You will never be ready, whether you’re induced or the contractions just come. Labour is something you can not just imagine. Many women, struggle with the thought of pushing out the baby through that teeny tiny little opening… No matter how many times people tell you- “calm down, women were designed for child birth.” You will still stress over it…
Now. My labour was short! Very very short.. I am writing this piece for future reference for both myself, and anyone else who would like some more ideas or advice.
My labour was induced on the 2nd of april at 7 am. We drove to the hospital quickly. (We were late.) My giant belly ready to burst. The security guard greeted us on our way in and wished me “all the best”.. as though he knew what i was about to go through… even i had NO IDEA. My waters broke and the contractions started 5 minutes later. “Lucky you” said the nurse, you’re 4.5 cm dilated and we haven’t even started! Little did i know, she was sooooo right! We hadn’t even started.
I decided to get off the bed while the contractions weren’t too strong, and we walked up and down the corridor, stopping every now and then to breathe deeply and smile at the passing people. Yes, I SMILED at them.. such a naive little girl! After about an hour of this, we got back into the room and my knees started buckling from all the pain. This was when i realised that I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING. My poor husband watched me in horror and held me up to stop me from crashing onto the hospital floor. The contractions were a minute apart at this point. Calling the midwife in, I asked (moaning in pain) if she could check how much dilation had happened. She poked and prodded and looked at me woefully (as though she almost expected me to kick her once she answered) and replied that i was now 5 cm dilated. 5 CM DILATED?! that was it?
The pain was bad. The nausea worse, and my emotions were spinning me all over the place. I sat on the chair under the shower, and sat, and sat, and sat. My contractions slowed and I left, in the worry that that would just prolong my labour.. boy was i right! There was no dilation. In 30 minutes. Nothing. STILL 5! I lay in the hospital bed as the contractions swept over me, gathering speed once again. Every wave had me twisting and turning into a whole new position. Every wave had me grasping the life out of my husbands hand.
3 hours from the induction and I was still 5. My heart rate was through the roof. My blood pressure was elevated. Sweat covered me as I moaned and groaned. The worst part was the elevated heart rate of my little one. The little thing i caressed and sang to for 9 months. The little human, i could not live without- my little gift. I had no idea how long the process was going to take… the midwife voiced her concerns and that’s when i made the decision to have the epidural. She suggested i try the gas first. HELL, WHY NOT! LET ME INDULGE YOU MY DEAR MIDWIFE! I took one puff, handed it over to my husband for a try and yelled for the anaesthetist.
LUCKILY, he was on duty. I got my needle in 10 minutes later, and shortly after that, the pain (as well as the feeling from my legs) blissfully disappeared!
4 hours from the induction and i could eat my lunch! It was delicious. A wonderful tray of sandwiches, orange juice and an apple. While we ate, my husband turned on the sports channel and i tuned out… I FELL ASLEEP! thats right..
6 hours from the induction my doctor came to check my dilation. He woke me up from my little nap and started poking around. Imagine my surprise when he comes up and tells me its time to push! Thats right, you read right… I dilated the rest of the way over the last 2 hours! The epidural relaxed me and my baby and everything started rolling forward!
The last ten minutes of my labour will never be forgotten. I had both legs propped up into my husband’s and doctor’s sides and with my chin down i was pushing through each contraction. Finally, i reached down and touched my little one’s hair. The first contact. So special and sweet… and then, pop. Another contraction later and her head came out. Another and out slid her shoulders. The doctor told me to grab on and pull.. Her tiny little body came slithering out and I lifted her up to my chest. Her cries were loud and so shrill- i was proud of my little soprano.
That was it. The rest is so cloudy in my memory. Cloudy from the drugs or love i cannot say. 🙂 I remember the swift and sure hand of my husband, cutting the calamari, almost alien like umbilical cord. I remember his tears as he first held her. I remember my failed attempts at feeding the little thing.. But most of all, I will never forget staring at her swollen head and smelling her full head of sticky hair. There is something so beautiful about the scent of a newborn. So original and chalky. IF ONLY I CAN BOTTLE THAT!
Four days later, we carried the seemingly oversized car seat to our waiting car. We showed her off to the friendly security guard and began our journey home.
Labour was quite a trial. You never quite recover. At least i haven’t. Not yet anyway.