Somehow I knew you wouldn’t follow in your sister’s footsteps. Eva was eight days overdue and induced. Her birth was quick, as labours go, and incredibly intense. The level of pain I felt was completely out of this world and I did not cope well. It was only natural for me to fear your birth. I knew I wanted another natural birth, as much as it may have been easier to opt for a csection, I knew natural would be best for both you and I.
The fear of your birth consumed me, to my core. It affected my every day life. To the point where it was unnatural and limiting. Pregnancy was incredibly hard on me, on my mind and body. I eventually sought help. We opted for a Midwife delivery – I knew this was the care I needed. I knew I needed a Doula too. I needed positive vibes and positive support. I needed this birth to be different.
At 37 weeks our midwife, Sue, started me on some natural induction meds to assist toning my uterus. At 39.3 weeks (Monday) we had our first stretch and sweep. My cervix was ripe and ‘ready to go’ at any time. Thereafter I lost my mucous plug and started cramping. We thought time was here, however, babes had her own ideas. I cramped on and off that whole week. False labour they call it. Irregular and varying intensities. Sue came past on Friday again, the 40 week mark. My spirits were slightly dampened as I feared we were heading down the same road as with Eva. My cervix had remained the same the whole week. No change. It was disheartening. We had another stretch and sweep.
Saturday morning, 5 December 2015, 40.1 weeks. It was Craigs first weekend off in a while. I had been cramping the whole night, but it did not keep me awake. I thought nothing of it. We relaxed and went about our day. I was tired. It was incredibly hot. We took Eva to the pool for a swim. For the first time this summer, in all the heat, I put my cozzie on and climbed in the water. It felt really good. I had been dying to feel weightless as I felt incredibly heavy and it was exhausting. I continued to cramp. It felt slightly more intense whilst in the water. We spent a good few hours by the pool.
As we got out and dressed, I sat on my gym ball with a hot wheat pack on my lower tummy. The heat was not helping and I felt the contractions kick up a gear. I told Craig, ‘I think it’s best you get out your cozzie and start getting things ready…’ Almost jokingly. We were not sure. I was not sure. A week of false labour totally threw me. We started timing the contractions – four minutes apart. Three minutes apart.
Craig phoned Sue. She asked if I was talking through the contractions. I looked at Craig and shook my head. She told us to meet her at the hospital.
We started prepping Eva. Her Nana came to fetch her a few minutes later. She was sobbing. She had struggled throughout my pregnancy. A separation anxiety and an intense fear of losing her Mommy. She didn’t know what was going to happen to her mommy and if she will ever see her again. Very real fears. She cried and wanted to come with us. It was truly heartbreaking.
I had about four or five contractions in the car on the way to Linkwood. They were intense but I was coping. We arrived at 16h30 and took the stairs to the labour ward. A contraction stopped me in my tracks halfway up the stairs. Our Doula, Bronwen and Photographer, Tanya arrived shortly after us. Sue had arrived but was sorting out an anaesthetist for us. I was adamant I wanted an epidural this time. I couldn’t bare the thought of going through that pain again. The thoughts were incredibly scary. I needed to numb it, physically and emotionally.
Sue came in the room. I was on the monitor. I remember the relief in seeing her. She told us she had two anaesthetists on call. Two! Yes. TWO! She understood me. She never questioned me. I have huge respect for her – she not once tried to convince me otherwise. She respected my birth wishes.
She wanted to check my dilation before calling the anaesthetist. As the next contraction came – a little more intense than the last – she checked my cervix. Double checked. She looked at me as the contraction past and said ‘you are fully dilated’. I remember some not-so-polite words escaping my mouth. Then I said ‘I don’t believe you, Sue’. Yes, it was true. I had made it! I had done it! She asked if I wanted the epidural. She said they would still do it if I wanted it. I thought about it – I still wanted to numb the pain but, actually, I knew in my head it was 80% done. I opted against it.
My birth plan was to be in the water should I not have an epidural. The bath was run and I climbed in. My waters broke with the first contraction. A big gush. I looked down – it was clear. I didn’t have an urge to push. I remember with Eva, that the urge was uncontrollable. It just happened. This time was different. I had to work so incredibly hard with those contractions to push her out. I had to push against pain. It was maybe 20 minutes. 4 or 5 contractions later and she was born.
Kate Emily Gornall, born in the water, at 17h16. Less than one hour after arriving at the hospital. How incredible.
I cannot even begin to explain how healing Kate’s birth was for me. It was perfect. Everything worked out so incredibly perfect. The insane fear I had, put to bed. The anxiety instantly dissolved. I had done it and I did it well!
Thank you my darling Kate. I am eternally grateful.