Katherine Brookes finally got her wish. A natural birth the second time around.
I am the very proud Mummy to two beautiful children, Amelia Rose and James Andrew. When I gave birth to my daughter in 2009, I was induced at 37 weeks pregnant due to blood pressure complications. Labour went smoothly and I had an epidural when I reached 4cm dilated, as advised by my gynae. I was told I had to have the epidural to help control my blood pressure which had been extremely high before the induction, and in case of any further complications during the birth.
My birth experience was a beautiful one - very straight forward and relatively 'easy' as birth goes! I didn't experience any pain because of the epidural, but could still feel enough to know when to push. It was a great experience... However, as the months went by after the birth, I was left wondering what it would have been like to have gone 'all natural' and drug free. I felt a little sad that I had missed experiencing the full impact of a natural birth...
Two years later, and I was 40 weeks pregnant with my second baby. I had been doing some research into drug free natural birth and was very keen to 'give it a go'! But my hopes were shattered when I was once again told that I would need an induction and epidural. Accepting that this was the best option medically for my baby and myself, I put the idea of a drug free birth behind me.
The day of my induction arrived and I was all packed and ready. I needed to be at the hospital at 9pm that night. My baby however, had different plans! At 4.30pm my waters broke while I was dropping my daughter off at her grandparents house! I quickly phoned my husband, who rushed home from work and met me at my mom's house. I wasn't having any contractions at all yet, but we phoned the hospital and they said we should go in. So off we went, full of excitement and a bit nervous too!
When we arrived at the hospital I was sent to the labour ward, where they hooked me up to a machine to monitor my contractions - they said my uterus was 'irratable' but not yet contracting fully. I was moved into another birthing room - the same one I had given birth to my daughter in! At this point I was having mild contractions, but nothing that I couldn't bare.
She gave me the enema and I had to get up and waddle to the toilet, holding on to my husband between each contraction and breathing through the pain. I reached the bathroom, but as I got there and sat on the toilet, I felt an overwhelming and all consuming need to PUSH! I screamed to my husband that the baby was coming NOW! The midwife heard me and came running into the bathroom and shouted at me to get off the toilet or my baby would fall in to it!
With the help of my husband and the midwife, I managed to make it back to the birthing room. The midwife was screaming at me not to push, and I was screaming back that 'I can't stop!'. The pain was intense, but the primal urge to push was even greater! The midwife ran to phone my gynae and my husband took off his watch and rolled up his sleeves - thinking that he would have to catch his baby himself!
Thankfully, just at that moment, my gynae ran in, put on her gloves and caught our baby JUST in time! Our beautiful 3.7kg baby son was born at 8.22pm! I had torn quite badly and needed some stitches, but I didn't even feel it. And it's true what they say - you forget the pain the second your baby is in your arms!
I had progressed from 4cm to a full 10cm dilated in just over half an hour and the entire process from my waters breaking to my son's birth was over in only 3 hours and 50 minutes - all natural and drug free!
It was the most incredible, emotional and empowering experience of my life and I am left with such a feeling of accomplishment and pride at having had the birth experience I wanted!