healthy baby boy and two very adoring parents.
BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.
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