Hi Ladies (and any gents out there),
After a year of being a first time mum to our beautiful daughter Chloe Anastasia, I thought I would share my birth story with you all. I love reading all of your stories, so it's only fair I share mine.
All my life I have always wanted to be a mum so was genuinely excited to be pregnant after trying for only 3 months. I can safely say I had an uneventful pregnancy with only having to deal with some heartburn and some swollen ankles on the warm days. Towards the end of the pregnancy, naturally the body got very tired and I was "over it".
I finished work about 2.5 months prior to really enjoy some “me” time before our lives changed and setup the house in readiness for our new arrival. The Friday prior to Chloe's due date (which was the Saturday 23/10/10), I was due for my final midwife appointment at the hospital. Something must have triggered inside me because it was the one and only time that I took someone with me to my appointment along with my bags ready for a possible rush to the hospital if needed. We found that my blood pressure was a little high, so they checked on the baby and I was monitored in the birthing suite for a few hours while they decided whether or not to send me home, or keep me in hospital. I felt fine and really just wanted to go home to go into labour naturally. After 4 hours of monitoring, it was decided to put me into hospital to regularly monitor my blood pressure. I even offered to come back and forth to the hospital to get my BP checked every 4 hours, but they weren’t happy with that. I was not a happy camper. On the upside I got my own room in the maternity ward.
So there I was holed up in a hospital room heavily pregnant, fed up with the disgusting hospital food, uncomfortable bed and ready to go into labour. It was a weekend so there weren’t many doctors around which sucked so no decisions were made until Monday morning. I was chomping at the bit to either get out of there, or have this baby already!
Monday morning (25th October), the BP hadn’t changed much, so they decided to induce me with the gels which meant no birthing suite for me. That didn’t phase me too much as all I wanted at the end of the day was a healthy baby delivered and to just go home to my own bed.
The gels went in about 9am that Monday morning and I was left to let things happen. By the time my husband came back to the hospital that afternoon for my check around 5pm, nothing was happening (I was 1cm dilated), so they sent me back to my room for dinner and settle in for the night. I sent hubby home to get some rest before the rocking and rolling started.
By 6pm, I started feeling what I thought was back pain, so got up out of bed and just walked around a bit. A few minutes later the back pain got worse, so I had a warm shower to see if that helped. I even got out the TENS machine to see if that helped, but it just annoyed me more. The midwife then proceeded to tell me I was in labour! The pain and fear about what was about to happen scared me a bit as I anticipated that my contractions would be all on the front, but no, I was a special case and had a back labour! So I called my husband to get back to the hospital asap and rub my back and be there for me.
After what I think was a few hours of running around my hospital room trying to find a comfy spot (which only seemed to be standing upright or hunched over the bed), I was transferred to delivery. By then things were rocking and rolling and I was in a bit of pain and managed to get through it with only some gas. Once I understood the waves of pain I was feeling, and focused on my breathing, it was all ok and I managed to relax a bit and calm down so I could enjoy the whole birthing experience.
A few more hours of labour (and standing / squatting) things were ramping up and the pain was getting a little worse. The midwives did a fantastic job distracting me from wanting more drugs and I managed to get through it all. My husband mentioned after the labour that he had never heard such a guttural groan like that from anyone and that I didn’t swear once!
The midwives could see I was nearly there at 9cm dilated and asked if I could get up onto the bed so that I could birth my baby and have her on my chest straight away. That’s definitely what I wanted, but the pain in my back was really bad and I also didn’t have the energy. As they coaxed me towards getting up on the bed, another contraction hit and I immediately jumped onto the bed and got through the hardest bit (the ring of fire etc).
At 11:11pm, Chloe Anastasia was born (weighing 3.26kgs) with a gush and burst my waters as she came out. She was placed onto my chest immediately and we got acquainted. Was just an amazing thing and my husband had tears in his eyes. We got about an hour together before Chloe was taken away to be checked over (with apgars of 9 and 9) and I was cleaned up. I managed to come away from it with only a few grazes that needed a few stitches which was good.
The gas they gave me while I was being stitched up was amazing. Funnily enough, it was the same gas I had while in labour, but the effects were totally different! I felt so euphoric and drunk. Just what you need after going through 5.5 hours of labour on your feet the whole time!
We got back to my room and were left for a little while as we stared, kissed and cuddled our little bundle. We also decided that we would let our family and friends know first thing in the morning (as by then it was about 3am) when my husband returned back to the hospital. The response was awesome and they all came in that day to visit.
Once we got home 3 days later, the first night was the worst we had. Unfortunately Chloe wasn’t getting enough from me breastfeeding hence why she just couldn’t stop crying. So we supplemented with formula so she could put on some weight while my milk came in. That did the trick and she was a normal newborn after that.
After a week of trying breastfeeding, then expressing what I could for 2 more weeks (my record was 40ml in a day), I decided that I was never going to make enough milk and switched to just formula. Was nice letting my husband participate in feeding Chloe while I rested up. BF and formula both have their pros and cons and I wasn’t too disappointed.
So now we are a year on and I can safely say being a mum is definitely what I was put on this earth to do. It is the most rewarding, hardest, amazing, eye opening thing any woman can do and I still pinch myself today that I managed to get something that big out of “there”. The body is an amazing vessel and the whole pregnancy journey just opened my eyes up to some amazing things that can happen in this world.
I am now juggling working 4 days per week while keeping our household running. It took some getting used to, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. We also intend on having another baby mid next year which will be exciting. Can’t wait to ride the pregnancy roller coaster all over again!
All the best to you and your families!