Seriously is there anything better than a good birth story? Especially during pregnancy, all I wanted to do was read about everyone’s labour & birth… So here is mine!
At 7 days past my due date (Wednesday 11thSep), I had a stretch and sweep where my midwife told me I was 3cm dilated so I half expected to go into labour that night however we booked me in for another stretch and sweep for the Friday just in case and then if nothing happened from there we booked my induction in for the Monday. Friday came around and I went in for my second stretch and sweep basically thinking “this won’t do anything, I will end up being induced (again, as I was with Leo) on Monday”. All of the older Italians in my family were telling me that my baby will come on the full moon (Saturday 14thSeptember), obviously I didn’t listen to them because I couldn’t comprehend how the moon can influence a baby being born!
After my stretch and sweep on the Friday I felt normal cramping afterwards and ate A LOT of food… more than usual (I remember Demi calling me as I was embarrassingly going through the McDonalds drive through). My cramps were probably getting progressively worse, but I am incredibly un-observant when it comes to my own body, so I didn’t pay too much attention, especially looking after a toddler, you don’t have time to worry about yourself. That night, my husband noticed I was probably a bit more quiet than normal. I didn’t tell him or anyone that the cramping was still lingering. I didn’t want to jinx myself or give anyone false hope for labour. I put Leo to bed and then I went to bed in the spare room (I used 50 pillows around my body to be comfortable in late pregnancy, so it worked out better I slept there). By about 10pm I felt the need to sit in positions that helped ease the cramping and I STILL did not think I was in labour! Another hour went by and I decided to try and time my ‘contractions’. Just beforehand, I rang Demi to fill her in as I was under STRICT instructions to let her know if (or) when I was in labour (she knew before my husband and midwife).
I thought my contractions were lasting 30 seconds, when in actual fact they were probably lasting 45-50 seconds and were 3-4 minutes apart which I didn’t know I was timing them wrong until post birth. I had no idea you had to time contractions from when they began to build up until they eased off completely… I only timed the more painful part. I called my midwife at around midnight and told her what was going on and filled her in with my ‘wrong’ contraction timings, she said to wait until I get 3 within 10 minutes that last 50 seconds to a minute before making my way into Geelong (side note, mine actually were already doing I just got it so wrong), and she also was speaking to me through a contraction and thought I seemed calm enough to know that nothing would happen too soon.
After I hung up from her, I went into my bedroom to get my laptop to binge on some TV where I accidentally woke my husband up. I said, “I think I am in labour”. Then I called my mum and asked for her to come over in case I had to go to hospital so she could have Leo but said ‘not to rush’. I was handling my contractions pretty well, bouncing on the gym ball while Aaron and I were watching the Kardashians. He was timing them and getting them at 2 mins apart and lasting 45-50 seconds, using my incorrect method of timing contractions.
Definitely. Should. Have. Been. In. Hospital.
All of a sudden, at 1.30am, my water broke and then my mum and dad arrived at my house 2 minutes after that! I tried to call my midwife again but couldn’t get through so I called my student midwife and birth suite and asked if I should come in. At this stage I finally accepted that I was actually in labour and said to my husband “if I get to hospital and I am only 4cm dilated I want an epidural”.
But then I had a sudden feeling of needing to push.
Within seconds we were out the door on our way to Geelong. We live in Ocean Grove and I remember saying to him “THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T LIVE IN OCEAN GROVE AARON; WE ARE TOO FAR AWAY FROM A HOSPITAL”. Those car contractions were HARD. The baby was trying to come out and I had to literally sit on my foot to keep it in… and I did not want the baby to come out in the car!!! We got to the hospital and I jumped out of the car and rang the doorbell, at this point I was desperate, so I told them the baby was coming!!
The sliding doors opened, and we raced in. No one was there to greet me, it felt like a ghost town and I remember saying loudly “hellpppppp the baby is coming”. Six midwifes surrounded me quickly, had a quick look and saw the baby’s head was right there. They made me walk about 15 metres to the birth room... which felt like 27km. I got there (just) and laid on the bed. All it took was 4 pushes within about 5-10 minutes and I met my baby (both of my midwifes missed my birth, they said it was the first birth they ever missed).
Miss Penelope Ivy Baxter was born on Saturday 14thSeptember (smack bang on the full moon) at 2.17am weighing 8 pounds and 51cm long.
Penelope and I were both doing great post birth so I was able to go home (which I was dying to anyway), so we took Miss P home at 7am and surprised my parents who were obviously still there while Leo slept; they looked like they saw a ghost when they saw me!!
When Leo woke up and he met Penelope and his words were “wow cool. Buzz?”(he is obsessed with buzz lightyear at the moment and Buzz was apparently more interesting than his baby sister).
Overall, I feel like not knowing I was even in labour for most of it probably helped me get through it and because I had gone so over my due date, I was literally in denial until I felt the need to push. The main thing I learnt from this entire experience is that you should probably know how to time contractions before you are due….. but it all turned out fine in the end!