A birth story.

I never wrote down Eamon’s birth story and now all that I have left are hazy memories and strong feelings. I really regret that I didn’t take the time to write down those small details and whilst I do remember retelling the dramatic parts of the story to everyone who would listen (Andrew having to press the emergency button, the doctor running in, etc), I think that was my way of dealing with what was really quite traumatic.   I didn’t start motherhood with Eamon feeling empowered by his birth.  In fact I felt like it was something that happened to me, rather than something I did.

 

This time?  I felt like a freakin’ superhero.  My midwives were amazing, just letting me do what I needed to do.  I was totally present for the whole thing (no gas like last time) and I felt a weird contradiction of both being in control of my mind (breathing and telling myself that I could do this) as well as totally surrendering to what my body was doing.

 

My water broke at 5am the morning he was born.  I got out of bed and thought I’d wet myself before I realised with excitement that no, this was it.  No one else was awake and I hadn’t had any contractions yet so I had a shower and finished packing my bag (nothing like being prepared!).  I had a few contractions that made me stop and focus so I climbed back into bed and told Andrew he might not be going to work today.

 

At 6am I rang my midwife just to give her a heads up that my water had broken and I’d had a few contractions but at this stage I wasn’t thinking we’d be going to hospital for a while.  I got my phone and lay down on the bed and started listening to a hypnobirthing track.   It wasn’t long before I had 3 contractions in a row, about 3 minutes apart and I really had to focus breathing through them. (Ironically I couldn’t stand listening to the hypnobirthing tracks whilst having a contraction and ended up switching over to some yoga/ relaxation music instead).

 

I messaged my midwife to let her know how far apart contractions were and that I couldn’t focus on anything else. She wrote straight back ‘time to go to hospital then’.  I actually looked at this message, thought ‘no surely not yet’ and didn’t reply. (sorry Sylvia!)  After the next contraction she rang to check I got the message and said not to rush but that she thought we should be making our move to the hospital.

 

Andrew went and had a shower and got Eamon sorted downstairs with Karmen.  I was surprised by how unconcerned Eamon was with the whole morning. I expected him to want to come with us, especially as he had been increasingly clingy in the weeks leading up to it, but he was more than happy at the prospect of hanging out with Karmen for the day. And he didn’t seem to notice that Mummy kept getting on her hands and knees intermittently for most of the morning.

 

We left for the hospital just after 7 and had to pull over a couple of times as the contractions kept coming and I hated the sensation of going around round-abouts whilst having one.  We got to the hospital just after 7.30 and having not been there before had to go via the volunteer people at the front to find out where to go. (again, excellent planning on our part) Whilst Andrew worked out where to go, I lay on the seats at the front having another contraction.  The volunteer man took one look at me and called for a wheelchair and started walking with us towards the birth suites.  Every few minutes I would have to stop and get down on hands and knees in the corridor, whilst the volunteer man said to everyone who walked past, ‘it’s ok, just a lady having a baby.’  They eventually found us with the wheelchair but again, I had to ask them to stop every time I had a contraction because I hated the sensation of moving.

 

When we made it to the birthing suite my midwife and her backup were both waiting. I remember hearing their voices but I was in my own little world. I can’t even remember whether my eyes were open or not.  We were put straight into a room and I was offered a mat on the floor or the bed. I went straight to hands and knees on the floor and that’s where I stayed.

 

It was only about 15 minutes between getting to hospital and my body started pushing (thank god I listened to Sylvia and came to hospital or I potentially would have had a car baby!). There was no monitoring of him (except for a few doppler checks) which I remember feeling mildly annoyed by, because I knew he was fine, I could feel him working with me.  Another 15 minutes of just giving in to what my body was doing and Rory arrived just after 8am.  I was able to pick him straight up onto my chest (after the midwife unwrapped the cord that was twice around him) and lay back onto Andrew who was sitting on the floor. We stayed like that, cuddling and feeding for the next hour until I started to feel uncomfortable and Sylvia suggested I sit up to deliver the placenta, which happened all by itself.

