When it comes to birth, there is nothing more unpredictable. Will it happen on the way to the hospital, in the store or even at all on its own? Some women go right through their pregnancy waiting for all the signs only to have to have intervention to break their waters. Others – they seem to have no problems going into labour on their own.
We speak to one such woman who thought she had it all worked out.
Georga recalls her pregnancy and birthing experience fondly.
I was so fortunate with both my pregnancies, I didn’t have any complications, never felt too sick or uncomfortable; they were pretty ‘textbook’ in fact. I loved a chocolate brownie or two (still do!) and managed to continue working full time right up to the 37-week mark with my first pregnancy.
I was so excited about going on maternity leave; there were three of us all pregnant at the same time in the office, so it was a lovely experience to be able to share with colleagues. I was looking forward to three wonderful weeks at home, preparing for the arrival of my little one. I remember packing up my desk, gathering all my ‘congratulations’ pressies and farewelling the woman who was taking over my role with a big, warm hug.
Maternity leave finally begins
Off I waddled to catch the train home from Central Station in Sydney, laden down with all my bags and a batch of brownies I’d purchased to eat for dessert that night. My in-laws were coming over for dinner while visiting from Adelaide. I have to thank them for booking in that catch-up as it was what stopped me from catching the train and deciding to get a taxi home. How ridiculous was I? A heavily pregnant woman with too much to carry, rushing to get home to prepare dinner before the guests arrived.
I deserved to treat myself to an easy taxi commute home.
While getting dinner ready and setting the table, I called my girlfriend who’d only recently had her first baby and asked her if it was really obvious when her waters broke. I’d been feeling a little weird all day at work and just wanted to check everything was normal. She said “it was really obvious for me. There was a pop sound and then a gush of water down my legs.” I felt relieved that the strange feelings I’d had all day must just be part of pregnancy when close to full term.
I said goodbye to my friend, put down the phone and not a minute later, I heard a pop and felt the rush of my waters breaking on the bedroom floor. So, I wasn’t making things up, the weird feelings I’d had all day were actually due to me being in labour at the office without evening realising! Thank goodness I’d decided to catch a taxi home, or I’d be sitting on a train feeling mortified that my labour was beginning in public.
‘Just another princess’
I rang my husband, Andrew, and asked how far away he was from home, he’d be there in about 10 minutes. I then rang the hospital and the midwife asked if contractions had started, “not yet” I replied. She suggested I pop in for a check-up just to ensure everything was progressing as it should, but that I’d most likely then return home as the baby would be hours away.
The moment Andrew drove out the driveway for our hospital check-up, the contractions started, and they were strong! They were so intense, and I started to feel a little panicked. I like to be in control and my body was doing its own thing; there was no way I could control this! Andrew sped all the way to the hospital, wishing the police would stop him so he could ask for a police escort the rest of the way (typical!).
We pulled up, right out the front of the hospital and I walked, bent over, to the front desk. The man there was asking for my hospital documents which I was trying to hand over but was in so much pain. Andrew asked if I’d like a wheelchair and I just screamed “get me a bloody lady!” I didn’t want a freaking wheelchair or to find the correct documents for the admin person, I just wanted this baby out.
The midwives met me, and their smirks said it all; here comes another princess giving birth for the first time who thinks she’s ready to rock and roll. I kept telling them how I really felt like pushing, like it was the most unbelievably strong feeling. The midwife said, “let’s just take a breath and take a look”. The moment I sat on the bed the midwife said, “oh wow, you are fully dilated, no wonder you feel like pushing - go for it!”
Within minutes, a baby was born
A few minutes later, yes, minutes, my first daughter was born, and Andrew and I were elated. I’d basically been crossing my legs in the car onhttps://www.careforkids.com.au/blog/car-births-are-a-thing-but-i-was-having-none-of-it the way to the hospital as I didn’t know what was happening but with my control issues, knew I couldn’t dare just let my body do what it wanted and have a baby in the car!
The dinner with the in-laws was obviously cancelled; they ended up visiting our new little family in the birthing room, together with my parents, all within an hour of me getting home from my last day of work (so much for my three weeks of chill out time!)
Because of the speed of my labour, I had all this adrenaline pumping around my body and felt fantastic, like I didn’t need to go to bed, I could go out and celebrate the arrival of my daughter. Sensibly of course I stayed at the hospital to spend the first night with my baby girl while Andrew took himself off to the pub for champagne with his mates.
I felt lucky that everything had gone so smoothly and quickly, I know many labours are not like mine at all. The midwives explained that fast births do have their negatives; everything is way more intense on the body and that feeling of being out of control is immense.
I was so happy our little girl had arrived safely and was absolutely clueless that my next pregnancy could end in the same way but in half the time.
That’s another story though, one that involved the tightest leg crossing you’ve seen to prevent an actual car birth!
If you have a birth story you would like to share, please get in touch with us at email@example.com