April 30, 2023
Happy birthday my new baby! What a f*cking experience it was to give birth…
May 11, 2023
I’m well out of hospital and back into my normal routine. I want to tell you about the days leading up to the birth-day and the birth itself. Let me just say, the birth itself was MUCH sweeter than the week prior…
Caramel Coated Bun Overcooking
Not so great news… At my final antenatal appointment (now 40 weeks), the doctor mentioned her concern for bub’s size. I was told she was ‘too small’ which had been a trend during my whole pregnancy– since the second ultrasound at 12 weeks. However, I always so certainly said, “She is fine.” I knew in my heart and soul she was healthy and her size was never alarming to me. I had been refusing recommended ultrasounds– what a waste of expensive money! I’d been standing firm in my belief.
The doctor explained that her size could be the result of malnutrition due to an ineffective placenta. I started getting nervous… I’d been struggling to get my iron levels up the past nine months, maybe she was too small, I thought. The doctor went on to explain how after 41 weeks the placenta starts to shut down and how it would pose a potential health-risk leaving her in too long. “But I swear she’s not small! She’s fine. I’m healthy and happy, she is healthy and happy,” I continue to convince myself, as fear and doubt starts to creep in… It’s AMAZING how fear can make stone-hard beliefs malleable.
She discussed the options; C-section (abbbbsssooollluuuttteeelllyyyyyy notttttttttt) or induction. I felt sick in the stomach. But maybe it was best, do it for bub… We organised to induce at the end of the week, for convenience. My fiancé would be extremely busy with work come next week, so getting her out before then would be best… That was sensible, but definitely not what I wanted.
“She wasn’t too small! Ugh!” Still, I continue to dismiss my instincts.
Induction scared the shit out of me! I had already been nervous about childbirth, now to find out I’d be doing instead of giving birth, more rapidly and painfully– the downsides of inducing… I didn’t want to mess with nature and force my body to function. I was distraught. I knew there was no need. The whole thing angered me. I just couldn’t do it, so, I tried to renegotiate with my fiancé the date of induction. Maybe if we push it back, it would give my body a chance to go into labour. The more we discussed it, the more I realised how silly it would be to wait longer. I’d essentially be sitting on my hands, hoping to go into labour. “Just rip the band-aid off…“
Ding! Removing the Bun
It was Monday when we booked the induction, there were 6 days until my life would be permanently changed. Baby would actually be here soon. I felt a tornado of emotions; excitement, disbelief, terror. Soon, I’d be crossing that bridge from singularity to motherhood.
I eventually came to accept my circumstances and modified how I’d approach birth. I more seriously practiced meditation, wrote cards with stronger words of encouragement and reread them, repetitively. In the meantime, I rigorously tried every form of natural inducement; smelling clary sage, drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating spicy food, walking up stairs, sex, visualisation. I was so desperate to naturally go into labour.
On Thursday night, I received a surprise message. It was from my life-long best friend who lived out of state. She was taking a holiday in town. She’d be here for the birth. I was stoked! I see her yearly, if that. She hadn’t even been informed about the induction. Since mum was in town for a few weeks, I cooked a roast lamb for everyone on Friday night.
During our late-night family banter, my waters broke…
It was discreet, so I kept quiet and abruptly started ushering everyone home. I’d never felt so in debt to the universe! We went to the hospital that night and slowly the contractions came. They offered for me to sleep overnight, but I declined because I wasn’t convinced anything would happen overnight. Surely enough, all Saturday there was a lull– the contractions didn’t progress, until 10pm that night. At 1am on Sunday, I knew it was time for our hospital hotel stay.
Nothing in life could ever prepare you for childbirth. The internal torture for hours and hours and hours and hours. Labour for me progressed as fast as a damn turtle. After 14 hours of contractions, with no food, water, or sleep, it was time for good ol’ happy gas– this was the beginning of throwing all my natural birth plans out the window. At the rate of my progression, there was approximately 6-8 hours still to endure before baby would potentially be born.
What was most annoying was the constant heartbeat monitoring the midwives wanted to do the ENTIRE time, because they saw the smallest concern in bub’s heartbeat pattern.
“She is fine! I’m not worried!“
It felt like shooing away flies, honestly. Not all the midwives were like that, I’ll get to that further into the story. But for those 14 hours or so, it was difficult to fall into a trance– the trance we learnt about during a hypnobirthing course.
The gas didn’t have much effect, except for making me feel woozy. I sucked it down for 2 hours like my life depended on it, then decided I was done. I was losing my mind and started worrying about bub because of how out-of-it I felt. It was 2pm, and at this point I had considered a C-section. Ironic. Fortunately, they talked me into the epidural so I could get some sleep, then they would induce to hurry things along.
The anaesthetist wasn’t available for nearly an hour. Ugh! As soon as he arrived, my body randomly began getting the strongest urge to push. I wasn’t fully dilated, so I had to breath and try to resist pushing. I’ve never had such resilient mind over body! The urges were so intense I swear that baby wanted to get out! I’d be scared too bubs, knowing a tube is going to be threaded up my spine… *spew emoji*
I had my well-deserved half-time snooze for an hour, then the midwife checked me again, and baby had ripened! I just had to push her out now. “Finally!” I said, loudly. What a relief. But it wasn’t a 10 minute task like I had keenly anticipated…
The epidural made my lower area numb. It took physical guidance and strong encouragement by my fiancé and the midwife to help me try and squeeze her out.
1 hour and 45 minutes later…
Kya Ocean Rose Andrews
And guess what?
She wasn’t too small.
Like I said.
I’ve had my emotional breakdown. It’s such an overwhelmingly beautiful experience.
And I don’t know if I think this because I’m mum, but my baby is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life.
It’s been fun playing ‘Mum’ the past nearly 2 weeks. I could inundate this post with pictures because I’m mildly obsessed, but maybe I’ll start another platform, exclusively for baby-pic dumping.
Oddly, not only do I feel closer to my family, I feel closer to my Fiancé’s family. It feels nice.
Reality tastes sweeter these days.
Have you got any kids? How’s parenthood going for you?