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Baby Update – The Birth | Mama + Baby

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A few people have asked as to what Audrey’s birth was like, only because it was slightly abnormal – I had a VBAC (a natural birth following a caesarean). I also have thought that because it was quite different, even funny in parts I’d like to remember it, and what better way than to write it down? I don’t go into the {gory} details here so don’t worry too much, however it’s a bit of a tale about the day our second daughter was born.

I intend to replace what was my bump updates with baby updates, and now I think I’ve come through much of the newborn fog I can finally get around to completing some so, here’s the first – the tale of Audrey’s birth (apologies in advance for the length!).

Something’s happening

It was about 2.30am on Monday 9 November when I just knew something was happening. I was then 38.5 weeks pregnant and I just felt not quite right. I had been feeling out of sorts, not sleeping and with intermittent stomach pain since the Thursday before. But that morning, I knew something was happening. I didn’t wake Herman or Hannah, as although I had an inkling something was up, I still wasn’t sure. When you haven’t really been in labour before, you really don’t quite know if contractions are contractions, when they first begin anyway.

My last pregnancy photo! The day before Audrey was born.

My last pregnancy photo! The day before Audrey was born.

The Friday prior I also had this feeling, and I went into my scheduled appointment with my obstetrician half expecting her to say I was in labour. After a full examination, however, she said I was not in labour and it could be still some time away, and to go home and rest as much as I could, but really just wait it out. You might be thinking why on earth was I so impatient, especially as I was not even close to 40 weeks! Well, I had never been that pregnant before. Hannah was born at 37 weeks, via C-section as she was breech. This time, I was still deciding whether to trial labour and potentially have a VBAC or to go ahead with a planned c-section. My obstetrician had told me the baby was in a great position, actually near textbook position and that I was a definite candidate for a trial of labour. She also mentioned that there is risk with a VBAC that the scar will rupture – a 1 in 200 chance – which was a little scary. I had said I was willing to give it a try if I was to go into labour prior to a scheduled c-section date. However, on that Friday? I was just OVER IT. I actually cried when she said I wasn’t in labour. Originally, we had planned my c-section for 38.5 weeks, which would be 9 November. However, as I was doing quite well (up until that Friday) we decided to cancel it and wait it out a bit longer. I was regretting that decision on the Friday, and my obstetrician said to come in Monday morning as we would reassess then. She said if needed we could book it in that day. I went home relieved, and happy that it was only potentially three days until I would meet baby number two.

So, that Monday morning, 9 November, I had a chuckle as I thought how funny it would be if I actually was in labour on my original C-section date. I decided to just wait until my obstetrician appointment at 10.15am before I called the hospital, as my water had not yet broken. I called my mum to come and look after Hannah and I asked hubby to come into the appointment with me (just in case!).

Off to the obstetrician

When we arrived at the obstetrician, the reception informed me that my obs had just had to race over to the birthing suites as one of her patients was in labour. She then said she wasn’t sure how long she would be. I said it was fine and we were happy to wait. Herman pipes up with ‘She’s having contractions.’ The receptionist looked like she’d seen a ghost: ‘REALLY?!?’ She says. I replied that I thought I was. After consulting with my obstetrician, I was told to go straight to the pregnancy assessment unit, where my obstetrician would meet us. It was a busy day at the pregnancy assessment suite and as we waited in the lobby, the contractions were getting stronger and stronger, and I was having to walk around to get rid of them. It was then I knew it was ON.

You’re going to have a baby today

My obstetrician met me in a room and after a quick exam she said I was 3cm dilated and that I was going to have a baby today. Well, HANG ON WHAT?!? It still didn’t feel real – it’s so bizarre – you’ve waited 9-10 months to hear those words however for some reason it still hits you with a fervent mix of excitement, fear, joy and shock. At this point, I wasn’t even thinking about a c-section, I was just in pain!

A midwife arrived to take me up to a private room to wait until I was further dilated before entering the birthing suite. Herman went to move the car and I wandered around the room. Suddenly the contractions went from about a 3 in pain level to a firm 7 and I was in agony. At that point a nurse entered the room and taking one look at my face she remarked: ‘I think you’re in active labour! You need to go to the birthing suite.’ Before hubby had even returned from moving the car I was back on the move and into a birthing suite. The birthing room was huge and all I could think about was having a shower. Or a stiff drink! Herman returned from moving the car and his excitement was probably at the same level as my pain at that point.

I tried the gas and air however struggled to know what to do with it. A midwife showed me how to use it properly and I found a small amount of relief. I then jumped in the shower and stayed there for a good hour or two – I actually didn’t want to leave as it offered such relief and distraction from the pain.

After a good couple of hours in the birthing suite the contractions were much longer and closer together and all I could think about was that I couldn’t last much longer. ‘How do people do this?!’ Is all I could say. Like seriously, WHAT THE ACTUAL. At this point my obstetrician checked my progress and I was 6cm. I cried ‘Noooo’ as I thought I was surely further along. At this point, I asked for the epidural. I was told the anaesthetist would be at least 30 minutes away (again, thanks to the busy day at the maternity ward!) and then it would take another 20 minutes to work. I agreed as at this point I was so physically and mentally exhausted and I just couldn’t imagine going much longer.

