Full disclosure, birth stories are not for everyone so I won't be offended if I lose you here! I'm sharing as I know how much I loved reading other people's birth stories before I had Sadie (and still do) so here goes - the day Sadie came into the world!
Sadie was due on Saturday 20th May. That day came and went without any sign of her arriving which I wasn't at all surprised about. I was still feeling really great and was only just starting to be a little uncomfortable while I was sleeping which I thought was pretty amazing really and not at all how I expected to be feeling at 40 weeks pregnant! That day we went down to the local sports complex to watch the rugby and came home reasonably early. That night I woke a few times overnight feeling a little uncomfortable but didn't think anything of it. Sunday was also very relaxing and we just spent the day at home. I actually think I climbed a ladder and cleaned the ceiling in the bathroom...nesting much?! Sunday night was a different story and I woke about 10 times feeling kind of uncomfortable but again, didn't think it was anything.
Monday morning came and Josh was going to work driving a stock truck that day but just locally so I figured I would go with him for what I knew would probably be the last time for a while. We did a couple of trips and it was really nice to spend the day together. From about 9am I was having the same uncomfortable feelings I'd been having overnight but they were happening probably every 40 minutes to an hour. I started being suspicious that something was going on but again, they weren't bothering me too much and I just thought that for being 40 weeks pregnant, this probably came with the territory and was probably my body just starting to get ready. So I stayed in the truck with Josh and we got home about 3pm.
At this point I went back up to the house and decided that I'd better finish packing the hospital bag and painted my nails. You know, all things you do when in labour! Which I still didn't think I was...ha!
Around 4pm these uncomfortable feelings started to turn into real feelings. They pretty much went from a 2 out of 10 on the annoying scale to a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale in the space of about a hour. At this point I started to think that we might head into town that evening to my Mum's house and hang out there for the night, just in case. But I still thought I would just wait for Josh to come up from the yard and we would go from there.
By about 4.30pm I had changed my mind. At this point I was definitely feeling like our baby was starting to think about making an appearance so I waddled down to find Josh to let him know it was time to head into town. He came back up to the house, had a shower, stocked up the chickens feed for a few days and fed Sage. I called my mum to let her know that we were heading to her house and that we would probably want dinner.
At about 5.15pm we were in the car and heading into town. Right as we were leaving I had a contraction (they were most definitely contractions at this point) so I took note of the time and how long it lasted and we got in the car (with a towel down on the seat!) and started driving. 5 minutes later I was hit with another really intense contraction and Josh & I both looked at each other like "the last one was only 5 minutes ago" but we knew this could happen and that they may go on like this for a while. For the next 20 minutes they kept coming like this - pretty intense lasting for about 1 minute, and every 5 minutes or so. Plus I started getting smaller contractions in between the big ones, so by the time we were halfway into town we were starting to think we might head straight to the hospital instead. Keeping in mind that we were still out of mobile coverage so couldn't even call our midwife yet! Also important to note is that Josh who is normally a pretty cautious driver made this trip in record time!
Once we got into an area of coverage we called the midwife who suggested that we head to my mums and she would meet us there. She wanted to speak to me as well, so after talking to me while I had 2 massive contractions hit within a few minutes of each other (that by this point I couldn't talk through) she changed her mind and agreed that we go straight to the hospital. I think Josh & I were both pretty relieved about that - even though I didn't really know what to expect I was feeling like this baby wasn't going to muck around. We sent my mum a text to say that we had changed our plan and would be heading straight to the hospital but that we would check in with her later on.
Luckily for us we missed peak hour traffic and got to the hospital by about 6.30pm. We got settled into our room, Josh went and parked the car and our midwife met us there. The next half hour was a bit of a weird time. I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable, my contractions were still coming every 5 minutes and really intensely but I was in a very strange place. I knew I was in labour, but I still don't think it had really sunk in that we were about to have a baby. From all I had heard about first time births, we were in for a long night.
