by Amy O’Donnell
This is my second birth story that I am choosing to write for Ryde District Mums, this time because of how far over my due date I was. Let me be clear from the start – this was my second baby and I was considered low risk. I had very regular checks before giving birth and all was well with bub and I.
I decided to tell this story to help other low risk mothers who also go over their due date, to give them comfort and to know they are not the only ones, and yes, it can be perfectly safe…even though it can drive you insane! This being my second pregnancy, I felt I was more prepared to go over my due date as I was also over 41 weeks with my first.
I am told some women will go past 42 weeks and it can be perfectly safe, but for other women 40 weeks can be too long. It is a lesson in that we are all individual and have different gestation periods. I have heard that less than 1% actually give birth on their due date, but it is a date we all know so well and say it out loud and in our heads many times over during our pregnancy.
So, my due date came and went as expected. I had some funny niggly period type pains and lots of Braxton hicks contractions. Again, I tried many (not all) things that are said to induce pregnancy – acupuncture, tea, a bit of walking (less than I would have liked – I was lazy and just bloody tired) and some stretch and sweeps (3 in total).
About 5 days before giving birth I had the show (small amount of pink/clear mucous). For about 5 days before giving birth I was about 3cm dilated and felt really heavy down below. The main thing that kept going through my mind was “why isn’t she coming out?”. All the signs were good – she had good movement, I was 3cm dilated (any more and you are in active labour I’m told), an Ultrasound with an OB showed the amount of fluid in the placenta was fine and I had regular CTG monitoring (where they check heart rate and contractions).
In the end I started using my breast pump for nipple stimulation and….. presto! contractions finally started at 8pm – the relief was amazing!! At about 1130pm I was in the pool at the birth unit at Ryde Hospital and by 12:30 she was out! The birth was much faster the second time around and the recovery was also quicker, which was a relief. I had no tears (yay!) and I was home before the sun came up that morning.
My husband was eerily delighted with the birth for how quick it was. I think he was a little traumatised by the first birth as it took a full 8 hours in the birth unit and we were just utterly exhausted. When asked how this birth was in comparison he gets a great big grin on his face and says “it was awesome”.
I was very lucky to again have birth through the Ryde Midwives and was able to have the same midwife as with my first – Jane. Had I have gone through the Public Hospital at RNS, I suspect they would have wanted to induce me despite there being nothing wrong. As hard as it was waiting that extra time, the birth itself went well and was uncomplicated – in the end, well worth the wait.