• 6:30pm Sunday 16th February 2020 •
Allan & I arrived at the Birthing unit for my appointment, I was 41w+6d & due to be induced the next day at 42w. The plan was to get a Cooks balloon in at this appointment to try & start me dilating, then 12h later start the gel & then oxytocin drip.
I had been having contractions day & night for weeks, my cervix was soft, but closed & not budging despite our copious attempts to bring on labour.. I spent every spare moment on the birthing ball as baby was posterior just like his sister & was having a blast headbutting my sciatic nerve for the final weeks!
I was feeling deflated about being induced, annoyed my body, that had worked perfectly every other time, was now failing me & my desire for another naturally progressive, drug free birth was off the table. Very grateful I reached out on IG & learnt a lot from fellow mamas who had an induced birth, as all the shared experiences put me in a much more open state of mind.
So… I was told at my previous appointment that I was low risk & should be able to go home after having the Cooks balloon put in & because my cervix was ‘favourable’ (ha!) There was a good chance that it would get me dilating & I could labour at home & come in when I reached my breaking point. I really liked this plan & was preparing for this although I packed my bags just in case.
When we arrived, I was informed that there was zero chance I would be going home tonight & would be admitted to the ward straight after & Allan could walk me in, but as visiting hours were over, he couldn’t hang around. Even though I had no birth plan, it seemed as if my control over any of it was slipping away & tried to stay calm & positive, but inside I wanted to cry.
It took over 2 hours to get a baseline done on the trace scan that the midwife was happy with as bubs would not stop jumping around! The Cooks balloon procedure was pretty quick & although the internal sucked, it wasn’t unbearable, they told me the doc had prescribed some Panadeine forte & Tamazapam to help me sleep & asked if I wanted them now, I’d never had a sleeping pill so had no idea how well it would work, if at all, I downed them & we headed down to Maternity ward around 10:30pm & I said goodbye to Allan & lay down in bed. I stared out the window for an hour or so then drifted off to sleep.
At about midnight I woke up with intense back pain & my ongoing contractions were still happening. I didn’t think much of it & tried to sleep, but the contractions were consistent so I counted how many I was having for a bit, in a space of half an hour I’d had 5 and they we’re getting more & more unbearable, I’d totally forgotten I’d had those pills & in my drowsy state I didn’t realise I was in true labour. I went back & fourth between the toilet & bed, tossing & turning, I was trying to be quiet as the ward was sleeping, but the pain was so bad that I was vocal now, I was aware that my moaning was probably annoying, still hadn’t clued on I was in active labour! This is my fourth baby, I laboured & birthed them all naturally so it baffles me how I didn’t realise I was in labour!
By 1:30am I couldn’t take it anymore & buzzed the midwife. I told her I’m getting really bad back pain, I was holding my back & grabbing the bed bar, moaning through the contractions.
“I feel like I’m going to be sick” I said, she grabbed a sick bag & I swooped it from her hands & hurled, she got another one & I hurled again. “Sometimes the pills have that nauseating effect on people, you poor thing!” She sat with me for a few minutes rubbing my back & said she wasn’t sure what to do with me because I couldn’t go to birthing unit unless the balloon had come out & I had already been given pain relief 2 hours ago, She said I could have a shower if I liked & I said oh yasss please!!
She turned the water on & after asking if I was ok, she left. A minute later with the next contraction the balloon fell out so I buzzed her, she said she’d phone birthing unit & be right back.
Not even one minute later, I had another contraction & my water broke, instantly I felt the urge to push. I buzzed her again & told her “My water just broke & I feel like I need to push!” One hand grabbing the support rail, the other grabbing my lady bits as I could feel his head and genuinely thought he might just fall out with the next contraction!
She called out for a wheelchair & within 30 seconds there was another midwife & doctor there, wheelchair ready. The vibe in the room changed, it was electric, everyone’s eyes were on me, not in a worrying way, the midwife was excited and the doctor was smiling & light hearted, they knew it was baby time!
The other midwife asked me if I wanted to call my support person & grabbed my phone for me. With wet hands & blurry eyes, as the wave eased, I found his name on my recent calls, hit dial & managed to get out “you gotta come now!” While the midwife held my phone. Allan said something like “like right now, are you in labour?” Another contraction started as I mumbled “come now!”
I sank into the wheelchair, they threw a gown over me as we raced round the corner to Birthing unit.
They wheeled me to the bed & helped me on as I moaned through another contraction. The midwives at birthing unit had one look and one told me she could see baby’s head. She asked if my hubby lived far away & I told her we live 5 minutes away so he shouldn’t be long.
She told me I can push on the next contraction, the other midwife had warm compresses & told me she was going to support my perinium, they were listening out for the door buzzer & talking me through it all, telling me “You’re doing great, just trust your body and breathe, that’s it, you’ve got this!”
I asked for the gas & the midwife passed it straight over, I sucked that down as I started to feel another wave “ok, here comes baby’s head!” She said as the door buzzer went off “ohh I think that might be hubby, what’s his name?” She said beaming “Allan” I mumbled through a break on the gas.
As the next contraction peaked, I bared down, eyes closed, gas in my hand, moaning & I heard them rushing someone in, I realised someone new had grabbed my hand, I opened my eyes, Allan appeared next to me with the biggest smile! “Ok baby’s head is out, just little pushes now honey! Dad just made it, what timing!!” she said & with the next contraction, baby Silas was here!
After Silas roared the ward awake showing off his incredible set of lungs, we enjoyed some skin to skin, the Doc came in to give me stitches (2nd degree tear, despite the amazing midwife’s attempt to protect my perinium, I think we both knew it would happen!)
We all laughed & talked about how Allan almost missed the birth, how quickly things progressed & it being as close as could possibly be! I checked later, I’d called him at 1:50am & Silas was born at 2:12am, we laughed about how ironic it was that the only birth he almost missed was the only induced one, go figure!
The midwife made me tea, a toastie & juice then Dad cut the cord & the midwife weighed & measured him “3.914, almost 4kg, what a big boy!” She said. I was shocked, I thought they were way off with the ultrasound weight estimate of 3.7kg I’d had a few days earlier thinking he felt more like 3.5kg absolute max!
For the first time in my birthing history, my midwife avoided getting covered in my waters!
And… despite the rollercoaster of feelings I had about this birth & induction, I ended up having a birthing experience that I didn’t even consider & never would have planned, but it was incredibly empowering to go through some of this on my own, without my trusted, seasoned birth partner & instead, with strangers who became like an instant family! The midwives were incredible & I will be forever grateful for all they did! ♡
My not so tiny baby boy has settled in really well, absolutely smothered in sibling love, Daddy cuddles & mama’s smooches, feeds & sleeps like an absolute champ, that extra 2 weeks on the inside really shows! We love you Silas! ♡