Giving Birth: A Labour Story 9 Months In The Making

Fitness expert Lara Marq shares the ups and downs of the last leg of her journey to becoming a mom

It was a Tuesday morning, I was exactly 39 weeks pregnant and woke up determined to naturally induce labour. I had already completed a round of acupuncture with my naturopath, as well as several sessions with my chiropractor to encourage my baby to drop.  I felt some changes in my body but decided that morning that I would explore other natural ways to induce labour.

You name it, I did it; morning yoga, a grueling 45-minute incline on the treadmill, some spicy falafels and hummus, even a very pregnant romp with dear hubby. I was just settling down for the night, when I found a video of a woman 41 weeks pregnant dancing to a Michael Jackson Thriller tutorial. I was intrigued. I can’t speak for the woman in the video but exactly 30 minutes after I closed down my living room dance floor, MY WATER BROKE!

My first reaction was panic. I was home alone and felt an overwhelming feeling of fear. I’m not sure if it was fear for labour or the big change that was about to take place in my life but I shed a few tears with a close friend on the phone.

Once I pulled myself together I felt ready and focused. I gathered everything for the hospital at the door, prepped my dog for his overnight stay with my brother and began envisioning the positive, all-natural labour that I had planned to have the last 9 months.

That’s when IT came, my very first contraction. It was like a rushing wave of pain that travelled through my thighs, hips and back. Luckily my husband had returned home; I grabbed his hand and squeezed until the painful wave dissipated back to nothing at all.

Okay, GAME ON.

I instantly reverted to my hypnobirthing breathing and meditation techniques. I was in early labour and based on other labour stories, I figured I would have a good 5-7 minutes before the next contraction. I hardly had enough time to get settled into a comfortable spot before the next contraction came. This baby was coming and she was coming fast!

My contractions were exactly 2 minutes apart and lasted 50 seconds long each time. I labored at home for a good 5 hours; in the bathtub, on the exercise ball, swaying side to side while hanging off my husband’s shoulders. At 4am I decided I had enough and it was time to go to the hospital.

I’ll never forget walking into Labour and Triage and taking hold of the railing against the wall before another contraction came. These incredibly strong, power squatting legs were instantly turned to playdoh and were shaking uncontrollably. That was a big one! By the time I was admitted and learned that I was still only 6 centimeters dilated I was exhausted.

I decided to receive the epidural and fell into a deep sleep.

I woke up two hours later with an intense pressure to push. The epidural took the pain away but the pressure was still there. I was happy that I could still feel my legs and I wasn’t as immobile as I feared I would be. I was rested and ready to meet my baby. Thankfully my prenatal workouts came into play. With the help of my strong core and legs, it only took about 15 minutes of pushing before she finally came out and rested on my abdomen. I cried with so much relief, joy and love. It was the most intense emotion I had ever felt.

All together my labor was a short 10 hours long and I would do all over again in a flash. Labor was easy. The hard part came after—the initial 6-8 weeks of recovery and learning to love your new body after baby.

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