Wednesday the 13th of February, I couldn’t sleep. I went to bed at 9pm and I was straight back out at 9:30. I sat on the couch with Penelope and Shadow (fur children -dogs!), watching random stuff on TV and playing iPad bingo. At 12:30am, I felt a slight gush of liquid and I was a little suspicious.
Thursday 14th of February, mum and dad come over early, they were driving me to the doctor for my weekly checkup as I had sold my car but haven’t yet bought a new one. It was Valentine’s Day and we had plans to go to my doctor appointment, and then pick up the car seat, and then lunch at the new food market a Burleigh.
I mentioned to the doctor that I had a slight leak. So she gave me a quick examination and referred me to the Matu unit at the hospital. My Mum was super excited we were going to the hospital, as she thought that the baby was going to come sometime that day.
We met my dad after the doctor appointment and told him we were headed to the hospital, but first we had to pick up the car seat that was on layaway at Target. So we walked over and mum and I did a spot of shopping and browsing whilst in target, in no hurry at all! Dad was a little panicked and kept hurrying us along! Hahaha. We eventually made it to the Matu at Gold Coast hospital around lunch time. They checked me in and hooked me up to the monitors to check baby’s heart beat and if I was contracting at all. The midwife examined me and found that my waters had broken, but the baby’s head was pushing down so it was a slight hind leak.
The doctor had a second examination and agreed and so they waited for confirmation to induce me, I was strep b positive so they induce to avoid infection spreading to the baby. Dad went and grabbed some lunch from the cafe at the hospital. And they then decided that they would induce me that afternoon. Mum and dad were ecstatic as they were heading to port Macquarie for Talea’s (my niece) 10th birthday that weekend, and now knew they weren’t going to miss the birth. Mum and dad headed home to feed the dogs and get refreshed before heading back up later that evening.
I rang Daniel and confirmed to him that he needed to stop working and head home!
By 3pm I was in the delivery suite being hooked up to the monitors and IV ready for the Pitocin (inducing drug). Daniel arrived shortly after, and the waiting game began! They gave me 6mg and every hour increased the amount by double. I could feel slight tightness across my tummy at about 5ish, but was happy, laughing, and texting, talking on the phone and playing games on my iPad! Mum and dad made it back up about 4:30pm.
We would watch the monitors to see when a contraction would begin, the midwife (student – Sarah) said that an honest contraction would hit around or above 100 on the toco. By then I was hitting high 60’s and every time it would get higher we got excited! Hehehe. In between contractions the toco sat around 25.
At about 6:30pm a new midwife started (which we were happy about as the midwife was a slight douche before her, not the student one) Gemma! Who I happened to have taught her children in swimming lessons at Coopers! She was a lovely lady and I was so happy to have her looking after me and baby! She informed me that at 8:30pm she would give me an examination and possibly a membrane sweep.
Mum and dad headed out at 7:30ish to grab some dinner. And at 8:30 Gemma examined me and I was 1cm dilated, and she performed a membrane sweep to break the remaining waters to get the ball rolling. From then on the contractions began to become more and more prominent, although I was happily coping and still playing games on my iPad and texting Emma, Sarah, and Eileen! Mum and dad returned about 9 and we sat around chatting, (dad took pics and a mini video). Gemma said she would give me another examination at 12:30 am to see how I was progressing.
By about 10ish the pain during the peak of a contraction was strong and I couldn’t talk during it, I just breathed deeply and imagined meeting my baby boy. I thought about my whole 9 month journey and concentrated on relaxing allowing my body and baby to do what they had to do.
I turned over onto all fours into child’s pose and swayed back and forward side to side when the pain was intense. Mum helped me turn over. Not long after I asked Daniel for my iPod and headphones so I could listen to the relaxing playlist I had made. This must have been around 10:30-11ish, and mum and dad left the room to wait outside.
Gemma had dimmed the lights and asked me if I wanted pain relief, she said I appeared to be in more pain and when I asked how much longer she thought I had to go she explained that I’d have a few more hours yet. So I agreed to try some pethadine and gas and air.
This was about 11:30pm, and when Gemma returned to administer the drugs, I let her know I had the urge to bear down and push, and with each contraction I could feel the baby’s head moving down – I knew it was time. The feeling was like needing to poop, but like you’ve had gastro or something and you get that uncontrollable urge in your muscles and you run for the loo! But with slight pain still around my cervix.
As I was not due for another examination until 12:30am, Gemma said it would be rare and fantastic if I was fully dilated, but she doubted it, and since I had the urge to push she would examine me, as giving me the pethadine would be detrimental to this stage of labour. Upon examination she found that I was infact fully dilated (making it from 1cm to 10cm in 3 hrs) and told me to go with whatever my body was telling me to do.
So with the next contraction I went with the urge and the pushing began. Once I began pushing, the pain seemed to disappear, and I knew it was down to business. Throughout the whole labour process it is all about breathing, concentrating and staying calm and relaxed, and waiting for this moment!
In between contractions I could hear the radio and I remember hearing Britney Spears and Will-I-am, scream and shout and thinking, “Britney has two sons she did it I can do it!” Hahahaha. What a weirdo!
