I went into labour on my due date, so this birth story is the only thing that was overdue!!!!
I had planned on working right up until I went into labour, and I pretty much did. It could not have gotten any closer.
On Thursday the 18th at about 16:15, whilst still at work, I just had a feeling that I was going to go into labor that night. I was not sure why, yes, I know it was my due date but I just had a feeling. I emailed my sister from work and told her I was going to have the baby that night. Funny, because when I got back to work this week, there was a reply from her. When I got home I told Mr. OL that I we were going to have a baby that night. He would not believe me!
Just before 10pm I went to bed still insisting that we were going to have the baby that night. I was not having contractions or anything, it was just a feeling. I got up a few times, going to the toilet and was beginning to think perhaps my water had broken, but decided it had not, that I was being stupid and got back into bed. This happened about 3 times. The last time Mr OL had come to bed and he was getting fed up because I turned on the lights. I thought to myself perhaps I should put a towel or linen saver on the bed – just incase. Then laughed, I was being totally stupid. I mean, there were no signs that I was going into labour and the doctor had said the baby would probably on come the following week. I got back into bed and about 2 minutes later I heard a pop and it felt as if somebody threw a bucket of water over me! I should have put that towel on the bed. I turned to Mr OL and told him my water had just broken, there was NO DOUBT!!!! I was soaked. He replied “What am I supposed to do about it?” Take me to hospital dammit!!!! I phoned the labour ward to make sure that we should go in. They said yes, so we did, it was 22:15!!! On the way there I sms’d my mom and then my sister who phoned me right back. As I was talking to her I had my first contraction – nothing hectic but I knew what it was. The second one came as we got to the hospital. After that they just kept coming but there was no rhythm! They hooked me up to monitors to time them but they were pretty erratic. I was not dilated or anything.
The midwife came and checked on me pretty regularly and within an hour I was 3 cm dilated and the contractions were still very erratic but coming often and strong. By this stage I had already started throwing up. She said I was going very fast, so she moved us from the labour wards to the delivery rooms and she called the anesthetist. He arrived close to 1am. THANK HEAVENS!!! Why people do that with out an epidural is beyond me!
I must admit that it is a weird feeling, I could move my feet and toes but that was it! I could not bend my legs or feel any pain. I also got really cold, they put a couple of blankets on me and a hot water bottle. I was still shaking and did not get any sleep. Mr OL dozed on and off in the Lazy Boy chair in the corner. I was still hooked up to monitors and could see the contractions and the babies heart beat. My blood pressure was also taken every 10 minutes, but it stayed at about 110/70 (as it has been through most of my pregnancy and before). The lowest it got was 90/50 at one stage but went back up again. The baby’s heartbeat also dropped at one stage, but they put a load buzzer on my tummy and “woke it up”.
At about 5am the midwife told me to start pushing, she also said that I must have the baby before 7 am as her shift ends and she wanted to meet it. I replied that I had better have this baby before 6am as I did not want to be pushing for two hours.
They turn the epidural down, but it is still a very weird sensation. Some of the movement came back to my legs but I could still not feel them. I could also not tell if I was pushing or not. I mean, was I just huffing and puffing and scrunching up my face or was I actually pushing where I was supposed to be pushing? In between the throwing up I kept asking the midwife, “are you sure I am pushing right?” Apparently I was. After about 45 minutes she said that the baby keeps getting to certain point and then when I stop pushing it slides back again, she called the doctor who arrived shortly. I pushed a couple more times when he told me to stop and they were going to use forceps to get it out. Fine, what ever is best. I think the doctor was there for nearly 15 – 20 minutes at the maximum. The midwife was fantastic and she basically does all the work. He is just there for the glory – when the baby is actually born which was at 5:53 am. I then started throwing up again. The midwife had said it might happen. In fact she was spot on. She had said at the beginning when I was throwing up that I would probably throw up again when pushing and then whent he baby was born. One thing – I now don’t eat pinapple flavoured Super C’s anymore!
I was really worried about holding a newborn. I had not held one before and have always shied away from holding babies. But it was as every body kept telling me. When it is your own it is different. As soon as she was born they put her on my chest, all slimy and slippery and everything and I was not worried. Odd, as I always thought I would be worried I would drop her. I only kept asking, is it a girl. They took her a way for a few minutes and put her on a table under lights to keep her warm. I was so worried that she would fall of, not sure what I was expecting, that she would roll or something. LOL – at 4 months she has still not learnt to roll (although is getting close). Anyway, they put her back on my chest and she started to feed.
I can’t say I had that rush of love feeling, more like a “oh wow, this is a baby feeling”. I just felt calm. My mom arrived shortly after she was born and stayed with me for a while (all day). They asked me if I would mind if I kept the baby with me for a while longer as they had a sudden rush in the labour ward and there were no nurses to take her to the nursery to get weighed or anything – would I mind, NO. Odd question. Any, I stayed in the labour ward for a couple of hours while they helped other woman. I guess my only compliant about that was that she was suckling the whole time on one boob and that led to me getting a cracked nipple, which took about 6 weeks to heal and ended up bleeding and being FLIPPEN sore!!!!!!! It was nice to be able to spend that time with her though. At about 9 am they said I could go for a shower and they took Baby OL to the nursery to get weighed and stuff. Mr OL went with her, while my mom stayed with me. After showering I went to the ward, where I had a room to myself. Not a private room, just nobody else in it. It remained like that for both nights. After a couple of hours Mr and Baby OL came to the ward. I could not believe that I had just had a baby. In fact I still battle to realise that I am now a MOMMY and have a daughter. It is such a weird feeling.
So I guess that is the birth story! Just the cracked and bleeding nipple thing is NO joke. I have never felt pain like that. I have never sworn so much in my entire life! It is a pain that goes right through your entire body. OWWWWWW And to know that you are going to feel that every time she feeds which was every 3 hours. But I persevered and am glad I did.
Also she is a very contented and quiet little baby, she hardly ever cries and when she does it is because she is tired or hungry – usually tired. She sleeps quiet a bit. I am very happy as I am not sure I could have coped with a child that cries a lot. Here is my favourite picture of her and I, taken when she was 5 weeks old.
The above photo was taken by Yolande at Maliaka Photography in Port Elizabeth.