Aleesha’s Birth Story
When I was 30 weeks pregnant with my first baby I came home from work one afternoon and my husband was waiting for me outside. I knew he was excited about something because of the amount of effort he was putting into seeming like he wasn’t. It was an awkward time of our lives as he had been getting freelance work and it was me who had been providing consistent income through teaching. We knew that was all about to come to a halt so he’d been madly looking for work in a niche industry all over the world. Time was running out as I knew I only had a couple of weeks left to fly. We lived in a small cottage on the front of my in-laws’ property in rural Queensland. “I got a job in New Zealand, we need to move next week.”
At first I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not, but it became very quickly obvious that this was legit and that in ten weeks we’d be bringing a little kiwi into the world, in a city I’d never been to before, with a midwife I was yet to meet and a hospital system I’d yet to navigate.
The next ten weeks flew by, I found a hospital, an apartment to rent, I worked out the bus system, met a lovely midwife, Skyped my mum panicking almost every day and watched far too many episodes of One Born Every Minute than any heavily pregnant, overly anxious, expectant mother should ever be exposed to.
And then on the 26th of September 2012, very early in the morning on the day before she was due, I woke up in a wet bed. At first I thought I’d wet the bed and tried to wake up my husband up. He didn’t seem to mind, and then I went to the toilet and realised that, no I actually hadn’t peed the bed, my waters had broken. A couple of weeks before I lost another lot fluid, apparently that was my hind-waters, something I never knew existed until they splashed down my legs.
I called my midwife, who was like an angel and she told me to stay at home until my contractions had really kicked in.
And so I waited.
and still nothing, and then every twinge I was like – maybe this is it?!
and then nothing.
My sister had flown over to hang out with me in the last week of my pregnancy and so we put on our joggers and walked the whole city, trying to remain as calm as possibly at the thought that within twenty-four hours I would be completely responsible for another human’s life.
By 8 o’clock that night we went to the hospital, I had to get a taxi, and my husband rode behind on his motorbike so he would be able to get back home. Apparently there is some sort of law that states you can’t pick up a woman in labour, that they have to get an ambulance, but we were on a shoestring budget, so I tried my hardest to appear… not in labour.
I arrived at the hospital and they told me I was 3cm dilated. I was sure they were wrong. How could I ever endure anything more painful than this ha. ha. ha. In hindsight it’s probably good I was so naive.
The birthing suites were full so they moved me into the ward with the newborns, I’m not sure if this is common protocol, or whose idea this was, but I can tell you I was asked several times to be quiet to let the babies sleep.
I tried the gas and hated it – funnily enough my complete opposite reaction to my second labour.
The student midwife sat with me and kept trying to stroke my head, something in my most calmest voice possible had to ask her to stop doing. My husband knew me much better and sat in the chair next to me, with his hands to himself.
That night was like torture; exhausted I would almost fall asleep and then be awoken to the terror of a contraction, I would breath through it as best I could, then almost fall asleep and then it happen all over again, until 5am, when a room freed up in the birthing suite and it was my turn.
As soon as the nurse came in I screamed “CAN I PLEASE HAVE AN EPIDURAL?! PLEASE DON’T TELL ME IT’S TOO LATE. I’M BEGGING YOU!” At least I used my manners.
She organised for the anesthetist to come and he gave me one, after that the rest of the contractions were pretty good. There was a patch it didn’t work but mostly the time (another nine hours) passed surprisingly quickly. At 2 o’clock the student midwife (not the handsy one, another one) asked me to please push, she needed to get a certain amount of births for her course and was finishing in an hour. I asked, “Is it just as easy as that?” I was already 10cm dilated, I’m not sure how long I had been for, and the urge to push had been numbed by the epidural.
And before I knew it we were away. In my head I was expecting an elaborate procedure, like before you go in for surgery and everyone sterilizes, and you wear a hair net, but there was nothing, just push they said.
I pushed as hard as I could, not really knowing if I was doing it right. And then I stopped, and then pushed again, and I looked at my husband’s eyes. It had been an hour of solid pushing and he was tearing up
“I can see her head!”
“PUSH ALEESHA!” The midwife said.
I pushed, and from the corner of my eye, where I could see the supervising midwife watching on, I saw her lunge forward and yell STOP.
I was too far in, and I couldn’t stop. They pulled my baby up and straight onto my chest and I was overwhelmed, so much more than I could imagine. Blissfully unaware as to what was going on around me.
They asked my husband to push the button behind me, which I later found out was the emergency button. All I knew was I was besotted with this beautiful little baby. Drs came running in. My legs were up in stirrups and Tom said blood was filling trays, that were being replaced and filled again. I just assumed that whenever a baby is born they let everyone know and they all come in and ‘fix you’.
I was stitched for the next two hours. I lost quite a lot of blood and tore a lot, and they kept me in hospital for three days to monitor me for potential blood transfusion. Thankfully I didn’t have to have a transfusion, and my mum arrived that afternoon from Australia.
I fainted in hospital a lot over the next few days because of the blood loss, but eventually stabilised enough to go home.
It wasn’t nice at the time, but it can’t have scared me too badly cause ten months later I was pregnant again! (And on purpose!).
Here is a little video we made while we were at the hospital.
Thanks for letting me share my birth story of Indi.
(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).