The Birth of our Daughter

Sunday, 25 April 2021

 


On the 2nd of December 2020 our daughter entered the world in full force. I'm not sure if it is for some but labour is not glamorous, it truly is labour but very rewarding. The way the body grows, carries and births a baby is an amazing and beautiful thing.


Our baby went almost two weeks past the due date and I was almost 42 weeks pregnant. By the end I was very tired but still felt reasonably good. I was booked for induction by one of my midwives when I was 39 or 40 weeks pregnant. I really hoped it would all occur naturally but little miss had no intention of leaving. 


I didn't have a lot of knowledge of being induced into labour as I had my mind set on it just happening but it wasn't as daunting as I made it out to be. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I could have been going into it and the induction process wasn't too bad or uncomfortable.


I arrived with Max and my mum at the hospital at 3pm on the 1st of December, we got settled into our room, had some dinner and waited for the midwives to start the induction process. 


My terminology won't all be correct so please forgive me but it will give you an idea of what occurred. 





6pm: I had the gel inserted. It wasn't painful or too uncomfortable just a weird feeling knowing the process is starting. If the first dose of gel doesn't start to work then a further application would be required around 1am.


7pm: I started to feel period like pain, I felt positive that it felt like something was happening straight away. This period like pain continued all evening. 


8pm: Mum went home to get rest, she would be back when it all starts to happen. Still feeling period like pains and feeling positive. I told Max to relax and sleep if he could, I needed his strength for when labour starts. He did as best he could and got broken sleep during the night on a hard squeaky bed. 


12am: The period pains turned into tightenings which then were contractions. I tried to sleep but it just wasn't going to happen. 


1am: One of the midwives came in to check my progress, blood pressure, heart rate etc (which they were doing regularly through the night). She was happy with how I was progressing and told me that I wouldn't need another dose of gel. I was feeling really happy and positive that it was working and things were continuing to progress.


1am-6am: Every 5 minutes and then eventually 3 minutes I felt a contraction and I would breathe my way through it laying in the hospital bed. Eventually I couldn't lay down and paced the room, sometimes leaning on the end of the bed or squatting down. I would concentrate on my breathing and try to focus on one thing in the room until a contraction ended. 


6.15am: A midwife walked Max and I down to labour and delivery. I was feeling slightly nervous and still working through my contractions. These although felt a bit intense were nothing compared to being in active labour. 


6.30am: My waters didn't break so the midwife attempted to break them but had difficulty doing so, she attempted three times and this was sooo uncomfortable, probably one of the worst parts of my experience. She later got a doctor to break them and he got it first go. The gush of the waters breaking felt so weird. The midwife gave me the gas and the dose was way to high after one try, I did not like it at all. They also started the oxytocin drip.


7am: Mum came back to the hospital after getting a good nights sleep at her home and I was so relieved to see her. I had Max and my mum there and was ready to deliver this baby. There was a shift swap of midwives, she introduced herself and I felt like we really clicked. 



7.30am the contractions continued to get more and more intense. My body felt so hot even in a freezing cold labour room. I said to Max and mum "get this nighty off me" and then they asked if I wanted flannels. Throughout my whole labour they were refreshing the flannels and cooling me down, it really helped!


8-8.30am: I think at this point I asked to go in the shower, the midwife adjusted what needed to be disconnected and I walked into the bathroom with my drip. Max and mum took turns to hose me down in the shower, I stood for a bit and then at one stage needed to sit down because the contractions felt really intense at this point. I said to Max and mum I feel a lot of pressure like I need to push, my midwife said "Do not push until you are back on the bed" she needed to check how dilated I was. It was such a heavy feeling in my pelvis, unlike anything I had felt yet. I toweled down with some help from Max and I walked back slowly to the bed. 



9-9.30am: The contractions got more and more intense and I kept asking if Max and mum were okay, they said we are the ones who should be asking that haha!! But I imagine it's pretty full on watching someone you love go through labour. I think at around this point I said to Max "I think I might need some type of pain relief" and "I can't do this" and then the midwife said "Yes you can, it's time to push" and I just looked at her so confused and said "What?! Really??" I did not expect to dilate so quickly so it was quite a shock to me that we were so close to meeting our baby. That slight bit of doubt and weakness I felt went straight out the window and I was so ready to meet her. 


