Okay, so rewind to when I was 37 weeks pregnant and I came to the realisation that I hadn’t seen my pubes in months and had therefore done nothing with them.
Since I was due to show my genitals to millions of people in 3 weeks time I thought I’d better call in the professionals so I booked an appointment for a Brazilian.
When trying to prepare for my Brazillian I thought I’d better trim my pubes with scissors but because I could no longer see over my giant belly it ended up just being me dangerously snipping at my genitals like Edward Scissorhands but like… a blindfolded Edward Scissorhands. A hand mirror did not help. I just couldn’t see over my belly.
So when the appointment for my Brazillian rolled around I chickened out because I didn’t want the waxer to see me in my current state. Also because I have developed some severe and very dark stretch marks on my pubic region and thighs and I didn’t want to scare my Brazilian waxer off of ever having children.
So I had to think of something else. I hate shaving and figured that was too dangerous so I googled pubic hair removal and came across something about tweezing. I had a few weeks left until I was due to give birth so I thought maybe I could summon the courage to tweeze out all of my pubes between now and then.
So 13 days before my due date I sat in my bed, put a towel under me, sterilised some tweezers and got to work. I put on an episode of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo to keep me from getting bored while I tweezed.
It was a slow process. I couldn’t see what I was doing so I ended up calculating that one episode of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo equals approximately 80-100 pubes pulled. I figured if I did this every day until I went into labour most of my pubes would be gone and I would have watched a lot of Marie Kondo.
Little did I know that I would go into labour the next day and would only have 100 hairs missing instead of…most of them.
A few hours after my tweezing session I started having some pelvic pain but figured that was from the tweezing.
Then I started to wonder if I was going into labour. But I didn’t mention it to my partner because I didn’t want to admit that it was probably just from tweezing my pubes on his side of the bed. So I went to bed and wondered if it would go away.
I wanted to make the most of my maternity leave and sleep in the next day but I was rudely awoken at 6 AM feeling like I was being stabbed in the stomach. I knew this was it and I was in labour but I was ANNOYED. Today was my hair washing day, my pubes weren’t ready and like I didn’t even have any fake tan on.
So despite the fact, I was having contractions I jumped in the shower to wash my hair because I didn’t want to have greasy hair in my photos with my cute new baby.
I thought labour would take a LONG TIME so I’d have enough time to blowdry my hair and put makeup on too.
I was in a lot of pain while I was doing my makeup so I put on a video on how to breathe through contractions. I had really left the labour prep stuff to the last minute and hadn’t researched any breathing or labour tips so far.
I am being 100% serious. You can check my search history. I even googled how to make a birth plan while I was in labour because I still hadn’t gotten around to learning what a birth plan was.
Seriously, what is a birth plan? My plan was to give birth in the least painful way possible. To be honest I still haven’t researched what a birth plan is. Oh wow, I wish I put as much thought into my labour as my pubes. Maybe I wouldn’t have had such a painful experience.
Because I had spent so much time blow drying my hair and doing my makeup my partner Keith was under the illusion that I was probably fine and we could probably hold off on going to the hospital.
I was dying but we had a handyman coming at 9 am and Keith was working from home that day so he asked if I could wait. He didn’t want to cancel the handyman and he had lots of work to do.
Both Keith and I had never been around someone that was in labour before so we had no idea how urgent my situation was.
I called my mum and told her we were waiting for the handyman while I was screaming in pain.
We needed an adult. A REAL adult. Someone that could tell us what we needed to do. My mum told us to hurry up and go to the hospital.
I don’t know why but Keith was under the impression that labour goes for at least 24 hours. I don’t know where he got that from but he seemed to think this was going to take a while. He asked if he could drop me off and come back when it was really urgent.
I looked at him like he had 2 heads and told him no and to take me to the hospital right now.
When we arrived at the hospital at around 9:30 am I could barely walk. We were making our way into the hospital when we were stopped by the covid Marshall. The covid Marshall looked right at me when I was in the middle of a contraction and asked me if I had filled in my covid QR form.
“WHAT? No. I did not” I snapped back at her. Why did she ask me? Why didn’t she ask Keith?
