Berry Mae’s Birth – Long pre-labour & active pushing with 100% focus

I had been having pre-labour signs for the past couple of weeks and am happily surprised that Berry Mae has waited until at least her due date before coming out! As excited, as I am to meet my little girl I really know I am going to miss the strong bond we have shared over the past 9 months, feeling her movements and regular hiccups!

I have an appointment with Bartley today for another session of weekly acupuncture which I have been regularly attending for the past 5-6 weeks (acupuncture has been great and I have felt fantastic the whole way). Within 10mins of leaving the clinic, my contractions start and I’m feeling very excited! I arrive home. Tidy up, put on three loads of washing, create another pile of items to pack for the hospital and time my contractions to see if they are regular. I wait a couple of hours before casually calling Adam and telling him this could really be the start! Adam arrives home at about 7.00 pm, we call Dave and Lou and ask them to collect Rosie! Adam and I take Rosie for a walk around the park and contractions continue to come between every 4 – 6 minutes. I decided I’d really like some McDonald’s chips with sweet chilli sauce as a special treat!!! So we head to the drive-through (no sweet chilli sauce typical! Have to settle for BBQ!). I have been really good with healthy eating the past few months, cutting right back on sugar and wheat so have no trouble in allowing myself Macca’s as a treat.

Dave and Lou arrive to collect Rosie and are very excited that it’s all beginning to happen! Dave and Lou witness a contraction as I completely withdraw myself from the conversation and focus. Then it’s over and I’m back as if nothing happened! Contractions are completely bearable but require my full attention. Midnight – contractions still happening coming irregularly every – 6 / 10 / 12 mins apart, I can’t sleep through them. Adam watched the England game with a great win which he says is down to Berry Mae being on her way and bringing good luck.
Thursday 24th June
3.30 am – Still no sleep!
Contractions every 3 -8 mins apart (I take a couple of panadol hoping that I might get some sleep before the big event)
5 am 4 – 6 mins apart.
I light a candle and position myself in the centre of the living room sitting cross-legged on the floor and begin a deep meditation.
6.30 am – 8 am SleepAdam calls work to let them know that he won’t be in because our baby is on her way! Contractions have slowed down to 4.5 – 12 mins apart. We decide to walk to Coles for a final grocery shop and hopefully kick things off again. Contractions start again and I go for another walk around the park whilst Adam prepares boiled eggs and toast. I call the midwife to let her know what has been happening and she tells me to stop walking and to get as much rest as I can.2 – 3.30 pm almost every 4 mins apart and have lost my mucus plug or part of it!

3.30 pm Back to irregular contractions!

7.30 pm I can’t believe I have been in pre-labour for 27 hrs now… Midwife calls to see how we are getting on but also to advise us that another midwife is sick so the birthing centre will be closed this evening so if anything happens we will need to go to the delivery suite instead. Hmmm… feeling slightly concerned that we won’t have met any of the midwives and also may not be able to have a water birth!

I have been using the ‘tens’ machine almost all day and have now decided to take a bath as another form of relief and some possible relaxation. Things seem to be happening quite regularly so Adam starts to time again. Yep, every 3 – 4 mins! But I’m not getting my hopes up.

9.30 pm I tell Adam that we should think about heading to the hospital, my body starts shaking and I know that this is a sign that things are getting closer.

10 pm Car is loaded and we head to the hospital, my eyes are closed the whole way there breathing through each contraction.

When we arrive at the hospital I ask Adam to go and sign us in etc so that I can get straight in the lift and go up. But no, they need my signature…. I slowly walk to the front desk clutching a comb in the palm of each hand applying pressure during each contraction.

We head to the delivery suite (all new to us!) I stare at a nurse behind the desk….. I recognise her but don’t know where from. She smiles. We are led to our room and our midwife introduces herself as Jo (it’s nice to hear a familiar English accent, but I admit that I’m a little concerned that she may also be as tired as me what with being 32 weeks pregnant and working all through the night!!!)

Adam starts to unpack and prepare the room whilst I begin swaying on the birthing ball. Jo – ‘Oh sorry no candles, oil burners etc the smoke detectors will go off!!! Great!!!! Adam hands Jo our birth plan….. Jo – Um, water birth! Ill just have to check with another midwife! Thankfully she returns with news that they will pump up a pool and roll it in. Phew! As Adam begins sticking our affirmations up on the wall Jo advises that ‘they can’t go on that wall there as it has just been painted!!’ Oh my!!

Anyway… the affirmations are up and my meditation CD is on. Jo asks if she can do an internal to see what’s been happening in my 30hrs of pre-labour! Yippee – 5cm dilated I even make a YES clenched fist in the air with excitement. Jo – ‘This baby will be out in a maximum of 5 hours I’d say’ I’m so excited.

The contractions quickly become more intense and Jo begins to fill the pool. We head to the bathroom and I stand holding a shower on my lower tummy whilst Adam holds another on my back. This feels good! I get in the pool and as Jo puts it I start to look “too relaxed!” so I have to stand again as not to slow things down.

Back in the pool again things are really heating up, I’m leaning over the pool with my arms wrapped around Adam breathing through each contraction listening to Adam’s words of encouragement and instructions. “She’s coming I say…. oh, no she’s not my waters just broke! And I sink back under the water again. What feels like all of a sudden, things start to get really intense, I am pretty much rolling around like a ‘weeble wooble’ not really sure what’s happening!! And feeling concerned!! “She’s stuck, she’s stuck, I say. The feeling is different and she actually feels stuck! Jo asks if I’m sure, and wants to do an internal. I can’t get out of the pool!!! Can you do it here??? No! I try to calm down and breath through this hoping she might move but she doesn’t! Jo can see the intensity and really wants to take a closer look! I negotiate the assistance of some gas and air to help me out of the pool, I take a couple of sucks and Jo tells me I’m right, half the membrane is still there and she can’t get past it. Jo offers to break it, which I gratefully accept and sprint back to the pool as soon as it is done (it felt like a sprint to me!! ).

Oh my, things are even more intense and trust me… she is stuck!! Jo goes and gets another midwife who I immediately inform my baby is stuck! As they observe the intensity I ask for gas and air. Time for another look!! This time the gas and air is left by the pool!!! I lay on a beanbag on my back so that the midwives can check things out. She’s right they say…. Your baby is stuck behind your pelvis you need to do some serious pushing to get her out! They push my knees back against my chest and I push with each contraction, its not enough. They apologise but explain that this baby needs to be out within 15 minutes as the doctors will be in to check and will want to take over! They help me on to a bed… legs in stirrups and a mirror between my legs for me to see. I push with all my might and observe her head crowning, then before the next contraction her head is gone I know this is how it works but to see her head move back up makes me more determined to push her out and keep her out!!! More and more black hair appears as her head comes out, at this point, I’m pushing so hard to get the rest of her head out that I cant open my eyes. Finally, I’m told to stop pushing and then just gentle pushes to get her body out!

25/6/10 4.35 am Here she is our beautiful Berry Mae A slight whimper then gazing around looking at her mummy and daddy. I couldn’t stop kissing her and Berry Mae couldn’t take her eyes of her daddy.

After a few hours of skin to skin contact Berry Mae was weighed, 3.96 kilos!!!! No wonder she was stuck!!!

Oh, and the smiley nurse behind the desk… a parent from my final teaching placement! She seemed quite excited to tell all the other nurses that I was her son’s teacher at the preschool

Well, that was the beautiful tale of Berry Mae’s journey into this big wide world, into mummy’s big open arms who had been waiting so long to cuddle her already much loved little girl.XXX

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