Real Kiwi women share their birth experiences in these touching Birth Stories

header_sp.gif Real birth stories by Kiwi mums

We love love love reading birth stories, if you'd like to share yours here please email it to us! 

Apart from being there, there's really nothing quite like a birth story, written by mum herself (and a dad in one case!) to relive the exciting roller coaster ride that is labour and birth.
WARNING:   these stories contain language that may be offensive to some people.  


Z.A.C. Catherine Lucy Charlotte & Robert Nathan
Jessica Daniel Kyla Trae
Kate C L  Olivia
Finn Nathan Xanthe Hunter

Birth story of Zachary

The facts:
After a week of cramping and niggles that had me thinking many times ‘oh, is this the start?’ on the afternoon of Wed 12th Dec I got period pains again and wondered, again, is this it? At 4.30 I called Heidi (my best friend and birth support) to put her on standby to be on standby. :) At about 5.30pm I called her and said right I really think this is it I need you to make your way over here asap.

DH got home about the same time and I told him that I was pretty sure we’d be having a baby tonight.

Heidi arrived around 6.15pm ish I think and we timed the cxs for a while. They were 3 and a half mins apart and lasting about 45 seconds but they were totally manageable. I phoned the MW at 6.30ish to report the status and she said well I think from the sound of you, you’ll be at home for at least another hour. This was fine and we settled in to deal with the cxs. At this point things were still very jovial and we were laughing and joking around between cxs and even had a dance (to 50 cent of all things – go…go… go Shorty… its your birthday). :)

Rob dropped Elliott to my sisters somewhere around this point. I laboured on at home, coping quite well I thought with the increasing pain but the mood was changing and I was starting to get quite on edge. Rang the midwife and said I want to go know and she said fine meet you there. The trip along K road to Birthcare was pretty awful – on my hands and knees in the back of the car trying to find some way to get comfortable.

We got to Birthcare at 8.30pm and shortly after Jan (MW) checked how far along I was and checked baby’s HB which was fine. I was only 4cm and I was quite disappointed knowing that active labour hadn’t even started yet! Jan broke my waters at the same time and instantly things started to ramp up. The cxs were markedly more painful and I had to totally focus during them. Jan recommended I wait as long as possible to get in the pool because she didn’t want to risk slowing things down but after about 20 mins (felt like over an hour to me!) I said I really need to get in and try the pool as I was struggling being on my feet and my legs were had it. Into the pool I get and to be honest I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t quite the ‘magic relief’ some had spoken of but as the cxs continued I realised that having the weight off my lower body was making a huge difference. I’m not sure how much time passed but it got to the point that really I just went somewhere else. The pain was unimaginable and during each cx I started to almost regress back to toddlerhood. I really was sounding like my 2 year old daughter, nooo, nooo, nooo, stoooop. Jan and Heidi constantly reminded me to breathe and I needed the reminder each cx. I had some awareness that I must be (well hoped I was) close to transitioning and I was felt like vomiting at every cx and I had also started shaking. I had some urges to push and Jan said to give it a go but she could tell I wasn’t quite ready. She said she’d like to check me and reported that a lip of the cervix had come down with his head and she’d need to push it back. They got me out of the pool and onto the bed and the lip was pushed back (time was 10 oclock). I got the urge to push and went for it with one leg on Jan and one on DH. What an amazing feeling! The pain was still as intense but it was different and I felt like I could actually push (pardon the pun) back against it. I think it took about 8 pushes and I felt the head crowning. Now that’s an interesting feeling if ever there was one! Next contraction and Jan was telling me to breath him out but while I tried not to push my body had other ideas. Jan was quick enough to judge that I was close to a really horrid tear on my previous episiotomy so gave me a very small cut (which I didn’t feel) to help the head out. Shortly after (it was now 10.22) my newborn son was placed on my stomach. WOW!!!
Stats: Zachary Ashton Cxxxxx (ZAC). 3.980kg, 51.3 cm long

The feelings:
Its been almost a week now and I have had enough time to mentally process the birth of Zac. It was technically everything I could ever had hoped for, a totally natural non-hospital birth with no medical (apart from MW) intervention and most importantly a healthy baby and mummy. While immediately after I was elated I was also quite shaken by the true reality of just how painful it had been during those final stages of labour.

It was a totally different shared experience with my DH than DD’s birth had been in that he was very much involved this time. He struggles with the site of blood and I thought he was going to pass out a few times during the pushing stage but he kept strong and was overwhelmed with emotion as he saw his son be born.

And from an emotional support perspective my friend Heidi was just so totally amazing. She is very intuitive and really knew what I needed at each stage of the labour and I think without her I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without pain relief and we may have ended up at Auck Hospital.

The recovery:
I had a bit of a sore throat which indicated how vocal I had been and all my muscles were pretty sore on day 2 like I’d had a really hard workout (well I had!) I had a couple of stitches and they were a bit tender but apart from that I really felt great.

The result:
He’s simply perfect. My darling daughter has taken it all in her stride and I’m so proud of her. I can’t wait to watch them grow and feel so totally lucky to have such a wonderful family.

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Birth story of Catherine Lucy

At 7 days overdue I was booked in for an induction on Friday 25th January. Had to be at the hospital at 7.30am. We arrived and did the paperwork etc, then headed up to the maternity ward. They gave me a bed, and advised that they were quite busy and weren’t sure whether they would keep me in or send me home for a few hours. I was a bit disappointed, as we were hoping to get things underway as soon as possible. The mw came in and asked what my previous labour was like. I told her it was uncomplicated, waters broken at 3pm and baby born at 11pm. She asked if I had an epidural and I said no. That got her interested. There was a room they could put me in but it meant no epidural, as it’s not set up for one. I said that would be ok as I wasn’t really planning on having one anyway. She went off to talk to one of the other mw’s and said they would let me know at 10.15am.

At 10am Nanny came up and bought Nathan for a visit, and waited to hear if we were going in or not. At 1030am Nathan was bored and getting titchy so Nanny and he left and we waited………

Finally at 11am the mw reappeared and said we were good to go. I had to use the “birthing room” so if I wanted an epidural it meant I had to change rooms. That was all fine with me.

At 11.30am with a pop and a gush, my waters were broken. There was a wee bit of meconium so we were given a time frame to work with. We ate some lunch and I wandered about the room watching daytime tv and waiting for the contractions to start. They started around 1pm, but rather infrequent. At 1.30pm mw advised that they would let me go till 2pm and if nothing had happened I would go on the syntocin drip. I started to have a few ouchy contractions and the terrible back pain I had when in labour with Nathan. They decided to let me go a bit longer without they synto, and got me a swiss ball to sit on and table to lean on to ease the pressure on my back. That helped.

