Birth. It is the most incredible, indescribable, unpredictable and miraculous occurrence. Bringing life into the world is an experience that is personal and precious beyond belief. Each delivery is different to the next, and yet I feel that despite the varying differences it is something so special it can actually bring us altogether. I’m pulling together a range of real birth stories to share in the hope of expanding our knowledge and expectations of birth, and to dwell in the wonder that is the gift of life, in the countless forms it may arrive in!
Name & age at birth:
Cravings during pregnancy:
Ice blocks, ice cubes, frozen drinks – ice!! And orange juice.
I had the most wonderful pregnancy! Didn’t suffer much, just tiredness with working full time as a police officer.
Biggest concern about birth was:
This birth was actually my second birth after my son was stillborn the year earlier. So I was absolutely terrified of losing him.
Ideal birth plan was:
I wanted to feel in control and safe. After our terrible experience with our first son, I felt vulnerable and so scared of losing him. I wanted to be in hospital as soon as labour began and supported professionally.
Hours in labour:
How we went from wombmate to roommate:
I felt some small contractions that morning but figured they were Braxton Hicks. So I boarded a steam train with three friends for a charity high tea in the middle of the bush in a rural town! Not a great idea, in hindsight!!! When the bushrangers boarded the train for their skit, I stood up and whoosh, my waters broke loudly and dramatically! My friends hitchhiked back to the train station, grabbed the car and took me towards the hospital with contractions only 2 minutes apart! We met Brad at a service station on the way, I got out of my friends car and waddled into Brad’s. Then we flew to the hospital!!
On arrival I asked for an epidural and was pushed into a pethidine shot instead. This made me violently ill and I remember being so angry at the midwives for not letting me get the epidural. I was scared, vulnerable and totally out of control. When my husband finally demanded they order the epidural, it took an hour for the anaesthetist to arrive and then it was too late. I was so cranky. But then glad once Knox was born and I felt wonderful!
Most vivid memory during labour:
Being told by the midwife who was strongly against epidurals that women had been giving birth for years without drugs. This made me feel really small and weak. I’ll never forget that. I was hooked up to the monitor the whole time which meant I laboured laying flat on my back – the absolute worst position. I felt so out of control of my body and the situation. I’m still so cranky that I was forced into this and made to feel so vulnerable and powerless. My next birth I laboured upright on my knees, using the bed headrest as support and I felt strong and in control which was incredible.
Most amusing/interesting moment during labour/birth:
Birth really was a traumatic experience for me due to my fear after our loss. As Knox was born silent, I kept repeating “he is dead, isn’t he?” Brad was so upset by it. Knox finally cried and I sobbed with relief. I don’t remember asking the question but I remember how upset Brad was by it.
During labour/birth, I definitely did not expect:
Such a judgmental, strong opinion from a midwife. I wish I had stood up for my wants.
Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Knox Bradley, 3.6kg, 2.11.13
Baby’s name was almost:
Never anything else on our minds. We waited a long time for our Knox.
Time spent in hospital post birth:
4 days. We left the hospital on our 2nd wedding anniversary.
Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
Water cures almost everything. Feeling overwhelmed? Shower. Baby won’t settle? Bath or shower with them.
Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
Love to dream swaddle, simple Bonds onesies and an Ergo baby carrier.
If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
Sleep more!!!!! You think you’re tired now, you won’t sleep for another 5 years and counting, as your now 3 boys hate to sleep lol… SLEEEEEEP.
If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
Stand up for yourself. You are strong and in control of your body, your birth and your baby.
If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say?
He is ok, you are ok and you guys will be ok as time goes on.
Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
Make sure you and your partner are prepared to speak up for your wishes and be strong in conveying these. Women have been birthing forever but each birth and woman is unique and special and it’s ok to dictate how you want to birth!
If you have a birth story you’d like to share, then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation and continue celebrating this incredible life changing event!