Josh had brought the Swiss ball in from the car, so I bounced on this for a little bit and I remember I went from being really warm to absolutely freezing and shivering and suddenly feeling like I was going to be sick! Thankfully that feeling passed pretty quickly, but I still couldn't believe how cold I was! I also just could not get comfortable. I went from the ball, to my hands and knees on the bed but nothing felt good.
At this point my midwife decided that she would examine me to see what we were dealing with. Unfortunately I had to lie on my back for this which was awful! I have no idea how some women give birth in this position - there was no way that was going to work for me! She did the examination as quickly as possible and I was back on my hands and knees.
I had no idea what she was going to find but when she announced that I was 5cm dilated I was so upset! For some reason I felt like I should have been more than that, even though we had only been at the hospital 45 minutes and I had only been in labour for about 2 hours! I guess subconsciously I knew that it wasn't going to take too long. I think her and Josh found it quite amusing that 5cm wasn't good enough for me!
By now I was really in full blown labour and the contractions were coming hard and fast with very little break in between. I knew that I really wanted to try and do this without an epidural but I thought I would probably want gas. Our midwife asked if I wanted to get into the bath which sounded like a great idea to me but the bath was out of order. Instead, I went and sat on the shower floor and Josh held the running water on my back. It was instant relief! I was actually amazed at how effective it was as a pain reliever - it was all I needed! I was now able to actually have a quick breather between contractions and actually have short conversations with Josh!
After being in the shower for about 10 minutes (I think!) I started feeling like...well, like I needed to go to the bathroom... My midwife reassured me that I probably didn't, that it was probably the baby! At this point the midwife asked if I wanted to go back to the bed but the water in that shower was so amazing that I wasn't going anywhere!
The uncontrollable urge to push happened and I just went with it - there was certainly nothing I could do other than that! As painful as this was, it was actually a good feeling because I knew we were getting close to meeting our baby! Plus the breaks between pushing were actually breaks. Small, but still much needed!
And then at 7.57pm after being at the hospital for 1 ½ hours, our little GIRL was born! Our midwife passed her through to me and I was just in shock that I had a baby in my arms! She had to ask if we had a boy or a girl and I couldn't even tell because the cord was in the way and I was just trying to get my head around the fact that there was a baby there, let alone what it was! But I checked and we saw that we had a daughter! And what a moment! I just remember holding this brand new baby and looking up at Josh in awe - we were parents!
After she did the obligatory scream, we got her all cleaned up and we moved back to the hospital bed. We didn't cut the cord right away which was great, our midwife was amazing and was in no hurry for anything, she just let us do everything in our own time. She asked if we had a name picked out which obviously wasn't something we knew before then as we weren't sure if it was a boy or a girl! We had a favourite name picked out for each with a few back ups but we knew straight away that she was going to be Sadie Jane.
During this time we just cuddled Sadie, looked at her little hands and feet and just marvelled at the fact that we had just brought a tiny human into the world! I also delivered the placenta which was a very weird experience - I started feeling contractions again and it was such a shock...I'd just been through that, I thought they were over!! But once that was out they went away.
Pretty soon after that Sadie started looking for food so we were able to get her latched on and she had her first feed while the cord was still attached, and then Josh cut the cord and got her dressed while the midwife stitched me up.
We then did the calls around our families - imagine my Mum's surprise when we called her only a few hours after we had planned to be at her house to say that she was a grandmother!! It was a really special thing to be able to call our parents and tell them the exciting news.
After that, I had a shower, we had some food (we totally missed dinner and didn't have time at all for the carefully packed snacks I had put in the hospital bag!) and then at 11pm we put Sadie in the capsule and drove the short trip to the birthing centre where we would stay for 3 nights. It was quite weird walking out of the hospital with a baby only a few hours after we got there! There was a lady in the room next to me who had been in there when we got there and was certainly still there when we left! I think we had it pretty lucky!
It was such a whirlwind of an afternoon - not at all what I expected! I truly thought that we would be in it for the long haul but as quick & intense as the whole process was, I wouldn't have had it any other way. It seems like a strange thing to say but it was such a wonderful experience and I consider myself so lucky that we had such a straightforward labour and delivery.
And as hard and painful as it was, it was SO worth it - we got the best gift at the end of it!