I know it s a bit of a trend nowadays to tell your own birth story, however having read many before and after having my kids, I always enjoy reading them. Be it for the knowledge I can/could gain from it or for the happy feeling I get when I experience someone else s big moment.
So here is my first birth story (it’s not like I had that many!)
I had a very easy first pregnancy, no complication whatsoever, i travelled, went out, danced, worked out and basically kept moving all along. Everything was going great except for the fact that my baby wouldn’t come out.
Here in Switzerland, due date is at 40weeks, and they let you go one week only after it. So that’s where I found myself, at a monitoring session on 29th April and still pregnant when i should have been delivered on 23rd April. My ob-gyn checked everything and announced: we’ll do it tomorrow! In a way, I was quite relieved to have a date for it, I was always scared I would not recognised labour (yeah right !) or that something would go wrong at home.
I packed my suitcase, my husband and I had a last dinner just the two of us at a nice restaurant by the lake and I went to bed for my last night of not being a mom.
At 6pm the next day, I was induced using prostaglandin, and I was told it could take 9 to 12 hours to get my first contractions, that I should sleep and get some rest. We watched a movie ( Quai d’Orsay) and my husband went home to walk the dog and potentially sleep until morning. By that point, I was having really painful contractions, very close together and very long. I told the midwives of course, but they obviously thought i was being a sissy, being all “it’s not that fast when we induce you”, “ you just started a marathon and you’re only at km 2”, “calm down there are mothers on this same floor”... but guys did it hurt. I was screaming my head off.
And FINALLY, one of them decided to check on progress. She ran out of the room saying I should tell my husband to come back asap. When she came back, she was grabbing all my stuff and ushering me out.
Her: “ i didn’t tell you but you’re at 7cm, we have to go now!”
Me: “ go where?”
Her: “ delivery room go go”
Me: waddling through the corridor to the furthest delivery room.
Once on the chair/table, the anaesthetist was already there and she put the spinal tap right away with a hefty dose. From this moment, it was heaven, no more pain! The joy!
My husband arrived a bit panicky but i was conversing easily with the midwives, saying i could eat something now and how were they all doing etc.
I couldn’t feel any contractions anymore, they were still coming but the baby was not low enough, so I lay down on one side to help her go down. I think I stayed that way for around 1h/1h30 ( I lost track of time a little bit) and then my ob gyn said it was time to push, but without feeling anything I’m not sure I did it right. She had to tell me when to push and when to stop. It took quite a bit of time to get her out, they had to use a vacuum extractor, as the ombilical cord was tied around her ankle and kept tugging her upwards.
My first words when she came out: “it’s a baby”.
That was my level of numbness 😅
The midwives took her for apgar test and then my husband took her skin to skin in an adjoining room.
If you want to stop reading now, please do, the rest is not as nice 😅!
As you know, you are supposed to push out the placenta, however mine wouldn’t come out on its own, which meant the midwife had to massage my belly for another 30min. It finally came out but only partially. This is where the fun stuff begins. The anaesthetist re injected me in the spinal tap, a dose that usually is given for an emergency c section. I couldn’t feel or move my legs anymore. My ob gyn prepped for a revision (like i’m a car, a manual examination), meaning she put on gloves up to her elbows, and removed the rest of the placenta manually. Apart from the thought of it, it was fine for me as I couldn’t feel anything. I lost a lot of blood, and had to stay another 2h in the delivery room for monitoring.
Finally, finally I was brought to my room at 6:30am, with Victoria in her little rollaway crib.
Even though my delivery was clearly not standard and easy, I have a great memory of Victoria’s birth, I was not traumatised at all. Mainly thanks to the work of the midwives and ob gyn, who were exceptionally professional and sweet.
One key tip I hung on to during the whole thing : “whatever happens, just know it will be over in less than 24hours. What’s a day in all your life?” ( thank you Marion 😉)!
Post-partum was not easy for me, but that’s for another blog, i’ll just leave you with another quote from my at-home midwife: “being a mom doesn’t hit everyone the same way or at the same time”.
I hung onto this a lot ;)