'My first labour was an hour long and I'm worried the second will be just as quick."

Justine Rotteveel’s gave birth to her daughter Olivia in just over an hour – after just eight minutes of contractions she was ready to push.

“I went from zero to 10 centimetres dilated in eight minutes. It was just crazy.

“It was really petrifying because it was my first labour. In a lot of the prenatal classes they kept saying that first labours take a long time, you’ll feel the way, the contractions will build and you’ll have time to ease into it.

Justine is now pregnant with her second child. Image supplied.

"So when my waters broke and it all started happening - it went to zero to 10 in pain instantly, and I was petrified and I just kept thinking ‘this is just the beginning, I might have to maintain this level of pain for 10 hours'. I didn’t realise that the end was really near."

The Melbournian says she had a well thought out birth plan for her first labour.

"I wanted a really calm, quiet environment. I was open to epidural and drugs if I needed them. But basically I just wanted a really calm, quiet environment and I didn’t want any judgement if I wanted an epidural or anything like that, I just wanted to follow my body’s cues and see what I needed at the time."

The first time mum had been enjoying her pregnancy, it was late summer, and she wasn't bothered at all by being five days overdue. Then one night she started bleeding and the hospital advised her to come in.

"I just remember thinking on the way to the hospital, because I wasn’t in any pain or anything - ‘my poor husband, they’re going to keep me there for a couple of hours and he has to go to work tomorrow and he’s going to be really tired’," she said.


Justine was advised to stay overnight. She would never had made it to the hospital in time if she'd been at home.

"I was walking around the room and I said to my husband - 'I’m kind of feeling tightening in my stomach' -  but I wouldn’t say it was painful and I have a really high pain threshold anyway - I don’t know whether that’s normal."

The midwife assured the then 28-year-old that she wasn't in labour. Hospital staff thought it was Braxton Hicks.

We asked women in the office what went through their head when they were giving birth. Post continues after video.

It was 2am. After some discussion, the midwife (almost reluctantly) called an obstetrician to examine Justine for her own "peace of mind".

"I’d gone from zero to five and a half centimetres and the midwife’s face was like - what?!"

"The waters broke and it was instant pain then. I was screaming for the epidural because I thought I can’t maintain this for 10 hours. It didn’t have a break, because it went from zero to everything. It was just that constant ready to push pain," said Mrs Rotteveel.


Before there was time to get an epidural, Justine felt an urge to push, the emergency button was pressed.

After eight minutes of contractions and 55 minutes of pushing, baby Olivia was born.

"I was in a bit of shock". Image supplied.

"I just looked at her and I said: ‘Oh I’ve got a daughter’. My husband said that I said about 20 times - ‘she’s so beautiful’ - because I really thought I was having a boy."

The mother of one admits she was in some shock after having Olivia because it had happened so quickly. However, the midwife said she was "born to have babies".

Justine is now 21 weeks pregnant with her second child and is worried that her next labour may be just as quick as the first.

"I’m pretty scared of having a Westgate Bridge baby this time," she said.

"One of my biggest fears is that I’ll go into labour at home with my daughter and she will be really scared.

"They did say to me last time if you have another one, don’t mess around, come straight in, but I’m really scared that it’s going to happen when I’m home alone with my daughter, and I’ll be having baby in the bathroom or something...if worse comes to worse I’ll call an ambulance."