My husband Simon and I waited patiently to see our obstetrician for my 39 week check. When our name was called we went in and went through the usual checks, blood pressure, weight, baby's position. The reality that I was going to have a baby in one week started to sink in when our doctor informed us that he would like to induce me if my baby didn't come on his own when I was due. He was concerned that the baby was too small to go overdue, as my belly was still quite small.
We had had 2 growth scans to check that he was ok at 30 weeks and at 34 weeks, the ultrasounds showed that he was fine, but our doctor didn't want to take any chances. Over the next week I read everything I had about inductions, what was involved, the risks, the side affects and possible outcomes. I soon got myself in a state of worry that if I was induced I would end up needing a caesarean, that the drugs would interfere with my milk coming in and that my baby would be distressed from the whole process.
Simon came home from work one night to find me in tears with all the information in front of me, it wasn't until now that it really sunk in what I was going to be going through in a few days He comforted me and tried to convince me that I would do fine and our baby would be perfectly fine, but deep down I was really scared.
The weekend before I was due Simon's parents arrived from North Queensland so they could be present for the arrival of the their first grandchild. As my due date got closer, I got stressed and took it out on Simon and his parents. I felt bad about it but they understood what I was going through and just tried to stay out of my way.
The 30th of July arrived, my due date. Nothing seemed to be happening, I hadn't had any braxton hicks at all, only back pain that seemed to be getting worse. I went to lunch with my mum, we had a bit of a giggle at the looks I was given when my proud mum told everyone we encountered that I was due to have my baby today, people didn't believe that I was actually 40 weeks pregnant, because I didn't look it.
The next day I was due to go and see the obstetrician in the afternoon. He was going to do an internal to check if my body was ready to be induced. I wasn't looking forward to as I had never had an internal before, but when I woke that morning around 8.30 I lay in bed as my back was quite sore, come 9.30 I was hungry and busting to got to the loo, so I got up and quickly crossed my legs, not realising that I really needed to get to the toilet as I thought I was going to wet myself. There was some blood when I went and I started to feel the nerves build up when I realised that I had had a show.
I undressed and started to turn the shower on when I felt a warm trickle down my leg. I thought I must have lost control of my bladder, I tried to tighten my pelvic floor muscles but it just kept on leaking out. I got in the shower and tried to keep calm as I let the water run over me. After about 5 minutes I called Simon to come into the bathroom. I asked him if he could have a look through the stuff the hospital had given us to see if you were meant to go in to the hospital when your waters broke, his face went white. He went and told his parents that I thought my waters had broken, His mum told him to stay calm and get my things ready to go.
I called my mum to let her know what was happening, and she said if she hadn't heard anything in an hour she would come to the hospital, as I wanted her in with me. I was feeling a bit scared but I also felt happy that I wasn't going to need an induction since things had started on there own. We got to the hospital at 10am and informed the midwife that I thought my waters had broke. She took us to the birth suit and hooked me up to a monitor. It was picking up small contractions but I wasn't feeling them, so she left us to settle in and to see if things would get started on their own. But since I wasn't having strong regular contractions she said that they would hook me up to the drip to give things a move on. I wasn't happy about it but wanted what was best for the baby and that was getting him out.
Mum arrived for a pretty uneventful day. I still wasn't having strong contractions but as the day went on I was beginning to notice when one was happening. By lunch time they still hadn't started the drip, they said that they might leave me til the morning, so there was enough staff on and so I wasn't in labour in the middle of the night. This got me a bit worried as I thought the longer it was left after the membranes had ruptured, the higher the risk of infection was. But my midwife told us that it was OK to leave it up to 24 hours. We spent most of the day listening to the other women having their babies, and having a giggle about the sounds they were making. One sounded like a cow and another screamed so loud for what seemed like forever. Little did I know that I was going to be doing the same thing but louder the next day.
By 4pm still nothing had happened. So I had my first internal and was told that my cervix was posterior and closed. I just started to cry. Simon and my mum where taking my things over to the ward when I heard my older sister asking the midwife where she could find me. I stuck my head out the door and said here I am. She asked how I was and I started to cry again and told her that I was no were near having my baby, she gave me a hug and said not to worry.
