Finally I've gained the confidence to write my birth story, to relive the birth, to try to find the words to explain my feelings, my experience. I'm not sure how I am going to put it into words but somehow I will try.
I would like to start by saying it is not my intention to put fear into expecting mothers but rather to be true to my words, to be honest and tell of my birth the way it was.
I arrived for a check up with my doctor, John. It was the 27 of January 2010 and I was one day overdue, John asked me to lay on the table, as he examined me I remember praying for him to say something was happening, I was tired, it had been a long pregnancy and I wanted it to be over, I wanted to meet my little boy.
As he examined me he asked if I had been experiencing any contractions, I explained I had but they had been the same for the last few nights, regular for an hour or so but never lead anywhere. Dr John told me I had progressed from last week, he believed I was in early labor and if not now I would be soon, he then explained that he would be away for the weekend and suggested I was booked in that evening to be induced to avoid a labor while he was away, I agreed and the phone calls were made.
It felt surreal, the day I had been waiting for and imaging for so long was here.
That evening we arrived at the hospital, I was hooked up to the machine which read my contractions they were still their but not leading to anything, they decided to apply gel to ripen my cervix's and I was told to try to get some sleep.
Over the next few hours the contractions became more painful, the best way I could explain this would be to liken them to strong period pain, after a few hours the intensity gradually decreased, I was kept on the monitor so they could keep an eye on the baby's heartbeat, this mixed with the excitement and fear meant there was no way I was going to sleep.
In the morning Dr John came at 6:30 a.m to break my water, I held my breath as he inserted a knitting needle looking object, it was uncomfortable and hurt but defiantly bearable, once done he gave an order to the midwife that a drip be started.
He told us we would have a baby my lunch time and left...
Then the midwife left, Matt and I were in the room by ourselves, I was surprised by the amount of fluid that came out every time I moved, my contractions increased quite quickly. Matt and I wondered when the midwife would be back to hook up the drip but no one came, after about an hour I asked Matt to go and get a midwife.
When she came in she informed us she would not be putting me on a drip because they were so busy, it would be dangerous as there were not enough staff for someone to be with me, then she left.
I was later to find out there were nine babies born that day.
Over the next few hours we were checked on time to time by midwives that were over busy and mainly rude. Even with Matt being an amazing support, I felt alone I had done prenatal classes but had forgotten a lot, We needed guidance and reassurance and got nether.
As the hours went on the pain got more intense, I wanted to try for a drug free birth and thought water would help but being attached to machines I thought a bath was out of the question.
Finally a new midwife arrived, she was soft spoken and sweet, she asked to examine me and announced I was six centimetres dilated, she suggested I had a bath for the pain, at the time I was relieved to be able to have a bath but looking back I just feel angry no one bothered to offer this before.
Once in the bath things went from bad to worse, as my labor progressed the pain was unbearable. When people asked me to explain labor pain I could never find the words, after reading Tart's birth story she explained it as "A wild animal trying to claw the way out of your body" I can really relate to that statement.
I'm not sure how long I was in that bath, maybe an hour, maybe two but I hardly remember walking back to my room, once in the room I spent a lot of time sitting on the toilet and the rest in the shower.
By the time I reached the pushing stage I was exhausted, I hadn't eaten all day, I hadn't slept the night before and I could find no relief. I was in the shower squatting, in-between contractions I would collapse on the tiles with my angle bent beneath me, which would later would lead to a blood clot in my leg. From time to time another midwife would pop in, I heard them joking about how if my doctor came in and I was in the bathroom he would spit it (my doctor was know as being very strict around the hospital) I kept saying to them "should I move?" but they just brushed me off or said what ever you feel comfortable with, I think they were getting a kick out of under-minding the doctor. I wasn't capable of making decisions and unsure if I could have walked to the bed.
This was me, I was stripped of everything my soul was bear and I was in a very dark place, a place where nothing Matt or anyone could say or do would help me, I was in a different world, I would not have even know if they were there.
I felt nothing Beyond this point, I could see nothing other than pain, I didn't cry it's not the pain that comes with tears, I didn't swear, I didn't scream, at this moment I was a child a little helpless girl and with each contraction I whimpered like a wounded animal and I pleaded, I pleaded to god to Matt to anyone and no one.
The midwives kept telling me I would have a baby soon but I was blinded by the labor, It breaks my heart to admit this but I had even stopped thinking of my baby, All I could think of was the pain, I just wanted it to stop.
When pushing my midwife would ask when I was having a contraction but to me I felt nothing but a constant contraction, I was handed a mirror and could see his head, before this labor I thought I would never want to look, but it helped.
I vaguely remember hearing the girls whisper the cord was around his neck I remember they kept trying to check for his heart rate, at this point I came back to realty, I knew I had to get him out, I had to pull myself together for my baby and I did, I pushed I gave it everything I had, the midwife told me to stop to slow down, at this point I didn't care if I tore, I just cared that Harper was out and my pain was gone.
At 7:39 p.m. on the 28 January he was born.
They handed me a slippery little boy and told me to walk to the bed for the cord to be cut, I remember thinking they were expecting to much of me, I could hardly walk let alone carry a wet baby but I did.
My mind rushed though so many emotions, relief, sadness, happiness and joy I got a bit teary but was in such shock from the labor it clouded my emotion.
My doctor finally decided to arrive, as I had the last contraction I pushed the placenta out and they checked it was full, as I looked down to get a preview of my post baby belly I saw a lump the size of a football, the doctor quickly noticed and started to massage my uterus, blood was coming out at a fast rate Matt took Harper and I was given a shot as he massaged my uterus, I screamed as I tried to rip his hands away, My whole body shook, I remember looking over at Matt and wondering if I was going to die.
Over the next few days I was still in allot of pain, I tore badly and could hardly get off the bed, my whole body ached, the day after Harper's birth they found the clot in my leg and I was treated for that.
I had a complete drug free birth and I'm proud, but at what cost?
I've spent a lot of time re running my labor though my head, most of the memories are locked away somewhere and hard for me to access but often I will ask Matt about it, ask him "what happened next?" as I try to get some kind of understanding as to where I went wrong, why I don't think of my labor as "the beautiful experience" I often read about in other birth stories, maybe if I had some pain relief I would have not been as overcome by the labor. They say the first is always the worst, I hope so, but with all that happened there is still a chance I'll try a drug free birth again next time.
I would like to finish this post by letting you know Harper was worth every second of this pain he is everything to us, at the time I thought I would never have another baby, it took me along time to heal emotionally and physically after my labor, but memories fade and your left with the most beautiful gift in this world, life.