Max’s Birth: Part TWO

Max’s Birth Story.. it’s all happening.

The phone call to the midwife

As we drove home I called my midwife. We are in the Midwifery Group Practice which has been amazing. We have seen one midwife for every appointment and then have a back up midwife as well. It’s a small team of midwives, and they all support each other and have the same philosophies.

The call got diverted to another midwife and she went through the questions: how many weeks are you?

How are you feeling?

How far from the hospital are you?

Did you have the GBS test and are you GBS negative or GBS positive?

It turns out my midwife and the back up midwife were both not on call, so I was going to have someone I hadn’t met before. But it didn’t actually bother me. I had faith in all of them and also knew I had my number one support person by my side, my husband.

It was sort of surreal that it was all about to happen!

Pack it just in case

We went home, had some lunch and then packed the car. We hoped we were only going in for a check up and monitoring and then coming home again, but just in case, we packed everything we needed.

Off we went again, and how convenient it was a public holiday and normal traffic wasn’t an issue.

We arrived, met with the midwife and went in for the monitoring.

All was good. He was head down, his heart rate was good, I was feeling good.

As part of procedure I still had to see an obstetrician before I was allowed to leave, so we waited until one was available.

I stood strong against the doctor, although I know she was just doing her job. She wanted me to give a number on how many hours I would wait until I would be okay to be induced. I pretty much said “the maximum possible”.

We agreed to have the same conversation 24 hours later, but I knew we wouldn’t be. This boy was coming tonight, I just knew it.

Whilst we were in the room I started to get some light contractions. I watched the clock at they were about 30-40 seconds and at least 5 minutes apart.

As we left and drove home, the contractions started to get a bit more intense.

We need food

We had planned for my husband to go and do the food shop after our gym session and I was going to go have a nap. With the whole ‘waters breaking’ thing, we still needed food, especially knowing that when we come home from hospital with a baby in our arms.

As a just in case, I asked him to put the TENS machine on me and so glad he did!

By the time he got home the contractions were getting more intense. I didn’t want anything to do with my husband when I was in a contraction. Poor guy felt helpless. I just swayed my hips, or bounced on the ball or groaned my way through them.

And then I felt sick. Not once had I thrown up in my pregnancy. And my Mother-in-law had the same through each of her three pregnancies. But then she told me that she threw up the entire labour for each of the three boys.

So that moment when I first found my head in the toilet throwing up everything I’d eaten that day, I thought of her and I hopped this wasn’t going to last.

After the second time I threw up, I called my midwife to tell her and check if everything was okay. She said I was progressing really well and it was my body prioritising the uterus and not having the energy to digest what was in my stomach.

Paul had started to cook us roast vegetables with chicken kievs (on my request!) because we thought we had a full night ahead of us and needed the energy.

In the end, I didn’t eat a bite. It was hydrolyte icypoles, frozen grapes and water for me from here on in.

I tried lying down on my side, and that made everything a lot more intense, so I avoided that. I knew I had to conserve energy now because this was only the start.

So I set myself up with a pile of cushions on the bed and lent into them, focusing on my breath and relaxing my jaw and shoulders as I upped the TENS machine with the contraction.

Love, love…. Love Actually.

Now I’m a softy when it comes to movies. I’ve seen The Note Book about 15 times and I still sob my way through to the end each and every time. The last time I watched it my husband was out and when we got home I told him I’d watched it.

He never had and so I sat there and talked him through the entire movie, sobbing as I told him. I was pregnant by the way, so in fairness there were more hormones raising through me.

My point is, I knew I needed a chick flick in early labour. To help distract me, but also to help bring on that love hormone oxytocin. I don’t think I could handle crying that much in early labour, so I opted out of The Note Book and decided on Love Actually.

I absolutely love that movie. Although, to be honest, it’s kind of different when you’re mid contraction. I missed chunks of the movie that’s for sure, but glad I had it there as a distraction.

Between my bouncing on the ball, sucking hydrolyte icy poles, walking around and groaning, I somehow got through the entire movie.

Let’s not walk around the block

My husband suggested “why don’t we go for a walk around the block”. I’m pretty sure I death stared him and said “no.”

You see, our neighbours had asked us over for drinks that afternoon. We politely declined, but I didn’t want to be seen hobbling the streets with my TENS machine and groaning through my contractions.

So we opted for the back yard instead.

We walked up and down, without shoes on. The feeling of the fresh grass on my feet was amazing. It was nice to be outside.

Earlier that day, on our way home from the hospital I had asked my husband to take a photo of me as one last pregnancy photo. We’d forgotten about it until this moment. He had my phone and was recording the contractions, I had one about to come on and he said “smile”.

Here are the photos below.

I was not impressed, and I certainly wasn’t going to smile. Looking back now, these photos are gold as they sum up exactly how I felt in that moment.

Every contraction from this point I said to Paul, “I think we need to go to the hospital”. I was in two minds about it. I had a feeling he was going to come relatively quickly and had a fear if we left it too long I could be having this baby in the car on the way to the hospital, which I certainly didn’t want.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to get to the hospital too early and not even be dilated and not progressing well.

After the next 60 second contraction, I decided, it’s time to go.