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The Birth of Maverick

*I have not edited how I originally wrote my birth story, which was hard knowing what I know now. So this is written by freshly postpartum Jaime, after the birth of her first son*

I had prepared myself with the hospital antenatal classes, so I had a very specific vision on how my birth would go. It did not go how I had envisioned!

2:15am - My water broke in bed. It felt like I had squished a water balloon between my legs and it popped. I started laughing uncontrollably... perhaps from nerves. I was 38+4. Matt woke to my laughing and said, "No Jaime. It's Monday. We can't do this today. Put a towel down and go back to sleep."

So I did!

More water gushed so I called birth unit and they said to come in just so they could check babies heartbeat and fluid.

3:00am - got to hospital and they checked everything. Everything was fine. I had no contractions so they booked me in for an induction for what would've been the 30th August in case my contractions didn't start. We were sent home at 5am. Went back to bed to wait. I told Matt to go to work because it was likely going to be a long day and I kind of just wanted to be by myself.

7:30am - I got period like cramping and figured this may be the beginning! Had a shower which helped ease it. I started timing contractions. They started off at between 3 and 5 minutes apart and I thought I was timing them wrong because they were too close 😳 I called the hospital and the midwife said it's still super early and to stay home for as long as I can stand to stay home.

8:50am - I called Matt home from work. I was on the floor in my lounge room, over my lounge, naked on towels because I couldn't dress myself between contractions, they were so close together. He heard me and came home straight away. He got me in a shirt and some undies to get in the car to go to the hospital.

9:30ish am - We arrived at hospital. Matt left the car running out the front to take me in but I was basically contracting every minute and it took a while. A volunteer saw us and got us a wheelchair. Matt went back to park the car.

9:45ish am - Midwives assessed me and I was "only 2-3cms dilated" and they said to settle in because I was going to be there for a while.

I got the gas and sucked on it like my life depended on it. Matt came running in, he later told me he thought he was going to miss it!

I was adamant that I didn't want to birth or labour on the bed so Matt put the shower on and I stripped off and was naked for the remainder of the birth. The midwife told me my back pain was due to him being posterior. I laboured on the floor in the shower while Matt held the shower head on my back, which was divine. He tipped my lavender oil on the towel in front of me so it filled the room. It was amazing and as silly as it sounds, I think it helped more than the gas did! The midwives turned the lights off and put electric candles in the bathroom which was great. Matt put music on and was making me laugh.

11:45ish am - I begged the midwives to check me again even though they said that they wouldn't usually check so soon after the last time.

They checked and I was "only 3-4cms". At this point I asked what other pain relief I could have. She said I could have morphine or an epidural. I asked if the morphine would make me vomit, she said she'd give me anti nausea meds at the same time but most people throw up during labour anyway. I opted to just get into the bath, as I really wanted a water birth.

I got in the bath which was immediate relaxation. Matt put more lavender on a towel so that when I was leaning over in the bath, I could rest my face on the towel. It was fantastic. I kept going with the gas and air which seemed to take the edge off every couple of contractions which were now coming with no breaks. I clearly remember feeling like I was floating on a cloud and Matt holding me up so I didn't fully submerge myself. This was my favourite part of labour, it felt amazing and I could feel my body stretching.

Matt continued to make me laugh with his song choices. My personal favourite was "Eye of the Tiger"! I also remember him mentioning his socks were wet. Internally I was screaming at him, "like your socks are important right now, i'm having a baby!"

12:30pm - I told Matt to get the midwives because my body was pushing and I couldn't stop it. I knew I wasn't "supposed to" push only being 3cm so I was freaking out. I couldn't stop my body though. The midwife came in and said that because he was posterior, all the pressure will be in my bum and I'll feel the need to push when I don't really have to. I was grunting and pushing with every contraction, I couldn't help it. She then crossed her arms and said that I had to stop pushing or I would hurt myself and the baby. I cried.

They told me to have two more contractions in the bath and then hop out and they'd check me. I did not want to get out of the bath.

12:40 ish: I finally got the strength to get out of the bath. Got up on the bed for them to check me. They looked and said "oh! We're gunna have a baby! You're 10cm and we can see a head".

1:02pm: Mavs was born! I pushed twice for his head and waited for the next contraction for the rest of him.

They put him straight up onto my chest and he wasn't moved for about 1.5 hours. We did delayed cord clamping so we fed while that was happening to help the placenta come out. They also gave me a needle in my leg to help with that, although I had asked them not to, which was disappointing.

The placenta took a little longer than they expected to come out and they couldn't "pull" it because the cord was apparently quite weak. They pushed hard on my stomach which was very painful, to see if I was bleeding too much. I wasn't.

They went ahead and numbed me up for the stitches. I had a second degree tear but they said it wasn't too bad. I believe I tore when I had a contraction getting out of the bath, I could feel the stinging.

The day before I gave birth, I had a growth scan where I was told he was measuring about 3.8kg. Maverick was born 3.02kg and 51cm long. It just goes to show how inaccurate those scans can be.

Before I became pregnant, I always swore I'd have an epidural because why the heck would I choose to feel pain when I didn't have to. I did so much reading about natural birth, birthing stories etc during my pregnancy which made me change my mind. I desperately wanted my water birth, which I would have had if I had listened to my body! Even though I didn't get it, I'm so thankful for such a quick and simple labour and I'm so proud of what my body has created! I'm really excited to do it again one day.

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