I had to stay in the hospital that night, but I just wanted to go home. I had never had to stay in hospital before and hadn't spent a night away from Simon for a long time. I didn't want anyone one to leave, but come the end of visiting hours the midwife came in and asked if my sister and mum could go, but Simon could stay a little longer. At 9.30pm the midwife came in to check my temperature and blood pressure, and she said Simon would have to go soon, so reluctantly I told him to go (as my mum was waiting down stairs for Simon to take her home) while the midwife was still in the room with me.
I didn't sleep at all that night, I just sobbed and walked around the ward. By the early hours of the morning I was feeling a little better about being on my own, but I was too sore to lie down. Eventually I found a comfortable position to sit in with my head leaning over the bed on the pillows. The contractions had gotten a lot more noticeable but it was mainly my back that was causing all the pain. I was still awake when the first signs of daylight started to creep through the ward. I was so tired but there was no way I was going to get any sleep. Simon arrived just after 7am and he hadn't gotten much sleep either. Our midwife came in to take me over to the birth suite, and at 7.30am I was hooked up to the drip to get things going. She put me on the monitor to see what was happening. We noticed that every time I had a contraction, the baby's heart rate would drop, so Simon asked the midwife to come and check the reading. She had the obstetrician come in and check. He said that the baby just didn't like his head being squashed with the contraction, it was nothing to worry about. I was told to walk around as much as possible, but by 9.30 the pain was too much and I had to stop every few minutes when a contraction hit. I went back to the birth suite, but the midwife told me to keep walking.
By this time, Simon's parents had arrived and all 4 of us walked the corridor outside the maternity ward. Up and down, stopping every few minutes. Around 10, I went back to the birth suite as it was just too much. I sat on the bed, on the big ball, the bean bag, but nothing was comfortable. The widwife came in every 15 minutes and each time she asked if things had changed, I told her it was still the same. She thought I meant that I hadn't had a contraction since the last time she came in, so she kept turning the drip up, but what I meant was that I had 8 contractions since she last came in just like the time before. The next time she came in I explained myself a bit clearer, so she turn the drip down a little. Simon gave my Mum a call to tell her things had started, she said she would finish her morning shift and take the rest of the day off to come in.
At 12pm, I had another internal only to find I was only 2cm. I couldn't believe it, I thought after all this pain I would be further, little did I know it was going to get worse before to long. After the internal I got into the spa. The pain of each contraction soon had me bawling my eyes out, but I still managed to eat some lunch as I was starving. Not long after I was in what seemed to be the peak of the pain, boy was I wrong! The midwife came in and said that my mum had called to let me know she had locked her keys in the car, but would be here as soon as she could.
When mum arrived I was in constant pain, my eyes were closed and I was curled up against the side of the spa, crushing Simons hand with each contraction. Simon was trying to get me to breathe but I wasn't listening. Mum gave Simon a break, knelt down beside the spa and started to rub my back with some aromathyrapy oils. She soon had me concentrating on my breathing which was a big help. It surprised me how much having her there helped.
By 4pm the midwife said to get me out of the spa, otherwise I would end up having my baby there. When I finally managed to get out, I had another internal, but was barely 4cm. I was ready to give up, I was exhausted and couldn't believe that after all that work, I still had a long way to go. My older sister Elizabeth arrived and I was glad she was there for me. I was only going to have my mum and Simon in with me but I asked Simon to tell Elizabeth that if she wanted to, I would like her to be there for me. She was over the moon.
Simon told his parents, who were waiting outside to go home as it was going to be hours before their grandson arrived. The midwife asked if I would like to try the gas, and once I had it they weren't getting it back. It didn't really help with the pain, but I was using it to try and sleep. I just wanted to sleep but no one would let me. I couldn't even lie back inbetween contractions to rest, as it seemed to bring them on. The midwife put the monitor back on to check the baby's heart, it was going strong, but as the midwife was hooking me up she placed all the wires over my arm. When the next contraction hit I couldn't get the gas to my face. Mum said she thought I was going to deck the midwife for getting in my way. Around 4.30, the midwife took Mum out and asked her to get me to have something more for the pain, as I was already exhausted and had a long way to go yet. Mum told me that I had to have some pethidine so I could get a bit of rest, otherwise I wouldn't be able to cope when it was time to push.
