Three days before Olivia was born I went in for a routine check up with my OB and happened to mention that the baby’s movements had drastically reduced in the last 24 hours. I had put it down to the fact that labour must have been imminent, after all, that’s how the story goes, right? Wrong. My OB looked concerned and suggested I hop on the monitor to make sure all was ok.
My anxiety kicked into overdrive and a list the size of my belly of “worst case scenarios” started to circulate my mind.
I was assured that the process was routine and that everything would be fine, but the baby had other ideas.
For two whole hours, the baby’s heart rate sat at 179/180 beats per minute. Two hours. The doctor and midwife kept telling me that there wasn’t anything wrong, but that they were a little concerned. I was petrified.
Eventually they sent me home, with instructions for me to be back the next morning. I didn’t sleep a single minute that night. Fearing that something terrible would happen to my baby.
Morning came and my husband and I headed into the hospital where I was again strapped up to the monitor.
The baby’s heart rate had calmed but was still bordering on high. Mine wasn’t much better. But my doctor said she was satisfied that everything was fine.
Despite this, I wanted a plan. A plan which would see the baby out and safe and in my arms. Now.
I didn’t quite get what I wanted, but my OB said she would book me in for an induction on my due date, if nothing had happened beforehand.
As you know, nothing did happen. But I did decide to use those 48 hours wisely.
Billy’s labour had been fast and furious, almost to the point I think I went into shock after it, and was a little traumatised. Nothing bad had happened, but I had felt out of control and like I was drowning throughout the quick birth. I realised I had been harbouring a lot of those feelings with this birth date approaching and so I decided to do something about it.
I came across a birth mantra which I felt resonated with me. It was “I can do this. I am doing this.” It was about trusting my body which has done such an amazing job birthing my babies so far, and knowing that I was strong enough mentally and physically to handle it.
And let’s face it, I was running out of time and the inevitable was fast approaching!
So on the morning of my due date, my husband and I went about our routine with an element of nervousness and excitement. Never had we “known” the date our baby would be born, with my other labours beginning spontaneously.
My mum came to look after the boys, and we headed back to hospital to begin the process.
At 8.30am my OB came in, broke my waters and hooked me up to an IV where I was to be drip fed pitocin to kick start labour. Within half an hour contractions had begun, but my little bubba had other plans and kept falling asleep, which apparently is not what is wanted in labour!
Some icy water and laps around my room got the contractions going quicker and the baby wide awake.
At 11am the contractions were coming consistently 2-3 minutes apart, but only lasting 30 seconds, so the midwives upped my induction drugs to get things ticking along.
And that they did, with contractions increasing to 45-50 seconds long, and coming every 1-2 minutes.
With each inhalation I would say “I can do this.” With each exhalation I would say “I am doing this.” And the funny thing is, I was believing it. I felt strong and in control.
My husband stood beside me, while I squeezed his hand. I felt like he was my bouy, keeping me afloat through the wave of contractions.
But that wave was about to turn into a tsunami.
To be continued…