I really want to write down my birth story so I remember how it all happened because it is already becoming a blur. Skip over if this stuff bores the hell out of you, I don’t blame you! It’ll be in a few parts because the little guy is not cooperating with giving me any time in front of my computer right now. Who knew babies were so bloody needy…
The Wednesday before I gave birth I saw my obstetrician for a check up. I was just two days off my due date so she did a stretch and sweep which is a simple procedure that can help initiate labour. She said she only sort of did one because my cervix was still pretty closed up but that I was 1 cm dilated, which is a bit of a start.
Next we discussed plans to get bubs out of me. She didn’t want me to go too far over my due date as it carries an increased risk of stillbirth so she looked in her diary and found when she was next in the labour ward and booked me in for an induction. This way I would guarantee that she would be there for my full delivery. So I was scheduled for an induction on Thursday 27th July… if bubs didn’t arrive before that time.
I left my appointment feeling pretty normal and like bubs wasn’t anywhere near arriving. Now I had an induction date, I kind of just assumed that would be when I would meet bubs. Over the next few days life continued as normal. I was busy running around unpacking the house, doing copious trips to Kmart and setting up for baby. I didn’t tell anyone (except AJ of course) about the planned induction because it was still a week away and a lot can happen in a week!
On Saturday 22nd we had a lazy morning at home with my brother, sister in law and niece, Penelope, who had arrived from Sydney to stay with us for the weekend. We spent the day chasing around after Penelope who is 9 months old and a crazy little bundle of energy. By that evening I was seriously wondering what I had got myself into, no matter how cute Penelope is, this baby stuff was starting to look way too exhausting. I guess it was too late to turn back now…
AJ with Penelope and my sister in law
My house guests went out for dinner with friends and so AJ and I enjoyed a quiet night in with Uber Eats and Netflix. Then, at 9.15 pm, half way through the final episode of Master of None and after eating a mac and cheese burger and a Halal snack pack (big mistake!) I felt a weird pop between my legs. My sister in law had told me that when her waters broke she felt a pop, so I suspected what had happened right away. I froze and just held my legs together tightly while I quietly panicked. I seriously wondered if I could hold it in if I stayed really still. Then I decided I better make a dash for the bathroom upstairs before I ruined the couch.
I really wasn’t expecting my waters to break because in all my classes and research it seemed that most women had contractions as their first symptom of labour and the big waters breaking moment you see in movies is less likely. I had also been told that when your waters break it is normally a slow trickle. Well mine was more like a waterfall. A massive waterfall! We called the hospital and they asked me to come in for assessment. I asked if I could have a shower first to clean up, but it was pointless because my waters just kept flowing… it was messy to say the least. Even as I was walking from the hospital carpark to the admissions desk I was trying to mop up with paper towel as I leaked everywhere. I was so glad this was happening late on Saturday night and no one was around to witness me wetting myself in public.
We got to the hospital and they set me up in a birth suite for monitoring. I felt fairly certain that I wouldn’t be having a baby that night as I had no contractions yet. The hospital monitored me and bubs for about 90 minutes and they confirmed that I was not in labour. But, because my waters had broken, the hospital decided to induce me the next morning. We made a plan for me to come back at 7.30 am on Sunday to have a god damn baby!
When we got home my sister in law was waiting up for us because she had heard us go out earlier. I knew she would have heard us leave, so I had text her to say we were just getting a check up. I was trying to downplay things, but obviously she knew something was happening. I didn’t tell her that my waters had broken or that I was being induced, I just wanted to keep things to myself to lessen the pressure that I was already feeling. I am surprised she didn’t cotton on when AJ went knocking on her door for extra towels (as we keep our spare towels in the guest room) after I had soaked through every towel in our bathroom!
We didn’t get home until around midnight and I was starting to have pretty regular and painful cramps. My main concern was having another shower to wash and dry my hair in readiness for the next day. My hair was super greasy and I was terrified that I wouldn’t have time to get myself together before baby arrived. So I showered, but by the time I finished washing my hair my cramps had escalated and I was in quite a bit of pain. I had to get AJ to blow dry my hair because I really wasn’t up to it. I thought this was the start of contractions, but little did I know that these cramps were just niggles in comparison to real contractions!
The hospital had sent me home with sleeping tablets and Panadeine Forte so that I could try and get some sleep before the big day. Between the cramps, the leaking waters and the fact I was about to have a baby, I didn’t get much sleep that night.
To be continued…
Being monitored at the hospital
The view from the hospital room