 

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I remember thinking at that point how crazy it was that in just over two hours I had gone from heavily pregnant to having a new baby in my arms.  I also remember feeling really proud of myself for not freaking out at all.  I just kept imagining each contraction was a wave and I had to get to the top. So my thoughts were along the lines of ‘you just have to get to the top… come on…’.  And during the pushing stage my thoughts changed to ‘I’m close to meeting this baby.  It won’t be long now’. Those mantras and focusing on Ujjayi breathing (Yogic breathing) was what kept me focused and got me through.

 

At this point I felt ecstatic.  I felt good. Rory was healthy. Everything had gone perfectly, exactly how I had imagined.

 

And then they did an exam to check if I had any damage.  At first they thought 2nd degree and called in someone to do the repair, but after she used an anaesthetic to have a better look, found it was 3rd degree and they were sending me off to theatre. I can’t really explain how I felt at this point. Pissed off.  Scared.  Confused.  I didn’t want to go to theatre. I wanted to stay with my baby, have a shower and go home.

 

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We waited til midday before they were ready for me. Andrew took Rory up to the room and I went off to theatre by myself. I was terrified and weepy.  But in all honesty it wasn’t that bad. The spinal wasn’t as scary as I imagined and after that there was obviously no pain. I think the worst of it was imagining recovery and remembering how bad it was last time and how I’d so badly wanted to avoid that this time around.

 

I had a brief stop in recovery where the obstetrician came to see me to explain the repair and told me recovery would probably be worse than what it was like from the episiotomy I had last time “which is why they prefer to do them” (thanks for that! –  and it wasn’t by the way).  By 3pm I was wheeled back to my room where Mum and Dad had just arrived.  It only took a couple of hours for the feeling in my legs to come completely back and in all honesty the most irritating thing was the cannular they left in my hand all night.  Why do they do that?

 

I saw both midwives in the few days after and both were keen to go through what happened.  It seemed like they too needed to debrief somewhat. They were both genuinely pissed off that there was any damage and that I ended up having to go to theatre. It’s likely that because he had both hands by his face with the cord wrapped twice around them holding them there, that that’s what caused the damage. I guess we’ll never really know for sure.

 

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But despite all the stuff that went on afterwards, I really did get the birth I wanted.  Unassisted. Calm. Supported. Healthy Baby.  Empowering.  Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.

 

Not much more I can ask for really, is there?

12 Responses to “A birth story.

  • Thank you so much for sharing, what a positive, affirming story.

  • You did it!
    So thrilled for you!
    I must admit I saw you with the theatre gown and the IV line was was worried…and while not ideal, at least you got the birth that you worked so hard for!
    Isn’t it amazing how you can feel the baby working inside you…so crazy…I still remember the feeling of Lyddie’s head and the way she rushed out of me…I hope that I remember it forever.
    I hope you are healing well now.

    • littleoldsouls@hotmail.com
      7 years ago

      Thanks Caitlin. It’s the strangest thing! I’m so glad I got to feel it this time. And yes definitely don’t want to forget.

  • Beautiful story, so glad it all went well, despite the repairs. I had quite bad tearing inside and out with Punky as she had her arm wrapped up around her head as she was born and the Dr. had to do quite a lot of manoeuvring to get her out without it causing more issues. Thankfully he was able to do the repair work in the delivery suite as they are fitted out for the more major repairs to be done there if you don’t need a general. So I was able to cuddle Punky while he worked and it certainly took my mind off it!
    Congratulations again xxx

    • littleoldsouls@hotmail.com
      7 years ago

      Yes having bub there with you would help distract you! Babies! They’re trouble! Lucky they’re so damn cute!

  • So happy for you guys Bettina! 🙂 Congratulations and happy new mummy feelings all over again. xo

    • littleoldsouls@hotmail.com
      7 years ago

      Thanks lovely! I like that -‘happy new mummy feelings’ There is nothing better!

  • Beautiful birth story! Loving the mantras. Congratulations xxx

  • Lovely story and nice to read someone else’s. I had a lovely successful hypno-birth with mine and it really does feel so empowering i am hoping to have a water birth when i decide for another. Well done and what beautiful boys you have. xxx

    • littleoldsouls@hotmail.com
      7 years ago

      Thanks Melissa. I’d thought I would try for a water birth this time but I didn’t have time!

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