I was the talk of the hospital apparently. No one could believe how quick my labor went and that I had absolutely no complications. It was an absolutely amazing first time labor experience and I can’t believe I’ve done it.
My First Time Labor Experience – 10 Days Overdue!
Overdue and Wanting Labor to Start…
10 days overdue, I really wanted labor to start…
On Sunday night I went to bed feeling really off. I couldn’t settle or get comfy. I felt so miffed and fed up with being pregnant and heavy; I spent the whole night tossing and turning and being kept awake with Braxton Hicks contractions and period pains.
On Monday, I guzzled down so much raspberry leaf tea in hope that something would happen – and I felt a lot of lower backache and cramping in my lower bump.
Mum came round to dye my hair and cut it and she took one look at me and said “you’re in labor, I can see your contractions” I just laughed and thought nothing of it as I’d been having niggles and false alarms for the past 2 or 3 weeks.
Monday night was awful. I could not sleep at all. I started getting contractions in my lower back and bump every 6-7 mins and they got more and more intense.
All-day on Tuesday I was roaming around, swaying my hips, putting heat sacks on my back, and breathing through the contractions.
At 6 pm, Ross went out to get some snacks for the hospital, and as soon as he left my contractions upped a notch. They made me moan and cry out like some sort of animal. The pain was intense and tears streamed down my eyes as I tried to shake off the sting after each contraction.
I called Ross and cried “come home, come home, come home!” Ross got home, packed the car, got me in and we went off to the hospital.
In the Hospital
I was so nervous about going into hospital as I have a huge fear of them. But by this time I was ready. I needed something stronger than a heat sack and paracetamol to deal with the pain!!
The drive was horrendous, whenever I had contractions I needed to stand up and walk around or lean onto a wall – in the car I was strapped in so all I could do was grip the sides of my seat and scream.
It was 7 pm when I got into the delivery suite. A midwife came and put her hand on my bump during a contraction and gasped, “oh my gosh, that’s a huge contraction – you’re not being a wimp at all” she said. For some reason this made me feel so much better.
She checked me and I was 4cms! I couldn’t believe it! I had made it to established labor without pain relief and I didn’t have to be sent home!!
By 8 pm I was in the birthing pool and it was wonderful to feel the weight taken off me. But I felt such intense pressure in my lower back and it grew with each contraction. The midwife said the baby’s head had descended much lower than normal at this point and not even an epidural would take the pressure feeling away. I was sad but didn’t want an epidural anyway.
I started on the gas and air – which I didn’t like at first, it made me feel detached from my body and really woosy. But as the contractions grew more intense and started coming on top of each other, I was sucking on it for dear life!!
Strong Contractions and Ready to Push
This is where everything goes a bit blurry and crazy for me. They changed midwives and the new one didn’t want anything to do with me. I suddenly felt this intense pressure turn into pain and wanted to push against it “I want to push!” I moaned for ages. I kept getting told not to push over and over again. It was so hard!
At around 10ish I got a high temperature in the pool and passed out. When I came round I was on a bed and Ross was next to me passing me the gas and air. I remember hearing someone screaming and moaning like a wild beast – I didn’t dream that it was me!! lol.
Now I was out of the pool, the contractions were much, much more intense and gas and air weren’t touching the pain at all. It just made me very detached. The midwife checked me and I had only dilated to 5cms!! I could have cried.
All the exhaustion was catching up with me and the pain was immense. I just couldn’t see myself making it to the end! So the midwife broke my waters to speed things up.
She then said “we’ve got hours of this left – Laura go and walk to the bathroom” I got the gas and air taken away from me, told to get off the bed and walk through these contractions (which now had no break in between them) I went to the bathroom and screamed like a madwoman all the way back. (an older midwife told me off! hehe)
Delivering my Baby
When I got back onto the bed, they gave me pethidine to stop my urge to push but my body gave this almighty lunge and I felt myself pushing without trying! “I’m pushing! I can’t stop pushing!” I screamed. The midwife jumped at me and said “that’s different, let me check you” she checked and then everything went crazy.
She called in another midwife and started rushing around getting things ready at the foot of the bed. “Laura – you’re 10 cms,” she said to me, I was so out of it on the gas and air and crying from the pain of it all, I just moaned ” I want to push!” and the midwife just laughed and said “go on then!” and then I got off the gas and air and sat up.
It was amazing. I could feel the pressure feeling going away with each push and new pain – a new pressure. I could feel my baby pressing down and passing through. He was so close.
The midwives and Ross started shouting “we can see the head! You’re doing great! Keep pushing” over and over again. It was like I was a racehorse and everyone had placed a bet on me – they were all bobbing their heads and shouting “come on! Come on! Come on! Yes Laura, go! Go! Go!”
I felt a rush of adrenaline and newfound strength – I could do this!
Three good pushes later and he crowned. “Oh – it’s the RING OF FIRE!” I shouted dramatically – the midwives laughed. I remember thinking it was like something from Lord of the Rings. I was scared to push at that point, but feeling the baby’s head crowning was too painful not to push!
So the next contraction came and I gave a few more good pushes. It was wonderful to see Ross’ face completely light up – he cheered me on and his eyes were so bright “I can his head Laura! I can see his head – you’re doing so well!” he cheered and stroked my head.
I felt a huge surge of energy and determination to finish the job. So a few more good pushes and out plopped the head – he was turned funny so when his shoulders came out it really, really hurt!
Then suddenly, this big, soft, blue baby was flung onto me and I looked down to see a wrinkled little face with these gorgeous blue eyes blinking up at me. “Oh, Oh, oh hello!” was all I could say.
The rush of love and devotion was overwhelming. I stroked his head and kissed his squashed nose (it got squished during the birth bless him!)
Ross was like a child on Christmas day – “Hello, hello!” he kept saying and gripped my hand looking overwhelmed. He cut the cord and followed the midwives who took Ryan from me to clean him up.
The midwives pulled on the cord and out came the placenta and within minutes, I was back on the gas and air as they checked to see if I needed any stitches! (which I didn’t hurray!!)
So I got into hospital at 7 pm being 4cms dilated. At 10:55 I was 5cms and then at 11:15, I was pushing! Baby Ryan was born at 11:46 pm.
I was the talk of the hospital apparently. No one could believe how quickly my labor went and that I had absolutely no complications.
It was an absolutely amazing first-time labor experience and I can’t believe I’ve done it.
xo, Laura (England)
More Vaginal Birth Stories
- Fast First Labour, Almost Preterm
- The Water Can Break… Anywhere!
- Normal Birth And Pre-eclampsia
- The Worst Day Of My Life
- Quick Labor With Baby No 2
- Giving Birth Is Nothing Like On TV!
- Induction Took 4 Days…
Or head over to our main Birth Stories Section to read about other types of birthing experiences…
How was your first-time labor experience? Let us know by commenting below! :-)
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.