Let’s take things back about 3 months ago. I was the size of a whale ( or a 3 bedroom house). It was mostly belly but I’m little so this baby bump really did take over my whole body in the last couple of months. I have these pains in my back, so bad that I had to call my girl Paula to sit in her bathtub for a couple of hours (we didn’t have one at home). Anyway, these pains were contractions that I didn’t know I was having — I mean I always thought that I would feel contractions at the front of me. These lasted for 2 days. My mum flew up from melbourne to be with me leaving her needy husband (my step dad) behind, despite his unhappiness with her choice to come to sydney when she did — but that’s another story altogether….My mum WAS the only thing making me feel better at this point.
On the 17th Sept my water hadn’t broken yet but I was not coping with the pain, so David, Mum and David’s Mum (who I will refer to as Grandma), took me to the hospital. My baby was in posterior position – think the worst pain you can imagine, then double it. Posterior position means that my back and his back were in line and instead of him facing down he was facing up. Because of the size of my pelvis, there was no way he was coming out that way. Anyway, the midwife checked me and sent me home to try to turn the baby. I remember David getting me to go up and down the stairs more than a few times to help me move things along. Later on that night I started to feel the contractions round the front…Alas!! bubba had turned the right way!!
So off to the delivery ward I went again, this time I was given a sweep to help break my waters and was hooked up to a monitor checking my contraction frequency and intensity. They tried to send me home again to relax but this time I was determined to stay. 2 hours later they started to really hurt. Like fucken hurt. I was dilating really slowly and me waters were still intact. David and I decided to get under the shower so there I was, sitting on a backwards chair, under the hot shower whilst david was also using a hand held shower nozzle to hose more water on to my lower back. It was steamy, I had the happy gas and we breathed through the excruciating pain together. Its probably the closest I’ve ever felt to him and I’ll never forget that feeling. (Its the only part of the delivery I like to remember). At around 7cm I was exhausted and opted an epidural. A midwife had manually broken my waters – it was like some girl on girl action that I didn’t really want and if I wasn’t in so much pain I would’ve been pretty embarrassed about it. The epidural kicked in and I felt much better. I tried to rest.
I had a pretty good support team around me. David dealing with the emotional stuff, mum in charge of ice and water and grandma in charge of mini back massages. In the early hours of the morning of the 18th, I was fast approaching 11 hours in labour and the doctors made a decision to use a drug to make my contractions stronger so I would dilate faster, but this came with another stronger dose of epidural. So with a double dose of epidural I waited to be ready to push…let me just say – just because i was feeling little pain, it don’t mean i wasn’t feeling a-lot-a-bit tired. An hour later it seemed that bubba did not like the drug they administered and his heart beat dropped. A quick decision was made to have a C-section. So off we went to the operating theatre, where I was given another dose of anesthetic. David left me to prep and mum stayed back in the labour ward so I was left alone with the surgeons for a bit. (please excuse my disjointed sense of time here, I’m just writing what I remember) I don’t know if I was scared or if it was a reaction to the drugs but I started vomiting as soon as I got into that theater – And my god I was soooo thirsty. Like fucken thirsty. But I was told I couldn’t have any water till they finished. David finally joined me and the doctors started doing their thing. My teeth had started to chatter but I was trying to keep calm. A while after “feeling some odd pulling and pressure”, baby was out. The first time I heard him cry, I cried. I cried like OMG he’s alive and ok. The teeth chattering got worse. They checked bubba, cleaned him and injected him with vitamin K and put him on my chest. He started to suck on my chin which was now chattering vigorously. I cried again. I couldn’t believe I made him. Oh and now I remember that I’m so thirsty again. And my neck or shoulder or both is hurting a lot. The doctor gave me a few drops of water but I threw it up almost immediately. And the chattering and now shakes had become unbearable. I don’t remember the next bit but apparently my body was convulsing, David was yelling at me to calm down and holding me down cause I was kicking the surgeon who was trying to stitch me up, screaming for them to hurry up and demanding water. Scary stuff. My body just didnt cope with the amount of drugs and I lost control.
Next thing I remember was being in another room with 6 or so doctors around me but nobody seemed to be doing anything. No one was helping. And all I wanted was a fucken glass of water. I was dying of thirst. No actually – I was dying. My blood pressure was through the roof and I was on the verge of a cardiac arrest. The doctors stood back because there was nothing they could do but wait it out at this point. They even sent David away just in case things turned worse. I was so fucken scared and then I blacked out. I awoke to being wheeled into an elevator and then into a hospital ward. David was there looking so stressed and there was a baby cot in the room. I was alive. It was daylight. Then I slept.
I woke up to my mum, David, grandma and the most perfect little boy I have ever seen. It took 7 nights in hospital before they let me out. Bubba (Chance) was perfectly healthy and I was battered and broken. The C-section left me unable to walk for the first few days and my mum, having trouble at home, left with a promise to come back as soon as she could. I was traumatized, exhausted and felt like I was broken beyond repair and the depression settled in. I cried. A lot. I cried because mum couldn’t be by my side (and no one could replace her). I cried because I was in too much pain to walk, move fast and felt like I was failing to care for my child. I cried because he wasn’t attaching properly so breastfeeding was a challenge – And I thought it would come naturally. I cried because, even though I was often surrounded by people, I felt so lonely.
My mum came back the day before I was released from the hospital. The second week was difficult too. Still having trouble moving and feeling like I was a bad mum because I could not look after my baby properly. My postpartum depression caused me to cry constantly. It was like I felt like a failure at something I expected to come so naturally – motherhood. But I had so many good people around me. David, my mum, grandma, David’s brother Scott, , my besties Veena & Paula, my good friend Sarina, my cousin Dennis & his wife Lisha and Aunty Lisette and David’s nieceLlindzee. I’m so thankful to them for being there in the hardest time of my life and I’m so blessed for their ongoing love and support.
Its amazing what your body can cope with and how quickly it can recover from a tremendous amount of stress. By the 3rd week I was walking and even did my first gig. I had to go back to work as I felt useless staying at home in bed. And now 12 weeks later I have made a full recovery, gotten the hang of the mum thing and even enjoying it. When I look at my beautiful baby boy everyday, and he smiles at me, no stretchmark, battle scar or contraction could make me regret having him. Children are amazing. I have never loved anyone so unconditionally and I now know how much my mother loves me. I also have never been proud of anything I’ve done more than making this little man. Being Chance’s mum is truly the best gig ever!
1. DON’T research too much or obsess about labour (I mean the last thing I wanted to see was a video of a woman giving birth just before I had to do it) The more I researched the more scared I got — It’s OK to skip those classes….EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE
2. Who your LABOUR SUPPORT TEAM is, IS the most important decision you can make to help your labour experience — not too many people and THE RIGHT people (no being nice and inviting the whole world so they dont feel left out business) oh and dont underestimate how exhausting it will be on your baby-daddy. Cut him some slack 😉
3. Contractions HURT. Drugs HELP. We are in the modern world. You wouldnt pull out a tooth without anesthetic so why do women feel pressured to give birth without it?
4. C-sections aren’t the easy way out…If you can go natural. GO NATURAL..trust me
5. Babies can integrate into your lifestyle with a bit of conditioning so dont think your life is over once you have one.
6. Being a mum is TOPs. That Is All 🙂
Its been amazing sharing this story with you all and I think it is a healthy part of my recovery and I encourage all new mums to document their birth stories even if just to write and forget. And if you want to post yours here please feel free to email me from the “Contact” page