A Birth Story: Megan Butland
Monday morning 6th of November I had a stretch and sweep done, it was the third one. I was stretched to 3cm and the midwife could feel the baby’s head. I lost my mucous plug/bloody show later that afternoon but had no real pain. I also had a few regular Braxton Hicks but nothing painful. I went for a walk that evening to encourage whatever was happening. The Braxton Hicks didn’t get more intense, but the contractions did become more frequent.
I went to bed as usual, and once or twice I was awakened by a Braxton Hicks; probably now a contraction but still not painful. My son Sam wasn’t well and woke at 3am. My husband Craig and I took turns going in to rock him. Again the contractions weren’t painful and I still wasn’t convinced I was in labour. I even posted in a due date group how pissed off I was that nothing happened over night.
At 5:30am, I started getting a sore back and just generally feeling uncomfortable. The contractions were still happening, but again not overly painful. Craig was sitting with Sam, and I let him know I was going to hop in the bath. I had three or four strong contractions while lying in the bath. We live 40 minutes from the hospital and I thought it was probably a good idea to get going before peak hour.
At 5:50am I gave my midwife a call to let her know that I did in fact, think I was in labour and maybe should head to the hospital before the traffic. She said she would pop around to check me before starting the trip there. I still thought there was plenty of time. I got up and let Craig know she was on her way.
Running Out of Time
In the 30 minutes it took her to get to our home things ramped up. I started vomiting and the contractions were now painful. Still not painful enough to think I was in active labour.
When she arrived I even joked that I had changed my mind and did in fact, want an epidural. She checked me and I was 9cm. We weren’t going anywhere. And I wasn’t getting an epidural, or any other pain relief.
She called her assistant and asked her to bring a birthing kit over. She kept Craig busy with getting the baby’s clothes ready, heating some towel, covering the bed and anything else she could think of. He was seriously stressing out, I even found it funny!
The assistant arrived with everything that was needed. By this stage, the pain was pretty bad and I needed her out. My midwife offered to break my waters so she would come quicker, but after attempting twice the membranes were too thick and wouldn’t break. My body just took over and she started to come, I don’t even remember pushing, it was almost like it was happening on its own. I felt her head come out and was told to just relax, breathe and not push. Then her shoulders and a massive gush! 30 minutes after the midwife arrived and 15 minutes after the assistant arrived, Lily May was born!
It was honestly the most surreal moment of my life. I still struggle to believe it happened. It was actually a perfect birth! So happy with how it all turned out. Within an hour I was having a shower in my own bathroom and then feeding my baby in my own bed. I needed minor stitching, I think three or four stitches which she did very quickly. But I did it, I pushed out a 4.2kg (9.25lb) baby, at home with no pain relief. I’m still so proud of myself. I even took a selfie a few minutes after she was born!
After the delivery, I went to a birth centre for two nights, purely for relaxation purposes. Not anything medical. I just wanted some alone time with my baby before coming home and being a mom of two. It was honestly like a holiday stay. The food was sooooo good! It was an easy decision because my son Sam was also sick and I didn’t want Lily exposed to that straight away either.
Trust Your Body
All the pain is worth it in the end. Believe in yourself because you can do it! Things don’t always go according to plan but trust in your body and it’s abilities.