I was convinced you’d come a little early like your sister but here I was the night before your due date. Everything was like normal, all three of us went to bed, I had my regular obstetrician appointment in the morning & being my due date we had talked about maybe doing a stretch & sweep.At around 1.30am I woke with what felt like a cramp in a muscle in my middle back, left to my spine. I needed the bathroom so I carefully got up & went to the ensuite trying not to twist the wrong way to aggravate the cramp. Once I went to get off the toilet I could not straighten my back. I called out for hubby saying “I’m not in labour but I need your help” he helped me off the toilet but I ended up on my knees in the bathroom. My back was cramping/pinching real bad. I managed to make it back to the bed where he rubbed deep heat into the area & placed a heat pack on. The pain lasted for a good hour but felt better when putting pressure on it. Jarrod wanted to ring the birthing unit but I was convinced it was my back that had flared up again. I eventually called the birthing unit & explained what was happening. The lady I spoke to said to pack my bags & come in to be checked out but not to rush as it didn’t sound like things were happening just yet. I remember she laughed when I said it’s not labour as it felt nothing like my first! Just like my husband she thought it was too much of a coincidence that today is my due date & that I’ve just woken up with back pain.Once the pain had almost completely gone, I called her back & said I’d be staying home & would wait till my already booked appointment in the morning to get checked out. Plus I didn’t want to drag Liana out of bed knowing it was not labour.We went back to sleep, the pain had gone, it just felt like I had to move carefully otherwise it would go back into a cramp. I woke again around 6 am with similar pains but it went away again with some pressure & heat applied. I was still totally convinced that I would be going to the physio after my obstetrician appointment. During my whole pregnancy I had seen a physio due to sciatica nerve pain. Looking back now writing this I should have know it was labour but I was in denial…obviously!!!Once the obstetrician’s office opened, I called to speak with my midwife to see if I could come in earlier, I explained what had happened & she like myself said, it doesn’t sound like labour but come in & we will check you out. We packed the car with all our bags just in case we decided to do a stretch and sweep which would maybe kick things off straight away!We arrived, I went into the room with my midwife, she examined me & said ‘ I don’t know what your problem is’ ‘what do you mean’ I said. ‘Your 5cm dilated & your contracting right now’ I couldn’t believe it!.I thought I was still having braxton hicks, a couple of days earlier I had said that my braxton hicks were getting more intense & that I hoped I would know the difference between them & actual contractions…. of course I would know I remember saying to hubby. After all I had given birth before!The midwife said my membranes were bulging & ready to pop so she didn’t want to do anything else but send me straight upstairs to the birthing suite. ‘You’ll be having this baby in a couple of hours’ she said as we left the room.I was still in denial as I was in no pain at all except that cramp in my back feeling like it would come back with any slight wrong twist.
They set us up in our room, I had my trainee midwife with me who has been following my journey from about half way through my pregnancy. Hubby & Liana my 3 year old daughter got themselves comfy too.They kept saying once my waters break it will all happen real quick (my first birth with Liana I labored for 4 1/2 hours & was fully dilated when I arrived so going by the records they said it would happen quickly this time too.
Our dear friend & photographer Jules turned up, the room felt calm and relaxed. Liana was calm playing while every so often coming over to check if I was okay. Meanwhile Jarrod & I were getting our heads around that we were about to become parents again!! I was mostly back & forth from my bed & the fit ball during my braxtons/contractions which were about 10 mins apart. The midwives had a bit of a giggle that I still referred to them as braxtons as they could see on the monitoring screens they were getting more intense.
My obstetrician came in to check my progress & to see if I wanted him to break my waters to get things happening! He would let us discuss and come back. This decision was confusing to me, there was part of me thinking that right now I was feeling nothing and it felt like I could end up being here all day and night. Which is the last thing I wanted. I was still trying to get my head around that I was in labour but my waters hadn’t broken as my first birth this was the first thing that happened.Plus Liana was with us and I wanted her to still be functional to get through this to see her little brother arrive.I could feel the midwives probably didn’t want me to get my waters broken and would have preferred it all to happen naturally.I just could not feel anything progressing at this stage and decided to let my ob break my waters. He put a single finger glove on with the tiniest little hook at the end and scratched my membranes which then broke. My next bathroom stop there was a lot of blood including some large clots. The midwives started to get worried about how much blood I was now losing & called the ob back in. They estimated I’d lost around 500 mls.
My contractions still felt quite weak but remained close together. They placed a drip in my arm to give me oxytocin (a hormone that causes contractions). I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to needles and this one freaking hurt and so uncomfortable with it in. Initially I felt a little disappointed that I had to have some sort of drug even though this would in no way take any pain away in fact It would help intensify it. I really don’t like having anything put into my body that is unnecessary. I heard them keep turning up my dosage as it was taking a while to work. In the meantime after all that blood loss hubby and I, made the decision to get my parents to come and be on standby to take Liana just in case it turned into something more.
My contractions were getting stronger, the midwives and Jarrod had a laugh as they said this is what we like to see, you in a bit of pain!
I could feel it starting to happen I knew I was not far from pushing. It was great having Liana in the room with me, I feel it kept me calm and at the same time took my mind off of what was happening. My parents turned up at the perfect time, they came into the room. I felt something come over me & just knew I was not far from getting that urge to push (that is one advantage of your 2nd birth). We asked my parents to take Liana for a walk & would bring her back in once he was out.I don’t think they would have gotten to the end of the corridor and as I went to get off the bed to go to the bathroom the urge come over me and it was INTENSE!
My trainee midwife was the only one in my room, she quickly called for the senior midwife. I remember them trying to get me to go to the toilet and me saying as I was trying to get back on the bed that his head was there.
I was right he was there & ready.
The urge to push took over my body and within 2-3 pushes his head was out. I remember them trying to get me to slow down and wait for the next contraction, with 1 final push the rest of his body was out. He was placed straight on my chest, but was not breathing yet! Jarrod cut the cord in a rush, so they could get him over on the baby assessment bed to get oxygen into him. Due to him coming out so quickly (like a rocket they said) they believe he was in shock. He had a pulse but didn’t take his first breath till 3 and a half minutes later after a good rub and assisted with oxygen. They put him back on my chest and the feeling is just indescribable. Jarrod got Liana from outside the door to bring her in and meet her baby brother. It was such a magic moment, the first thing she said was ‘he is so cute, I love you baby Luca’ ohhh my heart was bursting how did I get this lucky!
Trying to enjoy the moment the worst part of giving birth was happening down below! I had a complex tear due to the speed he came out. I needed a lot of stitches inside & out which is probably the most painful part of the whole process. (My first birth I had a episiotomy, which in my opinion I would choose to have again over a natural tear.)It’s hard to describe the natural high you are on after giving birth, and the happiness you feel. The calmness that came back into the birthing suite took me right back to when I gave birth to Liana. Once everyone left I was able to have a shower and get dressed ready to go to our room, where we spent the next 3 nights.
A special Thank You to our dear friend Julie @julielynne_ for capturing this incredibly special moment for us xx