Rachael Shares Her Birth Story
I had really struggled with a hard pregnancy and I was scared that birth was going to be just as hard. It was 5 days before I was due and I finally got the nesting buzz and spent most of the day cleaning and tidying the house. My hubby is a train driver and was due to go to work 9 pm that night, after a full on day we couldn’t be bothered cooking so we had KFC for dinner. Not long before my hubby was due to leave for work I started getting an upset stomach and had about 2 hours of diarrhea every 20 mins. He offered to stay with me but I assumed the KFC hadn’t agreed with me and sent him to work.
By 10 o-clock I realised I was actually in labour. I called him and he came home, and I also let my midwife know (my regular midwife had the weekend off so I had her back up). My hubby stayed up with me til about 3 am, but he kept drifting off in between contractions so I called my mum around and my hubby got some sleep to try and be as fresh as he could for the next day.
I was not enjoying contractions, I tried walking, tried bouncing on the swiss ball, tried napping, tried the shower, none of which really made it bearable. Then we tried the bath. I think I spent about 2 hours in there and I could kick out and brace my feet against the side of the bath which made things more manageable.
About 7 am we rang the midwife as my contractions were now 3 minutes apart and at least 30 secs. She advised us to meet her at the birthing centre at 8. Having been told that being active is best during labour I decided to walk up the stairs to the birthing centre on the first floor instead of taking the elevator, and of course had a contraction midway up, my strategy was to recite songs/ nursery rhymes at top volume, so the midwife and reception staff got to see this as I stopped and braced half way up the stairs.
The birthing centre environment was amazing, I had a student midwife with us for the last half of the pregnancy and she stayed the whole time during the labour with us, and the midwife popped in and out. After I had been there about half an hour they checked and I was 7 cm dilated and was stoked that they weren’t going to send me home again to wait longer.
I laboured around the room, on the bed and in the bath until just after midday when they said I could start pushing, at this stage my water’s were still intact. I had my mum and my hubby with me, and my midwife and student. After pushing in various positions for about an hour, we were also joined by 2 midwives on staff at the birthing centre. I felt so well looked after.
After 2 hours pushing we were having serious discussions about transferring to the hospital, but thankfully bubs was not distressed and I was able to keep trying a bit longer. After 2 hours 20 mins of pushing they gave me an episiotomy and he came out next push. Turns out he was posterior and the episiotomy gave him room to turn and come out.
I was exhausted, it was 2.40pm and I had been up since 7 am the previous day and the pushing had taken a lot out of me. I lay there with my darling bubba on my chest for about an hour while they stitched me up and dealt with a small/moderate hemorrhage. I was mostly in a daze but it was such a wonderful time.
The midwife helped me try and latch my son, and we gave him some of the expressed colostrum I had brought from home. After about 2-3 hours they suggested I get up and have a shower, i was knackered but was covered in blood and sweat and it sounded like bliss. With the help of 2 midwives I stood at the side of the bed. But I couldn’t walk over to the toilet. Every time I tried to lift my foot I couldn’t. They gave me a sponge bath at the side of the bed and put me in some clean pyjamas and let me lie back down.
I had some issues with my heart rate and blood pressure, and I was still unable to walk, so about 10 pm they decided it would be best if I were transferred to the hospital. 2 days later when I was still unable to walk properly I was diagnosed with a separated pubic symphasis and was on crutches for 2 weeks. It was tough as I couldn’t get out of bed by myself to hold or change my baby, and I couldn’t carry him any where.
My milk had still not come in on day 3 and so we started bubba on some donor milk that a friend very kindly gave us. For the first few days he was being mixed fed, some formula and some breastmilk; and by 6 weeks my supply had built enough that we were able to wean him off formula completely.