Amanda's story - a positive first birth in hospital

My son's birth story began on a Friday evening when I started to have small contractions that kind of felt like wind. 

I had lost part of my mucus plug and was ready for labour to truly start any time during the night. I had light contractions all day Saturday. 

The contractions were 5-7 minutes apart for 20 seconds or so, and then they spaced some more. 
The contractions weren't strong, and I knew I probably wouldn't be giving birth any time soon. I focused on bouncing on my birth ball several times throughout the day.


On Sunday, my husband and I went to my parent's house to do laundry. I ended up starting true labour that day, having contractions from 11:00 in the morning until we went to the hospital around 7:00pm. My husband and my mum walked down the road with me several times that day, to help things along. 


We left for the hospital around 7:00pm and got there around 7:30. We checked in at the desk and I was hardly able to walk without stopping to breathe every couple minutes. 

They wanted to do a vaginal examination to make sure I was ready because the midwife lived 40 minutes away. I was not happy with the idea of a cervical check, and had told them at my appointments that I didn't want one. But I decided to cave and let them do it.


The midwife told me I was about 7 and a half centimeters dilated, and that I had done well so far.
The suite they took me to was beautiful! Modern painted walls with dimmed lights surrounding the perimeter of the ceiling, wood floors, beautiful art hung around the room, and a rocking chair next to the hospital bed.


They took my vitals and listened to the baby's heartbeat before allowing me to get into the birth pool, which was very relaxing, though it did feel a little small and cramped.

 They put lavender oil on a cotton ball in a cup for me to take in as I breathed. My husband sat next to me the entire time, holding my hand and encouraging me.


After a while the contractions became so strong, and I wasn't trying to push. My body just took over and pushed involuntarily. 

The midwife kept trying to check my cervix which annoyed me. It hurt and I asked her to stop. She finally stopped after about the fourth time.


I was about nine centimetres by then, and was getting uncomfortable in the pool. So I got out, dried off and went pee, then walked back into the main room and tried standing and leaning against my husband through a contraction but it was too difficult. The midwife suggested that I get on the bed on all fours, and once I did it felt so much better. I was able to pull on the bars of the hospital bed for leverage through each contraction. 


My husband sat next to me, gave me water, and rubbed my back. I wasn't trying to push but I couldn't help it. It just overtook me.

 After what only felt like a few minutes, but in reality was probably about a half hour, the midwife told me that the baby was crowning. 


I couldn't believe it! My baby was almost here, and I could tell he was right there because I felt a slight burning. At this point I told my husband "I can't do this!" 

As soon as I said it I knew from all of my reading prior to labour that whenever a woman says that is usually just before the baby comes. I didn't even mean to say it, but after saying it I felt relief because I knew I could do it, and I knew my baby was going to be in my arms in just a moment.


Another contraction came like a wave and as I pushed I felt a release, and I knew he was born. It was 9:53pm, Sunday night. "Turn around and hold your baby." The midwife said with a smile.


I couldn't believe it was time to hold my son for the first time, to meet the little man that had already captivated my heart before he was born, and now he was my whole world, in my arms, him and his daddy, who cried with me. I held him for at least an hour and fed him for the first time, and he latched very well, though I had a hard time with positioning him at first.


Then my husband went with our son and the nurse about ten feet away to weigh the baby and measure his head. The next part is fuzzy in my memory, but I bled a bit when the placenta came and had a tear. So they gave me syntometrine to stop the bleeding.


I figured since the baby was already born it wouldn't hurt, and they said it couldn't cross the breastmilk, but I still wonder how true that is. 


They kept me in the birth room for about another hour to monitor the bleeding, and then transferred us to a mother baby room where we stayed for the next day and a half.


I didn't sleep much in the hospital. This was the first time I had ever been in a hospital, the noises were foreign, the bed was uncomfortable, and I wasn't able to sleep in the same bed with my husband or my new son.


So I watched tv. And I stared at our baby boy.

The feeling of being a new mother is unlike anything else. I was on a high from the birth, but I was tired. I was excited, and I was nervous. I was in love, smitten with this new little person in our lives. It's an indescribable feeling. I worried over everything, but at the same time I felt confident that I was chosen by God to be Highland's mom. My birth experience was really great over all. It was empowering, even though not everything went as planned. It is a memory I will cherish forever.