At 2.30pm they decided that the contractions weren’t progressing enough so the synto drip was started on a standard level of 12. Within minutes I was having to really concentrate on the contractions and the pain was increasing. I got off the swiss ball and up on the double bed, leaning over the back of it. Just before 3pm (and I get these times from Daddy as it was all a blur and felt like hours had passed to me!) the contractions were one on top of each other and I was groaning and really starting to struggle with the pain. At this point the mw’s changed shifts and were talking and laughing to each other and I wanted to scream at them to shut their yaps, couldn’t they see I was in pain! They decided to turn the synto down to 6 as it was all going too fast. Finally one of the mw’s got some lavender oil and started to massage my back, that was heaven. Then Daddy took over and at the same time put the gas in my hand. At about this point I said “ I need the drugs I can’t do this” …the pain was so intense. That made the mw’s all shut up and start paying attention to me! No no they said you can do it, use the gas.

So I started to suck on the gas, what heaven! I remembered that you need long slow breaths during the contractions and I found that the gas actually worked! My head was light and I could cope a bit better with the pain.

It felt like hours later, but apparently only about 20 minutes, I advised them that I needed to go to the loo. The mw asked was I feeling pressure in my bottom, no I said, I just need to wee, (I thought there was hours to go yet), so they started to unhook me from the monitor, when I said hang on heres another one. So they waited for it to pass. The groan I let out got their attention, and the mw said are you pushing?? “No” I said, as I had no real urge, but then I realised I was!” I can see the head” declared mw in a state of shock! Suddenly buttons were being pushed and people were rushing about everywhere. I panicked then and started yelling get it out get it out as I thought there would be hours of pushing to go and didn’t think I could do it. Daddy calmed me down and helped me breath. Two pushes later and out you came! 8 minutes of pushing! I couldn’t believe it happened so fast. I could actually feel you moving down and my cervix opening to let you through, which I always thought people were talking all airy fairies when they said things like that but it’s true! It was amazing, I felt in control and very calm.

I asked if you were a boy or girl and they said we will pass baby through your legs so you can see…..unfortunately you had a short cord so all I could see was your little head and chest….finally daddy told me you were a girl. I turned around and daddy cut the cord, and we had cuddles. You were perfect in every way. Nanny and Nathan arrived not long after and had cuddles too, and I had three stitches put in as you came out just like Nathan, with your arm up!

All in all a wonderful calm birth that has resulted in so far a wonderful calm baby. Welcome to our world Catherine Lucy, you are much loved by us all.

Dads Version of events

After some delays Tash had her waters broken about 11:40. Life continued as normal until about 2:10 when the midwife hooked her up to (well, something that she will be able to explain better than I. But it was one of those things that adds drugs to a drip at a controlled rate. She can also tell you the drug as it was one of those finner details I left to the professionals).A midwife handover just before 3 coincided with a sense of humor failure as the contraction started (note, it is deliberate in it's singular term, I'm pretty sure Tash will tell you that it was only one, just the level of pain varied). Around 3 she finally succumbed to the temptation of gas, so being the gentleman.I am I relinquished my hold on it and gave it to her .After 1/2 hour or so of this it seemed the bottle must have run out as she start asking for more drugs. At this point the midwife had a look and suggested that since she could see the head , by the time she went and got more drugs it might be all over , so perhaps a couple of pushes might be more prudent, and her time might be better spent catching the baby. Sure enough 3 pushes and Catherine Lucy joined the outside world.

While I'm sure there are details that Tash wants to either alter or embellish the actual weight was 3.280kg (or 7lb 3oz), the length 49cm and the pain limited to my feet going numb while I was rubbing her back. -Rick

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Birth story of Charlotte and Robert

Monday 7th April DH and I went into Waikato hospital with my Mum for my 8pm induction at 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant. My blood pressure had been increasing and liver and kidney functions weren’t doing so well. My obstetrician did an internal and could feel Charlottes head; she inserted the gel around my cervix. After this the babies were monitored for a while.
DH and Mum went home and I stayed at the hospital overnight, after midnight I started feeling crampy and at around 4am I started getting regular contractions so they tell me! They weren’t painful – just a bit uncomfortable. At 6am they woke me for monitoring of the babies and upon finding out my contractions were regular and close (I didn’t realise that what I was having were contractions!) they sent me to the delivery suite to have another internal and break my waters.

The Dr on duty couldn’t find my cervix as it was posterior so they called in my obstetrician who had no problem finding it and breaking my waters. She put a clip on Charlottes head to monitor her and kept the belly monitor on for Robert. At this stage (around 7am) I was 4cm dilated and having regular contractions. My obstetrician suggested that I start sucking on the gas as she could see it was hurting me a bit (although nothing compared to egg collection!) – I didn’t think I needed it but after the waters being broken the contractions started hurting more. Soon after that – around 7.30am my obstetrician said she thinks I should have an epidural – I was worried it was too soon to have one as I’d heard its best to leave it as long as possible, however my obstetrician advised it now so I agreed. At this stage DH, Mum and my midwife still hadn’t arrived as they all had to come from home and they didn’t realise how quickly things were progressing – finally they arrived around 7.45am.

The anaesthetist arrived at around 8am to do the epidural by which time DH, Mum and my midwife had arrived. The anaesthetist spent a long time (well it seemed a long time as she could only talk to me between contractions and there wasn’t much time between them) telling me of the risks, getting consents etc. She wanted me to sign forms but I was in no state to do it and got DH to do it for me. She then started trying to put in the epidural but she had trouble. After what seemed like a very long time her supervisor came in and he put in the epidural. Before this the clip on Charlottes head had fallen off so my obstetrician had to do another internal to clip it back on – at which stage we found out I was fully dilated and Charlotte was ready to come out – I had wondered why I felt like I desperately needed to go to the loo…… So during contractions my midwife and DH were getting me to push and between contractions the anaesthetist was trying to get the epidural in – it was not fun! By this stage it was about 8.45am so things had been happening extremely fast. While pushing and while getting the epidural in Roberts heart rate was falling however I wasn’t told this. It wasn’t until my obstetrician came up to my face and said to me I had 2 options – get Charlotte out now – FAST and then get Robert out really fast or have an emergency C-Section. I asked my obstetrician what was the safest thing to do for the babies – she said the C-Section so I said go for it. Given how urgent it was apparently I pushed another emergency C-Section out of the way and therefore the whole operation was very quick as there were people lined up behind me and they only had one theatre operating – unfortunately some standard procedures had to get rushed or not done (ie. they didn’t have time to shave me and stapled me up not stitched) and subsequently in later days I got an infection in my wound. So once again more forms to sign which I got DH to do – he then changed into scrubs and they rushed me down the corridor into theatre. They still hadn’t got the epidural working properly so were trying to do this while getting me on the table, strapped in and ready to go. Finally the epidural took effect and they started the operation.

