Blogging from Down Under

The one about my labour!

I wanted to write my labour story  while it was still fresh in my mind. I did actually jot down some pretty incomprehensible notes the very night I had given birth at about 3am in the morning with a sleeping newborn next to my hospital bed and adrenalin still coursing through my body from what I had just experienced, but having read them back they are a pretty big jumble of incoherent words that wouldn’t make a lot of sense to anyone but me so rather than posting that and letting you decipher it I thought I would wait a bit and attempt to write something that makes a little more sense. (Hopefully – I am of course very sleep deprived!)

Now I know that it is always said that second labours are generally quicker than first and giving birth to the Bear was pretty quick in first timer terms but even I was a little taken aback by the speed at which our newest family member shot into the world.

I had a pretty busy day, appointments, running errands and I hadn’t really sat down all day.
I went for an Acupuncture appointment at 4pm, then picked up the car from husb and went to collect the Bear from daycare.

As usual the staff asked how I was getting on and as usual I moaned about my pregnancy ailments (see no filter) and then about 6pm we arrived home.

Husb was still at work so the Bear and I sat down to dinner and it was at this point that I began to feel a bit peculiar. I’d had a constant ache in my back and around my front for a while which I had got used to. I didn’t think much of it as I had been full of aches and pains for the last couple of weeks and it certainly didn’t feel like I was having contractions of any kind.
Why should this be any different I thought, especially given that I was still 2 days away from my due date.
That was until a wave of intense pain hit me,
and another
and then another

I began timing the contractions on my iPad app – how very high tech of me! (I still have the little notebook that I used to jot down the contractions when I was in labour with the Bear, I have pages and pages of scribbled notes detailing time, length and intensity).

The contractions lasted about 30-45 seconds and were about 5 minutes apart at this point. I was a bit confused as my hospital had said that if it was a second baby to come to the hospital when contractions were 10 minutes apart and I seemed to have completely bypassed that.

Thinking that something wasn’t quite right, I texted husb at around 7.15pm to tell him he didn’t need to rush home but I thought something *may* be happening.

Then scratch that, 5 minutes later he got a call to tell him to get the hell home. I still wasn’t entirely sure if I was in labour at that point as it was so different to my labour with the Bear but I was damned if I was going to be trying to hide the excruciating pain I was in from the Bear who (thankfully) was completely oblivious as I braced myself against the kitchen counter.
He was happily making ‘race tracks’ all over the table with his food while telling me all about his day at daycare which, f.y.i, consisted of a lot of trumps and poos, as I muffled my need to shout out a variety of guttural expletives.

Husb finally got home and went into action man overdrive, trying to regain some control of the situation. He ordered me upstairs, got the Bear ready for bed, called the hospital to let them know we would probably be in a bit later, called fast running friend to collect the Bear and generally organised around me as I fought with my TENS machine which had worked so well for me in my first labour but was beyond useless this time round.

At this point my waters hadn’t broken and beyond the searing pain I was in, there was nothing at all to suggest I might be in labour.
I managed to make it to 8.40pm and then we left for the hospital as the pain was getting way too much. I remember saying to husb as I was going down the stairs that if I got to the hospital and I wasn’t dilated then I would need an epidural. I just had horrible visions of them examining me and telling me I was only 2 cm.

I needn’t have worried!

The journey to the hospital was the longest of my life, I was on the floor in the back on hands and knees leaning onto the seat bracing myself against the most horrendous contractions. Until I felt the overwhelming need to push, the pressure in my abdomen was so strong that I thought I was going to be sick. (I managed to avoid this as husb would not have been happy with me messing up his leather seats!) I remembered all I had learnt in my NCT classes in my first pregnancy and began to ‘blow out the candles’, little breaths 1,2,3,4,5 until we got to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, I was helped straight to the delivery room and clambered onto the bed. Wanting to cry as I didn’t think I could take the pain any longer I asked the midwife for gas and air only for her to smile at me indulgently and say ‘no its alright’!


From somewhere behind me I heard someone say ‘she’s ready,
‘0k sweetheart when you get the next contraction – push’

What came next was even more horrendous pain as I gathered all the strength I had and began to push my baby into the world.
Oh my goodness I am totally teary as I re-live and write this!

The pain was beyond belief and as I tired and stopped pushing, the midwife told me baby was getting tired and I really needed to push again. – Well that was it, with renewed energy I pushed as hard as I could until I heard my beautiful baby cry, then out she came.