The joys of giving birth during a pandemic.
Keith filled out my QR form for me and they brought me in and kicked him out until I was in active labour.
I thought that once I was in the hospital everything would be okay and that they would comfort me and I would be given pain relief but I was wrong. They brought me into a room by myself hooked me up to a monitor and then walked away for what felt like a long time.
I was in a lot of pain and I didn’t know when anyone was coming back to check on me or give me any relief.
After half an hour my phone started ringing and I didn’t feel alone anymore. I thought it was a family member or friend giving me words of encouragement and support so I answered the phone mid-contraction.
When I answered the phone a robot voice answered. Oh great, I thought. It’s a scammer. The robot voice told me that I was being investigated for tax fraud and if I didn’t want to be immediately arrested I had to press 1.
I screamed at the robot voice. Then tried to lie back down and pretended that I was somewhere else.
Pretending to be somewhere else was the only way to forget how much pain I was in.
I wanted to leave my body at that point. Just for a bit until the baby was safely out. I lied in the bed alone for another hour without pain relief when a nurse finally came in. She examined me and told me I was only two centimetres dilated. Wow if this was only two centimetres I didn’t want to find out what 10 felt like.
Being only two centimetres meant I had to stay in the room by myself for a little longer until I hit at least 4 centimetres.
I asked the nurse if I could at least have some pain relief and she said she would ask the doctor if he could prescribe me two Panadeine.
I looked at her and said, “Panadeine? Is that really all you can give me”. She said yes and then walked away for another hour. After an hour passed I started to wonder where my measly two Panadeine tablets were. I pressed the button for the nurse and when she finally came I asked her were my Panadeine was and she told me that the doctor was working on it.
They seemed to think my situation wasn’t that urgent. I was annoyed so I just kept pressing the nurse button so I wouldn’t be alone. I wanted some sympathy and I didn’t even have Keith there to comfort me.
A midwife finally came in to give me my pain relief. After downing the two tablets I immediately vomited everywhere. There goes my precious Panadeine I thought. I was hoping that would mean the midwife would give me more but she did not.
She told me I was vomiting because it sometimes happens when your cervix dilates.
Great I thought. “Can you please check me?” I asked. “ I think I’m ready to move into a birthing suite and get some real pain relief now, she said unsympathetically “ Hmm we didn’t check you that long ago, probably not yet”
Are these people serious? I begged her to check and she agreed but it seemed to annoy her. Me giving birth seemed as though it would be an inconvenience to her. Which is weird because she was a midwife, we were in a hospital and it was her job.
I had gone from not wanting anyone to see my genitals to begging for people to look at them.
She checked and said, “oh, yeah you’re actually around 4-5 centimetres dilated.”
Oh my god, I thought. I was relieved but also concerned. What if I didn’t ask her to check? Would I have just ended up giving birth in that room by myself with no pain relief?
She told me to get out of the bed and I walked with her into the birthing suite. I was dreading the birthing suite my whole pregnancy but when I saw the birthing suite I was so the happiest I had been all day. Keith was there along with a few midwives but more importantly, there was a gas tube waiting for me.
I sat in the bed and they asked me what my birth plan was. I told them “umm just this gas and all the pain relief you have”
They asked if I had any music to play and I looked at Keith. My mind has never been more blank. Both Keith and I couldn’t think of a single song. So we skipped the music. Then I sunk into the bed sucked on my gas tube and waited for my epidural.
The gas tube was nice but I couldn’t tell if it was helping. It still felt as though my organs were being crushed except now I felt as though I was drunk. After an hour of sucking on gas and rolling around in pain, I asked where my epidural was. They told me the anesthetist was just finishing up and would give me my epidural shortly.
In the meantime, they noticed my babies heart rate was dropping so they decided they would need to break my waters in order to do internal fetal monitoring. They told me they would need to break my waters and the next thing I knew they pulled out what looked like a big crochet hook.
Apparently, that was the thing they were going to use to break my waters. It was incredibly uncomfortable. I sucked on the gas while they inserted the hook into me. As my water broke it felt as though I was peeing myself. A gush of warm water started spilling onto the bed.