At 10.05am they pulled Charlotte from me and it was incredible. They pulled the covers down and lifted my head up for me so that I could see it all – it was amazing. Then at 10.06am they pulled Robert from me. Although I had the epidural I could still feel the feeling of being so much lighter. They then took out the placenta which was fused and so huge.

Soon afterwards they put Charlotte in my arms and DH held Robert – it was amazing. Tears were streaming down my face. It was so incredible that after so much hope, heartache, failure, tears and sadness I had given birth to these two absolutely beautiful babies.

They both had apgars’ of 9 at 1 minute and 10 at 5 minutes. Charlotte weighed 3130g (6lb14oz) and Robert weighed 2755g (6lb2oz).

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Birth story of Nathan

North Shore, Auckland 5am on the 28th my waters broke and kept it up all day but no contractions. I was admitted to hospital at 9pm for I.v antibiotics and monitoring. The doctor on duty said because it had been so long and because of my gestational diabetes we had to start syntocin (induction) right away. It went well for a while and they did an internal - was 1cm. They kept turning up the dose so I asked for gas. It was helpful for awhile but difficult to time the breathing with the contractions.

Because of the syntocin I had to stay hooked up to the monitor to keep an eye on contractions and Nathans heartbeat but they kept losing his heartbeat so they decided that they needed to attach a scalp clip to him. Due to the fact that I was only 1cm dialated this was a very difficult and painful experience. Once the clip was on though they were able to remove the other monitor which was actually quite painful itself because I was rather swollen from the pregnancy.

Many hours later they decided that the syntocin had to be increased by alot because it was taking so long and that I would need an epidural. 20mins later and I was on my back with no feeling from the waist down. They then did another internal and I was only 1.5cm after 15hrs of syntocin. The doctor then announced that our only option was a c-section so out came the shaving gear etc. I was so tired from being awake for over 24 hours so the thought of a c-section was a big relief.

Finally, after 36 hours of labour Nathan was born with a scream and a yell. His Apgars were 9 and 10 which was great news.

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Birth story of Jessica

After 9 days of 'latent' or early labour, I had a routine appt with the ob. I told him I was still getting heaps of contractions, and very very little sleep - I was so tired! So he rang the hospital and arranged an induction for the next morning. Suddenly it was so real! I rang James to tell him he wouldnt be going to work tomorrow...... he seemed quite scared suddenly! (so was I!)

We had to turn up to delivery suite at 7.30 am. At 8.30am the ob came in and inserted the gel. I was surprised when I started to get contractions (mild) about 10 minutes later. At about 9.30 we went down to the cafe for coffee, and met a friend from work there too. I kept getting contractions there, and my colleague knew when as I would stop talking mid-sentence!

We returned to the ward about 11 for more monitoring. Soon after contractions were coming every 2 minutes for 40 secs, and I was using the gas. I felt quite drunk on it! The midwives were convinced that these contractions must be dilating me, so I was quite pleased. At about 1pm the ob came back to examine me and insert more gel. I cried when he told me I was still 1 cm dilated. After the second lot of gel the contractions were stronger and I got 2 lots of pethidine overnight. I managed to drift off between some contractions. Again the Midwives were sure I must be dilating........

8.30 am on the 31st October the ob came back - still only 1.5 cm........ more tears! At some stage in the morning he broke my waters with a massive gush.

At about 4 pm I was found to be 2 cm dilated - 32 hours of labour and only 2 cm dilated...... They started the syntocinin drip and I immediately requested a epidural. The relief of the epi was enormous and I think I even managed to doze off for about 10 minutes.

At about 6pm the ob came back, said I was 5-6cm dilated - finally we were getting somewhere! I was told the baby would be about 4-5 hours away yet, I didnt mind now though as I could hardly feel the contractions through the epi! About 20 minustes later though I started to feel the contractions more and more, we later discovered (during the delivery) that the epi had become disconnected. I went back on the gas - Im sure the midwives thought I was a proper chicken having epidural AND gas! (hopefully they realised why later!)

Mum stayed a bit longer, and was making noises about heading home for dinner. The midwives started suggesting that I appeared to be in transition at about 6.30 pm, I thought that was a load of tosh, as I was only 5-6 cm dilated half an hour ago! They examined me though - and yes, I was fully dilated. No wonder I felt like I needed a poo It was time to push... I kept saying, no, no, no!! And just about closed my legs, announcing I had changed my mind, and couldnt have another stillbirth so therefore I refused to push. Warped logic!

They called the ob back and had me push a little while we were waiting. The ob came back about half an hour later, and had a poke and prod, said I wasnt allowed to push as the baby was posterior. He started doing something which hurt - when I asked what he said he was trying to turn the baby (A little communication that he was about to shove his arm up me wouldnt go astray). He then just walked out, with me, James, and 2 midwives wondering what on earth was going on. We all still thought I wasnt allowed to push. About 40 minutes later I was begging to be allowed to push so they went to talk to the ob - He was in the office reading magazines!!! He apparently said "Ive turned the baby, why isnt she pushing?" What on earth??.....

some time later the ob came in to see where I was at, did a poke and prod, (of course not bothering to tell me he was about to shove is arm in again) (I think at this point I called him a stupid [censored]!!) and announced that she was posterior again, then walked out...... James said, ummm, where are you going?? He said to James, "oh, you can help if you like" WTF?! Neither James or I (or by the look of it the midwives) could quite believe our ears.

Some time later the ob graced us with our presence again.
About now I realised that my epidural was disconnected and one lot of tubing was just hanging, I managed to feel slightly alarmed about his despite being in the middle of delivering a baby. The MWs called the anaesthetists, who came up immediately, had me roll over (which is NOT what you feel like doing with a head half out the VJJ!) and he removed it, with much protest from me! He was concerned about infection risk in the spine.

At some point after this Jess's heartrate was very tachycardic, James remembers it being well over 260 bpm. The ob and MWs were clearly keen to get her out by this point and apparently the ob started clanging the metalware(forceps etc). Later the MW revealed that at that point they were considering emergency c-section but it was decided that I could birth her faster at this stage than they could prep me for theatre. Im pleased I was too tired to notice all of this or I would have panicked. Poor James was aware of it all though and was scared, and just kept urging me to push harder! Fair enough!

