So I stay up and time them, while letting Pete sleep in case he needs his energy to support me later.
5AM comes, and the contractions are no stronger, but still regular. I’m still talking, walking, eating, laughing. I decide to watch some terrible chick flicks and take it easy, certain things will pick up soon.
I chill out the whole day, and still, I’m contracting, but no stronger, and now irregular. By 9PM, I’m unsure of what to do. I know I am in labour, and I have now been in labour for hours and hours. Do the hospital suggest you come in for a check up at this point?
I call them to ask. They say to have some Panadol, grab a hot water bottle & head to bed to try and get some rest. I follow their instructions, sure I’m not going to be able to sleep.
Pete later recalled it took me a whole 8 minutes before I was sound asleep.
11:30PM and I am startled awake by intense contractions. Not wanting to wake Pete, I get up and try and walk down the hallway.
Holy smokes, this baby is going to break me open and fall onto the floor. I am unable to walk without vomiting because the pain is so intense. Starting to freak out a little at how quickly things have ramped up, I wake Pete and tell him to have a shower as we’ll need to go to hospital. I call them and they agree I should come in.
We get there a minute past midnight. No due date baby here.
I complete all necessary paperwork and agree to an internal to check my cervix.
I laugh to Pete that after all this pain, drama, vomiting, and yelling in the car on the drive there, I’ll be around 2cm dilated.
I am not even joking a little bit…. I was 2cm dilated. I was so disappointed that almost 24 hours had passed, and I was only 2cm. 8cm to go, how on earth?
The midwife also confirmed our son was in Posterior position (his spine to mine). She said this causes painful deliveries (and labours), and hopefully he’ll turn during labour.
By this point, I am cursing everyone in sight & making ridiculous requests, like for Pete to move the reclining armchair to my bed because it was too far away, and for him to get me ice chips and pour a certain ratio of water in, so that I felt like I was drinking a sugarless slushie.
You would think I’d had drugs at this point. But I’m not so proud to admit this was just my natural response to labour. To his credit, Pete obliged every request.
The midwife could see my discomfort obviously, and recommended a shot of Pethidine so I could try and sleep. I agree, as I’m exhausted from waking up at 3AM the previous morning.
The Pethidine is administered, and I become the ultimate drug lord. Pupils dilated, asking silly questions & making Pete feel like he had married something straight out of a B-grade horror film.
I napped for a few minutes in between contractions here and there.
It’s 6:30AM and I’m pretty sure I just pissed myself. Awesome.
No, wait. My waters! My waters have broken! SWEET! We’ll have this baby here in an hour!
Internal given, I have only dilated two more centimetres.
(Insert a whole bunch of naughty words from one tired and ‘over-it’ Mama-to-be)
Midwives hear my frustration and recommend inducing labour to bring things on. They say things will get pretty full on now. Do I want an epidural?
I am grunting with the contractions now, and using my fingertips in front of me as a visual guide for contractions.
Breathe in. Trace over your thumb.
Breathe out. Trace over your pointer.
Breathe in. Over your middle finger now, almost there, it’s getting easier now.
Breathe out. Ring finger. You can do it, it’s OK now.
Breathe in. Pinky – done. See, you are strong. I AM WOMAN.
That bloody hurt, and I think I just bit through my lip. Get me an Epidural.
The anesthetist arrives and administers the Epi.
Nope, Dude, I can still feel these contractions and I’m able to move my legs (kicks around wildly to prove it)
They tell me it will take a few minutes.
Twenty minutes later, and a lot of painful contractions, lots of gas & air, I am still feeling them at full force.
He redoes the Epi. I’m feeling a bit like a pincushion now, but I know I’ll feel better soon.
It is still failing. He tells me it looks like I have a blockage in my Spinal Cord, preventing the Epi from doing it’s job. He says perhaps I’m not eligible for an Epidural.
Now is probably a good time to tell you my Mum was a Paraplegic, and anything to do with spines always makes me uncomfortable as a result.
I’m sorry… what? No drugs? WHAT?
As much as I wanted to see how far I could go without drugs, I also did not consider they may not even be an option.
Pete is doing an amazing job at supporting me through this, while I’m contracting and making noises usually only heard underneath narration of David Attenborough.
I am off my face on gas and air.
Telling him the baby’s movements feel like stars.
Fretting about pooping on the delivery table.
Telling him I have a headache in my vagina.
Everything I’m sure he wanted to hear.
They call a second Anesthetist who walks in, takes one look at the Epi, and says to the midwives…
“This doesn’t look straight does it?”
Thankfully he is competent, and I am pain-free in a matter of minutes, although shaking uncontrollably as this is essentially now my third dose of the Epi.
I ask Pete to physically pin me down to relax my muscles – this works well.
I am given another internal at a little bit before 3PM.
And there they are. The magical words I wanted to hear.
“OK, the baby has turned to the optimal position, and you’re 10cm – time to call your Obstetrician!!”
He is a slave driver. He coaches me to push for twice as long as the midwives do.
During this, I quickly give a midwife a quick lesson in how to use my camera for the glory shots. She is awesome, and later I see she has captured more than I ever expected, and I am both disgusted and eternally grateful.
At 3:50PM on the 4th of June, 2012, our son made his exit, guided onto my chest by my own hands.
Oliver William Quinlan, welcome to the world.