The Discovery (scroll down to go straight to the birth)
At the age of 24, Jason and I decided it was time that we try to make a little human of our own.
It took months of trying (and I'm talking elevating my bum with pillows and holding my legs in the air!) It also took numerous negative pregnancy tests and an ovulation app but finally... on the 5th of September 2015, I randomly decided to pee on a pregnancy stick before heading to lunch at a winery with my girlfriends just "in case" I was pregnant.
The stick immediately looked negative, "oh well... at least I could head to the winery with the girls and enjoy the bubbles!".
I casually continued to curl my hair and get ready. I didn't feel pregnant and if I were it would have been very early days so I had no expectations of seeing two lines on that preggy stick.
Suddenly, I received a text message from my best friend, it read "I'm here babe". "oh crap" I'm running late again... I quickly gathered my things, threw on my shoes and started making a dash through the bathroom towards the front door until...
"oh wait, my pee stick!" I remembered that pregnancy tests can take up to 5 minutes for an accurate result so it was more than ready for me to see! I spun around and reached for the test only to discover two distinct preggy lines staring back at me.
Admittedly, my first thought was "dammit! no bubbles for me today!", my second thought was "holy crap! My body is growing a baby, it is actually happening!!".
No matter how long you are trying for a baby and despite thinking you're ready for a positive reading... nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming moment of discovery that all of your hopes and fears are coming to life!
The announcement to Jason was extremely underwhelming and not how I wanted it to go down, but I was in shock... I had to tell him before I left.
Jason was out the front with the leaf blower, I managed to get his attention and he strolled over to me (he was probably just thinking I was wanting to say goodbye before I left) I abruptly said "I just peed on a pregnancy stick upstairs! I'm pregnant! I've got to go! Cya!"
I literally do not even remember or think he got a chance to respond before I dashed out the door... but I do remember the heartfelt text message I received shortly after that.
"Now how am I supposed to go to a winery and not drink wine but not tell my girlfriends I literally just found out I'm pregnant..."
The 5th of September 2015 was a day to remember, never would I have known it would be the very first day into the unknown world of motherhood.
Fast forward to a smooth and uncomplicated 9 months of pregnancy, to my due date the 18th May 2016.
This date just so happened to be my birthday but all the midwives told me that only 5% of women go into labour on their due dates so the morning I woke up of my birthday I expected that the day would be no different to the rest and I would have at least another few days to go, especially considering I had not one single labour sign on the lead up to the due date.
At 6.00AM after spending a few moments in bed opening gifts and celebrating mine and my dogs birthday, (yes it was ironically his birthday too!) I stood up and headed to the bathroom, as I took 4 steps I soon realised that I had pee running down my leg and I couldn't stop it, however, this "pee" was clear and it was warm and I seriously had this moment of confusion. "what the f is that?" I looked up to Jason who was in the bathroom and about to have a shower and as I began to say "I think my waters have broken" I instantly felt a gush!
I just stood there waiting... waiting for the pain to follow, just like the movies right!? The waters break and next minute they are in full blown labour! well, not me... my body decided to keep the suspense and keep me guessing for the next 12 hours to follow.
Considering I wasn't in any pain at all, (just consistently wetting my pants) I decided to take a shower considering this could be my last chance to have one for a while. We made the bed, got ready and headed to the hospital around 8:00 AM.
Once we arrived at the hospital (15 minutes away) still not in any pain and with a towel between my legs (that was fun!) I needed to be hooked up to a CTG and have an internal examination done to determine whether I was in labour or not. (as if the towel between my legs wasn't proof enough!)
Let's just say that there was so much amniotic fluid flowing out of there like a bloomin river that they couldn't get a visual of my cervix and see whether or not I was dilating and due to the fact that I was at a higher risk of infection, they didn't want to examine me for very long.
The plan of actions that were made from then onwards was to head home until the contractions got painful enough to come back and if nothing at all happened then to come back anyway by 6:00 PM to start an induction.
I spent the rest of my birthday hanging out on the couch watching movies and patiently waiting for something to happen while my immediate family members popped in to see me for my birthday (oh how I could see straight through that one!) I love being asked "are you feeling anything yet?" & "what about now?" every 30 minutes... good times!
Jokes aside, it was a very relaxing day and my only regret is that I didn't spend the day sleeping and getting ready for the next 24-48hours that lied ahead of me.
