I always told myself I would never forget the day I gave birth to my child, that was whilst I was pregnant.. Tell you what, I never will forget.
I had been in early labour on and off for weeks, it could of been close to a month. But honestly, the last month or so of my pregnancy is quite a blur! There had been moments in which I had contacted the midwife really thinking it was time just to be told I hadn’t even began dilating! The first 2 or 3 times that happened poor Nathan had to either call work or attempt to come home early! Needless to say after weeks of that,we were both tired, our nerves were totally shot and we were just sick of waiting.
So as woman, we all have this ‘ideal’ way we want to bring our children into this earth. Some of us are okay with a bit of compromise, and some of us have it set in stone how we would like it to be. When your pregnant with your first child it’s so easy to assume that everything is going to go to plan and i’m sorry to say ladies but it rarely does. So, as my amazing midwife says, “Write your birth plan in pencil!”. Don’t EVER beat yourself up for do something that wasn’t a part of your plan.
After two extra weeks of waiting for our son, I finally caved and agreed to induction. This was organized to happen on Thursday the 19th of January, and funnily enough, he chose to start his journey 2 days prior. Nathan and I had just gone for another one of our many long walks on the Tuesday evening, in the hopes that would help, and this time, waddling my huge belly around town finally did something. After having so many ‘false starts’ I wasn’t alarmed and neither was Nathan; we were just going to have to sit and wait. I ended up calling the midwife at 7am on Wednesday morning after having absolutely zero sleep. My contractions had gotten to five minutes apart, but because of my history with false starts, being a first time mama to be and having an O.P baby I had to sit tight until my contractions had reached a constant two minutes apart.
The last night that Nathan and I were to ever spend alone together was spent with me rolling around on my swiss ball, playing monopoly. What a last night! I was to be in the hospital at 7am the next morning in hopes to be induced sometime that day, but THANKFULLY I was on the phone with my midwife at 2am with contractions two minutes apart!
After all of that waiting, waddling and wishing, he had finally decided it was time; And although I was already exhausted, I couldn’t of been more excited!
Once we arrived at the hospital the midwife checked to see how dilated I was. 4 – 5cm and fully effaced; Yay! That was at 2.30am in the morning. The plan at that point in time was to get some rest, and check how I was at 6am, if my waters had not broken, they were to be broken as well! 6am rolled around and the contractions were steadily getting worse, and great news! I was 5 – 6cm dilated! I was so happy that things were progressing at steady rate! We were told we should expect to have our bear cub in our arms by 9am!
Once my waters were popped, that was it, game on. I don’t care what anyone says, and sorry again ladies! But nothing on this planet earth can prepare you for labour! Again, everyone is different, and every woman has different labours, and believe me when I say you forget the pain pretty quickly, but you still remember how hard and taxing it was on your body and mind.
By that point my sister had arrived, my parents were running late and labour was in full swing. I was so tired that between contractions I was basically falling asleep sitting on the swiss ball or standing or sitting or whatever I was doing at the time and when the contractions hit me I was squeezing whoevers hand and huffing like a buffalo that just had its arse branded. I’ll never forget when the midwife checked me again, to tell me that our boys head had moved up and I had gone backwards to 3 – 4cm dilated. My heart fell out of my mouth and through the floor. That’s when my plan when out the window.
The doctor got involved to find I still hadn’t progressed, I was told no more fluids or foods as I was now a potential candidate for a C-Section. Labour was still getting worse, so my body was trying to hard to help our boy out but it just wasn’t helping. I was exhausted, starving, thirsty and I felt broken. I felt like my body wasn’t actually meant to bring a child in this world and I felt like a failure of a woman. I was told my last chance at a vaginal birth was an epidural, that was about 12pm in the afternoon. Pain killers were NOT part of my plan. I had managed to avoid everything up to that point and I was absolutely heartbroken when I agreed to the epidural, but I was also so tired that my emotions didn’t have any hold on me at all.
Once the epidural had been successful, I was then placed onto what felt like thousands of tubes and machines. I had a catheter placed up my urethra, and my movement was absolutely limited to the bed. I was then put on syntocinon to try and help our boy out, and that’s when it became scary for me. His heart rate dropped with every contraction. Only a mother can understand my fear, not for myself, but for our child. It was very apparent then that C-section was the only way this boy of ours was coming out, and defeated as I was at that point in time, I wanted him safe and in my arms.
By that point, I no longer felt the contractions, I was uncomfortable but no longer in pain and the room was full of loving family, doctors, nurses, midwifes and machinery. The beeps of the machines was all I could focus on to not lose my mind.
I tell you now, once the decision is made to cut you open, they don’t fuck around! Before I knew what was happening, Nathan was already in theatre scrubs and I was being wheeled off to the operating room.
My memory is a bit hazy here, as I was up to my eyeballs in local anesthetic, morphine and god knows what else that was in that cocktail. I remember just holding Nathan’s hand, shaking violently and then he burst out in tears. It hit me then just how taxing this entire situation truly was on my incredible better half. I feel for the partners of women giving birth, whether it’s vaginally or via C-section. It’s hard to watch someone you love in so much pain and not be able to do a single thing about it except for offer your support.
Once Torben was in this world I almost instantly forgot everything that I had to go through to get to that point.I forgot that I was numb, tired, cold, sore; I forgot it all. Our little family was now complete (for now…).
There is nothing more beautiful and life changing than the moment your child is placed in your arms for the first time. Whether that is as soon as your child is in the world or if there are complications. You are forever changed, and there is nothing more important in your life than your child.
Our lives have changed so drastically since our bear cub, and the events that have followed have been indescribably fulfilling. Everyday presents a new journey and a new level of happiness I never thought was achievable. Don’t get me wrong, some days are so hard and we can be so tired that we try to eat the T.V remote and change the channel with a banana, but it’s worth it.
All the love and support in the world,
The Three Bears NZ.