Today's birth story feature is from fellow kiwi Mummy blogger Jasmine, over at aGathering, her blog is a recent discovery for me and it's nice to find another fellow kiwi in the big blog world. She blogs about life as a new Mum to her gorgeous Son, Arlo and is sharing a photo a day documenting the first year of Arlo's life - such a great idea!
Arlo was born on the 11th of May 2014 and this is Jasmine's story...
1. What was your due date?
9th of May 2014
2. Were you early or overdue? Any predictions on your due date and whether they were accurate or not?
I was two days ‘overdue’ but I don’t really count that as being overdue. I was finally not feeling sick and actually feeling pretty good minus random pre labour/Braxton hicks contractions.
3. Where did you plan on birthing? I.e Hospital, Birthing Centre, Home etc
I wanted to be in the hospital, I would have gone for the birthing centre option, but Rotorua doesn’t have one!
4. Did you have a birth plan? If so, tell us a bit about it.
To be honest, not really. I knew that labours/births/babies are all so different and unique and it’s pretty hard to ‘plan’ something that is so out of your control. I’d spent hours thinking about the labour and the birth, I’d watched Born Every Minute, dozens of Youtube clips and Me My Bump and I episodes. I’d heard all the stories - the horror, miraculous, down right terrifying, fulfilling, natural, gory and the 'wish-I-never-knew-that' kind of stories to somehow prepare myself for what I was about to experience. But not really a ‘birth plan’. I had vague outlines like stay at home as long as I could cope, and have the baby on me as soon as possible after he was born. I didn’t want to make my husband promise not to let me have drugs because I knew I would probably change my mind. I was pretty open to ride the wave and make the decisions as we needed to.
5. Did your birth go according to your birth plan? Give us a brief overview of your labor and birth.After a day of bearable contractions that had been 5min apart we headed to the hospital about 9pm with contractions every 3min, I was no longer able to talk through the contractions and knew that this is what the midwife had been talking about when she kept saying - “You’ll know when it’s the real thing” – All day I’d been saying I’ll never know if it’s the real thing because I’ve never experienced it before. But as I walked through the hospital entrance and grabbed the wall I knew this was the real thing.
I’d been saying to Aaron in the car that I better not be 1cm, I better at least be 3cm, I was praying and hoping I was 5cm. After a check, which hurt like no ones business, I was told that I was in fact, 1cm. I could have cried at that point. All this pain and literally no gain! We carried on another couple of hours - vomiting, contraction, vomiting, contraction, then got checked again. To my utter disgust I was still 1cm. Out came that giant crocheting needle and pop went my waters. Gross. I felt like I was peeing my pants for minutes. Not long after I was given the gas. Thank the Lord. It does what they say - it takes the edge off. It also does what they don’t say - make you crazy. I was out of it. I had planned on getting in the water, but after a few puffs of that stuff I could barely hold my head up or control what weird things I kept hearing myself say.
We carried on laboring - eventually, after much pleading they gave my something else - you have to push the button at the right time to take the next little edge off. I could hear myself crying out to my husband, staring him straight in the face telling him to do something, to help me, to make the pain stop. There were moments during that night where I thought there was no way I could come out of this alive. I literally believed with my whole heart that I could not do it. I cried out for an epidural - sounding like a crazy person GIIIVVVVEEEE MEEE ANNN EEPPIIDURRALLLL. My Mum, husband and midwife just carried on rubbing my back, holding my gas and doing whatever else they were doing.
At the next check the midwife brought the best news. I was almost ready to push. The pushing is the worst. And they took away my gas. Oh my goodness. I felt like I had no strength to push. I was pushing my hardest. I heard comments vaguely saying - “You need to push or we will have to get the forceps”, “You need to push or we are going to have to cut” (that was one thing I really really really did not want to happen, despite what may seem as a harsh comment, my midwife knew me, she knew how to motivate me into action. I'll have her again in a heartbeat). Somewhere within I found some little bit of strength. I tried hard not to think about the pain; I tried hard not to think I was pushing the biggest watermelon sized poo out. I tried hard not to think that this was impossible. I could hear them talking about his dark hair. And did I want to feel? No I did not want to feel, I needed to concentrate on my pushing. After pushing through a few more contractions his head was out. The moment of greatest release. Then his body. Then he was on me. This little bundle of slime.
6. How do you feel after the birth and did it go according to plan?
It was bliss. Arlo was on me feeding. My mama was crying with joy, my husband who had just caught Arlo and finished cutting the cord was cleaning up. It was the greatest feeling of success and achievement and ‘overwhelmedness’ all rolled into one.
7. What are the top 5 items you packed in your hospital bag that you couldn't have done without or wish you had packed?
- big granny undies
- stretchy pants/short (leggings)
- tops that have buttons
8. What's one piece of advice you could offer to any Mum preparing for child birth?
Try not to plan too much, a lot of people do and get disappointed that something didn’t go the way they would have liked. So much is out of your control. X
9. Is there anything you would do differently next time?
Get in the water faster, I was trying to wait as long as I could, before using pain relief, and once I had the gas I couldn’t get in the water, I would like to try the pool before gas next time!
Thanks Jasmine for you sharing your story with us! It was a great read and you did so well without pain relief and I can understand what you mean about the gas - it made me feel high!
If you would like to share your birth story on the blog you can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.