My birth experience
I was never the type of girl to dream about my wedding one day… I guess I am not that type of girly girl. One thing I did however dream about all the time, was my future children. I always wanted to have kids of my own, but of course, at the right time. One thing that really kept me from having kids for quite some time, was the whole birthing experience. Yes, you might call me a wuss, but I was petrified. I was really, really scared. I think the reason for it was that society makes you believe that it’s the most painful experience you will ever endure.
No one can really prepare you for what it’s going to feel like, because it’s something you have never experienced before, and all birth stories are different.
Anyway, so when I found out that I was pregnant ( we did plan it by the way, haha) I decided to put as much research into giving birth as possible. I came to the decision to do water birth, with absolutely no drugs, not even gas. For months and months I was watching videos on water birth, preparing myself for that day. If I was not thinking about giving birth day in and day out, I was dreaming about it at night. It was all I could think about. I had to prepare myself mentally for that day.
Throughout my pregnancy, I had this feeling that our baby will come sooner rather than later. My due date came and gone. By 41 weeks, I was so over it and I really just wanted to meet our little girl. It felt like torture to just sit around and wait for something to happen. My body showed no signs of going into labour any time soon. I didn’t even experience Braxton Hicks at that point. We went for our weekly check up on a Monday, and the doctor told me that I was dilated 1.5cm, which made me a little more positive, because at least it seemed like something was happening! He told me that if nothing happened by Thursday, I should drink castor oil, as that would definitely speed up my contractions. If the castor oil ended up not working, I should go in on Friday, to get an induction. An induction was the last thing I wanted, because I heard some gory stories about being induced. I was told that the pain would be much more intense, seeing that your body does not go into labour naturally.
When Wednesday came, I was just so fed up, and I wanted to drink the castor oil a day early, and just get ball rolling! We called our Midwife to ask if it was possible to rather take the castor oil a day early, and she told us we could. My husband went to the pharmacy and bought a 80ml tasteless castor oil. I poured the castor oil into a blender with some orange juice, and quickly gulped it down. We were so excited after I drank it! We took all our hospital bags to the car, my parents came over to with some lunch, and we sat around and we waited…. and waited… and WAITED! NOTHING happened! That evening we called the midwife, and she said we should go in the next morning, which meant that I would have to be induced. The one thing I did not want!
I slept surprisingly well that night, and that next morning we woke up early, got into the car, and drove to the hospital. The doctor did a check up, and suggested that I go on a drip, explaining to me that it might take longer for my contractions to start. They took us to the birthing room at around 8am. My midwife put in the drip, told me it will probably start working within the next few hours, and she left. Within a half an hour my contractions started! By 9am my husband had to tell the midwife to come back, as my contractions were becoming closer and closer apart. At first, it just felt like a slight pain in my lower back, and as it became closer, the pain became more and more intense. I couldn’t lie down on the bed, as that just felt even worse. I sat down on a pilates ball, and held onto the bars of the bed. Every time a contraction started, I would bounce gently up and down, side to side, and my husband massaged my back.
It was my plan from the start to only get into the bath much later, as I didn’t want to become used to the relief the water would give me, and by the time it was really painful, the water wont have any effect on me. My contractions sped up so fast, that all of a sudden the midwife told me I will have to start pushing in about ten minutes! I looked at her like she was crazy! There was no water in the bath tub, my essential oils were not burning, my music was not playing, the doctor was not there….Nothing happened the way I had it planned in my head. She told me that it’s best I have a dry birth, and that the doctor would be there any second.
The doctor came in, with a nice crisp white shirt, and he just put rubber gloves on, and told me to start pushing. I was pushing for around 1 hour, and I was becoming extremely exhausted. Our baby really struggled to come out, and the doctor decided to use a ventouse (another thing I really hoped to avoid). At 11:58 our dearest Savannah was born, at 3.4kg. She was very tired and cold, and they had to take her away immediately to pump out her lungs which was full of meconium (due to her being so late), and she had to warm up in the incubator. I was able to shower quite soon after that, and then get transferred to the room next door. An hour after birth, the nurse brought our little baby to our room, and we held her for the first time.
I can not explain how it felt holding her for the first time. It’s a love that no one can describe until they have experienced it for the first time. We feel so blessed to have her in our lives, and that she’s happy and healthy.