My Braxton hicks contractions were building up slowly throughout the week and I noticed them more often. Then on Ivar's due date (13th April) in the AM I lost my mucus plug, we got really excited as we knew this was the first stage.
At around 10.30pm, my waters started to break in small parts, within minutes after contractions started to form a regular pattern so we started tracking and they were already 6 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. We wanted to follow the 5-1-1 rule before going to hospital and it looked like I wasn't far off reaching that.
After a few hours and waiting for them to reach that level, we made our way to hospital. Much to disappointment when we arrived I was only 1cm, they also told me there was a high chance baby was back to back as I had very intense lower back pain which just seemed too extreme for such early labour.
Anyway trying to remain positive we went back home and decided to continue there. The midwife suggested we came back 10.00am the next morning once contractions were 3 Mins apart. Our doula came to the house to help Remy and I and we all got through each contraction, one at a time.
Unfortunately they were too intense to sleep through, I was too uncomfortable to lie on a bed because of my back and even sitting down was difficult. I spent hours just walking up and down the bedroom and standing for each contraction. It got to 10am and by that point they were very regular (4 Mins apart) very intense and I was in a zone.
We made our way to hospital again, with a very difficult car ride and I got checked, only 1.5cm, we couldn't believe it after so many hours. I couldn't tolerate another car journey home and as time was ticking since my waters broke I decided to get comfortable in our hospital room. It got to 3pm the same day, and I was then only 2cm dilated.
We had spent hours getting through each contraction and trying squatting and acupuncture points to get the baby to move back in position. My doctor kept extending the dealine of an induction because she really wanted me to have the birth I wanted.
Contractions started to shift from being manageable to extremely painful, I couldnt lie down or even sit on the toilet and had to keep moving. By 6pm I got checked again and was asked not to be told, the midwife gave a sign of fingers to remy and Lara (my doula) so they knew, only 2.5cm.
I went into the water tub to try and take a rest and ease the pain, it helped for the hour I was in there but it got worse when I got out. I was checked again at 9pm, only 3cm, (I wasnt aware, but knew i wasn't yet in active labour otherwise I would have stayed in the water).
The midwife recommended I got into the shower, she also brought me the gas and air to try and ease the contractions. They were ramping up a lot by this point and I was feeling so exhausted, but somehow kept finding small bits of strength to carry on. After the shower (around midnight), I asked what pain relief options I had other than an epidural so I could get some rest.
The midwife recommended a shot of pethidine, which I wanted to try. Lying on the bed I was excited to get some rest, it eased the pain in my back but only by about 10%, I was in agony whenever I lay down so I now felt pretty stuck.
Another 2 hours of contractions increasing, Remy went out and spoke to the midwives about our options as we knew were coming to the end of our 'deadline' of needing induction because of my waters breaking so long ago, and quite frankly I was exhausted to continue for much longer.
By this point I was running out of techniques to handle the contractions in my back, Remy remembers me punching my back with every single one and screaming for help, which was really starting to traumatize him bless him!
The midwives were so supportive, telling me I had done so well so far but if I carry on much longer I'm going to be too exhausted to birth the baby. I then had 3 options:
-Get checked and by miracle have made it to 9-10cm and carry on as I am
-Get an induction to help open the cervix faster (not optional it had to be done by this point), with no pain relief and continue as I am but intensity would rise again
-Get an induction and epidural so I can get some rest and have energy for the birth
Without even needing to think, I took the third option. I was extremely confident this was the best thing for me, I knew baby and I couldn't carry on like this, and definitely didn't have the energy to go through and induction which could take hours! I still really wanted a vaginal birth and I knew this was my best option.
Within the next 20 minutes, the team arrived to give me the epidural, I can't tell you the relief I felt, just to be able to finally sleep. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with all the medical staff and wires on me, I actually felt relief, and a big moment of surrender, finally, I was getting help.
They also checked me and I had made it to 6cm, 28 hours to get to 6, I felt pretty proud of myself to get that far without help! I fell asleep just before it kicked in properly and woke up having a panic attack about not being able to feel my legs, I kept asking them to reduce the dose as much as possible for the birth as I wanted to feel as much as I could.
We all got some much needed sleep and got 2 and a half hours rest. They came to check me again and finally, I was at 9cm! The smile on all our faces to know we were finally almost there. Very soon after I started to feel his head moving down so asked if they could check me, and YES at last, 10cm. I was ready!
Mentally and physically I never felt more ready, I asked if I could birth on my side as didn't want to birth on my back, which they said was absolutely fine. My Dr arrived 20 minutes after and it was time to push, we had candles on, toploader - dancing in the moonlight playing and an amazing atmosphere in the room, a very short time of pushing (around 30 minutes) and feeling the baby's head as he was coming, and Ivar smoothly and gently made his way into the world.
I've got pictures and videos to always remember it! What a little warrior. It may not have been the experience I imagined in my head, but it was transformative, liberating and I've never felt so strong!
Plus the birth was the best moment of my life 😊 I could never last that long and continued with the strength that I did without the amazing support from Remy, Lara and the midwives at Park View, forever grateful for this amazing dream team.
A few words from Remy
The experience of the birth of my child would have been extremely different if I hadn't done the hypnobirthing course with Jasmine. Instead of being stressed and clueless, I was able to manage the situation as well my emotions. Seeing my wonderful wife go through what she did to give us the pleasure to meet our baby boy was uplifting and the best experience I have ever had.
In my opinion this course is so important because it simply gets you to talk and be on the same page as a couple. My wife and I were able to learn, go through scenarios and plan the arrival of our son. We both entered this experience with the same level of knowledge which gave me confidence but most importantly gave my wife confidence that she was in good hands with a strong team by her side.
I couldn't thank jasmine enough for what she has done for us and could not recommend this enough. In all honesty, I wouldn't understand why any parent would not want to learn about the experience they are about to go through! If you are thinking of doing this course.... just go for it!