My recent blog outlined what I saw for myself during labour. I was lucky to have my baby eleven days early, right after I’d been crying to my mother that there would be no way I could stand another two weeks of being heavily pregnant. Now that I’ve been through it and come out the other side, I can safely say that the whole ‘visualising an opening flower’ concept can take a running jump, especially once you hit that transition stage! I tried really hard to stay calm in the beginning, but once the pain got too much the only thing that helped was screaming at the top of my lungs.

Here’s a rundown of what it was really like, written before the hormones charged in and wiped out the memory:


3:30pm Waters broke. Packed a bag just in case it was the real thing and Garrett drove like maniac to the hospital, even though I wasn’t in any pain at all and I was just really excited that pregnancy would nearly be over.

5pm Slight contractions while the midwives were checking my blood pressure, plus it was raining so they said I could stay the night at the hospital and not go all the way home to Scotland Island.

5 – 9pm Period pain-ish contractions, 6 – 8 minutes apart. Hung out and read books and Garrett went and got himself a meal and me some Powerade.

9pm Contractions were down to four minutes so moved into the birthing suite, had a couple of panadeine forte and got in the bath.

9pm – 6am Hung out in the bath running the hot water, Garrett tried to sleep in a chair but it was hard because I was making hurting noises every few minutes. It was still ok, about twenty deep breaths and they would pass. I slept a tiny little bit.


6am – Sick of the stupid bath.

7am – Contractions slowed down to 8 minutes apart. Was nice to have a bit of relief, except it meant no baby any time soon and I was pretty tired.

7am – 10am – Checks with various midwives and doctors. Had breakfast, tried to chill between contractions. Threw up once.

10am – Doctors decided to give me some hormones to speed things up. Was only one centimetre dilated. Felt very cross about this. Cried to Garrett. Refused to let him leave to get some food for himself.

11am – Injection – party time. Sat next to the happy gas dispenser and figured out how to use it. Had a morphine shot as well.

The next three hours – Yup – super awful. Each contraction was ten to twenty breaths of unbearable. Tried to hurt Garrett by pinching him as hard as I could, sucked on the happy gas until the room was spinning, refused to do what the staff told me, cried, asked to have a nap for a while, thrashed about, declared that giving birth just couldn’t be done. Kept asking the time because I had in my mind that if the baby wasn’t out by five pm I’d just go home like on a normal work day and come back in the morning. Was so tired I couldn’t open my eyes. Swore a little bit – how rude. Garrett stayed amazingly calm and was so encouraging without being overbearing, he was a total rock.

2pm – Dilated enough to push. Told the staff they didn’t know what they were talking about, I didn’t have any energy and was too tired and they’d just have to figure out how to remove the baby without me. Figured if I refused to push it would just be their problem and I could have a nap. At that point if they’d have offered me a caesarian I’d have said yes, just so I didn’t have to do anything.

Pushing – The urge to push that everyone speaks about did actually come, and then I finally felt like something was happening so I went with it. I know this is really cliche but I found it really empowering to push, I could feel the baby properly for the first time and could tell it was creeping towards the end point. Garrett said he could see the head and I really wanted to do him proud so I decided to stick around and finish the job.

3:30 – Rafferty David Mitchell Sherman slid out – amazing, amazing amazing. All pain completely gone. Placenta delivery was nothing at all. His weight was 3.6 kilos and I couldn’t stop smiling, even while I had a couple of stitches to repair the damage.

After that – Pain turned into endorphins. Took five thousand photographs and texted the entire world with the news. Didn’t feel tired again till about 48 hours later. Instantly felt like I would go through it all again at the drop of a hat.

Garrett is not so sure.

So that was my experience, something I have waited so long for. And now I am one of those people who bleats about it all being worth it, because every time I look at little Rafferty, I know that it was.

About The Author

Clea plunged into the world of parenting in January 2013 after the arrival of baby Rafferty.

In  her ‘old life’ she was an online product manager and keen outdoor recreation enthusiast. Originally from Perth, she now lives with her husband Garrett (a professional Brewer and all round ideas man) and their number one dog Bear on Scotland Island in Sydney’s north.


  1. catgrrl3

    27th May 2014 at 4:51 pm,

    MoM Rewards: catgrrl3 has a diamond MoM rewards level catgrrl3 said:

    oh hun, that sounds like a horrible labour,

  2. 19th May 2014 at 8:47 pm,

    MoM Rewards: christial has a diamond MoM rewards level christial said:

    Thanks for sharing your experience! A relatively long labour!

  3. 5th April 2014 at 3:47 pm,

    MoM Rewards: somethingblue has a sapphire MoM rewards level somethingblue said:

    What a nice, but real story. Thanks!

  4. jenny9761

    11th March 2014 at 5:16 pm,

    MoM Rewards: jenny9761 has a diamond MoM rewards level jenny9761 said:

    Thanks for sharing your story

  5. yyon4699

    27th January 2014 at 5:32 pm,

    MoM Rewards: yyon4699 has a diamond MoM rewards level yyon4699 said:

    Had my first one but definitely useful for my next one. Thanks for sharing.

  6. ljsalomon

    3rd January 2014 at 11:00 pm,

    MoM Rewards: ljsalomon has a diamond MoM rewards level ljsalomon said:

    Enjoyed reading – thanks for sharing.

  7. meimei

    29th December 2013 at 7:34 pm,

    MoM Rewards: meimei has a diamond MoM rewards level meimei said:

    Thank you for sharing your labour experience :)

  8. 26th December 2013 at 11:07 am,

    MoM Rewards: kathryn has a diamond MoM rewards level kathryn said:

    I loved the happy gas too

  9. 22nd December 2013 at 3:02 pm,

    MoM Rewards: coppin85 has a diamond MoM rewards level coppin85 said:

    Thanks for sharing this :) :)

  10. beenishmumtaz

    30th November 2013 at 9:55 pm,

    MoM Rewards: beenishmumtaz has a diamond MoM rewards level beenishmumtaz said:

    Thanks for sharing this lovely story.

  11. missmanic

    31st October 2013 at 10:55 pm,

    MoM Rewards: missmanic has a diamond MoM rewards level missmanic said:

    Mine was traumatic but this was a great read.

  12. rainbownerds

    30th October 2013 at 9:01 pm,

    MoM Rewards: rainbownerds has a diamond MoM rewards level rainbownerds said:

    a nice read, thank you for sharing

  13. meimei

    25th October 2013 at 3:25 pm,

    MoM Rewards: meimei has a diamond MoM rewards level meimei said:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely story:)

  14. sonja_holness

    23rd October 2013 at 5:41 pm,

    MoM Rewards: sonja_holness has a diamond MoM rewards level sonja_holness said:

    My first was a C-section and the second was at at home water birth. I’m thankful my labour only laster 6 hours before bubs was born.

  15. jocelynwong31

    30th September 2013 at 10:16 pm,

    MoM Rewards: jocelynwong31 has a diamond MoM rewards level jocelynwong31 said:

    i had c-sect but still went through labour as it was ‘fast & furious’, by which time when the emergency c took place, i was fully dilated. you are very brave to go without epidural. :)

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