Warning: this post contains a little too much detail about labour, birth and baby shit.
I wasn’t going to write a birth story, but if it helps anyone to be more realistic about their expectations (it’s almost never going to be what you expect it to be) then cool, awesome. And if it pisses you off because my birth was easier than yours, then I’m sorry. Regardless of this, all birth stories are difficult, and painful, and emotional, and a freakin train wreck.
The last 3 months+ have truly been a whirlwind of shit for us, and I can’t remember every single detail of my labour and birth experience. Although what I can tell you is, it bloody hurts (and it is very bloody). Especially when you end up in labour for a full two days/48 hours. Isn’t it amazing what our bodies can do?! Like I grew this human for almost 9 months then pushed it right on out! What pisses me off though is the fact that in movies and on TV, labour seems to last for all of about two minutes and then BAM there you go, you have a huge baby that this woman has managed to push out and barely broken a sweat whilst doing it. I mean, it might be like that for some people, but it sure wasn’t for us.
I’ll try give you a brief (but gory) explanation of my labour and birth. So I went into labour at 38 weeks, pretty much as soon as I left my best friend’s wedding in Matamata, not knowing that these cramps were actually contractions. I went to their BBQ the next day, still not knowing that they were contractions. Well, I fully knew but I was trying to tell myself that they were just Braxton Hicks. I drove myself home to Hamilton, still denying the fact I was in labour but also shit scared that I might just pop a baby out on the way home. Johny was back home already as he was meant to work, and as soon as I was home I knew for sure that this was it. Called the midwife, went in to have a check up (bloody horrible, don’t ask) and I was only dilated like 2cm or some small amount. Had fuck all sleep that night and went back into the birth centre at 8 the next morning.
More than 12 hours later… We had tried the bath, shower, some weird looking stool thing (picture below), the couch, a beanbag, the bed, different positions… Everything. It was awful, constantly having contractions while time was passing so painfully slow. This baby was adamant she wasn’t coming out but she was super happy to stay in her nice warm womb a bit longer. I was grumpy, short-tempered and hungry. Poor Johny got the brunt of it but man he was good at making sure I drunk enough fluid and letting me squeeze the fuck out of his hands. I started huffing on the gas late in the afternoon and it was a nice distraction. Most people say they don’t like the gas but I fuckin loved it. It made me all light headed and fuzzy.
Over 2 hours of pushing (do not even ask me what it feels like, it’s almost unexplainable and it’s the most excruciating thing I’ve ever experienced) and this babe was still being a stubborn little shit. Once we got to the 2 hour mark the midwife had already got all these other midwives in to monitor me and baby, there was poo and blood everywhere (my dignity went on a permanent holiday the second I started pushing), I was worried as fuck thinking something had gone wrong and wanting this baby to hurry the fuck up because I’ve never been so damn tired in my life! Midwife asks if I would be okay with her calling an ambulance to transfer me to the hospital in case they had to intervene, and I was like yep sweet as whatever just get this fuckin baby out asap!! At the same time I remember looking at Johny and he had the most worried look on his face. He couldn’t come in the ambulance with me because the midwife had to and he needed to drive my car there so we could get back to the birth centre afterwards. It upset me so much, I was thinking the worst but in so much pain at the same time that I couldn’t reassure him that things would be okay. Because even I didn’t know if they were going to be okay.
That ambulance ride was awful. It was so bumpy that I felt as if our baby was gonna fall right on out (spoiler: it doesn’t work like that unfortunately). They were making me huff on the gas to stop me from pushing baby out on the way there, and I was getting really pissed off because I could feel her coming out. The minute the ambulance stopped I remember telling the midwife in my haze of huffing gas, that I could feel Pikelet’s head. I was thinking fucking hell Johny’s going to miss the birth like all these stories I’ve heard about dads missing their babies births (hello Dad, yes you who didn’t miss my birth but managed to sneak off to an all-important rugby game that afternoon). They managed to get me up to the maternity ward with about 5-10 minutes to spare. All Pikelet needed was a bumpy fuckin ambulance ride and maybe she would have arrived 16 hours earlier!! So my active labour was 16 hours all up. I thought I was going to have this beautiful water birth and feel so happy and amazing and all that bullshit. Oh man, birth is not beautiful. Well, it is. But not in the literal sense of giving birth to a tiny human that makes you feel like you’re doing the biggest poo of your life whilst being stabbed in that area multiple times. That doesn’t do it justice. The feeling of giving birth is the weirdest, most painful thing I’ve ever done. I was extremely lucky to get away with some grazing rather than tearing etc etc.. And you DON’T want to know about the horrific haemorrhoids that I could have almost named because there were that many and they were THAT bad. Don’t do it kids, don’t have sex, don’t get pregnant and don’t have babies. Have babies but maybe just adopt one or steal one or something (don’t actually do that, stealing babies is probably not an appropriate thing to do).
We made a human! We created her, and now she was really here. We were no longer just Stacey and Johny, we were now Mum and Dad. Parents. Johny totally dropped her (he was meant to catch her when she ‘popped out’… Apparently she was slippery) and the midwife had to come to the rescue. 10 and 10 on the APGAR scale (that’s a really good thing, meant she was super healthy and alert as soon as she came out) and there we had it. Sienna Marie Voschezang was born at 12:11AM on the 30th January 2017. The most unforgettable day of my existence.
Johny cut the ugly umbilical cord after Sienna spent about an hour on my chest. Holding your own baby in your arms for the first time is the most surreal experience. There are no words except that you almost have to pinch yourself because how can this baby have come out of THERE?!?! Sienna wouldn’t latch onto my breast at all, so the midwife had to milk me (great experience) and feed Sienna the colostrum in a syringe. That was just the very beginning of our adventure with breastfeeding.
And then the placenta had to come out. EWWWWW. Had to have the injection thingy to make it come out, then it was plonked in a nice big silver bowl for the midwife to poke and prod. She popped it in an ice cream container to keep for later. Why we kept it I am not sure. Great story to come about the placenta, too. I’ll save that one for next time 😉