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It was Thursday lunchtime, when I was doing a big cram of all I could do to get both businesses ready for the arrival of my second bubs – in what I thought would be around one and a half to two weeks time. I never really had too many braxton hicks late in the third trimester, the only time I had them was when we moved house (as I was doing too much lifting!) but it stopped when we settled in. However on the Thursday, I felt familiar contractions coming fairly regularly and started timing them. They weren’t hugely painful at this stage, more like period pain but they started to increase in strength ever so slightly with each one, and were around 10-15 mins apart.

I told John, my husband, and he forewarned his work, I also told my sister who wanted to come over and see me that night in case something happened. The contractions got to approximately 6-7 minutes apart and started getting irritating and my sister was really excited, so I decided to go into hospital to check things out. I didn’t think I would be too dilated if at all, but due to my experience with my first-born, Marisa (which was very irregular contractions, stopping and starting even though I was 5cms!), I thought I would go just in case.

I arrived into hospital at some ungodly hour of around 3am and I was monitored, but had to wait until morning for the Ob to come and check me. My usual Ob was on holidays so I knew I had to see a fill-in Ob I had never met before! I had some panadeine forte and tried to sleep. My sister, John and Marisa (who was 2.5yrs at the time) were all there, Marisa slept through in her pram but John and my sister were very uncomfortable in hospital chairs and hardly slept.

In the morning, the Ob came but my contractions had died down, just like with Marisa. The internal hurt a great deal and I was told that my cervix was only open slighly, but they wanted to monitor me as Elijah was very quiet. I was monitored for some time before saying I would be fine at home as I had work to do!

I got home and contractions started pretty much as soon as I got home – grrrr! They again were fairly regular, but I was determined to fight them off. I started to notice a little bit of the show each time I would go to the loo – I knew it was happening but kept working as much as I could to avoid them! But the contractions continued all day and night, so I decided to head on in again, as I was starting to get really uncomfortable.

Again, I got in and contractions slowed, but they still wanted to monitor Elijah as they thought he was still too quiet with not much movement – so I was starting to get nervous with all the talk of him being “quiet” and trying to get him to move more. After some time, I again accepted to go home, where contractions started yet again. I was more upset going home than last time, because the midwives weren’t as nice and the Ob never checked to see how far dilated I was (didn’t think I had progressed). I had such a funny labour with Marisa, stopping and starting at irregular intervals, while I was indeed dilating and I knew it was going to happen again.

Despite uncomfortable contractions that afternoon, I decided I would try some natural methods to help me along. I had a hot bath, followed by a massage from John, followed by some horizontal tango – straight after, my show decided to totally come away. I knew this was another good sign that things were indeed moving!

That night, I had the most horrible contractions, which were around 5-10 minutes apart just as with Marisa. I was totally exhausted, as I hadn’t had a good nights sleep for days, (as my contractions were always at their worst at night), but this time I couldn’t keep quiet or sleep a wink through them. I remained at home only because I didn’t want to look like an idiot, going in for the third time with no result! But by morning, I think the telemall shopping ads had made Elijah decide enough was enough!

My sister arrived at around 9am, as I told John to call her in as I couldn’t cope with the contractions anymore and Marisa was getting upset with me groaning in pain. We got in the car, still my contractions were strong but also still slightly irregular. I would get a strong one followed by a small one, so each time I got a small contraction, I would feel sick that I knew a big one was coming.

I was admitted again and when I arrived, it was a Saturday morning and I was not so happy to hear the Ob wouldn’t be in for a while (as she was out for the day), however she ended up checking on another patient so decided to see me while she was there. I was so annoyed that she obviously thought it would be another send home thing. But I think she shocked everyone by announcing I was 8-9cms dilated and almost ready to push. The first thing in my head (besides some kind of relief!) was “uh-oh, no pain relief for me this time”. I knew I had to do this on my own and grew a little nervous of what was to come – I had an epidural with Marisa when it got too much from a horrible induction. Not this time!

The Ob broke my waters and while I was still getting good contractions, they were still irregular and not as strong as at home. I truly think stress in the hospital slowed my labour – I really felt talked down to by some midwives. The Ob and midwife left the room and I felt that trademark pressure of bubs coming – I had only just gotten to the hospital and it was time to push! I told my sister bubs was coming and to quickly get the Ob.

The Ob and midwife came running in, and at the same time I had a contraction and felt pressure to push, I threw up. That was one of the most awful feelings of pressure in both directions! I grew very tired and I’d had enough. The next bit was a blur but with closed eyes I heard the Ob tell me to push faster, as baby wasn’t happy. With each contraction, she kept telling me to push more and more, quickly, or she’d have to get him out herself.

Another midwife came in who was apparently called to help, I could hear Elijah’s heartrate slow and felt even more nervous. With very little energy and feeling like I couldn’t do it anymore (I remember yelling to make it stop, right now!) I pushed with all I had – I knew I would rather get him out than be cut, and the Ob was seriously telling me to get him out asap with much concern in her voice – incentive enough for any mum!

With a few good pushes and pain like I never felt before, Elijah was born 9 days early (ironically looking a little overcooked!) at at tiny 5lbs 15oz, with the cord around his neck. They quickly tended to him while I just about fell asleep in bed, as I got the all clear that he was all okay. I felt too weak to hold him straight away so I asked my sister to hold him for a while as I dozed in and out of sleep.

After a little while, I felt a little more awake and wanted to breastfeed my new baby boy, which I luckily did successfully (and he still is a guts!) and I felt that bond between mother and son form right then and there – he was and is, the most beautiful little boy I had ever seen.

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