Once that was done they seemed to be having some trouble attaching the monitor to my babies head. The midwives were all whispering and talking to themselves trying to work out what to do. I was like it was everyone’s first day.
They finally figured it out and our baby was successfully being monitored but there was still one problem… My epidural still had not arrived. Everyone was getting scared and told me it was probably too late to get the epidural. I started crying and was begging for them to get me the anesthetist.
I could actually hear other women in labour screaming and I did not want to end up like them. It sounded as though they were being murdered.
A midwife checked me and said I was actually around 7-8 centimetres and that it was too late. I freaked out. There was no way I could do this without an epidural. I wanted to just pack up my stuff go home and come back when the anesthetist was there.
Thankfully a second midwife checked me and said that I was actually still only around 5 centimetres. The other midwife was wrong and thank god for that.
I begged for the epidural for another half an hour or so when the anesthetist finally arrived.
I was so happy to see him. He told me to sit up and bend forward but I was in too much pain. It felt like if I sat forward the baby was going to come out. Bending forward was too painful.
They needed multiple midwives to pin me down in order for me to receive the epidural.
After the epidural was administered they took my precious gas tube off of me. It was not fun. The epidural hadn’t kicked in and I could feel everything.
I was rolling around in pain telling the midwives that it wasn’t working. Thankfully after around 20 minutes it kicked in but just a little too much. I couldn’t feel anything at all. It was great.
We sat and waited for me to reach 10cm. As my cervix dilated more I started to become sicker and ended up projectile vomiting on Keith and all over the floor.
It only took around an hour from when the epidural was administered for me to hit 10cm.
They told me it was time to push and they wanted me to push as hard as I could. I told them to wait because I just needed to brush my hair first. My hair was a mess from rolling around on the bed in pain and I wasn’t in pain anymore so figured it was a good time to do it before it was too late.
Once my hair was brushed I decided it was probably time to push.
Our baby’s heart rate started dropping further and we needed to get this baby out as fast as possible. There was one problem. I couldn’t feel anything. And could no longer tell when I was having a contraction. I had to have the midwives tell me when I was having a contraction.
They were telling me to push as hard as I could and keep pushing. Because I couldn’t feel any pain it felt like I was pooing and not giving birth.
I was pushing and pushing and I could feel something coming out and sitting in between me and the bed.
None of the nurses or Keith seemed excited so I started to think it actually was poo and not a baby.
I yelled “oh no did I poo?” no one replied. Keith started giggling so I guess I must have pooped.
Then I saw a midwife pick it up with gloves and put it in the bin. She thought she was being discreet but I noticed and I was pretty embarrassed.
My pushing was clearly only helping me poo and not helping me to push out a baby. There was no sign of our baby coming anytime soon.
The obstetrician told me she was going to have to cut me.
There were two things I wanted to avoid. Pooping and an episiotomy. I ended up pooping and having an episiotomy in the space of about 5 minutes.
Thankfully I didn’t feel her cutting me but I did hear her snipping away at my genitals. I knew the recovery wasn’t going to be fun.
After my episiotomy, they were still struggling to get the baby out so they brought out the vacuum to help.
The OB ended up accidentally attaching the vacuum to my thighs and I ended up with huge painful bruising in between my thighs. But I wouldn’t figure that out until later.
When they finally attached the vacuum to our baby’s head he was out within seconds. Once his head was suctioned out blood-splattered right on my face and went everywhere. That doesn’t happen in the movies.
Our baby boy was born at 4:55 PM on January 14th 2021.
Is it bad that my first thought was that his head was really big? The vacuum had suctioned his head up so far that he looked like a banana from Bananas in Pyjamas.
My first words were “Oh my god his head”. A midwife told me not to worry and that it would go down soon.
It didn’t matter I still thought he was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen.
And yes his head did go down quickly (thank-god).
We named him Charlie and he is the most perfect baby ever.
I can’t wait to tell him the PG version of this story when he is older.
Charlie is now seven weeks old very smiley and he is perfect.
Normally mums will tell you that once the babies out all the pain goes away but most of those mums are liars. My recovery was just starting.
Vacuum births combined with episiotomies are not fun, but more on my recovery to come later. Stay tuned.