This birth story has been a long time coming. My son is one year old! I actually wrote it out soon after he was born so I wouldn’t forget anything, but it was nine pages so lots of editing needed to be done. Why was it nine pages you might ask? Because I was in labour for 65 hours! I edited out as much as I could but this is still a long post so bear with me or come back next week.
The Day Before
The day before I went into labour I had a really hard time sleeping. I was feeling very nauseous and my stomach was upset. I thought maybe it was because I tried charcoal ice cream for the first time and it wasn’t agreeing with me. My sleep that night was pretty bad and the next day my digestion continued to feel unsettled.
Apparently, this is common before going into labour, who knew!?
Birth Story – Day 1
I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep and that is when my water broke. I was so excited that I was in labour and I would get to meet my baby! Immediately I got out of bed and went through the house with Palo Santo to cleanse the energy and prepare the condo for its new inhabitant.
Very soon after my water broke, I started feeling mild contractions that were kinda like period cramps. Since it was the middle of the night, I knew I should try to get some sleep. It was really hard because the contractions were strong enough to wake me up and I was so excited my mind wouldn’t turn off.
I gave up on trying to sleep around 7am and started experimenting with different positions. I was experiencing back labour, which meant that my back was aching throughout the contractions and in between them. Back labour really sucks.
As the day went on my labour progressed.
I was totally in the Hypnobirthing zone at this point and breathing through the contractions. When the afternoon rolled around, the contractions started to space out and slow down. I felt like I was going backwards and that all of my hard work was coming undone. It was so frustrating and I started to doubt my ability to be able to do this. At my midwife’s recommendation, I took a disgusting shot of castor oil. It was so gross I gagged like crazy. The castor oil creates spasms in the intestines (ie explosive diarrhoea) and those spasms can trigger contractions.
Since my water broke so long ago, we went to the midwife clinic to do a stress test to make sure the baby was OK. My contractions really regressed at this point… I was able to easily talk through them. The midwives sent us home recommending I get some sleep, which was easier said than done.
Birth Story – Day 2
This was the morning that I hit my all-time low.
There were big gaps between contractions and they weren’t as intense as before. Things were not picking up and I was totally discouraged. I did some castor oil shots, walked around, and did everything I could think of to move things along. As the afternoon turned to night, things actually started picking up.
I was starting to feel stronger contractions, wahoo!
At midnight the midwives came to our condo to do another stress test and a stretch and sweep (aka membrane sweep) to keep things moving. Finally, I started approaching active labour. I spent hours in bed and kneeling while listening to the Hypnobirthing Rainbow Relaxation and Birthing Affirmations on repeat over and over again. This really helped me breathe through the intense contractions.
Birth Story Day 3
The combo of the stretch and sweep and castor oil really worked because I finally reached “5-1-1”, or active labour, at 3am. I was feeling empowered and ready to meet my baby!
I was so excited that it was finally time to call the midwives and head to the birthing centre.
Our room at the birthing centre was awesome. It had a beautiful yellow wall with flowers on it, a big king size bed, a fireplace, and of course, the super deep tub. Getting into the tub was heaven or at least as close to heaven as you can get during active labour. I was still playing the Hypnobirthing Rainbow Relaxation and Birthing Affirmations on repeat.
I remember constantly asking our midwives how much longer until I get to meet my baby.
After a few hours, I was so exhausted that I was literally falling asleep in the tub between contractions. The midwives got me out of the tub to check my progress and I was less dilated then when I first came in. They made the call that it was time to go to the hospital for an epidural and hormone drip.
I was simultaneously devastated and relieved.
I knew I wouldn’t get the water birth I had planned. At this point, I was so over being in labour. I just wanted it to end. I had worried my whole pregnancy about having to go to a hospital but I was pleasantly surprised. We had a room to ourselves, and once the epidural was in place, it was just us and our alternate midwife (the midwives who had been with us all night needed to sleep). No doctors, nurses or hospital staff. I spent the rest of the morning mostly sleeping.
By mid-afternoon, it was finally time to start pushing and meet my baby. Let me tell you that pushing is really hard when you can’t feel anything. Every now and then I would feel pressure from the baby’s head so I would know where to push but for the most part, I was just trying to tense everything. The best pushing position for me was the yoga pose, ‘happy baby’.
65 hours after my water broke, my sweet baby was born.
Once everything was done, the midwives left the room for an hour so the three of us could bond for the first time. I’m so grateful for that quiet time we had as a family of three. The rest of the time at the hospital was brief and we were snuggled on the couch at home with our baby eating pizza by 9pm that night.
My Birth Story Takeaways
- Labour is freakin’ intense.
- You can plan for the perfect birth, but you have to be open to change. When you are in the moment, your biggest concern is your baby’s safety and no other fears matter. In the end, it doesn’t matter how your baby came into the world, it just matters that your baby is healthy and so are you.
- My husband is amazing. I knew that already but he was a rock star during the most emotional 65 hours of our lives. I don’t mention him in this post because he is a private guy, but he was beside me the whole time.
Healthy Holistic Pregnancy
If you are reading this and you are pregnant… Congratulations! Pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. I was motivated to write my book Healthy Holistic Pregnancy because when I became pregnant I started pouring through my textbooks, course notes, and of course, the internet for answers.
Healthy Holistic Pregnancy contains:
- Natural solutions to 27 common pregnancy symptoms
- Pregnancy power foods
- Superfoods and supplements you may want to avoid when pregnant
- 15 pregnancy friendly recipes for the first trimester and beyond
- Key pregnancy nutrients and supplements for each trimester
- Benefits of yoga when pregnant and which poses to modify
- Essential oils safety and DIY skincare recipes
Want to follow my pregnancy journey? Click here are all of my pregnancy-related posts including trimester recaps.