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:
Tegan, 22 years old
30th November 2017
Cravings during pregnancy:
Mainly fresh fruit, the biggest one being peaches.
I threw up a lot. My morning sickness started at 5 weeks and stopped at 15 weeks. For those 10 weeks I threw up every single morning. Not fun!
Biggest concern about birth was:
I guess the unknown. I had an idea in my head of what I thought the pain might be like… But having no experience made me wonder how I would cope.
Ideal birth plan was:
I wanted a natural birth. I wanted to labour at home for as long as I could and go into the hospital once I knew for sure that things were happening.
Hours in labour:
I actually slept through all of my early labour. I woke up at 3:15am which is when I believe my active labour started. Total active labour was 3 hours. Pushing stage was 15 minutes (with forcep assistance).
How we went from wombmate to roommate:
So I woke up at 3:15am to contractions. I jumped out of bed and thought I’d walk around the house for a little while to see if they get stronger and showed any consistency. After 1 hour of walking the halls, I went to the toilet to find I had lost my bloody show. As soon as this happened, my contractions started ramping up and were starting to really hurt. I woke up my partner and said “it’s happening!” I decided to have a shower and try to relax as I laboured. But the contractions were coming hard and fast. I told my partner Aaron to call the midwife and tell her what was happening. We were timing my contractions and they were 3 minutes apart, lasting a minute long and were so strong!
The midwife on the phone said “you’re a first time mum, you’ve only been in labour for about an hour, take a Panadol and go to bed.” When I heard this I couldn’t believe it. I felt frustrated and confused… Then I started to think maybe I’m overreacting and being a sook. I thought if this is early labour, then there is absolutely no way I can do this, I just can’t! So I listened to what she said and I waited 1 more hour at home. By this point I couldn’t bare another second and said “we’re going to the hospital, I don’t care what anyone says, I want to go.” We rushed to the car and off we went.
It was about 5:30am now and I was drenched in sweat. The contractions were kicking my butt! Then about half way through the car ride, I could feel my body changing. The contractions weren’t as intense and I started to get a deeper, pressure like feeling take over my body. My body was starting to push beyond my control and I didn’t really understand that this is what was happening. I said to my partner Aaron “I think he’s coming out!” Luckily we were only about 5 minutes away now.
We pulled up and I rushed Aaron off to go get someone and get me a wheelchair because there was no way I could walk anywhere. As soon as we got inside, they helped me onto a bed and checked me for dilation. They were shocked and said I was fully dilated and that I can listen to my body and push when I felt like it. They then checked my baby’s heart rate to find that it was low. I’m not sure how low, but low enough for it to become an emergency and the next second I’m being rushed down a hallway into a theatre room with Aaron running behind.
I really had no idea what was happening, as I was so caught up in what I was going through within my own body. There were many, many people in the room, all busy running around. All I really remember was that I had a man come to my side, he helped me lean forward and he was just telling me to push and we needed to get baby out ASAP. While this was happening, I had a doctor give me an episiotomy and use forceps while I pushed to help hurry things along.
Within only a few minutes, my baby boy was out and placed onto my chest. I was so happy to see his beautiful face and to have him in my arms. I was in shock because I had only just arrived at the hospital 15 minutes prior and could not believe what just happened and how fast everything was. But funnily enough even with all the craziness that was happening around me, I felt safe, calm and content the entire time inside my own mind. I never felt panicked. They checked baby over and he was completely healthy and was doing great.
Most vivid memory during labour:
I most remember this one super intense contraction just before we rushed out the door. I flung myself over the couch and screamed so loud and I remember Aaron standing down the hallway watching me in shock and then sprinting up the stairs so fast to get our stuff. I think this is the moment he realised the baby was actually going to come out real quick and to hurry up!
Most amusing/interesting moment during labour/birth:
Seeing the midwives faces when they saw I was fully dilated. It was also such a relief to know that it was almost over.
During labour/birth, I definitely did not expect:
For it to happen that fast! You always hear that labour averages 6ish hours and often longer, especially for first time mums.
Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Kyle Aaron Garcia, 7 pound 15 ounce, 29th November 2017
Baby’s name was almost:
We literally had no other names we agreed on.. So luckily he suited the name we chose!
Time spent in hospital post birth:
1 night, 2 full days.
Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
If you can meal prep or have someone do the cooking for you for those first few days or even weeks, that can make such a difference! At least for me because of the episiotomy, laying down and resting was super important.
Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
I loved having my portable bassinet on wheels because I could easily move him around to whichever room I was in.
I think a baby wrap/sling can be super helpful so that you still have your hands free.
I also always dress my babies in basically nothing but zip onesies. So much easier when changing nappies etc.
If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
You won’t be this swollen forever don’t worry haha.
If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
Don’t doubt yourself! Trust your body.
Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
Pretty much as above – trust yourself and if you feel like things are happening, in my opinion you’re better off going in and getting checked for that reassurance.
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!