It had been a few weeks of "is the baby here yet" and on again off again contractions. I had been in regular contact with my team of amazing midwives and because the hospital was SO busy it was sort of good that I was late. I would have been giving birth at another hospital otherwise!
Finally the hospital settled down enough for me to come in for a membrane sweep (I had already had two in the weeks prior l) and was favourable enough to just come in the next morning to have my waters broken and be induced - that's if I hadn't already gone into labour by then.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I wanted as little intervention as possible. I really wanted to go into labour myself! So after a sweep we went walking for lunch and then went home to rest and hang out while we waited. Again. After a few weeks of early labour - like contractions I didn't hold my breath when they started again because I was ready for them to fizzle out to nothing.
The contractions stayed! It was about 3pm by this point and I started bouncing on the birth ball and doing all the things to try and help oxytocin flow as much as I could. By 5/6pm I was using my TENS machine by Bliss Birth and breathing through. They were 3-5 minutes apart and I felt like I was coping really well so connected the midwives to let them know that I was in early labour and we were going to stay home for now.
By 10:30/11pm I was starting to feel like I wanted to be in the birth centre - I felt like I didn't want to be home anymore and that I needed more support (although Alen was absolutely amazing!) from midiwives. My contractions were 2-3 minutes apart but getting stronger. We called the midwives and made our way into hospital.
Once we arrived around 11:30/midnight I was checked over - baby was great, I was breathing through and I was 5cm.
2/3am - I felt like I was not coping - I was exhausted and asking for an epidural. The midwife checked me over and I was 7cm. Because I was making good progress, I decided to keep going as I felt like maybe it wouldn't be much longer and I would be pushing. I was definitely starting to feel more and more pressure.
By 5am I was uncontrollably pushing. It felt good to push. My midwife however just wanted to check to make sure my cervix was open all the way. Unfortunately it wasn't - I was 8-9cm dilated so I tried to force myself to breathe through my contractions again. But after pushing for that short amount of time, my body was urging me to push. I couldn't breathe through so I opted for an epidural.
By 7am we had moved to the delivery ward and my epidural was in (this process took an hour and a half and felt like a lifetime!) and I felt so much relief. I was still only 8cm (my cervix was actually swollen from my pushing) I was so tired that we decided to sleep and allow my body to rest in the hope that the relaxation would help my progress. Although my contractions had pretty much fizzled from the movement to delivery ward and having an epidural.
By 9am I hadn't made much progress so we decided to start the drip to help my contractions along. The doctors did their morning rounds and came in to say hi - I could tell they wanted more progress by now and they started saying things like "it's been a long time" and "you might need a caesarean" - I burst into tears - I hadn't come this far to not push him out! I really wanted to have a natural delivery! My amazing midwives were so supportive and calmed me down - "you will be fully dilated in the next few hours, I'm sure of it" - and they were right! By 12pm i was fully dilated and we were "allowed" to continue for a little longer to allow Oliver to decend into the pelvos more before pushing.
By 1pm I commenced pushing. I pushed for an hour before the doctors came in. Oliver's heart rate was dropping with pushing and making them very nervous. Now words like "we might have to give you a hand" and "episiotomy" and "vaccum" were mentioned. This made me more determined to push harder. As they were setting up to "help" deliver him, I told myself "im going to beat them to it" - I pushed harder. It took every ounce of energy I had left.
And he arrived! 2:30 on the dot. About 24 hours after the sweep from the midwife the day before. It was the most amazing feeling. The midwives took my hands and i lifted him the rest of the way out and onto my chest. He was here and he was perfect.