Mamamia wants to break the code of silence when it comes to telling your birth story. Here, we share detailed, raw and real accounts of what it’s really like to have a baby.
Note: This birth story MAY be distressing for some. What happened to me was a 1 in 200 chance. I do not want to scare any expecting mums; remember every single birth is different and just because this is my experience doesn’t mean yours will be the same.
The birth of my daughter Willow was the most traumatic experience of my life.
It was Wednesday December 6 2017, and I was 37+1 weeks pregnant. I had a stressful week prior. There was a lot going on with family, getting ready for Christmas, trying to get ready for the baby and also nesting like a crazy woman. I was in a complete organising, cleaning frenzy, with my victim being the pantry (because of course this is the most important thing to get ready for the newborn).
A few days before I went into labour, I had been experiencing what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. The Braxton Hicks continued over a few days and then Wednesday morning I woke up feeling odd. I can’t really explain exactly how I felt, but I was ridiculously emotional. Most of the day I was crying my eyes out about how Harper (our first born) will have to share my attention and time (your usual mum guilt). It’s like subconsciously I knew that something was going to happen that day; a weird inkling that baby may decide to come.
My induction date was already set, so I kept telling myself I wasn’t lucky enough to go into labour naturally and just continued on with my day. Whilst getting these contractions, I completed my usual cleaning, emails, groceries and picked Harper up from daycare. On the way home with Harper I rang Ryan and asked if we could go to Kmart to get more containers to organise the pantry.
Before heading into Kmart, Ryan had to use the toilet. I sat waiting for him holding my belly and continued to time my contractions which were around three minutes apart and lasted 40 seconds.
Listen to the first episode of Mamamia’s pregnancy podcast Hello, Bump, where Megan Malkiewicz takes us through her marathon birth story. Post continues after audio.
After we finished at Kmart, we started walking out and suddenly I felt a gush. “Ryan my waters broke!” I said excitedly. Ryan looked excited and shocked too. Then I saw something that instantly changed my mood: blood. My hands and pants were covered in blood. My heart stopped and instantly I felt a deeply sickening feeling.
In that instant I thought she was gone.
I screamed and Ryan went white as a ghost – we knew this was not good. We rushed to the car and put Harper in the car seat (the poor thing was crying because she didn’t understand what was happening). Ryan grabbed my gym towel from the back to put between my legs, because I had blood dripping down them.
I couldn’t control my breathing and everything went so incredibly slow. Every second that passed I felt Willow slipping away from me. It was the most dreaded, terrible, gut wrenching feeling I’ve ever experienced. I rang my obstetrician’s office right away as Ryan drove to the hospital. My doctor’s receptionist told me to head straight to the labour suite. I tried to get reassurance from her that somehow this could be normal and she replied, “it’s not normal, but just get yourself to the hospital”. This is when I started having anxiety attacks.