Jessica Margaret was finally born at 8.34pm, 8 pound 3 oz on Halloween. I was so so so exhausted that I barely registered nor cared that my baby had been born, I was just so releived that the pain was over - for the moment anyway! About 1 minute after birth she was put on my chest, And I got to see her for the first time. I coudlnt believe she was born alive and healthy!

She was taken away to be checked over, then given to James while the placenta was delivered and I was stitched up. For some reason the ob just kept pulling and pulling on the placenta, which really hurt. I was begging him just to leave it and see if it comes out on its own- He wouldnt! Then for the stitching- This was done amid colourful language from me - he had numbed one part of the tear, but not the other, so I could feel every single stitch. I wasnt impressed.

Jessica was born at 8 pound 3oz (3720) after a 36 hour labour. She suffered many effects from the manual rotations, which avulsed the nerves down the side of her neck. Some of these issues she will have for life. She has Horners Syndrome, Klumpskes Palsy (which has mostly resolved), sucking/swallowing difficulties and is likely to have issues with speech language development.

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Birth Story of Daniel

I never wrote my birth story after it happened so here is how I remember it 2.5 years later....

5 days overdue after 2 stretch and sweeps with no results... 3am I can't sleep, which had been the norm for the past few weeks, so i was reading "how to know when you're in labour" doh. And guess what, I felt a little twinge... and guess what, another one about 10 minutes later and so on. I got quite excited (and scared) but left DP sleeping and kept on reading my books on labour etc. By about 7am I was in the bath - by this stage I had to call out to sleeping DP to help me out as I was like a beached whale YKWIM!

The pain was increasing gradually over this time and by 7:30 it really damned hurt - and I was bellowing like a cow at each contraction. I remember using my cellphone stopwatch to time them and recording it on a peice of paper. My contractions were compeltely regular in increasing intensity and frequency regularly too. I also recall screaming like a fishwife for DP to be with me at each contraction as I was terrified of the pain, not that he could do anything, I just wanted him there. I was literally STUCK to the bed on each contraction. My labour plans all went out the window (I reckoned I was gonna walk and breath my way through each one....)

By about 8:30am I rang the midwife and she said, "lets get to the hospital". We arrived about 9am. Everything went smoothly (apart from the obvious pain) and I was 6cm dilated when we arrived. I stripped off all my clothes (I couldn't bare the though of anything on my skin) and just tried to work with each contraction - this was so much more difficult than I ever imagined. At some stage the MW broke my waters and the pain increased even more! DP was great - passing me the gas when I needed it, rubbing when I asked, holding me up etc. The gas was great. It didn't help with the pain but it helped me regulate my breathing. It also made my voice deep. I remember laughing that I sounded like a drag queen!

DS was posterior (? the one where his spine was aligned with mine) so I had a lot of back pain. I suddenly started feeling a sense of being totally out of control, at this stage even sucking on the gas could not regulate my breathing. I was panicking. I asked for an epidural (which I hadn't wanted to but at this stage I didn't care) but the MW told me I was in transition so it was too late for an epi. Basically everything crescendoed (is that a word) and I felt like I needed to poo... and lo and behold I DID need to poo (DP was a star tidying that up).

So at about 12:50pm the pushing started. According to most other women I'm mad, but I found the pushing less painful than the contractions. At least there was something I could DO... I had more control at this point and I wanted this baby out!! I had an episiotomy and I tore (again I didn't care at this stage) and at 1.33pm Daniel was born weighing 3.8kg (8lb 6?).

I had some skin to skin but soon it was apparent Daniel had a few breathing problems (his apgar scores weren't recorded) but nothing too serious. The MW was working with him for about 20 minutes. I was in shock. I couldn't stop shaking. I was elated but also in shock. That was THE MOST horrendous thing a person could go through. The the MW turns to me and says "that was a really great birth!"" What????? Of course now, I'd be happy to go through it all again in a heartbeat. The MW also said that we were a cute couple (aww...) as DP was so hands on and I was thanking him the entire time. I never swore either... weird!!

After I stopped shaking a specialist came and stitched me up... so dignified (NOT!) I had a shower while DP doted on Daniel... I felt sooo much better after that...

So we finally got to hold out little boy - he was so beautiful and I was immediately in love. I shed a tear as I was so happy yet so sad my parents (who have both passed away) were not here to meet him...

I stayed in hospital for 3 days as I had latching problems. It turns out Daniel was tongue tied... so he had a little op at the GP (who specialises in TT - we were lucky it was our normal GP) on our way home - we also stopped by the supermarket and I was SOOOO proud!!!

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The Homebirth of Kyla

Kyla Nicole was born at home, Manly Whangaparaoa, on June 3 2003, 0039 hrs. She is my first baby. She weighed in at 7lb 15oz, was 50cm and had a head circumference of 35cms.