I was dead set against having anything more then the gas, mainly because I was scared about having a needle, believe it or not with all the pain I was going through with the contractions. I was too much of a wimp to have a needle. They eventually convinced me to at least get up and have a shower, and then see how I felt after that about having the pethidine. The midwife came in and unhooked the drip so that I could get undressed and into the shower. At 10 to 5, I got to the shower and said I had to go to the toilet, so they helped me to the loo and I sat down, let out an almighty scream and said I had to push. Back up on to the bed I went and when the midwife checked I had gone from under 4cm to fully dilated in an hour. Our son was ready to enter the world!
This was it, mum said it wont be long now. I screamed the place down, the pain was like nothing I had ever felt. Simon had to leave the room for a breather. I was surprised that he had managed to stay in at all. I pushed when they told me too and tried to breathe like mum was telling me, but all I could do was scream.
Elizabeth ran out the room to get Simon, telling him to get back in there or he would miss it. He came back and with him on one side and mum on the other, I held their hands and screamed with another push. “I can see the head,” Simon told me. The midwife asked if I would like to touch my baby's head, but I just wanted it out. “Get it out, I feel like I'm on fire!” I screamed.
Elizabeth said that I didn't have to do this ever again, and I replied that I didn't want just one. I squeezed the hands I was clinging to and screamed again as they told me to push. “The head is out!” I heard some one say. I open my eyes and looked at Simon, could see the tears in his eyes as he watch our son being born. “Don't push,” the midwife said, as they unwrapped the cord form around my baby's neck. At 10 minutes past 5 with one more push out came the shoulders and then he slipped out and was up on my chest. I opened my eyes and looked at the beautiful baby in my arms and said “He just weed on me.” Every one laughed.
I watched as Simon cut the cord. I think that was the proudest moment of his life. We agreed that he would be named Evan James. He weighed 3440gm (7lb 9oz) and was 50.5cm long. After all the worry that he was going to be small, he was actually a good size.
After I was cleaned up and back in the ward with our new son, I said that it wasn't true what every one had told me, about as soon as I have my little baby in my arms that pain will be gone and I wouldn't remember. Elizabeth told me how happy she was that she got to share this special moment in our lives and that she will never forget the look in her little sister's eyes as her baby entered the world. She told me I looked lost in all the pain and fear, and that the screams I let out sounded like something out of a horror movie. I thought that I had my eyes shut the entire time.
Mum was especially grateful that she got to experience the birth of her grandson first hand. It was the first time she had seen a baby being born and it was her little girl's. She didn't mind being slightly deaf from my screams and said that her hand would get better. I was so proud that I had managed to get through the day without any pain relief until the last hour of contractions. I didn't sleep much that night either, I couldn't believe that I had been so tired but now my body just didn't want to sleep. The next day, I had a bruise across the bridge of my nose from the gas mask and red cracks on the tops on my toes from pushing against the end of the bed so hard. I had a very minor tear and a bit of grazing, but needed no stitches. I was surprised that with all the pain I hadn't been torn to shreds.
After a few blisters from breastfeeding, I was told to pop another pillow under Evan so he was at the right height. I soon got the hang of it and the blisters healed up really fast. By day 4 my milk came in and I laughed as I told the midwife how strange it felt to go to bed a 12A and wake up a 14C.
My first week home was a little hard, as the baby blues had set in. But things soon got better. Now at 6 months old Evan is doing really well, he is sitting up, crawling & pulling himself to his feet. Breastfeeding is going really well and I hope to breastfeed beyond a year. Evan has had a few tastes of solids but isn't very interested yet. I still remember all the pain on the 1st of August 2002, but I can't wait to do it again.