1:00PM by lunchtime, I began to feel mild period pain, which slowly became more and more painful but it came on very slowly throughout the day. It was a very smooth "intro" to labour.
3-4:00PM I began using my tens machine which I had hired a week prior to my due date and a wheat bag.
6:00PM nope! Let's go! the pain is getting worse quickly (which was perfect timing really because it was time to go back)
Once we arrived the second time, I was admitted into my delivery room where I took a moment (and this photograph) to acknowledge the room and table where my beautiful Ruby would be born and placed on to very soon! (So surreal!)
(TMI) but hey, we're all friends here? I also took a moment on the toilet to clear my bowels 💩 I'm unsure if my body was naturally clearing itself in preparation for birth or I was just doing a nervous poop but the midwives reassured me that the baby would not fall out in the toilet...
I laboured naturally for the next 4 hours and found my contractions getting more and more intense. I had read some "calm birthing" books and knew to use my voice as a tool of distraction from the pain which helped me along aside my handy dandy tens machine cranked up to the full notch on each contraction.
My contractions were consistently close together for the entirety of my labour, they were 2-3 minutes apart and I found I became exhausted by them and by 10:00PM I asked to be examined.
I had remained extremely positive during my labour up until this point, I was breathing through my contractions and focusing on the contractions one by one as they came but the pain was becoming more than I could handle and the contractions were hitting fast.
Surely this meant baby Ruby was close to entering the world?! I thought I had reached the peak of my pain, I thought I was smashing this whole labour thing until I was told I was 2.5cm.......
After months and months of learning how to have a positive and calm birth had now flown right out the door within seconds. I was utterly disheartened! I feel like that midwife could have really done me a solid and lied to me at that point (haha!)
"you're telling me my waters broke 16 hours ago and I've been contracting every 2 minutes for over 4 hours... (seriously that's 240 contractions...) only to be 2.5cm!!!"
Uncontrollable tears flowed down my face and I instantly begged for an epidural! I was at my the limit of my mental capacity with this pain, there was absolutely no way I could one more contraction without any pain relief.
During the wait for the anesthesiologist I decided to try some gas but I felt like it did nothing for me! I hated the feeling of "being drunk" so instead the mask and pipe became like a microphone for the mammal-like noises that started emerging from my body.
I never thought I'd be a loud labouring woman until this point (looking back it makes Jason and I laugh!) 🤣
To be honest the epidural was a piece of piss! the only pain I felt was a tiny pinch of the numbing injection which is inserted before the epidural goes in and it was hard but I just focused on sitting still while it was being administered.
Fast forward to 30 minutes later to a happy and relaxed labour lady! (yes it took a solid half an hour before the bloomin thing decided to work, I had always though epis would be instant!)
1:00AM (the next day) after a few hours on the epi and many many top ups I decided I was too numb and I no longer liked it, I wanted to feel something when it came to pushing so despite my midwives advice I decided to wait a little longer between top ups. Ultimately this decision became my worst and best idea!
Worst because: the contraction pains came back in random areas of my body (mostly the left side of my back and stomach) and I found it difficult to get through them without having the ability to move my body.
Best because: when it came to pushing I knew when to push because I was able to feel when my contractions were hitting.
4:00AM It had officially hit 22 hours since my wonderful wet birthday surprise ran down my legs! I was managing well with the epi (still so glad the thing exists) however it seemed to have stalled my labour so my midwife administered something into my drip to get things moving along (oxytocin I believe?).
5:00AM I was told I was 10CM (finally!) and it was time to put my legs into stirrups and start pushing! 25minutes of pushing and a small graze and miss Ruby was born.
Unfortunately, when Ruby came out the cord was wrapped around her neck twice so she took a little longer to breathe than usual and was removed from my chest during the initial skin on skin time to get some medical aid, it was a little frightening and I just remember looking over to Jason at that moment and ask that someone help him because was white as a ghost and seconds away from fainting 😂(luckily we had a midwife student there to help him!)
Our babe Ruby was born at 5.25AM on the 19th May 2016 (the day after my birthday, good try Rubes!!) she was 8 pounds (3.8kg) and 52cm.
Our lives changed for the better and for the crazier the moment we became Ruby's parents and we wouldn't change a single thing!!
We love you baby girl x
(stay tuned for the recording of Sav's birth vlog as I do a talk through recording of her birth and how it was in compared to Ruby's birth which includes the footage of me pushing her out! 😍)