You know how they give birth in movies—they rush to the hospital, one push and the mother holds her baby in her arms? Mine was pretty much like that, and—to prove that not all births are war stories—I’ll share it with you.
My due date was March 18th, but I’ve always felt that Oliver would come earlier. Since week 37 I kept repeating to him how much love, and light and space there was out here… and he’s a clever boy! ;-)
The week before, on Tuesday, it seemed like it was starting. I’d had Braxton Hicks contractions for months, but that night I also felt a burning sensation in my groin, which I had never felt before. After a few hours, though, it was very clear that if anything was about to start, it was just another uncomfortable, sleepless night.
But I wasn’t wrong… my little monkey was actually early.
Sunday 15th March
As always, I wake up to go pee and start the sleepless part of the night. But—hurray! and sorry for the details—it’s number 2 and it goes on for a good hour. It’s then when I start feeling a pain similar to Tuesday night, but slightly stronger. I try to relax, but million baby images and birth stories in my mind don’t let me sleep. I wake Alex up and—hop the time has finally come—we decide to have our usual breakfast, ham and cheese omelette. Wrong choice. I’ll see it all again just a few hours later in the sink ;-)
The pain gets stronger and this time it’s actually a new kind of pain. But as I have no idea of what to expect, and I know that it could be hours before I have a minute-long contraction every three minutes (which is when we “can” go to the hospital, according to our midwife at the pre-natal course), I relax and pretend everything is fine. If it’s like Tuesday, it might end soon.
Alex (first of the class in the pre-natal course ;-) keeps timing every contraction with the accuracy of a race judge. Contractions are still irregular, but it’s now very clear it’s not another false alarm. Today we’ll meet our Oliver! I call my mother, who will then buy a last-minute ticket and fly business to arrive on the same day (crazy grandma!).
The contractions are very quickly becoming more regular, I have one every 8-10minutes and it lasts exactly one minute (down to the second—the human body is simply amazing!). But then something happens, something they hadn’t told us in the pre-natal course: in less than 45 minutes, I have a contraction every 6 minute, then every 5 minutes and then every 4 minutes.
I’m stubborn and waiting for the contractions to be every three minutes, which is when I planned to leave the house. I don’t want to get to the hospital too early and have to wait there with screaming strangers. So I keep walking around, head down, constant breathing—at this point I’m really in the zone—and when the contraction comes, I just grab anything I can find and think “pain is temporary”! Alex is getting worried, though; he feels it’s going too fast and when the next contraction comes, he “orders” me to get dressed and go.
After the most painful car journey in the history of human kind, we get to the hospital.
A nice midwife with a sweet voice takes me to the monitors briefly. The she smiles and tells me it’s time to go to the birth room, where she breaks the news: apparently, I had barely made it to the hospital, 20 more minutes at home and I’d have given birth in the car! I was 9cm dilated and ready to push!
This was the horror part of it all—I thought I was mentally prepared for the pain, but I actually had noooooo idea whatsoever! Naively, I thought the contractions were the painful part, bloody hell was I wrong! When the head started peeking out and was stuck right there between a contraction and the other, I was actually begging for the next contraction to come and wishing the midwife could just pull him out!
Luckily for me, also this horror scene was soon over—right after screaming terrified “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t”, I pushed one last time and saw a white tiny monster fly out of me. A few seconds later, our Oliver was asleep on my chest, and, well, no words can describe that feeling. Oh and by the way, NO—the part where you forget the pain as soon as you hold your baby in your arms is total bullshit (and “bullshit” is a euphemism!).
So this was it. After just four hours from my first contraction and at least one hour of inhumane pain, the little monkey that is now sleeping in the other room was finally with us :-)
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