As a first-time mum I didn't quite know what to expect, so when my due date came and went I'd lie awake at night waiting to feel contractions or for my water to break.
Ten days later nothing had happened, and by then I was willing to try anything. I'd been on long bush walks, which only resulted in aching limbs and hips. I'd even tried my luck with Castor Oil, which only succeeded in giving me a bad case of the runs. So after my check-up, the specialist I'd been sent to decided it was time for me to be induced. I had wanted to let things proceed naturally, but by that point, I was good and ready to get this baby out! My husband thought that this should suit me down to a tee because I was the type to have everything organised perfectly with lists all over the house.
On the morning of my appointment, we got up, packed the bags and made our way to the hospital. It was 7.30 a.m. and my midwife explained everything that they were going to be doing. She used the gel to start with, and once she'd inserted it, she left me in the hands of the hospital staff while she went home to get some rest. By lunchtime nothing had happened and I was starving. They brought me in a tub of yoghurt, which didn't even touch the sides of my hunger so I sent Hubby down the road to get some real food! When my midwife rang to check on me, they told her I'd had a hearty lunch so she decided that meant I wasn't very dilated yet, and didn't bother coming in right away.
Around 2.30 p.m. she came to check on me and by then I was 2 cm. dilated. I was thoroughly disappointed with this but she hadn't even expected it to be that much due to my healthy appetite. She obviously didn't know me very well.
She decided it was time to hook me up to the drip. This did help a little and I finally started to feel some mild contractions, which felt like period cramps. Those I didn't mind, it was the checks to see how much I was dilated that killed me. I had to have gas and even that didn't help. So we kept those to the bare minimum.
When I reached 4 cm. they decided it was time to break my waters. By then it was 6.00 p.m. so I thought I was ready for this to happen. Well, I was not expecting the onslaught of contractions that followed. They came strong and hard with not much time in-between, and I was not prepared for how painful they were, as I hadn't had much pain up to that point.
It didn't take me long to realise I was a complete wuss and there was no way I was going to get through this without drugs. So we thought we'd try the Pethidine first. All this did was make me feel disoriented and took a little bit of the pain away, but the end result was me with my head in the sink throwing up my lunch. So that was enough of that. I tried to cope with the pain, but it just got too much for me and the contractions were going off the monitor.
So I had my epidural and the minute the needle slid into my back, the pain stopped. It was bliss! There I was at 8 cm. dilation, sitting in bed reading my book! It was fabulous. Every now and then the midwife would come and check on me, which no longer hurt, until finally she decided that I was close enough to 10 cm. and we were going to try to push.
I could still feel the sensation of the contractions so I knew when it was time to push. It was close to midnight by then, and by 1.00 a.m. I was still pushing. And boy did it hurt. It was more of a burning sensation than anything else but I found it really uncomfortable and the pain ended up being unbearable. We tried everything, the birthing stool, the bars, kneeling, every position in the book, he just wouldn't come out. (Not being able to move my bottom half didn't help much!) A tiny piece of his head finally came out but that was it. I thought I was going to be stuck like that forever!
Finally my midwife helped by snipping me a little, which didn't hurt at all thanks to the injection, and with a few pushes, the baby was finally out. I was so relieved and fascinated that I didn't even think to ask if it was a boy or a girl. Finally I remembered and was shocked to find out I had a little boy as everyone had told me I was definitely having a girl. It made it just that much more amazing, to have that little bit of unexpectedness.
He was perfect. A bit of a conehead, but I didn't even notice. I spent the rest of the early hours of the morning staring at him in his cot, amazed at the fact that I was now the mother of a perfect little boy. I will always remember that moment as being one of the happiest of my life.
My son is now 18 months old and still so perfect. It's been the most amazing experience watching him grow and I envy all those first-time mothers who get to enjoy all of this for themselves, it's quite an experience.