If you didn’t catch part one, you can do so here!
So about that tsunami…
The thing I hated about Billy’s birth and yes I don’t use that word lightly, was that it escalated so quickly. My contractions came over and over again, with no break, and I felt like I was drowning. It was the part I had been dreading with this birth and so when my pitocin was increased and the result was exactly this, panic set in.
Luckily my midwives, who were outstandingly observant saw the panic in my eyes and made the decision to reduce the dose.
“No point in both mum and bub being distressed” they said. I couldn’t have agreed more.
Reducing the pitocin though meant there was a possibility labour could stall or stop altogether so I was encouraged to walk around the room as much as I wanted to keep baby headed in the right direction.
Thankfully my contractions settled back down to a regular rhythm for an amount of time…but I knew it wouldn’t be long until I was being hammered by those waves again.
I had spoken with my midwives early on in the piece about the fact I didn’t want pain relief (yes I’m obviously a lunatic) because my transition period was always quick, and with Eddie, my second born, I wasted an epidural because before the drugs had even entered my system I was pushing. I also didn’t want to push while on my back. I had delivered Billy on hands and knees and it had felt right. I knew I wanted to do that again.
I’m so glad I had this conversation with them before the going got tough because as I entered transition, I closed my eyes, rocking and kind of squatting through contractions, and stopped talking to anyone. I also vomited, something I have done in all of my labours. Fun. So glamorous.
As I rocked and squatted and tried to remember my mantra “you can do this, you are doing this” Sophie, one of my midwives, suggested I make my way up to the bed to rock on my hands and knees.
The pressure was intensifying with each contraction and after being told to “trust my body and just do what feels right” I began to push. I vaguely remember someone telling me that my OB was in her car and on her way, but I didn’t panic. I felt in control and so well supported.
My husband who has never been interested in being down the business end (something about watching his favourite pub burn down) rubbed my shoulders and encouraged me with each push.
Someone placed a wet washcloth on my neck, it felt like heaven.
I pushed and felt the baby begin to crown. No one said anything other than, “you are doing an amazing job.”
I knew my OB still wasn’t there as she usually commentates my labour for me, “that’s the head out…you’re doing great…now here come the shoulders…ok slow down now.” But there was none of that. I had no idea if I was making any progress or if I was going to die. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t feel like they are going to split in half and cark it while pushing a human the size of a watermelon out of their v-jay-jay!!!!!
There was a rustle of fabric and sliding on of gloves and I heard the words I so desperately needed to hear…
“Erin, you have one more foot to get out…just one.more.foot!”
My OB had arrived! Just in the knick of time, or as it turns out…just for the last foot!
As I pushed my final push I felt my baby slip out of my body into the hands of my doctor and relief flooded over me. Sobs escaped from deep in my lungs. We had done it.
My OB passed the baby up in between my legs, so that our eyes met, and said “look at what you made.”
I looked down and saw the baby’s head, scrunched up and screaming. A healthy, noisy baby.
“Look Erin. Look.” I heard someone say to me in the room.
I looked down again and saw…OH MY GOD…a VAGINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“It’s a girl?” I sobbed, looking at my husband who was mirroring my shock.
“Yes you have a daughter.” My OB said.
Apparently the look on my face was hilarious. A combination of pure surprise, disbelief, and joy.
As I rolled over on the bed, the midwives passed my baby up to me, my daughter, and I stared at this little creature with tears rolling down my face.
I’d like to say it was enough to distract me from delivering the placenta and being stitched up, but no, that was still bloody painful.
The shock of delivering a girl, after three boys lasted for a while. I kept looking under the blanket to check, as if they’d made a mistake.
An hour later my beautiful boys came in to meet their sister, and I can honestly say I have never felt more lucky in my life. The smiles on their faces. The instant love. Their caring and gentle embraces. It made my heart swell. And it hasn’t stopped.
When I was pregnant, all I wanted was to have another beautiful, healthy, happy child. I got exactly that. She, our little Olivia Mary, happens to be a little girl, and now my boys have a sister, and my husband and I have a daughter.
Life is good, and utterly complete.
I would like to thank the amazing midwives at Epworth Freemasons and my obstetrician Dr Samantha Hargraeves. And my husband, my rock, I would have floated away without you babe.