This reader tells her gripping story of labour and the birth of her second child.
"I was 38.5 weeks and huge. It felt as if my entire body was about to explode at any second! I was put on bed rest, because my feet and legs were so swollen, I couldn't walk. I had to elevate these huge loaves of bread (also known as 'feet') everyday.
"I was sick of it!
"I took castor oil at 16h15 on May 5th. I choked down four disgusting tablespoons of this (hopefully) miracle oil. Expecting it to work almost instantly, I was disappointed it didn't. I went to bed around 23h00, still disappointed .
"I woke up at 02h45 needing the bathroom. My belly was rumbling, so I moved quickly. I remember feeling my belly starting to hurt and getting these contraction-like feelings; I thought to myself 'why did I do this? I just want to sleep!'
"I went back and forth from the bathroom until about 03h30 and then decided to wake my husband. I told him 'I think this is it, I'm getting some contractions.'
"We decided to phone my mother, but when 04h00 came, suddenly the contractions disappeared. I was so disappointed. I didn't want to say anything to anyone - my husband was up and getting ready to leave, my mother and sister were anxious to leave home too.
"I felt horrible. How could I not recognise false labour with this being my second child?
"Then, at 04h30, I felt a weird pop feeling in my belly.
"I subsequently felt a little pain that travelled down my stomach to my groin. I had no idea what this was, so I went to lie in bed for a minute. The pain went away.
"I got up to use the toilet, but as I got to my bedroom door, this liquid came flying down my legs - my water broke!
"My husband tried calling his mother to take care of our 2-year-old daughter, but with our luck, she had no service and we couldn't reach her.
"He asked if he had time to go to her house, which was 5 minutes away. I said yes, because I was sure we had lots of time - I could barely feel anything.
"He kissed me, said he would be quick and left. I went to stand in the bath and rinsed my legs off.
"My husband was back within 10 minutes, along with his mother. She asked if I was sure that I was in labour, because I looked fine. I told her it wasn't strong yet, then my husband and I left for the hospital.
"My husband got into the bakkie and as I reached for the door handle, I was hit with this horrible, excruciating pain.
"I got into the vehicle and started experiencing full-blown labour pains. I was screaming and my husband had no idea what to do, except drive. We needed to get to town, which is half an hour away.
"It was raining and snowing, coupled with this we almost hit a deer. We were about 20 minutes away and I started feeling nauseous from the pain.
"About 10 minutes outside town, my contractions were 30 seconds apart and my body started trying to push.
"Then 5 minutes outside town, my body was pushing and there was nothing I could do.
"I told my husband to call the hospital, tell them to contact the doctor and tell her to meet us there. The nurses told him they couldn't call the doctor, but will do a check up on me when I arrived.
"I screamed that I was going to have this baby in the truck! I was in pain and I was scared. I told my husband to drive faster.
"After finally arriving at the hospital, we went into the emergency room and I was screaming 'HELP! HELP! THE BABY'S COMING!'
"The nurses took me into a room and I had to lie on a bed. I was subsequently stuck on this bed; I couldn't move, the pain was so severe. A nurse came to check on me and the baby was right there.
"They pushed me into the delivery room and called the doctor. Luckily, my doctor lives across from the hospital and she ran over in the pyjamas.
"The nurses told me to lie on my side until my doctor arrived and when she did, they tried putting an oxygen mask on for me, but I didn't have time for that.
"After two or three pushes, I was holding my beautiful baby girl.
"I went from my water breaking at 04h30 and leaving my home at 05h00 to holding my baby at 05h28. That amount of pain in the amount of time is horrible, but so worth it.
"For my first pregnancy, I arrived at the hospital 15 minutes before I had my baby. For my second, I arrive 5 minutes before I had her. Therefore, with my next pregnancy, I will leave as soon as I feel any little thing, because I am probably going to have an even faster labour!"
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