Pushing and pushing, I got so hot and sweaty! Daniel was patting me down with wet paper towels and ice, I sucked on the gas and air a couple of times and hated it. It made me dizzy, like a drunk feeling and I felt like I couldn’t concentrate. I remember asking Daniel if he was ok in between contractions. I knew it would be a whole new experience for him! He has never seen a birth or really even talked about what goes on. He did fantastic! Supporting me and not fainting!
I quickly told Gemma that I don’t want to tear ( my lady parts!) and she assured me I should be ok, and to listen to her as I push. Pushing isn’t like it seems. On TV, birth shows, etc., they make it out that you’re really pushing on your own will, but you’re not.
You have no control over the urge to push. It’s really hard to relax your muscles and allow your body to do all the work. Yes, you push, but not forcefully, you push with the surges of your muscles contracting. Breathing and relaxing your jaw/mouth helps a lot, too. Cause with each surge you naturally tense up and hold your breath. And tensing your jaw/mouth tenses your cervix, therefore relaxing your jaw/mouth relaxes your cervix and helps everything to soften and open.
So what felt like 5 minutes was actually 40minutes. Gemma told me to stop the urges as much as I could and breathe quick short breaths as his head crowned. She held up a mirror and I saw the crown of his head. I was nervous as to what I would see, lady parts stretched open! But it was a beautiful sight, as strange as that can sound; the vagina truly is made for birthing, and is most beautiful and amazing when doing so! Daniel and Gemma helped hold my legs up with my knees pushed toward me for the last few contractions as I was exhausted and couldn’t hold hem any longer.
So a few contractions later and Bennett John Monro was born at 12:19AM on the 15th of February, he was almost a valentines baby, he missed the mark by 19 minutes. I remember Gemma telling me to look at my baby; I was so exhausted I almost forgot to look!
He was so little and looked so shocked! His arms were stretched out wide and he had his eyes wide open looking around! Gemma wiped him down and handed him to me. After a few minutes he began to cry; he had such a loud cry! Daniel and I were in awe! I said to Gemma, “is that really my baby? Is that what was inside me? I don’t believe it.” It really is a surreal moment when you see the little person that you grew inside you for 9 months.
We waited the extra few minutes for delayed cord clamping and then Gemma asked Daniel if he wanted to cut the cord, and before he could answer I yelled out, “I will do it, let me do it!” I had thought about it before hand, and told Daniel to go ahead if he wanted, but there was something bittersweet about cutting the cord myself. I had carried him and he was connected to me, I wanted to be the one to set him free. We were one, and at that moment became two; like catching a fish on your own rod, then unhooking it and setting it free with no help from anyone else. Gemma gave me an injection for the delivery of my placenta and without even knowing it, it was out, I saw it, it looks like a plant! It’s an interesting thing.
Mum and dad came in a little while later and dad was Mr. Paparazzi! I’m glad he was; it’s lovely to look at the pictures. Next time, I’d like to have it filmed, I think. Mum and dad rang Emma and Daniel rung his mum. Then, after a while mum and dad left, they were exhausted! And I attempted to feed baby Bennett. He wouldn’t latch and just kept crying, so eventually Gemma weighed him and dressed him, wrapped him and gave him to Daniel.
I then had a bit of blood loss. Gemma got me up for a shower and I fainted! Lucky Gemma was there to catch me. After I recovered she dressed me and I was taken up to the mat ward by about 4:30 am. Bennett was sound asleep. Waking up that morning at 6ish, I looked over to the little bassinet beside me and couldn’t believe that there was my son! The night before honestly felt like a dream!
After a less than desirable pregnancy (4months of vomiting) and saying I will never have another baby, the birth of my son was the most amazing feat I have ever accomplished, and I would give birth 100 times again (well maybe only a few more times to be realistic)!
Birth without fear… It is possible!
Thank you for showing that Pitocin is sometimes needed to save babies. Thank you for showing that you can get the delivery you want when it is safe within the safety of a hospital. As a NICU nurse who gets 3-4 brain dead transfers from home births a year and who has handed a mother a baby dead of GBS sepsis I think to say that all medical interventions are not needed is soooooo scary. My term newborn with a nuchal cord was transferred to the NICU for low sats, fully worked up for sepsis, and was totally ok and went home at 48 hours. I wouldn’t change a thing because I know how real the risks are. I’m so impressed with how you dealt the Pitocin contractions because they were almost unbearable for me. Much love for your healthy happy baby and Mommy!!!!!!!
Thanks for sharing BWF! I just got a littl teary reading my own story! hahaha!
Thankyou EricA for the kind words!
Carly Lewis Horwood
Hi shyley, what a beautiful story! I’m Carly, Katie’s Lewis sister. She told me you had your birth story on here so I looked you up! Your story (birth and pregnancy) is similar to mine in some ways (morning sickness, induced, natural birth etc). And we were in labour at the same time but 1 year apart! My daughter was born 15 feb 2012 at 3am. Thanks for sharing your birth story!