This week Rebecca from Young and Hitched is sharing her birth story, a water birth. I’m not going to lie, I’m a tad bit jealous. I’ve always wanted a water birth but it would take longer to fill a basin with how quick my labours have gone. Grab a cuppa, it’s a long but beautiful story.
A week ago exactly I had the hardest and most amazing day of my life so far. It all started at about 4.30 in the morning. I woke up and noticed I was having contractions. This wasn’t a biggie since I’d been having contractions just about every day for months, but the new thing was that I realized my contractions were what had woken me up. That hadn’t happened before. I pulled up our iPad and opened our contraction monitor app and started timing them. After an hour, it was clear that there was about 6 minutes between them. I sent my mom a quick text “it’s time.” and woke up Marcus. Next, I called the hospital and was told to wait it out another few hours and even try to go back to sleep. I asked when I should call them up again and she just told me “When you need to”. Wondering when that would be, I jumped in the shower, knowing there was no way in heck I’d be able to fall back asleep. Marcus showered too and we had breakfast and watched a LOT (it felt like) of Modern Family on Netflix.
Being mainly focused on my contractions the next couple of hours went by really fast. The contractions were getting a lot tougher but still seemed to be 6 minutes apart. Really? As it was getting a little too painful to lie down I got up and started pacing. Immediately I noticed a difference in my contractions. The gaps between became clearer and the app now showed just 2-3 minutes apart. I finally called mom and asked her to come … now. Then I called the hospital and said we were coming… now.
Mom showed up around 10am with the biggest smile on her face. Neither she nor Marcus made any obvious attempt to be sympathetically serious but instead danced around me joking and taking pictures. I found it pretty darn annoying at the time but I’ll admit it’s a little fun to have the pictures now.
Half an hour and a hard car ride later we were let into a room to have me checked up by a midwife. I’ll leave out the details and instead disclose how sickeningly inappropriate I found it that there were large posters of crowning babies on all the walls.
Anywho, soon we were leaving the room again having been informed that I was about 2-3 cm dilated and that they would like for me to go back home and come back later. Say what?? I made it clear to my mom that I was by no means walking up the stairs to our 5th floor apartment again. I had no interest whatsoever in getting back in the car either, so for half an hour I insisted we just wait it out in the lobby of the hospital. Being slightly under the influence of strong pain in my pelvis I suddenly changed my mind and we decided to go to my parents’ house instead.
Yikes, that car ride was not fun. Over the next two hours I endured the contractions standing, sitting, lying down, lying on my mom’s yoga ball… At around noon mom called the hospital back and was again informed to wait a little longer. Frustrated, we decided to try something else and mom went to fill the jacuzzi tub.
I hear that all women react differently to stuff like this, but seriously, I’d recommend waiting out your contractions in a tub to anyone! It was absolutely amazing! As soon as I was in the water I felt like there were actual gaps between my contractions again and I could even sit up and talk to mom and Marcus – completely out of the question before. Another upside of the tub was that it seemed to speed up the process remarkably. I hadn’t been in there for long before the contractions just became unbearable. I couldn’t sit still or be somewhat politely quiet. But due to our last many hospital calls I expected it was going to get much much worse, since they obviously didn’t think I was very far along. So I sat tight – literally – and tried not to complain much … until all of a sudden I felt like I needed to push.
Since I’d never been pregnant or in labor before I wasn’t 100 % sure that this was what it felt like when you needed to push, so I left the door open to it probably just being me overthinking it. Nevertheless, I told mom who jumped up and called the hospital again. A few minutes later she returned with a look of frustration worthy only of the contractions I was experiencing. She said that once again the hospital had asked us to stay home. I had another powerful contraction, by now I was clenching by butt to make sure I wasn’t pushing. When it was over I looked my mom in the eye and told her that we needed to go right now.
As soon as I got out of the tub and the anesthesia of the water was gone I really felt it. My body was trying to push out the baby right here on the bathroom floor. The thought actually occurred to me that maybe I could ask my mom to just deliver the baby here.
Quick as a flash, we were back in the car with me in the front seat on my knees hugging the back of the seat. I remember that car ride as if in slow motion. Every contraction totally removed me from this world and the urge to bear down was stronger than any temptation I’ve ever felt in my life.
