I gave birth to my beautiful son early one Monday morning, at 40 weeks + 1 day.

I started getting contractions at about 2.30am Sunday morning. They woke me up at 5 mins apart and about 30 secs long. They stayed like this for hours, but were manageable. I didn't wake my husband, stayed in bed for a bit, got up, prayed , made something to eat (twice!). I was nervous and called my doula Lana who said confidently "it's still so early.. Youre not in labour yet, your body is just getting ready". That message really got me to relax and just ignore contractions for a while, else I would've probably been on my way to hospital! I woke hubby at 7ish and told him to see to my son when he wakes up and take him to my MIL.

I got some sleep... If you can call an hour of 4.30min naps every 5mins sleep :p I went about the rest of the day, spent lots of time on ball, made and ate breakfast again, cleared up a bit, ordered my favorite takeout. Contractions fizzled a bit, so I got a proper nap in. Started feeling like I would be in this limbo state for days! About 6ish they picked up again and then started getting more intense. By 8ish the ball and just dealing with them was not helping. I spent a good 45 mins in the shower, then made arrangements for my son for the night, messaged Lana to say I'm going to hospital. I probably spent a good part of an hour deciding whether I should still wait it out a bit, with her support at home. But... Literally a minute after I messaged her, my water broke! A gush like in the movies! Weirdly I found this hilarious and couldn't stop laughing which got rid of the panic I was just about to get into at this point.

We rushed (sort-of) to hospital, and Lana got there just a few minutes after. After being on CGT monitor for a bit , we did an internal and I was already 5cm! Success! First milestone achieved. Lana immediately prepared a bath and I got in. Ok the bath is AWESOME. I stayed there all the time, the hospital midwife even let me stay in for monitoring which was nice. It's a bit of a haze, but I know I was mainly in the tub. Managing contractions with breathing and water and Lana most of the time, with a few mild "I can't do this " panics thrown in. At some point I couldn't deal anymore, I'm not sure how many hours later, so wanted to know how far I was because I felt I wouldn't be able to do this for hours. Got out of the tub, had internal ... 9cm dilated, success!! But baby was still very high up and looking like he will take a while to come down.

Decided then that an epidural would be the right thing, to get some rest, and relax muscles for baby to start descending. Breathed through the last few really intense contractions and got the epidural. After I was fully dilated, it took baby a good 4 hours to descend, and I used the time to rest, pray, get calm and ready for the next phase. It was exactly what I needed.

Dr came at around 6ish, switched off the epidural so I could get some feeling back, and we got ready to do the pushing. This is where things got quite intense! I don't remember clearly what happened. I pushed a lot, but baby wasn't coming down. We tried lots of positions, we tried vacuum. Tried episiotomy, it just wasn't happening. With one of the pushes I lost a lot of blood and baby's heart rate dropped and we decided emergency C-section.

Afterwards I understood the reason was that he was big (relative to me), and my pelvis was small and funny shaped. All the chaos that usually happens with emergency unfolded, I was faint shaking needed oxygen, staff were rushing and getting stuff sorted. But then in such a quick time he was born! And we heard the most beautiful cry! And everyone was calm again :) my hubby held him while they got me stitched up.

And then I spent the most beautiful first few hours with my baby. It was perfect. Not the end result I was going for, but a truly beautiful labour experience. I proved to myself I could do it, the way I wanted to. I felt the labour pains I wanted to feel. I healed after my traumatic birth with my first son. I carried to term and delivered a full term baby.

I am breastfeeding him. I am woman enough and I did it. I am forever grateful to my Doula Lana and Dr Searle for being my support team. Recovering from labour, episiotomy and ceaser simultaneously is hectic, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I wouldn't change a thing. This experience has given me confidence in myself and my abilities as a woman, grounded my faith in the power of prayer, and reaffirmed that we are more remarkable than we allow ourselves to believe - anything is possible with determination, faith and passion.

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