When I found out I was pregnant I was thrilled. A lot of my friends already had babies or were pregnant. We had been trying for a while and when seeing the results of a blood test I did, I was over the moon. Well, now I knew I was pregnant, now what?
Lucky for me I had friends who were a pregnant and a sister-in-law who was a midwife, so I knew who to turn to. I made an appointment with my gyno, who gave me the down-low of what I needed to do. He also gave me the referrals I needed to do the first ultrasound (aaaah I got to see the baby!) That’s how it went on for the rest of the pregnancy, after every ultrasound I made a doctor’s appointment, he saw the results of the last ultrasound, checked it and gave me the next referral.
My wonderful sister in law, not living in Israel, met me over the phone and skype and gave me a Lamaze class. In the class, we covered basic information on what happens to my body during pregnancy and birth,as well as breathing techniques. This helped
give me a little more confidence that I was going to make it through to the end and I would be holding my baby in my arms in 9 months time. My pregnancy started off not so great, I kept throwing up. Everyone kept telling me it stops after the first trimester, but for me that wasn’t the case. Yes, there are some lucky people, but mine went on until the end. Thank G-d I didn’t have HG, where I ended up in the hospital or on IV drips; but I remember far into my 7th month I was still vomiting.
Other than the that, thank G-d, the pregnancy was healthy. When I got closer to the end, I found out I had varicose veins, I could see the veins in my legs really well. It basically meant my poor little legs couldn’t take the weight, with the baby, plus the water and everything else that comes with having a big belly. The Dr gave me a referral to get special tights, the most annoying things to put on, saying they would give me the support I needed. At the end my feet
started to get bigger, so much so I actually needed to buy a new pair of shoes! The nurses kept checking me and they told me this was normal and thank G-d the baby and I would be fine and I shouldn’t be worried. Having had friends and a sister in law who is midwife also say this is normal, it helped me feel much better. Although everyone knows everything during pregnancy hurts!
I am not from Israel. I originally grew up in London, England. English is my mother tongue, Hebrew is a second language to me. This being my first time giving birth, and in a country where they didn’t speak my language I wanted someone with me who could help not only translate what was needed, but help me decide what was best for me. I set out finding a doula, with recommendations from friends and that she lived round the corner from me, I found the perfect one.
She came over a few times to help try and explain what birth would be like, without using names she told me a few different birth stories. She also explained that every birth is different
and that I would know when my labor started. As everyone says you just know! In most pregnancies, women have Braxton Hicks, (I prefer to call them fake contractions), although they may be helping your body get ready for labor, I felt they never actually did anything. It was a Saturday morning, around 4:30am I woke up and felt a pain. Had I not been pregnant, I would have thought this as period pains. I thought “OH MY GOSH! This is it!” I waited, we started to count how far apart the contractions were, with a deck of cards, since we couldn’t write, because of our Sabbath. Later on, I spoke to my wonderful doula, who said it sounded like early labor and to keep her posted about when to come over. I had friends come check on me throughout the day, they all knew I was late. A good friend bought me a big exercise ball to sit on, they said if you sit on it, it might help the contractions. I found it did not. I jumped into a nice hot shower, and I found this helped my back. Also sitting on the toilet helped, don’t ask why, I can’t explain the science behind it! A good friend also bought over bubbles, that was good fun and helped. I had a few friends over, laughing, eating, a good way to get my mind off the pain I was going through. At about 5pm, I called my doula who had now come over to join the party. We went through a few more contractions, I showered again and at around
8pm, we made our way to the hospital.
Once we got to the hospital, we found the delivery ward and checked in. When I got onto a bed they checked me and I was 6 centimeters dilated! Woohoo!!!!! They moved me straight to a delivery room, and I thought “Right, now where is that epidural?” I was in pain and this was the drug to save me, right? Eventually the guy came, I got my epidural and all was good. The midwife came to check me again and as she was checking me BAM! My water broke! Yes, all over the midwife. But I was now 7cm dilated. So they told me to rest, ye right? Not the most comfy place or position, but we waited. They checked on me and eventually at 1.30am, now sunday morning, I had got to 10cm!! Time to Push! I kept pushing and resting, pushing and resting, however, the beautiful baby inside wasn’t coming. Apparently, her head wasn’t in the right position, after about 2.5 hours of pushing they used a vacuum, they would pull and I would push. At around 4.30am, 24 hours after I had started early labor I was holding my beautiful baby girl. I asked for her to be washed up, before she was handed to me. They did put her on me after I had delivered and the only thing I could think of was OH MY GOSH she has hair!!!!! Because, well, you don’t see that in the ultrasound!
My advice to you is yes, it is scary going into the unknown, after all every pregnancy is different for everyone. People will share their stories with you, which is great, but the one thing that helped me get through it was having confidence. The only thing i kept saying during contractions was that I’ve got this, I can do it!! Guess what?? I did!!!