Then in rushed in my obstetrician, 1 minute too late!

I arrived at the hospital at 8.55pm and delivered at 9.12pm. I knew it would be a quick delivery but I wasn’t prepared for just how quick!

The pain – forgotten immediately.
The busy midwives organising all around me blurred into insignificance.
Everything fell away as I stared deep into my daughters wide dark eyes and cradled my beautiful perfect baby girl in my arms.

1st image courtesy of papaija2008 /


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23 thoughts on “The one about my labour!

  1. Well done Rhian and a great birth story too. Both of my two were really quick. People always say how lucky I am, but I don’t think quick births are as rosy as everyone makes them out to be – they are super painful super quickly and you don’t have time to mentally prepare yourself. You can have a read of my thoughts on the subject here:

    So great to hear you’re already head over heels for your little girl. It’s just magic isn’t it! Sending reverse love from Blighty to you in my homeland. Maddie xoxo

    • Thanks Maddie, I agree it was very painful with no time to get used to it so my body was still shaking from the adrenalin for a long time afterwards. I read your post, I have never heard of the term precipitate labour before but it sounds very much like I fell into that category with it being less than 3 hours from 1st contraction to delivery.
      Love my little girl shes a beaut!
      Lots of Aussie love right back at ya x

  2. Heidi on said:

    Woah Rhian I wasn’t prepared for that! My god that was so beautiful, she just couldn’t wait to come out and meet her amazing family :o) Thank you so much for sharing, I absolutely love birth stories xxxx

    • No worries Heidj, I love a good labour story myself!
      It was very speedy and very painful but also v uncomplicated and no problems so I am very grateful. X

  3. What a beautiful story! I’m sure Florence will love reading this in years to come. Loved the cuddles yesterday. The most chilled out baby xxx

  4. Ooh been waiting for this one, lovely xxxx (did the presents arrive?)

    • Oh crap sorry I completely forgot to tell you. They arrived a couple of days ago, thank you lovely they are fab. The Bear is totally loving the toolbox. X

  5. What a great story! You’re a champion for labouring at home and telling hubby not to rush, I’d have been screaming into the phone for him to get the hell home at the first sign of pain, real or not! ha! A friend of mine’s husband missed the birth of their 2nd daughter as he’d dropped her off and gone to park the car and she walked upstairs into a birthing suite and pushed her out in one push before she could even get on the bed!!! x

    • Wow now that is quick. I’m glad that didn’t happen to us! Husb couldn’t have left me if he tried I was gripping his arm so tight! It was strange at the start though not knowing for sure if it was the start of labour or not. X

  6. Love it! Our little gremlins certainly have ideas of their own on how things should be done, even before they’ve arrived!

  7. When did your water break? Mine broke before my contractions started and my contractions started at 4 mins apart and were extremely painful from the beginning.

    • Yeouch Toni! My waters didn’t break until just before her head popped out. It was the same with my first as well, when I got to the hospital I was at 6cm but my waters only broke at the hospital (as I was getting out of the lift and only because I was sick so the jolt/pressure caused them to break). It was quite funny looking back now as there were 2 teenage boys sat in the corridor opposite the lift watching me have contractions coming out of the lift, being sick and waters breaking all over the corridor floor – what better contraception do you need! 😀

  8. softthistle on said:

    Bloody hell that was fast!! I love reading/hearing birth stories. She is gorgeous, hon. xx

  9. I almost teared up reading that Rhi, bless thanks for sharing, your girl obviously did not want to wait!!! But better than a long, painful labour. What a GORGEOUS wee girl btw, just in case I haven’t said that yet. Cluck cluck xx

  10. Oh what a beautiful story! So glad it wasn’t too long for you, and she arrived safely. Congratulations xxx

  11. Beautiful story Rhian! Loved reading it! Congrats again!
    My parents are now back to Canada and I’m just getting back into the blogging world today and catching up with your blog.
    I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year 2014 filled with everything you want and love. All the best! Good luck with your project fat to fit and looking forward to follow your blog this year too!

    • Thank you Rita – as you can tell I am not quite as organised with my blogging this year hence the very late reply. Hopefully as things settle I will get some more time to get reading and commenting again. I hope you are not missing your parents too much. x

  12. Pingback: Giving Birth Down Under – 10 differences between UK and OZ | theonlywayismelbourne

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