My Most Positive Birth Story
When you are pregnant suddenly everyone has a story about birth to share with you. Unfortunately, the majority of those birth stories equal top class horror stories. Honestly, the last thing an anxiety-filled pregnant lady close to her due date needs to hear are frightening stories about labor and delivery. On the contrary, up-lifting stories that fuel optimism can contribute to a better birth experience. In the last few weeks leading up to my baby’s birth, I was craving a truly positive birth story. For all the moms-to-be longing for the same, I want to share my positive birth story.
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The Positive Birth Story Of My Baby
It was May. My due date got closer and closer. Still, there was no sign I’m going to be in labor anytime soon. I was pretty calm. Sooner or later the baby would arrive. In the mean time, I would enjoy being pregnant for a little longer and use the time to prepare for the baby. Until the obstetrician booked me in for an induction at 41 weeks. Now I started to get impatient. I googled how to induce labor naturally and safely. I started eating more dates, hot food and extra garlic. Additionally, I tried to find safe exercise videos. Nothing seemed to work. At least not straight away.
The First Labor Signs Showed
Then on a Saturday afternoon, we were invited to a birthday party of a dear family member. I was feeling unwell all day. My morning sickness was worse than usual, I was cramping and felt weird overall.We had to get some groceries in the morning, so we went to the store. When I set the first step into the shops, my belly cramped so badly, I almost went down on my knees. Jokingly I said to hubby: “What if the baby is coming now in the shopping center?” Well, I didn’t gave birth in the grocery store. Luckily.
After the shops, we headed to the birthday party. Everybody was so lovely, kept offering food and told me about labor and delivery. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like eating, nor like socializing. Even though I woke up at 4 a.m. the next morning, I felt a lot better. The baby in my belly was unusually active and restless. After another spicy, garlic dinner, I set down in front of the TV scrolling through Instagram. Hubby went to bed, but I just couldn’t sleep.
Suddenly at 12 a.m. my lower belly started cramping. Maybe, I shouldn’t have eaten that spicy. Ten minutes later, another cramp. Well, that was awkwardly regular. After another ten minutes, more cramps. I got excited. Is that what contractions felt like? On the other hand, it kind of felt like I was being bloated. I started texting my mother. My mother indeed confirmed that I was very likely having contractions. She also reminded me that when she was experiencing contractions for the first time, she too, was sure it was just bloating.
So I went to wake my husband. Telling him, not to worry, but my contractions have started. I rang the hospital and they told me to wait a few hours, get some rest and then head to the hospital when the contractions increased and were less far apart. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t sleep. I was far too excited. I also couldn’t stop focusing on the contractions that got more intense by the hour. Finally, I couldn’t just lie around anymore and I took a relaxing shower. The warm water soothed the pain. Plus, shaving one more time before the hospital offered some welcome distraction. When I got out, we packed some final things and grabbed snacks and water. Also, I took a last selfie with my pregnant belly. Then we headed to the hospital.
Too Early At The Hospital
At around 6 a.m. on Monday, we arrived at the labor and delivery department of the hospital. An examination revealed that I wasn’t dilated much. As a result, I was given Panadol and send home. We stopped for food. The burger tasted like crap due to the pain and sickness from the contractions. I felt like labor was progressing rapidly. That’s why I suggested to stay close to the hospital. For half an hour we were trying to find a car park in a hot car without air conditioning. With regular contractions every 2-3 minutes and heaps of speed bumps on the road this was the worst. We finally found a car park and hubby fell asleep.
I got too hot, had to use the toilet and felt like things were slowing down. So we went home. After a couple of hours, my contractions got super strong. Additionally, I felt so sick, I couldn’t stop to vomit. When I told hubby, we had to go back to the hospital now, he was concerned we would go too early and they’ll send us home again. I tried to rush him out of the house. I wanted to go to the hospital now!
We arrived at the labor and delivery ward around 12 p.m., where a midwife guided me to the birth suit. While walking the hallway to the birth suit, I had six contractions, that made me go down in a squatting position. The only way, I felt it was bearable. To the midwives’ astonishment within the last few hours I had been fully dilated. It was funny that I went into labor spontaneously, the day I was booked in for an induction. The midwives read my birth plan, which stated that I wanted a birth as natural as possible and still wanted to keep my mind open as labor progressed.
First, the midwives gave me a birth ball to take into the shower for pain management. While I was breathing the pain away, hubby was rubbing my back, reminding me to take deep breaths and holding the shower head. Most of the time I was excited and couldn’t stop smiling. During contractions, I tried to focus on breathing and my husbands voice. I still hadn’t stopped throwing up either. I felt far too warm and super thirsty. So I got out of the shower and kept moving around, bouncing on the birth ball and focused on breathing and birth affirmations. While the calming scent of lavender oil and clary sage filled the air, hubby gave me back rubs, kept me motivated and supported me in every possible way.
Epidural And Pitocin
Eventually, the contractions got overwhelmingly intense. I was exhausted. It was Monday 6 p.m. and I was awake since Sunday 4 a.m.. I was constantly throwing up. It just took all my energy. So I asked for an epidural. Since my birth plan said I wanted the delivery as natural as possible, my midwives did not want to give me any pain killers. But I was far too exhausted to cope and manage the pain. And I knew, the hardest part was yet to come. I insisted on an epidural.
It took two tries to get the epidural into the right spot. Then I felt an instant relief. Suddenly, the doctor seemed to me like he was an angel sent from heaven. I still have to laugh about, how I was thinking this guy has the”goodest” job in the world by taking peoples pain away. My husband, the midwife and I started chatting. Now everything seemed so loud and noisy to me. As if everybody was shouting. I also felt super hungry. Unfortunately, now I wasn’t allowed to eat anymore in case of an emergency. Still, I was so thirsty. My husband and the midwife made me slow down drinking water, as I was still throwing up.
Though the epidural made me feel a lot better (even if it missed a spot), it slowed down the contractions. After pumping breast milk and acupressure didn’t work out too well, I was put on a pitocin drip.
Time To Push
It was Tuesday already. The epidural wore off and now it was time for pushing. The midwives told us to get the camera ready. I was thrilled. Then I started pushing while a midwife handed me a mirror and I was able to see my baby’s head. My husband reminded me to take deep breaths, as I kept breathing far too shallow. He also held my legs in the best position for birth.
Pushing was incredibly hard work and the contractions were strong. At one point, I felt like I just couldn’t push anymore. But then I remembered my positive birth affirmations. Also, there was no other option than pushing. I found it easier to focus on pushing the right way, without the mirror.
The Birth Of My Son
A few more pushes and I heard my baby crying for the first time. But his head wasn’t even out yet. After another strenuous round of pushing, the midwives ask me, if I wanted to help catch him. The last few inches my baby pushed himself out. And then I saw my son for the first time. I couldn’t believe it! Astonished I said or thought (I am not sure): “There was a real life baby in there!” As if I hadn’t already known for the last nine months. On Tuesday at 2:16 am my perfect, little baby boy was born. I instantly grabbed him and put him on my chest. He lifted his head, looked around and crawled up to my breast to latch on.
I was proud. I was amazed, exhausted and ecstatic. But most of all, I felt strong, empowered and totally bad ass. As if I could do it again in that very moment. I felt like giving birth was the hardest, but also best, most wonderful thing I ever did and experienced. This was our amazing, positive birth story.