I was getting really worried as I had to go to the obstetrician on Tuesday (3rd) as she was due on the 22nd May. A BBP showed she was getting a bit low in fluid and her movements had decreased. I wasn’t worried about her moves and neither was Alison, my midwife. I had good moves but the scan showed she didn’t move during it. But then they had me lying flat on my back with 3kgs of baby pressing against my spine, I could hardly breathe and felt like I was going to faint, so I really don’t blame her for not moving. I was also very constipated for about a week and a half before she was born, and used glycerine suppositories; they worked (TMI sorry). Anyway because I was so overdue and had tried everything, curries, walking up big hill, sex, I consulted Alison and we agreed that I should try Evening Primrose oil. It has prostaglandins in them that help ripen the cervix. So I inserted 4 vaginally and took about 6 orally.
I woke on June 2nd (Queens Birthday Monday) at 5am getting regular contractions, 15 mins apart. Well as I had never done this before I was a little cynical about it being "real". I got up, but didn’t wake DH, I figured there was no point in him getting up to get excited about nothing, and if it was the real deal then at least he had a good sleep. I had stuff on the loo paper, and thought it was EPO capsules. It wasn’t until it happened again that I realised it was the show. I showed DH, I don’t think he was too impressed. The contractions stayed all morning but were only about 30secs long, and more like period cramps, but I rang my midwife with a bit of a heads up anyway. She came round at lunchtime for a visit, did her thing then left and said she would be back at 6 that night to check me. She said the labour was real but as I was a first timer I would probably progress slowly and to rest. I called Carol at around 3 in the afternoon and she came up so I had the support of her and my Clint. I went for a walk along Manly Beach, and that really helped speed things up. The contractions were coming closer and closer after this. Anyway the midwife came back at around 6.30. When she arrived I had my head out the bedroom window spewing my guts out. She came in and checked me and I was a good 4-5cm dilated. Much to my surprise. She said I had about 8hours more to go, she said most first timers dilate at about 1cm/2hrs. Great!!!!! So it was just a case of working through the labour. I was working very hard by now and vomited every time I came down from a contraction. It was very tiring, but Alison gave me an injection in my leg to stop the nausea. It helped. The injection was given at 21.15. I also had to have a catheter placed. Funny that over top of a very bad contraction, the catheter actually seemed to hurt more. Weird how the body works. I had an anterior lip, at 10.00, but was fully dilated. I was very hard not to push. At 2243 I was allowed to start pushing. Amazing, labour had been really manageable so far, I’m not saying that it didn’t hurt because it did. But I was really lucky in that I had amazing support and it made it a lot easier to bear. The hardest thing was not being allowed to push. My waters still hadn’t broken and the midwife tried to break them but was unable to, I make them tough apparently. So my membranes ruptured spontaneously at around 2255. Anyway after finally being told I could push away I went. I pushed for a solid two hours, and it hurt. I tried several positions but the most comfortable for me was semi reclined. She got stuck in the birth canal. Apparently she played "soldier" and decided to present the top of her head instead of the top back part. So according to the midwife instead of having to push out 9.5cm I got stuck with about 10.5-11cm. But what you don't know don't hurt you right. Anyway I finally managed to push her out after being threatened with transfer as she was getting stressed and she thought (the midwife) that I would need help with the vacuum. Well I did it, and didn’t tear despite having two midwifes pulling me literally to make more room for bubs. A bit of a marathon effort but I would never change it for the world. During the whole birth I never once thought I would rather be anywhere else apart from at home. Anyway its 7.00 in the morning on the 5th June and bubs is asleep and I am tired so I will go get another hour before Kyla wakes up.

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The homebirth of Trae

Born at home, in water at 0707hrs, Saturday 17th September 2005
3730g, 51cm, 36cm head

I woke up this morning at about 3ish having cramps. After days and days and days, ok weeks, of crampiness I thought nothing too much about it. I went to the loo, did a poo and then came into the lounge to sleep. I sat down out here and thought, hang on there is another one. So I sat there on the internet and making notes on how often they were coming. I was a bit shocked to find them at 5 minutes. They weren’t long, but they were strong. Clint came out and I told him I think baby was starting to make a move, but it would take a while so go back to sleep. Of course, he couldn’t so we just sat up and talked. Then we called one of my best friends Janine and told her and she said she was leaving straight away. I told her not to hurry as I honestly thought we were in for the long haul. I texted my midwife told her they were less than 5, short but hard, and I had lots of show. She rang me and told me she was in delivery at North Shore Hospital, that she had one on the way and may not be able to make it, and I would have to come to her. I didn’t actually care too much. I told her, ok, I would call her in an hour to assess where we were at. I rang her about 15 minutes later and told her that if I was coming to her then I was leaving now, cause there was no way I was sitting in the car in an hour (NSH about 35m minutes away from my house). She said, don’t worry she had it sorted and she was coming to me. Fantastic news, I settled in for my homebirth.

I had a labour room set up in Trae’s room, and decided to go in there. Clint was sorting out the things that needed sorted, like getting his Mum to come get Kyla etc. Filling the pool etc. Janine and I hung out in the labour room together. Contractions never got long, just closer. They were short and very hard. At one stage I was leaning over a stool singing “One contraction at a time, sweet jesus”………….. a little mad I think. We got Kyla out of here about 5.00 this morning. It was nice for us to have the house to ourself, we could turn the music up a little and not worry. My midwife arrived at about 5.30 after doing 100km/h down Whangaparaoa Road, and after being up since 7 the pervious morning. She brought her gear in and checked me and told me I was a good 6cms. That was so nice to hear. I continued to labour with Janine and Clint continuted to make himself useful making everyone else happy. He would come and see me every now and then, give me a kiss and a cuddle and reassure me. He was wonderful support though, supporting everyone and running himself crazy. Clint was filling the pool and I wasn’t allowed in cause it was too hot. But it wasn’t that deep. But I was hanging out to get in. I was getting good breaks between contractions, but when they hit they bloody hurt. I kept breathing and visualising the baby opening my body up and moving through. I imagined him all peaceful and slowly moving down. I could feel him moving down. I was finally allowed in the pool and it was great. Total relief. My midwife, Janine and Clint all took turns pouring water over me and I laboured away at my own pace. At about 6.50 I had a hard contraction and felt a “pop” in the middle of my tummy. Felt very very weird. After that “pop” the contraction went on forever and I just wanted to get up on my hands and knees. I couldn’t though cause it hurt to much. It finally went away and then I had another one. And that hurt too, and I really felt it in my bum. I told them it was in my ass and I needed to get up, so I was helped.
The next contraction was a lot less painful, but totally had to push. My midwife had a feel, and said go for it, at your own pace. I said to her I wasn’t ready to push and just wanted to breathe through the next few and let my body push him down. She seemed happy with me to do that so I did. I spent about 4 contractions just letting my body surge him down, but then I flipped back into semi recline (water made it so easy to move) and just had to push. I pushed and he crowned, and I was saying “ow, ow, ow, ow” and the he starting wriggling in me, and I was saying “stop it from wriggling, its hurting me”. Had to be the weirdest feeling in the world. I kept grabbing at down there and my midwife kept telling me to stop (it may have made him want to breathe) but I just needed to hold on to my thighs. His head was born and he opened his eyes under the water and looked up at the world. His Dad and Aunty were crying. His Aunty was holding my shoulders and I could hear her crying so I reached up and gave her a kiss on the forehead. His Dad was videoing it all and I can hear him crying in the video. All very sweet really. Trae was born at 0707 hrs and placed onto my stomach. Clint announced he was a boy, so I lifted his leg for a peak. I thought how can he tell, but I have watched the video and the scroties were very very visible. He had his cord around his neck, but it wasn’t tight. Clint cut the cord, and I got out of the water and delivered the placenta. I went into my bedroom and lay on my bed and Trae fed and we all just sat there and stared at our little miracle and made the phone calls. After about an half an hour his sister came home and met him, and then he was weighed and checked out. Of course he was perfect. The labour was 4 hours from the first contraction to the birth. Very fast compared to Kyla, but very rewarding.

So now our little man is exactly 14 hours old. He has slept for a good 12 of those. At the moment he is having cuddles with his daddy. I have no tearing, not even a scratch. Trae has red eyelids from the quickness of the pushing stage (less than 10 minutes). We have had a nice quiet day at home today. Trae is just waking up now so I will go feed him then we can all go to bed.

