It all started on Wednesday, January the 27th, exactly seven days past my due date. I woke up in the morning feeling very different, no contractions yet but something was definitely on its way. My fiance decided to work from home that day and later in the afternoon we went for a long walk with our dog in the forest. As we walked out of the forest I looked up at the sky. It looked uneasy and rough and I immediately felt it was a sign. At ten PM my contractions started and the whole night I was having contractions, breathing calmly through every one of them, able to stay relaxed in bed, yet unable to sleep. By morning the contractions intensified and got regular and after a talk with the hospital we decided it would be best for us to come in and see how far I was in the process.
”You still have two centimetres cervix left and no dilation yet. ” Not the words you want to hear after a night of no sleep and fourteen hours of contractions. Right on, home we went. We stayed positive. I had always had a feeling I would have a long first labour, little did I know how long! The whole of Thursday day, evening and night I was having regular contractions four minutes apart and lasting over a minute. I did light yoga, accupressure, fuelled up on kidney energy whilst trying to relax and got myself through another night of no sleep. God I was tired… I kept in touch with the hospital and come Friday night we were on our way to the hospital again. I needed to sleep, I needed some relief.
We were greeted by the nicest midwife who really felt for my situation. I was now one centimetre dilated and she suggested we spend the night at the hospital, they could thereby keep an eye on me. She gave me shot of morphine in my thigh in order for me to get some sleep. I felt a bit sad as I had hopes of a completely natural birth (I have not taken antibiotics nor painkillers in years), however, I also knew there would come a time where I would have to push and I would need some sleep in order to get through the last stages of labour successfully. The morphine helped me relax but the relief was short-lived. My contractions kicked in and by midnight I was four centimetres dilated.
We soon received a room…and at around one AM I asked for an epidural. I told myself that sleep and relaxation was of great importance now and after fifty-one hours of contractions and no sleep, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I got the epidural, however, the relief was yet again short-lived. As the epidural kicked in my blood pressure went down and they had to take it off immediately. I was now six centimetres dilated and still had a long way to go. By ten AM I was ten centimetres dilated and close to having our son in my arms.. Or at least so I thought I was. It took us another long four hours to get him out but with great help from experienced doctors out he came!!!! Safe, healthy and BIG weighing in at 4,16 kilo. Hector was, thank God, unaffected by the long birth and ready to enter the world. In total my labour lasted about sixty-four hours and while I have never been so exhausted mentally and physically, I would do it again tomorrow. It was the toughest yet most rewarding experience of my life and I will be doing it all over again in six months time. However, this time I am hoping for a shorter labour, just one experienced midwife in the room (and not a team of twenty) and perhaps even the water birth I had planned for first time around. One thing I have learned is you have no control during childbirth, your body takes charge and the more you let go, relax and just breathe through it, the smoother your labour will be.