I still remember the day clearly, I was almost 42 weeks pregnant and presented to the hospital with reduced movements. As I was already so far overdue, they did not hesitate to induce me straight away and get labour started.
I was excited to meet my first baby, my beautiful daughter. I was also incredibly naive and uneducated when it came to being aware of everything that was to come in the following hours and the life-long effects it was going to have.
Within four hours I was in the most excruciating pain and screaming for an epidural, another thing I was incredibly naive of. I thought I had a “high pain tolerance” and wouldn’t need it. Let’s just say when telling me all the things that could go wrong when getting an epidural, one of the most extreme being the inability to ever walk again, I screamed, “I don’t care if you have to cut all my limbs off, just give me that epidural now.”
Bec Judd talks about post-birth ‘fire fanny’ on our Hello Bump podcast:
During this time, I was not assessed to see how my labour had progressed. Being a first-time mum, I assumed they must have thought I was still in the early stages of labour, maybe three to four centimetres dilated, if that. After my epidural kicked in and I was in a blissful, pain-free state, the midwife told me she was going to check how far dilated I was, then to have a sleep to give my body a rest before I pushed.
What she saw when she examined me was thick, black hair. My daughter’s head was in full view and I was 10cm dilated. Having just received the epidural, the feeling in the room was pure panic. I needed to start pushing straight away, but couldn’t feel a thing. I had no idea when my contractions were coming, so didn’t know when to push. The midwife rushed around the corner and turned down the epidural, but we started pushing regardless.
I had a midwife down below, and a student midwife with her hands on my belly. She would feel when my stomach tightened with her hands, and told me when to push. I don’t know if my lack of feeling, or my body progressing so quickly caused her to come very slowly, but it took a long and tiring two hours of pushing for her to enter the world.