Khaila shares her journey into the world of motherhood for the first time, with the wonderful natural birth of her child...
I woke up in a daze realising that I hadn’t felt the baby kick all night. Usually I would get a swift kick (or ten) to the bladder to remind me that heavily pregnant women don’t usually make it through the night without a trip to the toilet.
I sat there continually checking the time and waiting for that almighty kick. 15 minutes went by and nothing, 30 minutes – still nothing. I moved from the bed to the shower to see whether the warm water would change that. It was then under the water I felt my first ‘pain’. And when I say ‘pain’ it felt like very mild period cramping. It kept coming and going every 3 minutes.
We had done birthing classes and the hospital told us to expect labour to start with contractions 10 minutes apart and when you got to 3 minutes it was time to head to the hospital. As I was already having contractions at 3 minutes apart I woke up my husband and phoned the hospital for instructions. Because I was not in pain the hospital advised to call back once the contractions were stronger.
For the next hour or two I threw up twice and had my husband pack up the car. I phoned the hospital back to advise contractions were stronger and they told us to come in. This was it. Today was the day we would find out if we were having a little girl or boy and I would be able to eat sushi again (the pregnancy cravings were at an almighty high). We only live 15 minutes from the hospital, but sitting in the car on a contraction is definitely hard to do – even for such a short trip! My husband offered to drop me at the front doors and then go and park the car but I refused to let him leave my side. So there I was, waddling toward the hospital in my night gown and my giant maternity pad, stopping for every contraction, using any available wall, pay station or railing I could find to lean up against. My dignity was slowly leaving my body.
Once we arrived at the maternity ward I was quickly offered a bed and the midwife checked dilation.
“What? No that can’t be right? Can you check again?”
“Definitely only 2cm, would you like to go home and come back later?”
I knew there was no way I was going to get back in the car and sit on another contraction! I advised her that I wanted to stay so they took me up to another floor and gave me and my husband a room to “relax” in. At this point we had nothing with us other than my husband’s phone. In our haste we had left everything in the car. Our bags, camera, music – everything.
By now it was about 6am and a tea lady came around with breakfast for us. People tend to give hospital food a bad rap but I can tell you in that moment it was the best tasting bacon I have ever had. My husband was alternating between rubbing my back and then quickly feeding me in between contractions. I was uncomfortable by this stage and telling my husband that I was going to need an epidural. He reassured me that I can do this and won’t need one. (This is what we had discussed. I told him no matter what I say let me know I don’t need an epidural). The nurses were coming and going with heat packs which really helped with the pain. In the lead up to this day I had done a hypnobirthing class so I was really just trying to focus on my breathing. I found it helped to keep the room dark and keep my eyes closed.
10am rolls around and I insist to my husband that I’m going to have to go and do a poo. He says he will go get a midwife and I tell him that it’s definitely not the baby and that I just need to use the toilet. A midwife comes in and tells me that it’s “go time”.
“Wait, I have to do a poo first”
“That is your baby’s head – we need to get you to the delivery suite”.
I was wheeled downstairs to the delivery suite in a wheelchair and you could hear screams of pain coming from the other rooms. This didn’t deter me. I remained calm and once wheeled into my room hopped into the shower. I knew the water would help with the pain and I just wanted to relax as much as possible. They must have phoned my obstetrician at this stage to let her know I was ready to deliver. Because here I am, naked, sat on a medicine ball under the shower and another obstetrician comes in and introduces herself and lets me know she will be delivering my baby as my obstetrician couldn’t make it. She joked that it’s not the most comfortable way to be introduced to someone you haven’t met before but at this point a marching band could have entered the room and I would not have cared. When you are that uncomfortable any sense of dignity goes out the window.
The obstetrician got me up on the bed and advised it was time to start pushing. The pushing felt good and almost made the pain go away. That was until the head was crowning. It honestly felt like someone was holding a flame underneath me that could not be extinguished. Then to have to hold the head there until another contraction came was ‘fuck’ worthy. This was the only time I swore and I think a few ‘fucks’ may have slipped out. Once that head comes out the shoulders and body literally fall out.
12pm on the dot and I had my baby GIRL on my chest. All three of us were crying and it was in that moment that I knew what unconditional love was. It was just the three of us and we were forever going to be a family. I have never felt more proud of myself than in that moment.
I ended up needing 2 stitches because of a minor tear, which the obstetrician did right after the placenta came out. My husband started messaging the family to let them know of the safe arrival of our baby and by 3pm we had almost all the immediate family at the hospital (and I had my sushi!) We spent the next 5 days in the hospital learning all about breast feeding and caring for our baby.
Childbirth for me was definitely a positive experience and something I would consider enjoyable in a weird way! I guess that’s why we will be doing this all over again in November this year…
HARPER LILLI BUCHANAN
Thank you for sharing your journey Khaila, its completely inspiring, and we are so glad it was a positive experience for you- and don't worry if there is any occasion that calls for a few "fuck!" calls- it's childbirth. We can't wait to hear how your second experience turns out! Follow Khaila on instagram! @mumma_bear