Tessa is a from Sydney Australia and this is her birth story with her first baby, Zarah.
“I found it really therapeutic writing and sharing, as I have endometriosis, I totally thought I would have a natural birth, drug free… (being used to the pain / cramping and all, I told myself I had this in the bag!) however I delivered our little girl via Cesarean.
Totally opposite to how I visioned my delivery to go, although the support I had through the long night and the following day was incredible, and feel that it’s nice to share things always don’t go to ‘plan or preference’ and that’s okay.Our little gem is here, beautiful, and thriving off mummy’s milk supply, which I’m stoked about!
Wednesday 5:30pm – Just shy of 41 Weeks
The night we went into hospital, to have a foley bulb induction. For those who don’t know, this is a procedure where a balloon is attached to the end of a catheter, and is inserted into your cervix which helps promote labour.
The idea of this procedure is to promote labour, by gently softening and opening up the cervix, as mine was high, tight and totally closed. This stayed in for 12 + hours, and when it was time to see how successful it was, we were told I had only dilated by 1cm. #bugger
It was a couple of days before the long weekend, which meant staff and availability were scarce – something my OB wasn’t too keen about was taking my pregnancy over the long weekend, as this meant we were well over 41 weeks, with a placenta that was starting to calcify. He was on board with whatever I chose, however made it clear with what he thought would be the safest and healthiest outcome for our little girl.
From day one, I told myself I would let the professional make the final, most critical decisions. Being my first pregnancy, I was not going to rely on previous blogs, insta posts, books and research to determine how this labour was going to pan out. My OB, who we highly respected, with over 15 years of experience was my ‘go to’ guy with what happens next.
Thursday 7:30am – Induction
After my measly 1cm progression after 12 + hours, we decided to go ahead with the induction. This was a crazy, mental and physically challenging experience. My contractions started, and escalated very fast, I was contracting for at least 30 seconds, every 1.5minutes… I couldn’t catch a break. All I wanted to do in between contractions was sleep, completely let my body drop and relax, however that 1.5 minute interval came around, in what felt like, seconds!
4 hours went by… I was exhausted. From standing, to pacing, to bracing, to deep breathing, to bouncing on a ball, to eventually sucking on disgusting, useless gas, I was spent.
3-4cm … say what?!
After 12 + hours of having a balloon inserted, 4.5 + hours of the hideous induced labour, I had only progressed by 2cm. You know what happened next…
Thursday 11:30pm – Get me the epidural stat !
What a life saver this was… it completely relaxed me, took the edge off the intense pain and made me enjoy the remaining 6 + hours I was still in for. It was like running a marathon barefoot on hot gravel, to then get half way and find ASICS Gels that had been refrigerated.
As the afternoon progressed, our poor little monkey wasn’t doing too well. Every time the nurses went to up the induction drug, our little Z’s heart rate would drop, which meant they had to turn it right back down, which in return slowed down the whole labour. Another examination at 4pm, and I was only 4-5cm dilated – not even half way, after a whole night, morning and afternoon.
My OB made the call, in two hours, if you haven’t progressed, we are going in for a cesarean, however if you have, we will continue the labour for a natural delivery. The C word I didn’t want to hear. I was adamant I was pushing this baby out, she wasn’t getting cut out, so I told myself I had two hours.
Two hours, I dropped the lower half of the bed down, I bounced, tightened my core with every contraction and made sure I was doing everything I possibly could whilst being completely numb from hips down.
My OB came back for another examination, I was convinced I’d be at least 7cm by this stage after all the extra ‘work’ I did … how wrong I was. I hadn’t budged, I was still 4-5cm, even our lovely intern who was with us throughout the whole day had a second check and she reluctantly said; ‘no further progress Tess’.
After a few tears of disappointment and the unknown, I was getting wheeled down to theatre, to have a cesarean.
- Would I get skin to skin?
- Is she ready to be delivered?
- What if breast feeding doesn’t happen for me after this?
- What’s the recovery going to be like, will I be able to carry her and look after her whilst Petes at work?
- She won’t be delivered naturally and collect all the amazing bacteria she needs … what if she has poor gut health, poor immune system?
My mind was going insane.
Thankfully my husband was keeping me at ease and reassuring me that if anyone’s ‘got this’ – it’s me.
After the pulling and tugging (you certainly feel all of these sensations and I thought I was going to be sick numerous times) our little girl squirmed, wriggled and POPPED out of the 10cm ‘sunroof’ – all I heard was her first gasp of air and her precious cry and all I saw was my husband standing up with his eyes filled with tears, in absolute awe.
She was here! Baby Zarah was born. She was brought back to me for my beloved skin to skin, that our intern had organised and the rest was history.
Our beautiful bundle was a healthy weight of 3.2kg, 49cm in length, with not a thing wrong with her – we were blessed and completely besotted by her.
Two weeks later
I’m home, hubby is at work, he went back the next morning after 3 hours sleep and has pretty much been there since, running our business.
I’m walking, lifting her, washing, cooking, bouncing her, even dancing with her (slowly!) and my milk supply is enough to feed at least 3 babies (so the midwives told me whilst laughing in shock!) and I’m happily breast feeding, bonding with our little Zari.
The days and nights are certainly long, but I have to keep reminding myself this period of time is so short – so I’m soaking in the good, the challenging and the memorable / loveable moments with my mini. x