It’s happening!

The anaesthetist arrived after a good 45 minutes and everything happened quite quickly from then. After a good 30 minutes I was still in a lot of pain, although it wasn’t as bad and the contractions had slowed. The midwife checked and the epidural had not worked properly – it was patchy. However, it did offer some relief and I probably had four or five contractions before the midwife examined me and found I was fully dilated. She called my obstetrician who arrived and then announced that it was time to push.

This is the part I was terrible at. It just felt bizarre but it was good to have a job – to have to push. As I had the previous c-section this was also the part we would have to monitor carefully.

After 45 minutes of pushing I still couldn’t quite grasp what I was supposed to be doing, and my obs said that I couldn’t push for too much longer or she would have to use the vacuum. This was a bit of a wakeup call for me as I was not keen on the vacuum at all and I somehow found some energy and some strength and finally I felt like I was doing something. Soon after, Audrey was born! It was 5.16pm. We were euphoric, and I couldn’t believe she was finally here!

We named her Audrey Charlotte – Audrey after my girl crush on Audrey Hepburn and Charlotte was chosen by Herman. She is pretty perfect.

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We then spent four days in hospital – mostly as I was enjoying the help! I can’t fault the staff at Mater Mothers Private, and I am so glad I trusted my obstetrician to know what was the best path of action. I’m so happy that I had the VBAC which I probably would haven’t considered had it not been for my obstetrician who believed I could do it. The midwives at the Mater were also amazing and I don’t think I could have done it without the one in particular who stuck by my side the whole labour. And of course, my hubby was wonderful – he really helped me through some of the really difficult parts and was so excited that it was somewhat a distraction from the pain!

Although it was five weeks ago, it still feels like it was yesterday. I know I’ll remember the feeling of happiness when seeing her little face for the first time, as I do with Hannah’s birth.

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Do you have a birth tale to tell? Any early or surprise births?

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8 Comments

  • Reply Toni @ Finding Myself Young

    I’m so excited you got to have a vbac! I’m hoping to have one if we do finally fall pregnant again. I had an emergency c-section with Hayley because they didn’t realise she was breech until a few hours into labour, so I got all the pain then the operation too! Don’t really want to experience that again.

    December 16, 2015 at 10:21 pm
    • Reply Jasmine

      Oh no! You poor thing. Labour and then a c-section! No I’m sure you won’t. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do – I wasn’t set on a VBAC or c-section, I kind of just went with it, and I’m so glad it worked out this way. Totally different experience but amazing all the same X

      December 16, 2015 at 10:26 pm
    • Reply Corryn

      It’s actually a lot better to go through labour and end up with a c-section for you and your baby than it is to do a scheduled c-section – it means your baby is ready and the hormones are all primed and ready for birth :) it has benefits for breastfeeding and baby’s health from what I’ve been told!

      January 6, 2016 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Karen | Style Loving 2

    I love reading people’s birthing stories it is so interesting how everyone’s is different. I would have to say I was very blessed with short births of all 4 of my kids. All 3 boys were induced but natural births with relatively short labours and only gas. My daughter came on her own and was a very short labour – I arrived at the hospital at 7am doctor checked me at 8am already 8cm dilated and gave birth at 9am. She was my second child and I think because it was so easy I had two more. Mind you I do remember being in labour with no. 3 and thinking I didn’t want to do this again, the nurse informed me that maybe I had left that a little late. Oops!

    December 16, 2015 at 11:36 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ Life at Number Five

    I had an emergency c-section after I was already fully dilated so I feel like I’ve had both! But next time will be a planned c-section (my OB said he was writing No VBAC in big capital letters on my file because I cannot have a natural birth) so I’ll be a little more prepared. Part of me is a bit sad that I can’t give birth naturally but mostly I’m just thankful that we have the medicine available to make both me and my baby safe!
    Congrats on little Audrey, she’s just divine.

    December 17, 2015 at 6:04 am
    • Reply Jasmine

      Oh Lauren that would have been an ordeal for sure! But magic at the end which made it all worth while I’m sure :) My c-section was a very relaxed affair really as we knew it was happening. I was all set to have another until my Obs said I was a candidate for a VBAC. Totally – how amazing is modern medicine – as long as both mum and baby is safe then that is all that matters! Thank you lovely xx

      December 17, 2015 at 6:11 am
  • Reply sig

    Congrats! She is just gorgeous :)

    I’m currently 38 weeks and hoping to go for a VBAC as well, after a long and fairly traumatic emergency c-section last time so this was a great read. Hoping to go into spontaneous labour to do it so really keeping an eye on things!

    But I know whatever happens will be for the best :)

    December 30, 2015 at 9:09 pm
    • Reply Jasmine

      Oh best of luck Sig, you might have had our Bub already? Xx

      January 16, 2016 at 11:24 pm

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