Once again, I have been lucky enough to experience a wonderful drug free homebirth, surrounded by those I love, and in an environment where I am totally happy.

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The birth of Kate Sandra

Born in the heart of the Deep South at Winton Maternity Unit. Kate weighed 7lb 15oz, was 51cm long, and had a head circumference of 35.6cm.

I was sitting in the South Sea Hotel yesterday morning (10th August 2007) having a coffee with Mum and Chris went Clint came in chewing his cheek. This is a nervous sign for him so I knew he was worried. He told me the weather was meant to come away badly and he thinks we should fly to Invercargill. I told him that’s fine, but we would go stay in Winton, cause A. I was NOT having a baby in the hospital, and B. I was not sitting in the car from Bluff to Winton in labour (at least 40 minutes). So we managed to get on the lunchtime flight. Mum took the kids to Bluff and we had the arvo to us. We went to the hospital to visit Mary and her wee man (born on the 8th). He definitely got the cluck factor going, majorly. Until then I was a bit apprehensive about the whole birth, just in terms of ouch factor and did I really want another child. Meeting Zac made me realize how much I wanted this baby and looking at his 9lb 15oz he didn’t really seem overly huge and knew that I could birth my one.

We drove out to Winton. Clint was shattered so he lay on the bed at the motel and I went to the supermarket. We then chilled out at the motel, watched TV, ate crap food. Just the usual. We went out for dinner at a lovely café here in Winton. I am 100% sure my hind waters broke during dinner. Not a gush, but a little wet (not obviously thank god). Anyway, we got back to the motel and about 20 minutes later I had the tell-tale bloody show, and the shits. I rang Liz, my midwife and told her that labour was starting, but things were still 10-15 minutes apart and not sore. Rang her back about half an hour later and told her they were 3-5 minutes apart and I was going to go to the birthing unit. I felt a bit silly going in then. It was not quite 11.00pm and but Trae progressed quite fast so I would rather be there and be settled than in a motel room 3 blocks down the road. My Mum was also on the road from Bluff.

At the unit we rolled that horrible metal cage of a bed out of the room, put the mattress on the floor, arranged about 6 pillows into little “nests”, cranked up the Ipod and settled in. Clint, Ma and Liz drank coffee and I sang along to the music. After about an hour of labour Clint poured a bath for me. It was like a spa bath but with no jets (ripped off). Like I felt with Trae, when I got in it was total relief. Liz didn’t do any internals at all so I have no idea how far dilated I was at any stage. She trusted my judgment and I trusted that she trusted me. Again like Trae the contractions never got to the point where I couldn’t do it, they just got more and more “crunchy” until I couldn’t sing along anymore. Until they got to a stage where I could feel the downward surge of pushing needing to occur, but my instinct told me not to push as I wasn’t quite ready. Mum asked me what I wanted, and I told her “I don’t know, I want to do something, but I don’t know what”. Liz said to me, “don’t worry Paula, you are just transitioning”. Transition has never been a long stage for me, and although the irrational part of my brain wanted to scream, the rational part just thought “Paula, you can get yourself through this”

Liz asked me if I felt like pushing. The contractions had definitely changed. Instead of ouchy contractions I was able to sit in the pool and let Kate move herself down to be born.

As the pool (and by this I mean bath) was too shallow and too small to water birth in I had to get out. Getting out seriously wasn’t an option so Clint pulled the plug. I truly felt like a beached whale….. big fat belly, unable to get out, unbearable need to bear down. Every time I had to push I had to drink, so I was pushing and sculling water. But then the intensity of pushing was so huge that when she was crowning, I was spewing all over myself…… talk about glamorous, lol. Lucky it was mainly water so not too many chunky bits. Oh and for the record, a # 2 snuck out (cant leave that out, haha). I had to close my eyes as it was all too much and much too painful. I was asking for pillows. Something like this “bring me a pillow and put it here…… no, no, not there, there. No, no, there. Yeah, yeah, that’s it………. Nooooooo, get it away” (that was the irrational part of my brain). Anyway, Kate crowned and then at her head was right against the perineum, she did a full 180 degree turn. She turned from posterior to anterior right before her head was born. The midwife, night nurse, Clint and Mum were all astounded. Liz said she had never seen it happen on the perineum like that before. Luckily I must be super doper stretchy cause she made the turn and didn’t tear me in the process. One more push and Kate Sandra was born @ 0155, 11th August 2007. She was passed on to my tummy, but I felt so bashed that I couldn’t really enjoy her as such, but just lay there and looked at her in awe. Her Dad announced that she was girl.

After she was born and I was waiting to birth the placenta I asked for drugs. I didn’t even mention drugs during the birth, but I seriously felt so smashed about that I needed something for the pain. It took 10 minutes for the placenta to arrive and my god what total relief when it did. After the placenta was born, Clint and Mum both cut the cord.

I got up out of the bath and stood under the shower mainly to wash the vomit off me. Liz had wheeled the nig metal bed back in the birthing room and made me a toast warm nest there. So Kate and I lay on the bed. She wasn’t a good feeder, but has the knack now. We all sat around drank tea and enjoyed the new baby high. Mum went back to Bluff, Liz went home, Clint went to the motel, Kate and I snuggled up together.

Even though she wasn’t born at home, her birth was a lovely, calm, well managed no intervention, drug free experience like I wanted. I wouldn’t change it for the world. My family is happy, I am happy, and we have a beautiful new daughter to share our lives with.

Welcome to our family Kate Sandra.  You totally complete us and we look forward to sharing your journey through life.

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Birth Story of C

At exactly 40weeks I had my weekly midwife appointment, all was going well, baby still quite high up, and then the student midwife had a feel...and started looking really confused and said she couldnt really feel the head etc...midwife had a better feel and they decided together that baby was breach....and i was having tightenings so straight off to the hospital we time to phone anyone of pack any bags..the midwife did an ultrasound and yep baby was definately breech/transverse-was still wriggling around a bit...was booked in for a c-section for in 3hours time and given the clear your bowels/stomach meds (niiice) lol, during that 3hours there was a shift change at the hospital so a new registrar came on..and after much negotiating on my midwifes part he agreed to attempt an ECV (manuel turning of baby)..the drugs made me feel very shaky and it felt a little alien like..but it didnt hurt, and it worked first try, they kept the ultrasound on the whole time and had measured the cord and pools of liquor etc etc...when i went home about 9pm that night still in one piece it felt very surreal.

