I started to feel contractions at about 3pm on Friday 20th February – not intense ones, just like twinges, like period pains in my back. So I kind of suspected ‘something’ was happening. By midnight however, they died off.
The next morning at 9am they started again. I also had what I suspected to be a ‘bloody show’ at the same time. So I spent Saturday on the net, but timing my contractions as well, to see if I could see a pattern emerge.
By 1pm they were getting more painful, so I phoned the maternity ward at Darwin Private, to see what they suggested. Andrew and I were very keen to stay at home and have an active labour as possible for as long as possible, but I did need to hear some reassurance from the experts!
Jane, the midwife I spoke to, suggested taking some Paracetamol and keeping active and to call back at 3pm.
I called again at 3pm – by this stage I had cleaned out the fridge and fed the dogs and emptied the dishwasher in frenzy, so I think Andrew knew it was nearly time!
Jane suggested I come in ‘for a look’ to check on the baby's heartbeat, so off we toddled. By the time we were in the car, the pain was getting really bad around my back – I had the urge to grip on tight to something to wade through the pain, so poor Andrew had his fingers nearly broken!
When I got to the hospital at 4pm they put me on the CTG machine to check my contractions in conjunction with the babies heartbeat and I had an internal completed by the midwife. I was only 3cm dilated, so Jane said to me that she thought we were in for a long night.
Andrew and I went for a walk around the car park and hospital grounds – slow going, but a good distraction. The next few hours were spent rocking whilst leaning up against the windowsill and a fridge! I also had a couple of showers, and aimed the hot water at my back at the same time as rocking, which really helped. The pain was really intensifying, so the hooked me up to the CTG machine again, to see how the baby and I were going. Her heartbeat was a steady as a rock, which was a relief, but my contractions were not showing as that big on the graph.
My OB popped in to have a look at me, and at the CTG results and said "Lucy, these are just little niggling type contractions, you have a long way to go yet.” I then proceeded to vomit up Friday night's dinner! In light of this, he decided to do an internal and then he said "Oh my goodness, you are 9 cm dilated!” Jane the midwife promptly shot off to get the delivery suite ready!
The delivery suite was wonderful: I sat and rocked on a ‘fit ball’ and Andrew organised some music and some lavender oil to distract me, so it did feel quite comfy, despite the pain, with Lisa Stansfield playing (I am such an -80's chick!).
I had another shower and this time my legs started to shake and I began to get the urge to push, so Jane got me out and organised me on the bed, telling me our baby would be arriving within the hour. My OB was at the ready and about 40 minutes later after some huge pushes, baby Olivia came screaming into the world!
I cannot describe the immense sense of love the I felt for her as soon as she was plopped onto my tummy. She was even more perfect than I could have ever dreamed of.
Andrew was wonderful throughout the whole 7 hours and was crying as he cut the cord. It was the proudest moment of my life.
Olivia weighed in at 7lb 2oz (3230g), and received an 8 and a 9 for her apgar scores. She has dark red hair! (ANDREW and I are both mousey brown, so we are not sure where the dark red hair comes from, but it is stunning!)
After a week in the hospital, we are now at home. I cannot tell you how happy I am.
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