Well she's finally here! What an experience. This is what happened. Last week I was at home just resting and waiting but with no signs of labor at all. So on Saturday I still went to have my hair done and sat in the hairdressers for 3 hours. Every one was saying that they couldn't believe I was due that Monday and still driving around. The only thing I did notice was that I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks on Saturday but nothing painful at all.
So we went to bed Saturday night (13 October) at about 11h00. At 01h00 I woke up with what felt like really bad period pain I went to the toilet because it felt like my stomach wanted to go. The pain stopped and I went back to sleep. So I woke up again about 40 minutes later with the same pain, and then again right through the night between 40 and 20 minutes apart every time. By 05h00 I had to get out of bed because it was just too uncomfortable to lie down with the contractions. I told Corne I think I'm in labor. I still wasn't completely sure though because I've never had a contraction before so I didn't know what it was supposed to feel like, but these pains kept coming. I took a bath and started getting everything together. Corne took a shower and started helping me get the bags together and I sent a message to my midwife and mother and Doula.
Between 08h00 and 09h30 I was having a contraction every 10 minutes and they were about a half a minute to a minute long and I was breathing through them. I started to worry a bit because it seemed to be going very quickly. Laurette, my Doula, and my mom got here at around 10h00 and then all of a sudden my contractions slowed down to 30 to 40 minutes apart again. I don't know if it was because I was a bit anxious. So this went on the whole day, they came back and went away and they were irregular the whole time ranging from between 20 and 10 minutes apart. Laurette was wonderful and massaged me, we did some visualizations, we did some squatting exercises, we went for a walk and she kept me eating and drinking throughout the day. By 17h00 Karen, my midwife phoned again to hear what progress I was making and told me to come into the hospital for a stress test. The reason for this was that she didn't think I was in active labor yet but didn't want the clinic to give away my room so she wanted them to see us come in and do something. So I went to have a shower before we left. Well from here the story changes drastically!
I got in the shower and I started having contractions every 4 to 5 minutes apart. They kept coming and they were more intense than before. I also started to have some serious show and some of my mucous plug came out. I got out eventually and got dressed and dried my hair a bit while everyone was packing the cars. Then we left for the clinic which was about 30 minutes away. It had started raining. In the car my contractions kept coming every 2 minutes apart. It was not very pleasant having them in the car but I could still breathe through them. We got to the clinic at 18h30. We went up to the room. Karen arrived and said she was going to check me and do the stress test. She was still asking me what's taking so long and joking with Laurette that they thought I was about 2 to 3 cm dilated. So she examined me and her face changed all of a sudden and she said I was about 6 to 7 cm dilated, they had to get the stuff out the car and set up the pool quickly! From here I just remember everyone rushing around getting the pool set up filling it with water and packing everything out the bags. My mom and Corne were running around trying to sort everything out and Laurette was breathing with me through every contraction.
Karen asked me at some point how I was coping with the pain and I said I was ok. She never offered me anything and I didn't ask either so I just kept on breathing. The contractions were getting more and more intense now and I had a lot more show. Eventually the pool was set up at about 19h10. I got in! Karen still said to me the contractions might slow down a bit now because of the water. Yeah right! They still kept coming about 1 minute apart and my breathing changed drastically to almost panting. I couldn't breathe like I had been doing anymore. I also remember asking Karen if there was any gas. I didn't ask for the gas I just wanted to know it was there. She still said she was going to check now and that was the last we spoke of that. I remember her listening to the baby's heartbeat every now and then but it is so weird how your mind distorts the time and the reality of what's going on. I was completely in my own space. Even though everyone was helping me so much I didn't even notice people coming in and out the room. The water felt good but I felt intense pressure down my legs and back and I started wanting to push a pit and my body did even though I was trying not to because I still thought I couldn't be completely dilated yet. So sometime during this Karen did another internal in the pool. My water still hadn't broken yet and the bag was bulging. She said she could break them if I wanted to but I was doing so well she'd rather leave it and see what happens. I didn't ask her to break them. At some point she said I could push if I wanted to because she could obviously hear I was pushing a bit with the contractions anyway. I asked her if I was completely dilated and she said the last time she checked there was only a rim of cervix left and she's sure it's gone now. So with the next contraction I started pushing. I pushed for three or four contractions and her head was out! With the next contraction her body followed.
She was born at 20h05 on the 14th October 2007. She weighed 3.35kg and was 51cm long (7.39 lbs, 20 inches). I think the entire pushing phasee was about 10 minutes. I couldn't believe it was over. It was amazing. She was born in her bag of waters. I saw her coming up from the water with the bag over her head like a veil. She opened her eyes still under the water and looked me straight in the eyes. Everyone was so amazed, they couldn't believe what happened. My mom was crying and taking her little hand as she was coming up. Corne was there all the time taking photos. The look in his eyes when he saw her I'll never forget. Even though he wasn't actively there holding my hand and breathing with me, him being there and seeing his daughter being born was more than I could ever ask for. I held her and she didn't cry immediately. After a while she just made a little noise and started breathing. Karen made us feel the cord and it was still pulsing. I just held her and kissed her. My dad came in just to see if I was ok and see the baby. He was outside and heard her being born so he was a bit stressed. It was fine because I wasn't exposed; I had my bikini top on and you couldn't see anything else under the water. He had tears in his eyes.
So after a couple of minutes I started having another contraction. The placenta was coming. So I got out the pool and Corne held Jaide in the water. I got on the bed and had another 2 to 3 contractions and the placenta came out. I must admit they were still painful, not as intense as the when she was born but I had to breathe through them as well. Well after all that going so well, I hemorrhaged! Karen was amazing; she did whatever she could to stop it. She said because my uterus worked so hard the last 2 hours, it was tired and the blood was clotting. Well after about 4 tablets and an injection the bleeding and clotting started to slow down. I lost about 800mls. I was very dizzy and needed help going to the toilet. But by the next morning I was fine. And the best of all, I didn't even tear! I couldn't be happier!
We're home now and Jaide is the perfect little angel. Breastfeeding is going well. We are all in love!
Good luck to every one and I hope all of your birth experiences is as wonderful as mine. Thanks for letting me share my story with you.
- Lizelle, Corne and Jaide