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So, Zach was due on December 27th - I had convinced myself that he would be early so when his due date came and went I was feeling pretty miserable.
On Friday the 2nd January I went to see my midwife and had a stretch and sweep - she said she'd done a 'particularly nasty' one so we hoped it would get things going. When I got home I was having very irregular contractions, but they were there none the less so I was feeling slightly more encouraged than I had been that morning.
Saturday 3rd January and I was still having irregular contractions. We went shopping and I was getting them the whole time, but not strong enough or regular enough to warrant going into hospital. I was trying not to focus on them too much because I knew it wasn't necessarily the start of anything. When we got home I lost a huge chunk of mucus plug. I was getting super excited now because although again I knew that it didn't mean that labour would be happening that night I knew it meant that my body was getting ready. We had fajitas (my favourite!) for tea because I thought if tonight was the night I didn't want to go on an empty stomach so I filled myself to the max and then lazed on the sofa to get some rest.
At about 8pm the contractions were getting stronger and more frequent. Still not enough for hospital but they seemed to be heading that way. By 9pm they were really strong and were about 5 minutes apart. I decided to call the hospital to see what they advised. They told me to head in so that they could check my cervix. This was it! I was so scared / excited and panicking that I had everything packed but we managed to get everything in the car and off we went.
When we got to the birthing centre the midwife checked my cervix and I was 3cm dilated but the contractions had slowed back down. We sat in the lounge and watched a film waiting to see what happened. By 12am the contractions had really slowed so we decided to go home and wait it out. We went back to my mum's house and sat in the lounge watching celebrity big brother while my mum timed them. Finally at 4am they were strong enough and close enough to go back in, so again off we went.
When we got there they checked me again and I was now 6cm - thank god! Luckily the midwife who I had seen through the whole of my pregnancy was on duty that night but she was at a different hospital delivering another baby but they had told her I was in and she was soon to be on her way over. Eventually she got there and I was so relieved because I really didn't like the woman who was supposed to be helping me. She wouldn't let me get in the birthing pool yet or have any gas and air, the only thing she would give me was paracetemol and she kept trying to make me eat toast with thick butter on it and that was the last thing I wanted to do.
When my midwife arrived she got me to sit on the birthing ball and got me some gas and air while she filled the birthing pool ready for me to get in. She was THE BEST! My waters broke while I was on the ball and the contractions started to hurt a lot more.
I got into the pool - the best thing EVER! It was huge and I could literally swim in it! I floated around in between contractions and tried to relax as much as possible then went to town on the gas and air when the contractions came. My midwife was due to finish her shift at 8am and by this point I was still labouring and not close to pushing yet. She introduced me to the midwife who would be taking over her shift - She was AWESOME! Then she asked if I would mind if she stayed on until I had Zach because she wanted to be there to see him! I was so happy - of course I didn't mind! So I had 2 awesome midwives to help me through the last stages of labour.
They were so encouraging - they kept saying how they felt like they didn't need to be there because I was pretty much doing it all on my own. They didn't need to tell me what to do, I was just going with what felt right and it was working.
By about 10am I got out of the pool for another internal and I was ready to push, 10cm. So they got me back in the pool and we got on our way. I was SO exhausted at this point I didn't think I could do it. I hadn't eaten for so long and my body seemed to be slowing down. The contractions weren't as strong or long and they started to worry that I might have to be transferred to a bigger hospital, I needed to get my body back in gear fast. They gave me a drink of something, I can't remember what was in it but I'm pretty sure it was some sort of hormone to kickstart the contractions again. Sally told me to try and drink some - I grabbed the glass and downed it in one - I remember her laughing and saying 'That's the way to do it! You go girl!' then they made Justin feed me some strawberry jelly to give me some much needed energy. I really didn't want it but knew it would helped so I gulped it down. Then justin held my shoulders back to the edge of the pool and I held my legs up and I pushed as hard as I could.
The next thing I knew his head was out. It was the WEIRDEST feeling EVER! The burn was SAVAGE! His head was there, I could kind of see it but I could still feel his body wiggling inside of me - I felt sick! I remember saying 'GET HIM OUT, GET HIM OUT' and they were like, we can't, you need to wait for another contraction then you need to push him out. It felt like forever until the next one came but I pushed hard and he was out. They put him straight in my arms and I just couldn't believe it, he was perfect! All purple and scrunched up but GORGEOUS with lots of lovely black hair and the cutest face! I cried and I remember saying to him 'I'll never let anyone hurt you' and I also remember looking at Justin who just looked totally amazed and saying 'Can you believe we made him?'
Hannah and Sally looked so happy, they said he was gorgeous. Justin cut the chord and held him while I got my stitches and then I fed him.
The rest is hazy, I was exhausted and we went to our room where I was just a zombie but couldn't stop looking at Zach. He is the best thing that's ever happened to me in my whole life, I love him with every single fibre of my being, he is awesome.