And so here I was preparing my mind and body for the final stage of labour. Pushing was full of concentration and strength. Pushing certain muscles, working with the contractions, holding my breath at times and using primal breaths/noises to assist with the process. Pushing and the whole labour experience is a real test of physical and mental strength, having the two work together was so important for me. Max was an amazing coach through it all, he really knew how to keep me strong and would remind me that we were going to meet our daughter very soon.


I was pushing for about 50 minutes and then her heart rate was dropping a little bit, suddenly the room was full with more midwives and a couple of doctors. It was a little overwhelming and I was starting to feel more and more tired at this point to. 




My mum works in this hospital and knows things get more serious when a hospital room fills up suddenly. In this moment she started to feel overwhelmed and like fainting, she saw some blood loss on the bed and it was scary seeing her daughter go through this. She took a seat and a moment to compose herself and then came back a bit later, camera in hand to capture some photos and watch the end of the birth. 


The doctors had to intervene to help our baby out, they used the vaccum and on attempt two she was almost ready to exit. I had an episiotomy too as it was advised, the doctors injected something to numb the area before they did it. 

Once her head and shoulders were pushed out I was asked if I wanted to pull her out. Max was balling his eyes out as he watched these final stages of labour. I had no idea that would have been a possibility. I hadn't been on any pain relief for the birth so I guess that is why but wow I was very excited to do it. I reached forward and put my hands under her shoulders and pulled her to my chest. WOW what an experience and so primal, I felt like a superwoman pulling her towards me and so excited after months of feeling her from the inside. Max was sobbing and smiling at the same time that she was here. It was such an amazing moment. She soon started to cry and I think I was just in shock that she was here so quickly and early in the day. 


Maddison was born on the 2nd of December at 10.39am. 




It was love at first sight for both Max and I, it was so surreal to have her finally here with us. She started to latch and breastfeed straight away and we loved her in an instant... We already loved her so much before she was earthside. After breastfeeding and skin to skin time with me Max took her for some skin to skin time and to just love our daughter.  After a while he handed her to my mum and she kept her safe and warm in the room whilst Max supported my final stages. 


I didn't cry, it was more of a woah that really just happened and she is really here. Shock, excitement and love. It is a pretty surreal feeling meeting your baby after they have been growing inside of your body for so long.




The placenta was delivered and the doctors started to stitch up my episiotomy incision. Then after further assessment of my placenta they said that there may still be remains of it inside of me. I was given the option for them to manually pull the remains out or take me to theatre to be put under and have a procedure which scared me after going through labour, feeling exhausted and just wanting to hold my baby. 


We went with the manual removal and it seemed like everything had been removed, they then stitched me up again. Mum held Maddy and kept her safe and warm as Max supported me during the placenta delivery and stitches, he didn't leave my side until I was stable and then I encouraged him to go hug our daughter again. I laid in bed breastfeeding in the delivery room and bonding with Maddy. It came to a point where they asked if I wanted to get up and use the bathroom, on my way to the bathroom and I fainted and almost dropped to the ground, my mum caught my fall. I woke up 10 or 20 seconds later feeling very confused. 



My Mum feeding me some fresh fruit after labour as I establish breastfeeding and skin to skin.




I didn't scream loudly during labour and I didn't vomit (thank goodness I did enough of that first trimester), I tried to remain calm and breathe my way through it all. There's no denying the pain of labour but I feel like I managed to work with the pain and feel my body deliver our girl. I feel empowered by my labour and so so proud of myself and my body. I'm also just so thankful for having two amazing birthing partners, Max and my mum. They supported me in every way I needed and the process of labour was somewhat calmer this way, my midwife meshed so well with us too. She was fantastic. Almost five months on it feels so crazy to look back at these images, I saved the more personal ones for us and I don't think the internet needs to see it. Maddy is the greatest gift and worth every bit of pain and struggle. So thankful.




I'm going to continue my post partum experience in another post because that was a whole ordeal seems like it was harder than the actual labour, which I did not expect to be the case.


Kayla x


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