50ish hours of labour.. I'm going to let that sink in!
The thing I was most fearful of when it came to labour was the pushing. I had seen and read so many horror stories when I was pregnant and 'doing my research' (more like scaring the crap out of myself) that for me was the most horrifying part about labour. I had read about tearing, forceps, baby's getting stuck and I watched one born every minute. While one born wasn't as bad because they never show you the truly scary things, the stories I read put the fear of childbirth into me which didn't help cause I was already pregnant. There was no turning back at this point.
Friday 31st August.. Around midnight
First pains woke me up from sleep.. Ohh the joy I felt. I wasn't sure if it was the real deal or not because they weren't too bad. Managed to go back to sleep for a little bit but then woke up a few hours later when things started to get intense. I waited to call my sister (who was in London) and both my mothers because I wasn't sure what was going on. Late morning we made people aware what was happening. I waited till pains got really intense before going to the birth centre because they do say the first can take a while... Boooiiiii
12 hours had past since I woke up (about 5:30ish am) and I thought right, surely it's about to go down!!!!!!!! We roll up to the birth centre, my butt is wobbling in, they examine me and did all the necessary checks and I'm told to go home because I'm only 1cm dilated. I wanted to murder the midwife but I kept my cool, smiled and told myself I could go from 1 - 10cm in the next few hours. Positivity!
Saturday 1st August , late morning...
I barely slept, I was in pain and I was ready to be done with everything. We went back, surely it's time... Nope, I'm only 2cm dilated. In 24+ hours I had only dilated 2cm lol. I really thought God didn't like me at this point because the pain I felt was like no other pain I had ever experienced in my entire life. They sent me back home to continue in my misery.
I bathed at least 4 times , my husband and my sister took turns in rubbing my back, my legs, my belly. I cried and I slept for 4- 6 minutes at a time. I walked, I lunged, I ate spicy food, I climbed stairs, I cried some more, I sang gospel songs while I walked and cried just for strength. It was A LOT!
6pm came and I said time to go hospital. If the birth centre is your chosen place for bringing your baby into the world, on the third time of going to them, if you haven't dilated enough they send you straight to the hospital as it's then classed as a higher risk birth. I decided to skip going to the birth centre for a third time and just went straight to the hospital because I wasn't feeling little girl moving.
They checked me and baby was fine however they decided to keep me because of how long I had been in labour. They broke my waters then they gave me what I can only call the devil drip to move things along. I thought I had been in pain.... not until that thing started working. Till this day there is a lot I don't remember from when they came in and gave the pain relief to me getting to the point of pushing. It's as though my body's response to all the pain I felt was to erase as much memory of it as possible (it could also have been the pain relief).
Sunday very early morning...
Now I can't give exact times for when everything happened at this point because I was in and out of it. What I can say is I had gotten to 4 cm by about 1AMish and there were talks about surgery. Ivy was born at 2:48AM. God really knew I personally did not want to have a c-section and made it that I went from 4cm to 10cm in the space of an hour. I was telling the midwife I'm going to push and she was convinced I wasn't ready until she checked me and to her surprise the head was right there .
I got onto my knees as I was so against pushing on my back, I had a conversation with my baby and got myself in the zone mentally and I pushed. The pushing for me was the easiest part of labour and it all happened so quickly. When all was done and I held my baby for the first time, all I wanted to do was sleep! Yes SLEEP! It was beautiful seeing her and all but mama was TIRED. Keeping it 100, I only really appreciated what had happened after I got to have a nap.
Labour is like nothing you have ever experienced and no one can explain it to you in a way that can fully prepare you. For me, the hardest part was definitely the contractions and the pushing was more enjoyable funny enough. Would I do it all again? Most definitely! I did that, I endured and pushed through and in the end brought to life the most beautiful little girl who brings endless joy to our life.
My advice would be prepare as much as you can for your baby. As much as you prepare physically and financially for baby, please DO NOT FORGET to prepare mentally as much as you possibly can before and throughout pregnancy for the journey leading up to the birth as well as the change after. It is a lot and it's not to be taken lightly.