The Birth of Eleanor

Monday 16th of July

– I had an appointment at the hospital. After going in and having a chat with the midwife she told me I would be induced on the Wednesday, which was very distressing. She gave me a stretch (couldn’t do a sweep as I wasn’t dilated at all) and that wasn’t very painful, just uncomfortable. I was sent over to birthing to have a non stress test and speak to my OB,who I managed to talk into letting me go to 42 weeks. (I was actually 42+2 weeks but I told the hospital another date to avoid induction as much as I could) So I was scheduled to be induced on the Saturday night instead…


Tuesday 17th of July

– Whilst watching a tv show with my hubby I all of a sudden had an excruciating cramp in my back. It was the first cramp I had ever felt and it seriously caught me off guard! This was around 10pm. This back pain developed into rather intense contractions very quickly – Oh my God I’m actually in labour! I was so fricking excited! And kept telling hubby that our baby would be here soon! Probably that night! I spent the entire night keeping myself occupied through contractions, I jiggled my hips and sang and I straightened my hair and plucked my eyebrows between contractions. I bounced on my ball and laboured on my hands and knees (since it was becoming quite obvious that baby was posterior!)


Wednesday 18th of July

– At 4:30am, I managed to get into bed and somehow fell asleep. When I woke up my contractions had slowed down to about 1 every 10-30 minutes and they stayed like that for the rest of the day. Which was heartbreaking…and my induction date was getting closer…I visited my mum and when I went to the loo I had lost some mucous plug! Which was super exciting! We had to go back in for a non stress test and another sweep so we went in. The OB advised me that it was not the hospitals policy to let me go to 42 weeks and that they couldn’t perform inductions over the weekend. So I was booked in for an induction at 7:30am on Friday, which was incredibly upsetting. I prayed to God in hopes that he would hear me and help my baby come into this world naturally. I was given another stretch and sweep, this time I was dilated 3-4 cm and almost fully effaced! YAY PROGRESS! All of that awful back labour the night before was for a reason! Woo! I was absolutely bloody stoked! Although this stretch hurt – A LOT! My God, it was the most unnatural thing I have ever felt. And my OB made me start bleeding quite badly, but you know, it wasn’t pleasant but I would do anything to make some progress. We left the hospital at around 5pm that afternoon with high hopes that I would be in labour soon!


Soon after we left the hospital I started getting more regular cramps again, this time they started at about 7 minutes apart and quickly went to 5 minutes apart. The cramps were unbelievable; the pain was just so intense. I had no idea I would be in so much pain so early into labour. I used the TENs machine, I used hot water bottles, I shook, I sang, I walked. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t lay down…the only thing that seemed to help with the pain was when I got into the shower. But my feet had started to swell and I could barely stand. So my husband ran me a bath. But the moment I hit the water my contractions stopped completely! I was devastated! My contractions were down to 3 minutes apart and we were about to leave for the hospital! And they bloody stopped!!! So I hopped out of the bath and almost instantly my contractions started up again, this time at around 7 – 10 minutes apart. So we waited until they got to about 3 minutes apart again and we packed our things and headed to the hospital. The car trip was awful! I had about 4 contractions in the car and it was almost unbearable.


We arrived at the hospital at around 3am. We got to our birthing suit and settled in. I tried to manage a few contractions by leaning on the bed, bouncing on the birthing or just walking around. I tried leaning on my hubby as well but I think I was hurting him so I didn’t do that for long. We called the midwife back in and asked if I could get into the shower, thank God she said yes, the hot water was incredible! At this point I was completely naked…and had the water so hot it was turning me red. The pain from the heat of the shower distracted me from my contractions. I was in the shower for around an hour, but my feet started to swell so badly I could barely stand. The midwife (who’s name was Bernie) came back in and asked if I’d like to get into the tub. Of course I wanted to! So she started running the water. The hubby at this point pretty much just spoke to me in calming voice and told me how awesome I was…I was moaning and groaning in a tribal voice…


I hopped into the tub and to be honest it made my contractions worse…but only because I had to lay down. I was floating but once I was in the bath I was stuck there, I couldn’t move at all. I was on my side with my face on the side of the tub holding my husbands hand. I was almost screaming, to be honest the pain was almost unbearable. My spine felt like it was being kicked by an elephant, the pressure and pain was so bad that I just couldn’t believe my body could handle it. I kept thinking to myself “surely this kind of pain will kill me?” But I kicked thoughts like that out of my head and tried to meditate. I kept telling myself that I was strong, that each contraction bought my child closer to me, that my body was doing what it was suppose to. It was a good pain and I had to keep telling myself that.


