In honour of Mother’s Day (North America) I wanted to ask all the ladies in my network, “what is your labour story??”
For many of us it’s time spent in our very own personal torture chamber filled with horrors and crazy stories, but one thing comes out… life. There are no words for how beautiful and epic that moment is…
Anyway… here’s my labour story
(Backstory- some of you may remember I have PCOS, a condition so severe in my case, I was told I’d never have children. Even after conceiving, I was scared by health care professionals, told I would miscarry, so on… but I made it all the way to 39 weeks 5 days before…)
September 14, 2016: approx 9pm
I began having, what I can describe as “lightning stabbing” pains in my crotch (which I would later learn was lightening of the cervix) I texted my mum and she said,
They went away shortly after messaging my mum, so I went to bed. I woke up the next morning at 2am ish desperate to pee. I went. But as I came back it felt like I was dribbling pee down my leg so I ran back to the toilet and pushed and more came out (I thought “wow that’s a lot of pee”) went to lie back down in bed, the second I lied down it felt like I peed again, except this time with no effort at all.
My waters had broken, I knew it. My boyfriend was already on edge so he shot out of bed and got to grabbing things and we raced out the door. On the way there the fluid just kept coming out, it was so uncomfortable, like you’re peeing yourself a little every 30seconds, but it’s not pee, it’s the fluid your child has lived in…
I got to the hospital and the nurses joked about how it’s a full moon and it’s gonna get busy in there. They waited for the doctor to assess me before proceeding with the induction. (I was group b strep positive so upon waters breaking I needed antibiotics and induction to “slow” labour to ensure I had enough antibiotics in my system. When the doctor arrived she pressed her speculum to my cervix and a massive gush of water went everywhere. She said “yup! That’s amniotic fluid, you’re not going anywhere little lady you’re having a baby today!”
And then it sunk in, I mean really sunk in, I was going into labour, and it was gonna hurt. I got sort of panicked, but was a bit relieved when they said “we can’t induce you til shift change so why not go grab something to eat.” So down we went in the elevator, my man, my mum, and me. Suddenly the alarms started going off in the elevator, and my anxiety took off like a freight train “Oh god I’m gonna give birth in an elevator! Oh god my bfs probably gonna see me crap myself! Oh god no!”
Turns out my mum was leaning against the alarm button… False alarm…. thanks Mum
Made it to the cafeteria in one piece, the hospital food tasted like crap but it was nice to have a minute to contemplate my fate before taking the plunge in the birthing room. Once I had my breakfast they had me pack up our stuff and head over to the labour room. It was a decent size with a big window, and a Winnie the Pooh decal on the wall that said,
“Sometimes the smallest things take up the biggest room in your heart.”
They began my induction and at first I barely felt the contractions, this was approximately 7:30am sept 15. They were at first similar to a period cramp, but not quite. As the drip progressed I still hadn’t dilated. An OBGYN who saw me at 3months said because I had a LEEP procedure on my cervix I would need to be manually dilated. No one listened to me though. What did I know? I was a new mom in labour. When the drip hit 11ml I started asking for help. The pain was awful, like my insides were tearing out. They gave me the gas which only made me vomit more and more. I barfed the entire labour FYI. Within a few hours I was maxed out on the drip, By that time it was at 20ml and I was begging for an epidural. They gave me a choice: “fentanyl, a hot shower (there’s no way I could stand with that pain) or epidural, I chose door 3, epidural, please.
But it didn’t quite work.
My right side went completely dead I could flex my toes but not feel them and they felt like they weighed 30lbs. My left side felt like I was rupturing cysts over and over again. It was agony. I had become so sick from the meds that I began to wretch so hard it was incredibly painful. They started me on gravol. Then topped up the epidural. Things started to level out but by that point I had been maxed out on the drop for a few hours. The pain started to radiate through the epidural so they topped that up again and had to give me something else for nausea cause I was throwing up every 5 mins.
finally, after being maxed out for 6 hours the new OBGYN on shift said “she’s had a LEEP procedure and needs to be manually dilated” and I watched as she wrenched my vagina open with her hands, like she was birthing a baby cow. Thank fuck the epidural had kicked in by then cause I certainly wouldn’t want to feel that.
By 7pm (45mins after she dilated me) I was 9cm dilated. Did i mention it was a teaching hospital? When the time came to push, i must’ve had 15 ppl all watching my vagina… great.
i remember the doctor yelling “look at all that hair!”) they told my mum to count for the time I had to hold my breath and push, and I remember she got so excited she forgot to count and mid push I yelled
“Oh shit sorry caz 1…2…3…”
it took 40mins if pushing and our little girl was out. I remember it felt like an eternity until she cried. I heard the doctor say “come on baby, come on now, breathe, breathe.” I was terrified I wouldn’t hear her cry… but she did. They placed her on my chest and immediately she silenced, and snuggled up to me. I cried my eyes out. It was the most beautiful, the most life changing moment. I’ll never forget it.
I suffered third degree tears, separated pelvis, it was rough (and don’t get me started on trying to go to the bathroom after!) went through 6 months of colic after that, not sleeping for more than 3hrs a night, To teething, to growth spurts, you name it. But she’s almost 2 and we’ve made it this far, I’m so excited to see where we go from here.