If you read my last birth story you would know that I had three false starts with my labour and so going into this one I thought ‘my body had done this before, it knows what it’s doing…when my labour starts it will be starting for real’. Boy was I wrong.
My pre-labour started at 36 1/2 weeks, sometimes the contractions were uncomfortable but easy to ignore, others were the kind that would knock the breath out of me, have me groaning and using my yogic breathing. Honestly I stopped counting how many times I stayed home skipping events because I was sure ‘today was the day’ only to have the contractions stop, sometimes after eight or so hours.
Then a few days before my due date it started for real, during the afternoon I had irregular contractions and then by 7:30pm they really kicked in strong and regular. Throughout the evening they continued to increase in strength, all the time getting closer together. So we put our birth plan into action calling our babysitter, photographer and midwife and by 2:30am I was in the Birth Centre labouring away. Not long after we arrived I noticed that the contractions weren’t progressing, they were just continuing the same and I could talk through them (not a good sign). I kept saying to Monica (my midwife) “they don’t seem to be hurting enough” and I just chalked it up to being my second time round and I was obviously tougher this time. Then after being there for about an hour I lay down on the bed and I felt myself falling asleep…I slowly opened my eyes and in that moment I knew this was another false alarm. Earlier in the evening there was no way I could lay down, it was way to0 uncomfortable. No! I thought, this couldn’t be happening I couldn’t be the person bringing everyone out to the Birth Centre in the middle of the night without having a baby. I moved off the bed and went to bounce on the ball for a little while, as soon as I started bouncing I got a really strong contraction…hold on maybe I’m still in labour?! A minute or so later Monica walked into the room to check me, “how are you doing” she asked “I think I can control my contractions, I can make them start by bouncing on the ball” I replied “hmm” she said “you shouldn’t be able to do that.”
We decided to do an internal and discovered that despite all my contractions I was only 1-2cm dilated, I was not going to have a baby that night. Instead of staying in the hospital I opted to go home, I wanted to stay off the radar of the doctors…I didn’t want any intervention at 39 weeks. As I was leaving Monica mentioned that she thought I had what was called an ‘irritable uterus’ and this was why I could set off my own contractions, this explained why driving and sudden movements would set them off or even sometimes when someone touched my belly. She gave me some tablets to help me sleep through the pain (they were still happening just not as regularly) and sent me and my irritable uterus home to bed.
A week and a half later I was 41 +1 weeks pregnant, it was 12:30am and I woke feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom and do a number two (sorry if this is a little graphic). I didn’t have any success so I went back to bed, this happened two more times but I’d become so accustomed to sleeping though contractions that I didn’t catch on to what was actually going on. Finally I started to wake up a little more and I sat on the edge of the bed saying to Caleb “wake up, I feel so sick” and it started to dawn on me that I was in labour. I was still groggy in that half awake state and I freaked out a little because I’d been listening to everyone around me say things like ‘once you do go into labour she’s going to shoot out of you like a rocket because of all the contractions you’ve been having.’ I pictured myself having the baby on the bathroom floor and this slippery little person shooting out of me. “Call Monica!” I cry to Caleb “hold on” he replies (the false alarm still fresh in his mind) “just have a shower and see how you feel.” I have the quickest shower I can, all the time struggling to control my emotions, I try and use my breathing techniques from yoga but have trouble pulling myself back because of my half awake state.
We call Monica, Annika (photographer) and Cathy (babysitter) and we end up arriving at the hospital by 1:30am…no baby on the bathroom floor for me. Once I wake up properly I’m able to calm myself and I go into my yogic breathing/humming easily. The contractions hurt like a bitch and are frequent, there is no doubt this time I’m close to giving birth. I use different techniques to manage my pain leaning and rocking on the ball, in and out of the shower. Caleb holds the shower head on my lower back, the warmth is lovely in between the contractions. About an hour and a half after we arrive I started to transition, my contractions get even more intense and I find myself saying to Monica “I feel like I should be doing something, should I be pushing?” to which she replies “no you’re doing great.” Soon after that I find that I wanted to move and I relocate myself onto the bed, I found I was most comfortable on my knees hanging over the back of the bed (which was propped up) facing the wall. Not long after moving I find myself starting to shudder involuntarily during contractions and these shudders turn into pushing, soon after my waters break and are clear thankfully. I pushed for 20 minutes in total and then finally at 4:10am Margot enters the world screaming. She weighs 3.01Kg the exact same weight as Walt, I guess I make babies to a formula… 41weeks = 3.01kg baby.
I’m not going to lie, this labour hurt more than last time. I don’t know why maybe it’s because I was more alert or because it was way faster. But thankfully there were no complications and Margot and I were home by 5pm later that day, overall it was a super positive experience again.
Thank you Monica for being the best midwife in the WORLD! I feel so blessed that you were my midwife through both of my pregnancies, you made me feel safe and you were a true ally. You got to know me and what my fears are and never did I feel judged for my choices or pressured to do things a certain way. You’re amazing at your job and any pregnant lady is lucky to have you (right Eloise?).
Cathy my bestie, thank you for coming out in the middle of the night twice! You’re the best baby sitter and I love how much you love my kids.
Thank you Annika my wonderful friend for coming out twice to photograph this birth, you’re incredibly talented! (Fun fact: Anni is also pregnant and was super sick on the night I gave birth, so sick she was vomiting during the labour and none of us knew! What a babe).
If you’re interested in Annika or I photographing your birth all the prices and details are here.