I wrote this post when my little Lachlan was 3 days old. He’s now 11 days old and this still seems like it happened yesterday. I’m living in a time warp. Days seem like hours. In my mind, I wrote this post yesterday. I can’t believe it’s actually been a week and a half.
Here’s the post as I wrote it a week and a half ago.
Amidst nature’s post birth practical jokes of after pains and leaky, aching, engorged boobies- It’s time for this new mama of 4 to string together a post natal blog post.
I have about a hundred posts in my head and run the risk of running them all together in this one post but I’m going to try and keep it shortish and focus just on my labour. More will come over the next few days, weeks, whatever.
I guess we start with the minor contractions I had sporadically throughout the day last Monday, they were just little squeezes, felt kinda nice really, nothing I would consider labour pains. Later that day, I lost my mucus plug and knew it was game on but didn’t dare to get my hopes up. I had to mentally prepare for the fact that it could still be days. I was already going just a bit nutso waiting out the final few days of pregnancy.
We went to bed and I had hopes that I would wake up with some nice regular contractions. I woke at 2am to go to the loo and as soon as I got back into bed noticed a nice concentrated labour like pain. Again, it was nothing particularly painful but strong enough for me to know what it was. I tried to get some idea of timing and saw that they were not regular but they were regular enough to be considered labour. I let it go for an hour or so, sent a tweet or two and tried to go back to sleep. It turned out I was too excited to sleep so got up. By that stage hubs was awake too and neither of us could go back to sleep.
We decided to call the baby sitter in and get ready to head off to hospital. Surprisingly, my dear friend who was first on my babysitting list was still awake and was able to be at our place within ½ hour. Contractions were still very mild and not particularly close together, but since I was expecting things to move pretty quickly and we had to catch a cab to the hospital, we decided we’d head off. I was pretty keen to get in a nice warm bath and didn’t want to be delivering a baby in the hospital car park.
I only had one contraction in the taxi and felt happy and relaxed. We got to maternity and were pleasantly surprised to be greeted with “We’re so happy to see you, we’re so bored, you’re the first one this year”. It was the 4th of January already and I had been told that January was overbooked by about 30 births and it would be really busy.
I was alone in the birthing unit and the midwife had the time for me. A stark contrast to my last birth in which all the birthing rooms were being used and I had to have my baby on post natal ward with midwives that were flat out busy. We had a last minute emergency that resulted in my baby being resuscitated in the hallway of the post natal ward and I was dead keen to avoid any kind of separation this time. I somehow knew that this time, things would go well but I still had to try and keep ‘last time’ out of my head.
The midwife kept telling me how relaxed I was looking and that I looked too relaxed to be in labour. At one point she told me that since they weren’t busy I could go ahead, have a hot bath and stay as long as I wanted but could leave if I wanted to. Contractions were now between 5 and 6 minutes apart and still not particularly difficult to deal with. I was feeling really good, relaxed and happy. Didn’t really feel that going home was right, I knew that the contractions I was having were doing some good work even though they weren’t cripplingly intense.
I sloshed about in the bath relaxing and meditating through these contractions. I reflected on how much I love being pregnant and how sad I was to let this pregnancy go since this is our last baby 🙁 Once I reminded myself that it’s been a great experience and that the next phase, actually having a baby to hold in my arms and a human being to watch grow is just as amazing, things picked up a notch. My body and my mind were in sync and ready to birth.
I got out of the bath and started a familiar restless phase of my labour, moving from the toilet to the bed, then pacing the room. The midwife would pop in every now and then to see how things were going and told me that there would be some breakfast on the way for me and that she would wait for the next shift to start before doing an internal exam in order to maintain continuity of care. I remember being impressed that a) They were encouraging me to eat and not starving me just in case of surgery and b) The midwife was not desperate to put her hand up where the sun don’t shine to find out what was happening with my cervix. Totally different to previous experiences, when I had to fight ’em off with a stick. Yay 🙂
Once this lovely midwife had handed over to the next shift, I was in pretty active labour, the contractions were intense enough that I couldn’t talk through them, I had to beg my husband not to make me laugh while I was having a contraction and the only place I felt comfortable sitting down was the toilet.
The new midwife on duty was absolutely lovely, I knew her but still can’t remember how. I think she may be a lactation consultant that I had dealt with at some point with my older kids. She told me that if I wanted an internal examination, to ask her for one but she didn’t feel that it would tell her anything, she’d rather listen to what I say. What a breath of fresh air that was! Yay for no fingers in my cervix.
I continued to labour pacing the room and I was on and off the loo, then finally found a comfy position draped upright over a raised head of a bed. I started feeling the familiar shift from cervix opening contractions to pushing sensations. I could hear the noises I was making change and knew that we were pretty much done with 1st stage and baby was moving through the cervix. He would be here soon. I was nearly done. They were truly energising thoughts. The next contraction was an intensely baring down pushing sensation and I felt the pop of the membranes and the warm rush of fluid run on out. I asked the midwife if it was clear, any meconium? She said “all clear”. I took a moment to enjoy this thought and allowed it to relax my mind and put all thoughts of past birthing emergencies and fears out of my mind.
Between contractions, the midwife told me that I needed to listen to her and let her guide me. If she asked me to back off, to try as hard as I could to back off and just allow him to move out gently. I got to the point where I could feel him sitting right on my perineum and told my midwife and hubs that I needed to move. I didn’t feel like he was in the right position to move in the way he needed to. The midwife said “sure how do you want to move”, I replied with a wailed “I don’t know”.
I didn’t actually feel like I could move, so stayed as I was. Hubs told me I was doing really well as I was and reminded me that we were nearly done. He was definitely not the 3rd wheel he said he felt like. In each of our 4 births, he has always known just what to say to keep me on track.
I moved my hips just a bit, had another good contraction and felt like everything was back on track. Within another 3 pushes, baby’s head was out and I knew the hard part was done. I knew it was only moments before I had him in my arms and I was already filled with joy. I knew everything was going well and there were no last minute emergencies waiting for me. Another push and there he was. I was in tears. I can’t remember what hubs said to me but I do remember the feeling of being so love with him. (Yeah, I know, it’s just a little bit sickeningly sweet).
The first thing I remember hearing was the midwife telling me that I needed to turn around so they could hand me my baby. I was so, so, so filled with joy to hear those words. I turned around, I took my prize. I cried, it was perfect. He was perfect. The moment was exactly as I had wanted it.
My midwife let us just be, putting a blanket over us both and not bothering with anything. She knew we wanted delayed cord clamping and waited until he was breastfeeding before asking if she could clamp the cord & cut. As for the first breastfeed, the midwife encouraged me to leave my baby to find the breast on his own rather than to help him on. She told me to let him use his hands to find the nipple and after about 5 minutes or so he did. He latched on perfectly. More tears- Naaaawwww. Newborn babies are amazing.
More brownie points to this midwife came when she said I could have a shower if I wanted to but not to wash above the waist to help baby use his sense of smell to know me and find the breast again. She also told me not to use soap. Can you tell I love this midwife? The student helping her also fantastic. I loved them both.
I guess the only things left to say now are that it took a full hour to deliver the placenta and that I had no stitches, just a tiny little graze that I haven’t felt at all.
I’m going to leave this post right there and pick it up again later. I’m going to cuddle my beautiful, perfect little boy and soak up all of his newborn goodness.
With oxytocin induced love,
The still blissed out but moderately uncomfortable new Mama of 4 xxx
If you want to know more, ask away. If you have a birth story on a blog or website somewhere, feel free to link to it. I love birth stories. And, I love comments. Leave me some love?