Labour is exactly what it says. Hard work.
When i was pregnant with Casi, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I had been told about all the horror stories by various members of my family and friends. “It hurts, but you do forget about it” Thats what my mum said to me, in my head I was thinking “yeah right, as if you could forget the pain of shoving something the size of a melon out of you” My dad’s words were “It’s exactly like a cow calving, or a sheep lambing” Now that was something I could relate to a bit more. Our shed has been a makeshift labour ward on several occasions. And in my head, I was an expert midwife by now, for livestock anyway.
Eventually, two days after my due date, the big day came. I woke up at 6am thinking that I needed to pee. The minute I got out of bed, I felt as if I had wet myself. No, it wasn’t that huge gush of water you see in the films. It was just the feeling of wetting yourself. But this was it. I went to the shower, and attempted to shave my legs (well parts of them anyway) and then I woke my partner up. I stayed at home for a couple of hours, and then we took ourselves off to the hospital.
Things moved pretty slowly when we got there, I had decided on going to the midwife led unit. It was a lovely setting, but my god it was boring. I found myself being very bored between contractions, which meant all I was doing was thinking about my labour, and making myself very nervous. I was also plagued with heartburn and couldn’t manage to eat or drink anything. I hadn’t dilated any more by 3pm, so we asked if we could go for a walk. We spent the next three hours walking from bench to bench in the park, stopping for each contraction to pass.
By 6pm, because of the mad rush of pregnant people flooding the hospital, the ward had been closed and I was moved to the main labour ward. Thats when the projectile vomit happened, all over the next two bays and a very unfortunate pregnancy ball. My ketone levels had gone too low and i was put on a drip, as well as one to speed the labour up a bit. I was rushed into a small room, which had not been prepared for my arrival, but I didn’t care. I don’t remember much after this point, just the feeling of pure embarassment of having to pee on a commode, and being so nervous I was given a catheter. I remember a doctor walking in, taking one look at me and saying “prep for a c-section” There was no way in hell I was going through that, and not being able to do anything for six weeks!! How could he be so heartless? But then I thought about how many times we had to intervene with a cow calving, and I found a new respect for the mothers in my herd.
Luckily, one of the midwives told the doctor that I was fit enough and strong enough to do this without a c-section.
At 4:38 AM, my daughter was nearly with us. Her head was there, but her shoulders were stuck. The next thing I knew there was a big team of people in the room, the bed was dropped down and people were pressing on my belly. There was a big feeling of relief when she came out, but I still to this day can’t explain the pain, because I can’t remember. The only thing I can tell you, is that the 38 stitches I had afterwards is still the most vivid and painful thing in my memory. Now that I can remember.
Even now during the spring time, I still think about that day, when I’m trying to pull a lamb, and it’s breech or it’s shoulders are stuck. I find myself telling the new mum “Don’t worry, I know what you’re going through”