*Trigger warning* – use of the word contraction
I wasn’t going to share my story because it happened a little while ago, right before the covid crisis and i thought people are now more interested in reading birth stories of how mothers have handled giving birth amidst it but also considering the current black lives Matter movement being highlighted, it made me think about black women within the birthing community and whilst I love to read all of the birth stories on this page, I do notice that there arent many stories from women of colour. I don’t know why but sometimes it helps to have people within a community that you can actually relate to especially when we are usually the minority so I thought I would share my story here and let any other black women that may be in this group see that there are other black women here too! 💜🙋🏾♀️
My pregnancy was very healthy. I struggled with the symptoms (mainly the morning sickness and nausea) but I had no complications throughout, just some Pelvic girdle pain from the end of the 2nd trimester.
My baby was due on 2nd March but my husband and I knew he would come early. I the digital pack at around 20 weeks and had watched the purchased videos over more than twice. I also read the book and had the cards from the little pack of positivity stuck all over my house and as my phones wallpaper. I was very anxious about giving birth and I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I hired a doula (@themostsacredjourney on Instagram) also and she was great at helping me to feel relaxed and empowered throughout my pregnancy. I would get creative healing massages from her every week which was a God send!
On 21.02.2020 my husband and I decided to spend the afternoon at the park which had lots of hills. We walked for a while, having a lovely chat and getting some oxytocin flowing. As soon as we got in the car, I started having Braxton hicks. We went to the supermarket to stock up and the Braxton hicks were still coming quite regularly. They weren’t painful, just uncomfortable but they did feel different to the Braxton hicks I had been feeling before. We got home, I got on my birth ball and bounced for a little while. It was about 8pm and I was still feeling the Braxton hicks every 15-20mins so I texted my doula to let her know and she said to keep her posted if anything changes throughout the night. So I had a curry for dinner, my husband massaged some clary sage on my feet and put some in the air diffuser in our room. Before going to bed, I had a quick tidy up of every room and the Braxton hicks stopped. I tried to watch some netflix but decided to go to sleep just after midnight.
I woke up at about 3am to what felt like constipation pains in my bum. I went to the toilet and immediately wanted to push but nothing came out. It was a weird sensation but honestly just felt like constipation. After about 10 minutes trying to poo on the toilet, I gave up and went back to bed. My husband stirred in his sleep and asked if I was ok, I told him that I was just constipated but fine and to go back to sleep. 10 minutes or so later, I was up again on the toilet. It started to feel really uncomfortable in my bum so I was groaning as I sat on the toilet and so my husband came into the bathroom to see if I was ok. By this point, I was on the bathroom floor, curled over. My husband stayed on the floor with me until I felt the urge to poo again which I did a short while later I managed to go twice. It got to about 5am and I was still on the bathroom floor with these pains coming and going in my bum. I was still convinced it was constipation! My husband was more convinced that it was labor so he got some blankets, pillows and towels for me to get a bit more comfy on the floor then I heard him call our doula to let her know what was happening.
I don’t really know what was said between them, at this point I was starting to zone out. My husband hooked up the tens machine to my back but I couldn’t feel anything.
Somehow, I ended up back in bed with music playing when my doula arrived at about 6am. I honestly can’t remember how or when I got to bed. I remember at this point, trying to do some up breathing but I was struggling to control my breath and I was trying to talk to myself in my head to keep calm and remember I might meet my baby soon (I say “might” because I still thought there was a possibility that it could still be holding!)
The next few hours were spent monitoring my contractions on the Freya app. Every time a contraction came, my doula or my husband massaged my back as I was feeling a lot of pain there with each contraction. I was between my bed, the floor and leaning over the birth ball. My husband kept saying random affirmations to me that were put on the wall around the room which was really nice. I had my fairy lights on in my room, my playlist was playing my favorite songs, my diffuser was still blowing out clary sage and lavender oils. Everything was a bit of a blur for the next few hours. I remember that my mucus plus came out at 10.30am because my doula said to note the time. When that showed, that’s when I believed I was in actual labor! Lol The contractions were getting more and more intense just after this. I felt like I was really struggling. I was tired and I was feeling a very slight urge to push with each contraction even though I didn’t. I was trying to remember the traffic light system throughout it all and this was the point where I was red a bit more consistently and needing more help to calm down again. Shortly after my show a phone call was made to the hospital and they said I need to be having 3 contractions in 10 mins lasting 60 secs each before I should come in. We were still monitoring the contractions and they were still inconsistent to those timings needed. At about 11.30, my doula started to suggest that we begin getting ready to make our way to the hospital because things were starting to ramp up. This was the part that I felt most anxious about (the journey to the hospital. It was 30mins and I was dreading having contractions in the car) so I said that I needed to have a bath to calm down a bit before the journey.
I got in the bath at about 12pm. This is where everything started to heighten for me. The contractions got crazy intense and the urge to push really began. I pushed with each contraction then there was a loud pop. I thought that was it. The baby had popped out! But it was just my waters breaking! The contractions were coming what felt like every 10 seconds. It was taking ages to get me out the bath between contractions and get dressed to get to the car. I ended up putting on a nightie, my husband’s socks, my slippers and my husbands coat plus i still had the towel around my waist! We were walking through the hallway to get to the door and I had another big contraction and my doula pointed out the I was keeping my legs crossed which indicated that maybe baby was making his way down. I think we both knew that I wasn’t gona make it to the hospital before the baby came but we just kept going to make my way to the car. I had another contraction and realised that I had about what felt like 10 seconds before the next one so I made a dash for the car. In my head, I felt like I ran to the car but my husband told me afterwards that it was more of a stagger! Going outside felt confusing because I had been in my house with low lights and curtains drawn, I felt a little dazed. As I went to open the car door I felt another contraction coming. I opened the door I saw that my husband had put all the seats down at the back of the car (its a 7 seater) and he had put blankets and cushions down so it was like a big bed. I was sooooo relieved to see this. I laid down on my side, my doula sat at my feet and my husband started to drive. My husband called the hospital to let them know that we were on our way – we had the Bluetooth on in the car and as my husband was talking to them I just kept screaming “I need pain relief, have the epidural!!!”
Once off the phone my husband said “don’t worry, just 30mins and we will be at the hospital”. My heart sank….he may as well have said “another 6 hours and we will be there”! I was really feeling the urge to push and I was pushing but I knew I wasn’t pushing correctly because I wanted to poo but wasn’t letting the poo out because I didn’t want to poo in the car….or on my doula!