2.5weeks passed by with baby still floating around up high and kicking the life out of my insides, I had accupunture, and did all the things that are meant to induce labour..nothing...finally they decided to induce me..

so at 3wks OD went in at 7pm and had the gel put on, I felt tightenings almost immediately but was told this was quite normal for the first hour....however they didnt stop and within 2-3hours they were completely taking my breath away (midwife and family etc had all gone home to wait for some action) I was sharing a room with 4 other women and it was horrible trying to keep quiet, the ward m/w came in and gave me some sleeping tablets...which was a terrible idea in hindsight they just made me feel dozy but not actually able to sleep through the pain, so I headed to the tv room where i watched crappy infomercials inbetween contractions...the night went on like this contractions progressively getting more painful...when my midwife and family arrived at 7am we went down to the delivery suite, the m/w did an internal and broke my waters..i was devastated to find I was only 3cm after all that pain...once my waters were broken the contractions started falling ontop of each other with no breaks and were really quite intense..around 10am I asked for an epidural but was given the gas instead...and i hoped in to the spa bath with it..was great for a little while but i realllly didnt want to stop sucking on that gas lol...progress was quite slow, at around 2pm it became clear i was stuck at 7cm and my m/w decided they would try the drip to speed it up a which time i finally got that epidural..was such bliss, turned out baby was posterior and was turning the 3/4 way around rather than the 1/4 way...2.5hours later I had an epi top up which was the full blown epi and seemed to immobolise me..I had a little more kip, around 7pm my m/w started being a little concearned that I was still only at 6-7cm so we let the epi wear off a little and she went off to find the registrar..who came in to exam me..they started talking about c-sections-while she was examining me, and also discovered i had a little bit of cervical lip stuck which she pushed away during a contraction (oooowwwch)..anyway my m/w and the registar were having a little talk down the hall about what to do next when i suddenly had a VERY overwhelming urge to push and NOW the student m/w had a wee panic and yelled down the hall to my m/w, i got up on my knees and leaned over the back of the took two allmighty pushes and poof I had a goopy heart melting one eyed 6Ib10 blob staring longingly up at me (as the midwife had slid the baby between my legs down in front of me) at that point i really didnt click that he was out and that was him lol....then he gave a little whimper and my heart just melted and all the pain disappeared.

I delivered the placenta about 10mins later after having the ecbolic.
I had no cuts or tears, just grazes, but i couldnt walk or sit properly for a good week.

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Birth Story of L

Exactly on my due date at around lunch time I started to get a very dull very slight period type ache..i thought nothing of it..fully expecting my body to go way OD like the previous time, for the most part the day went completely as normal, we went to the supermarket and bought a roast and kumeras and stuck it on for dinner, around 7pm DS had his dinner, shower and I tucked him up in bed and read him a story, during that story i had to pause a few times as got quite a sharp tinge of pain in my abdomen for a few seconds..after tucking him in i headed to the kitchen realllly looking forward to sitting down to a nice lamb roast..just then my m/w rang to see how my due date was going..nothing to report i told her..thinking i was just being waaay to presumptuous thinking i could actually go into labour lol but thought i better finish packing my bag just incase something happened during the night...well the minute i started packing my bag it was all on the contractions were very strong and took my breath away completely, it took me about 20 mins to pack my bag..and as i walked back down the passage i had to stop and kneel down about 4 the time i got back to the kitchen to check on the roast i knew I was seriously in labour, my mum took over the roast and i got into the shower, where i stayed for about 1.5hours...then i kneeled over some cushions on the couch..around 9.45pm my mum decided we realllly needed to ring the m/w and get to the hospital as i sounded like someone about to give birth lol..i completely disagreed and tryed to re-assure her i was only about 3cm...I rang the m/w who talked to me and agreed (as i could talk) and said to stay mum decided we needed to get to the hospital anyway phoned back to say we were going in, my mum dropped me off at the main doors and i walked in feeling like a complete fraud..sure the contractions were strong but nooothing like they were even at 4cm with DS#1...when we got to the hospital my m/w examined me to find i was 8cm..and my waters popped alll over her soaking her, my mums best friend who was a close family friend arrived to and became the back rubber-which felt fanbloodytastic, about 20mins later i was told i could push, but i didnt feel the need, after about an hour of my half hearted attempt i finally turned over (from up on my knees to my back) for the midwife to examine me again...turned out the cervical lip was stuck so with a contraction she pushed it back behind babys head (ooooowwwch again), as soon as she'd done that i really got the urge to push and within around 3 pushes he arrived, and was placed on my tummy, he was very white so rubbed quite well with towels to stimulate him, he latched on within about 5mins to feed and was just soo perfect and goregous in every which way. after the birth i felt fantastic i got up showered, dressed, and i walked upstairs to the post natal ward...

the next day my mum bought me some of that roast

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Birth Story of Olivia

I often hear people talk about how cesarean sections can be the most horrific, terrifying, awful ordeals that you ever have to face as a mother that leave them feeling robbed and in shock. Then on top of that is the healing time which is long and arduous and can be hard to deal with.
My story starts when I was 18 weeks pregnant and I could feel electric shocks belting down my cervix, it wasn't till I was 25 weeks when I finally got around to mentioning it to my midwife, she pronounced my first child as "just fine but breeched".

Up until that point I had just naturally assumed that like most mothers I would spend my final hours as a pregnant woman screaming down the local hospital ward, wringing the hands of my support person (AKA Hubby!) and calling everyone filthy names that would make sailors blush.
But this news flipped everything on it's butt! I immediately went home and cruised the internet for information on breech babies. In New Zealand breech babies are usually cesarean sections unless you can find someone who is willing to do a breeched labour for you (was informed by Midwife that no one in our area did breeched births). Usually though 90% of breech babies turn in labour, with that in mind I wasn't too worried, I mean I am sure that I am in the right hands.

Weeks progressed and I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, this news was most horrifying as it meant that I would be induced at 40 weeks (approximately) if the baby turned otherwise I was definitely in for a cesar!

I hit 33 weeks and it was official, clever clogs child of mine had decided to wedge it's feet quite happily in my hips and lean back with it's hands above it's head like Huckleberry Finn and forget about it's troubles.

I was booked in for a possible external cephalitic version (ECV) at 37 weeks which thanks to my first time mother strong tummy muscles, wasn't going to happen, Huckleberry Finn was getting evicted by Elective Cesarean Section (ECS) 12th May 2006 at 39 weeks 2 days gestation.
For some reason by this time I had my head around it, I actually suspected that I would get a cesarean from around the 25 week mark so the idea had grown on me. I think the most annoying thing from 37 weeks to D day, was most hearing so many horror stories about how my dignity was some how being stripped or compromised as a mother by avoiding child birth. Personally I had started to feel rather comforted in the idea that I would be in a safe environment and delivering my child into the world with minimal amount of stress.

