My Labour Journey

By Lauren Bowles

When they say that everyone’s story is different, they were not wrong.

After mine and my boyfriends last date night over, a nice bath under my belt and freshly shaved legs (courtesy of said boyfriend cos at this point I couldn’t see my feet let alone my legs) we were heading to bed for one last full night’s sleep.

With my induction booked for 38 weeks on the 17th of January 2019, I felt comfortable in the fact that she wasn’t coming on her own terms.

I was wrong.

9:30 pm – pop! There go my waters. Jumping out of bed, I get to the bathroom and sort myself out, brick-sized sanitary pad between my legs held up by underwear that would have reached my eyes had I pulled hard enough.

2 phone calls later (one to my best friend and another to my midwife) I get back into the bedroom to my boyfriend and give him the confirmation that yes, my waters have broken and yes, I am in labour. I don’t think I’ve seen colour drain out of a persons face quicker.

Realising sleep is now out of the question, we resign our self to a night on the couch, watching tv until we go to the hospital. It’s at this point my panic-stricken boyfriend thinks the best solution to the current situation – a sandwich.

Now we are playing the waiting game, the pains start very quickly and the pacing begins. At this point I’ve soaked through about 3 pairs of underwear, graciously replaced my other half as the waters just keep coming.

From the get-go, I was told these waters will either trickle out continuously or they will come out in one giant gush. What they didn’t tell you IS BOTH CAN HAPPEN, which I found out quite quickly after standing up and the rest of my waters drenching the top step quite dramatically. I mean it was tv show drama!

By 12 am, I’ve had enough. A taxi is called and off we go to the hospital, (that poor taxi driver, I think he was just praying that I didn’t give birth on his back seat).

Arriving at the hospital, I get taken into a room, examined, legs spread and not a care in the world cos don’t worry, I dropped my dignity at the door (I have yet to go back and pick it back up). And yep, I’m 4 cm dilated and at this point the pain is getting a bit much.

Throwing back a couple codeine I’m asked if I would like an epidural, the midwife doesn’t even finish her sentence before I answer yes.

BRING ON THE PAIN RELIEF, I ain’t trying to be a hero here! All power to those that can do without, but in two words… FUCK THAT.

The walk round to the delivery rooms is a slow one, with me stopping every few minutes to grab the nearest support and grunt unceremoniously through the pain.

We finally get to the room. I’m in bed, panties off, large T-shirt on and the gas and air is magical. The high as a kite vibes hit me instantly with a tingle across my face that I can only describe as pure happiness. I just stare at my boyfriend smiling, saying bird in a Scottish accent over and over again. (I don’t know either but it felt right)

After the relief of the epidural coursing through my body, we are now playing the waiting game. I attempt to read magazines but am just a combination of high, in pain and tired. So I end up just reading the same story over and over again, and for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what that story was…

The hours pass, and at around 5 a.m. miss babies heart rate starts to lower. So as per the midwife’s instructions, I shift onto my side.

Well, that did it. I felt something drop with the force of a punch to my lady garden and BOOM I have to push.

Much to the midwife’s (and my) shock, I am then flipped unceremoniously onto my back. My legs are up in the air and that midwife has her hand up my cooch. She confirms that yes, I am 10 cm and miss baby is coming!

22 minutes later, a blur of nurses and doctors various hands and tools up my cooch and a hell of a lot of pushing (plus some blood circulation issues to my boyfriend’s hand, he’s convinced I tried to break it), miss baby arrives at 5:22 a.m. A whole 8 hours before I was even due in hospital for my induction.

So yes, everyone’s labour is different.

It’s a journey that has so many twists and turns. You don’t know which way is up, it’s a blur of pain, noises, emotions and just chaos.

It’s unpredictable, it’s at times horrific, and at points the worst pain you can ever consider. Yet it’s something so beautiful and mind-blowing. I finally understand why people have more than one child because in reality, you forget. You forget what it truly felt like once that tiny human is placed in your arms.

It melts away like some kind of magic.

A true-crime-obsessed, quirky lifestyle blogger from the coastal city of East London, South Africa whose interests include reading, writing and fitness. Find me on Twitter @WeirdnLiberated.
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