Mom dropped off Marcus and I in front of the hospital and went to go find parking. She caught up with us even before we reached the elevator because I had to stop for every 10 steps to endure another minute of fiery agony. We got upstairs and soon I was back on the table, and the midwife told me with a smile that I was fully dilated and ready to push whenever my water broke.
Now… thinking back I dread the thought of what would’ve happened if we had stayed home like they told us to – my mom’s face would surely have been the first thing my baby saw and some midwife would’ve had her front teeth knocked out later that day – but at the time I just remember incredible relief. It was almost over!
After the good experience from the tub I managed to ask to give birth in water and we were escorted to a delivery room with a huge deep tub. The room was so hot. I spent the time waiting for the tub to fill at the window under which the radiator was on full steam. Ponytail please! Not soon enough I was climbing into the tub, which was filled with surprisingly warm water. Again, amazing relief washed over my body when I sunk under the surface. I remember heaving a huge “aaaaaah” and the midwife laughing. I found a comfortable position hanging over the edge of the tub and managed to ask if I was allowed to push. I was told I could give a small push at the top of each contraction if I wanted. We just needed the water to break before really getting to work, which happened on my very first push just after with a surprisingly loud ‘pop’. I looked up at the midwife eagerly, but my immediate happiness was quickly swept away when the midwife asked me to get out of the tub. She thought the amniotic fluid looked a bit green, in which case she needed me on the table. I stared at her in disbelief. We were ready, I was comfortable and we were good to go! Was she kidding?
When I didn’t move, she urged me again and instructed Marcus and Mom to help me out. I waited out another contraction, gathered my strength and slowly got out of the tub. My goodness, that bed was tall and I have no idea where I summoned the abs to heave my legs up.
Five minutes later I was just about comfortable and okay dealing with the contractions on dry land. Then she told me I could get back in the tub. Gosh.
It was absolutely worth it though. The water was as amazing as ever.
By now I was pushing as hard as I could. And more than just once per contraction. In the craziness of all the pain I figured maybe I could impress everyone by pushing her out faster than anyone expected. I’d been told that the pushing part can be as fast as 20 minutes and I was deeply disappointed that I didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere.
Then if you’ll believe it, the midwife asked me to get back out of the tub. Only this time she didn’t ask. She ordered. And she made it clear that I had no time at all to hesitate. Apparently the baby’s heart rate had dropped to half. She was in distress.
How on Earth I got out of the tub and made it over onto the bed, I have no idea. The moment I was out of the water I could feel her, her head between my legs. I trust I don’t need to emphasize how freaky that feels.
But then the midwife told me the most amazing thing. “Just one more good push and you have your baby”. I was a little too under to notice her own stress but Marcus told be afterwards how the mood changed. The baby needed to come out immediately. The midwife called a nurse and asked Marcus and Mom to hold up my legs and me to push harder than I thought I could. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t really tell any longer when I was having a contraction, so I just chose a random moment and told the midwife it was time. And I pushed. And pushed. And then the contraction was over. And still no baby. I guessed what the midwife must have been thinking and decided to just keep pushing. The most amazing push. And as if my body had been severely gassy for 9 months, it deflated in an instant and the baby fell into the midwife’s hands.
Immediate relief washed over me. The tight belly relaxed and all traces of the contractions I’d been enduring for 11 hours immediately disappeared.
Mom and Marcus however experienced a few stressful seconds. Baby was all limp as if dead. The midwife shook her and blew in her face. After just a few seconds she coughed and gave an uneasy cry.
It wasn’t for another few hours that I realized I’d done it all natural. I’m not gonna lie. I felt pretty darn cool.
Then she was on my chest in a blanket and hat. And everyone was smiling and taking pictures.
It was over. There she was. Little Baby Girl. 3:40pm and 52cm and 3680g. Beautiful and healthy. Now we were parents for real, I thought. Yes, I thought! I felt conscious again. So conscious and tired that I couldn’t think of crying. So I just watched Mom and Marcus doing it.
It was really that simple. We were a family. Just like that.
Gorgeous isn’t it? You can keep up to date with how they are all doing on Rebecca’s blog or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
Charlies Birth Story – The Airing Cupboard
One Born Every Six Minutes – Love, Life and Little Ones
My C-Section Story – BadMammy.com