A mother from our Breastmates community shares her birth story.
Like many women I spent 9 months hoping for a quick painless labour. After 2 previous vaginal births: the first lasting 12hrs active with a full episiotomy and epidural and the second being 5hrs and a second degree tear I really was feeling like I needed extra luck this time.
Coming into my 38th week I had dropped and was feeling a lot of Braxton hicks with a fair bit of pressure. My pubic bone was constantly sore and felt like I had been punched. Being my second pregnancy in 16mths I thought I was sure to go early as the 2 previous pregnancies ended in the 39th week as well.
Through out this pregnancy my only thought toward birth was that I was adamant I didn’t want any drugs and I read a lot of natural birthing stories. I have nothing against drugs just that I wanted to ‘beat’ my previous accomplishments in the birth department. It is such a huge moment in life and I wanted this to be the best it could be.
So entering my 39th week I started feeling very anxious and couldn’t believe I was still pregnant. I tried acupuncture on the Monday and walked every afternoon and even tried sex most nights. On Friday my E.D.D I had an appointment with the doctor to discuss induction (which I totally didn’t want) and have a membrane sweep. This appointment was at 2pm and I was found to be just over 1cm but stretched to 3cm dilated with a very thin lining. I was told to go home and keep active and then have sex.
We did the deed at roughly 5pm and after that I fell asleep for an hour (hard work for a fat chic lol). At about 10pm the Braxton hicks were getting stronger and I could feel pressure in my bottom. I thought if I go to sleep now I’ll be refreshed if things started tonight. I woke at 1.45am on the Saturday morning feeling like I needed to go to the toilet. I tried for half an hour before going back to bed. I then started waking every 10-15mins with what I now knew as real contractions. They were enough to wake me but not enough to be in pain. At 3.30am I decided to lay on the couch and relax because I was too excited to sleep and didn’t want to wake anyone.
I had asked my mum to come the day before on my EDD just in case so she was ready if needed.
At about 4am I tried to sneak into my mum’s room to get a phone charger but accidentally woke her up. I told her this was it but that they were still 13mins apart and not that painful. She didn’t really look concerned and just told me to wake her when they were closer and stronger.
At 4.30am I called the hospital as I had to let my midwife know so she could make it in time. The hospital told me it was too early to wake my midwife as the contractions were still too far apart. She actually said “as this is my 3rd I should know my body enough to know when to come in ” (big mistake).
About 5am I woke my partner up and told him he would not being working today and to have a shower so he was ready. While he was in the shower I woke my mum and got everything ready for the hospital and also everything for my other kids so mum didn’t have to stress while I was gone.
At this stage the contractions started becoming longer so I was rocking through them. They still weren’t painful just lots of pressure and lasting over a minute. I was still talking and walking so I figured I still had hours to go.
I had a shower and at 6.15am I called my midwife on her mobile to let her know we were going to leave for the hospital soon as we didn’t want the kids to wake and see me in pain. It was then that I felt something warm in between my legs. With the car running I quickly ducked to the toilet to check what it was only to discover I was bleeding bright red blood.
I put a pad on and started to panic as I had only ever bled right before the head was crowning (always in the bed at a hospital).
We left the house at 6.37am and I told my partner to go go go as this baby was going to be here by 8am. In the space of minutes I had called my midwife and student midwife to hurry as we were speeding to the hospital coz this baby was coming.
As soon as we got in the car my contractions picked up and were now one on top of the other. I still didn’t think they were very painful so I was a little confused as to why I was bleeding. I could feel her moving down the birth canal but honestly thought this was way too easy. I was giving directions to my partner as he drove and as we hit the first set of traffic lights I felt a strong pressure and my hips felt like they were being pried apart.
I instructed him to run the red light if safe as this baby was on her way. We hit the highway and started flashing our hazard lights and high beam and beeping the horn to clear the way. Everyone was pretty good getting out of our way and some even seemed amused when looking at us as we passed them. By now we were speeding full steam to actually make the hospital in time. It seemed as if everything had come on so quick we were both in shock and DP just kept telling me to hold it in. Still deep down I thought ‘I really hope I’m not just over exaggerating’.
We hit the exit to the hospital at 6.42am (I was watching the clock in the car as it was my focal point as contractions hit) and as we rounded the corner my body tried to push and I actually let out a grunt as my waters broke on the front seat of my new car (2months old). This was a new sensation to me as I had always been in a bed in hospital with the head right there.
I started screaming directions at DP while also screaming to hurry up.
My body was pushing on its own and I could feel her head just about to crown. All I kept thinking was how to get my pants down in a moving car.
As we entered the hospital I instructed DP to go straight to the main entrance and get help quick. He had never been to any of my appointments so he didn’t even know where the birth suite was.
As the car stopped he got out as I was trying to pull my pants down. I remember feeling down there and feeling a huge bulge. I reached into the backseat for anything to help with all the fluid. Luckily there was a towel from under my daughter’s car seat.
I immediately put it between my legs as the next urge to push came and a little more of her head came out. I remember thinking that this was where I was supposed to hold it to let the skin stretch but my body wasn’t agreeing. DP returned with a ‘guy’ and he was on his phone calling for help and a trolley. He didn’t have any gloves on and he was trying to check if the head was out (very difficult when the patient is in a car with no room to spread her legs).
It felt like forever but her head was in my hands as a midwife appeared and DP had climbed into the backseat to ‘hold me’. I pushed one more time as her head and body was delivered straight up onto my chest. Her cord was wrapped once around her neck and apparently the midwife struggled to lift it as her body came straight away.
We were given a blanket to cover us both and I was told to blow gently on her face to get her breathing properly. She was so perfect and alert. It was only 6.45am and I had delivered my perfect little girl just 8 minutes after leaving the house. I just wanted to stay in my car where the magic had happened and I felt warm and safe.
I could feel my body starting to contract again and knew we had to get out of the car so I held my baby as I climbed out of my car (a SUV ) and walked to the trolley to be wheeled inside.
It was exactly 25mins later that my placenta was delivered and we got to finally cut the cord. I had a superficial tear but no stitching required.
We were both thoroughly checked and feeding monitored for a further 6hrs before being discharged at my request to go home and enjoy my new little family.
Temprance truly was my baby in a hurry and even now she loves the car.
Welcome to my 3rd gorgeous daughter