I won’t lie, I asked for drugs, but in a joking way. (I wouldn’t have taken them but for some reason asking made it seem even more ridiculous to take them after coming so far) I told them I needed an epi, I needed morphine…and I needed gas. I told Dave I couldn’t do it anymore and that the pain was just too much for me. At that point I puked every where, the pain was just so intense I couldn’t even hold in the contents of my stomach. But I felt so strong, I couldn’t believe that I was doing this, my hubby kept saying “you’re doing so well, you’re amazing, you don’t need drugs, you can do this” his words were so calming. Whenever I told him I couldn’t do it, he told me I was silly and that I was strong enough.


Bernie came back in and all of a sudden I felt like I had to poo, I told her I needed to push so she checked me…(that was very unpleasant) and yes! I was almost fully dilated. She told me I had a bit of a lip of cervix but it was thin and she said I could push through my lip! So I laid on my back and all of a sudden during every contraction the urge to push became overwhelming. I pulled my legs up and listened to my body. I did mother directed pushing, so I only pushed for as hard and as long as my body told me too. Bernie just sat and watched, not saying a word…at one point though she did pipe up and told me to hold my pushes just a tad longer and that I was doing great!


I pushed and pushed and it was just the strangest feeling…I could feel a hard lump pushing against my pelvis (which later turned out was my babies nose) and the pushing was such a relief. As I pushed the pain from the contractions disappeared. All I could do was try to get my baby out…it was absolute bliss. Between contractions I just moaned and floated in the water, my husband just sat there and stared at me with a little smile…I was making him so proud. He just kept saying how incredible I was…I felt utterly powerful! I also kept asking if my water had broken, but since I was in the bath the midwife couldn’t tell. I was so excited that my baby could be born in caul (membranes still intact). I felt her head crowning and with one last push her head literally “popped” out of me! It was the most amazing thing I have ever felt in my life! Her head came out with the membranes intact. And my body convulsed for a final time and my baby slipped straight out of me! Which broke the rest of the membranes. Instantly Bernie and Dave reached down and grabbed her out of the water, the instant my baby girl hit the air she screamed, it was just the cutest thing. I remember her coming out, facing me…her arms stretched out as she reached right for me…her eyes wide open with interest. The hubby grabbed her from the midwife and put her straight on my chest. The moment she hit my skin she went silent and we just stared at each other. I have never felt so much love…her eyes studied my face and she listened to my voice. I told her over and over “I love you, you’re so beautiful”. Once the cord had stopped pulsating, daddy then cut the cord and exclaimed “Oh wow, it’s just like thick calamari!” and Bernie took her from me and gave her to her daddy, who seemed to be a little shocked that a baby had just come out of me haha. She had a bit of a cry but stopped as soon as she heard his voice and she just studied his face as well. She was seriously such a calm and beautiful baby.


They started getting the injection ready for me so that I could deliver my placenta. I was suppose to get out of the bath…but almost straight away I got the urge to push again…I asked if I could push the placenta out in the bath and Bernie said it was fine. So I pushed and out came the placenta, now that was an odd feeling…felt like a giant blood clot…it was such a relief. Bernie grabbed my placenta and attempted to put it in a kidney pan…it was too big! It was overflowing the pan!


Then, blood started pouring out of me…they made me get out the bath as fast as I could because they thought I may have been haemorrhaging, the entire bath was red with blood. But turns out I wasn’t…I just lost a lot of blood for some other reason. So I was fine. I ended up with a borderline 2nd degree (almost 3rd) penerial and internal rectal tear…to be honest I didn’t even know that I had torn, I didn’t feel it at all!


So sorry my birth story is so long, but I’m so proud of myself for doing it completely drug free with a back labour and a posterior baby. I love that my birth is original and things went a little differently than routine. I honestly could not have asked for a better or smoother birth. I honestly think it’s because I didn’t use any interventions and most of all I believed in myself. I think anyone can do it. You just need to remind yourself that you’re strong and that women are built to birth. Your body will not fail you.

Photo shared with permission from With Love, For Love Photography & Cakes