After a pre-admission check (weight, height and fundal size please?) I was given some stinky, sterilizing body wash and some pills to empty out my stomach and instructions not to eat for 12hrs before the surgery.

Me and Hubby arrived at Taranaki Base Hospital at 7am on the 12th of May feeling nervous but giddy with the expectancy of our child which was actually rather euphoric. My midwife had not arrive yet but I was totally in the zone as I was gowned up in the latest fashion flannel nighty, had an IV line inserted and my bikini line given a quick buzz cut. They gave me another ultra sound to check that baby was still breeched before starting us on the road.

Getting wheeled up to surgery was intimidating, I felt like a dork lying in a bed being pushed about when I felt normal. Even Huckleberry Finn was for once putting on a performance of admiral behaviour as though waiting for something to start.

My midwife appeared with the surgical staff at this time, she had been up all night with a birth and skipped off home to have a quick kip before coming in to cheer me on. Hubby had to wait outside till they had me fully prepped and ready to go, so midwife came in and after an introduction session of all the staff, held my hands as I shook like a leaf and crowed about being a woose. The anesthetist kept jabbing me in the lumbar roll and jokingly threatening me with a general if I didn't keep still, 3 attempts later and he was my hero.

I was laid down, connected up to machines and what not, Hubby was bought in to hold my hand (he looked SO precious in a wee blue gown by the way). He had bought the camera up to surgery for some newborn pics which the midwife had hijacked off him to photograph the birth. I was not too keen before but it seemed right as I was lying there with no feeling in my legs and approximately 11 people staring at my stomach and half shaved hoohoo.

Surgery began and the OBGYN (lovely lady) called out what she was doing as she was doing it from behind the lovely green sheet that they put up to shield you from the gore.

Now having a cesarean up till this point was a pretty strange experience but the actual eviction and delivery is strange to feel on the mother end. It honestly felt like Huckleberry was being chased up into my chest cavity while someone did the dishes with what feeling I had left in my lower trunk.
5... 4... 3... 2... 1...


The sound of a disgruntled crow and a big flash of miniature hoohoo over the top of my sheet barrier and my daughter was born into the world.
I promptly burst into tears of laughter (not such a clever idea when you have people with pointy objects at your nether regions!) and with the small amount of maneuverability I had, pulled the curtain slightly out of the way that was blocking Hubby cutting the cord and my wee girls initial weigh and check. She crowed right up till Hubby bought her to me when she calmed down. She was so beautiful and way more perfect than I could ever imagine (such a cliche but so true). OBGYN then called to ask what the birth weight was, apparently she had bets of 4kgs and was one of the closest, she was 3920grams (8lb 10oz) 52cms long. We had already picked out a name for our girl Olivia Caitlin.

I really had a good time with my delivery and was feeling fine a week later and 100% pain free and rearing to go 4 weeks down the track.

I really believe that I had a positive experience, everyone was so nice from the OBGYN right down to the orderly pushing the bed. I can not give kudos enough that my beautiful Olivia was bought into a caring and happy environment. I often go back and browse through my cesarean pics (which are now so very precious!) just to have a look at how everything went and to remind myself of the good stuff that can happen. I really couldn't have done it without Hubby and my awesome midwife who kept my delivery wishes (skin to skin and BFing ASAP as well as us just having the baby and not being whipped off to neonates). Looking forward to #2!!

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Birth Story of Finn

All the previous week I had been getting lots of BHs, and for some reason on Sunday I started to think I must be getting close. Probably wishful thinking! But anyway, I was certain I was going to get a show at some point, so was compulsively checking every time I went to the loo. On Sunday morning DH and I took Darcy to the beach, which was really nice. While there, I went to the public loo and was certain I had the teeny tinyiest bit of a show. Sure enough, when I got home there was a bit more so I went for a nap, feeling that things might start up soon.

And lo and behold, while lying down the BH contractions I had been getting started to get longer and stronger, although were still only 10-15minutes apart. At 3:30pm I got up and started walking around, immediately they shortened up to about 3-5 minutes apart, about 45seconds long, and really quite bearable in terms of pain. So I thought things were probably happening and pottered around packing a bag for Darcy and a hospital bag for me (no, I had not done this!!).

At 5pm the contractions were much sharper-feeling, and my Dad came and picked up Darcy. Once he had left I rang the midwife, who said "no, no, no... 3-5minutes is not at all consistent, and of COURSE they're closer together when you're walking around, go and sit down". I felt a bit dejected about that, so did as instructed and sat down. The contractions now lengthened to 5-6minutes apart, but were more painful and I quickly found I couldn't sit down through them, I needed to be pacing, or better yet, crouched over the couch with DH rubbing my back.

But I managed to eat dinner and have a shower between contractions (even managed one final tidy-up of the ol' bikini line ) Once I got out of the shower though, DH observed that I had a contraction that lasted about 2-3 minutes, with only a minute's break before the next one hit. So I told him to phone the midwife and "tell that b*tch I want gas NOW!" As soon as he rang, she told us to come in, so we jumped in the car and were off.

I was in the back of the car, crouching over the back of the seat, and I swear I could feel the baby coming down with each contraction. I was cursing every time DH swerved or took a corner at speed (which he did a lot, he seemed to be quite agitated for some reason!!) but still thinking how stupid I must be looking to the occupants of passing cars!

We had been told that there was no need to go and do a tour of the new delivery suite at Middlemore Hospital, because it was pretty much in the same place as the old one. Sweet. So up we rocked to the old entrance. Hmmm, didn't seem to have a sign on it saying anything about birthing here. DH did a quick panicky circuit around the carpark, screeching to a halt to ask some nurses on a cigarette break where the delivery unit is. Well apparently it IS sort of where the old one was but - and I think this is a crucial point - it is no longer on the ground floor and the entrance is actually around the other side of the hospital.

Rowan parked outside the old entrance anyway and at this point I informed him that I thought the baby was coming out, and I couldn't possibly get out of the car. He ran off to find a midwife and a wheelchair, leaving me in the care of some passing nurses (who turned out to be ICU nurses, but however...). I attempted to climb out of the back of the car, at which point there was a bit of a 'pop!' and my waters broke, gushing out and bringing the baby's head down with it. I wasn't pushing, but I could feel it crowning anyway. The nurses were saying "If you don't get up, this baby will be born in the carpark" and I was just going "Fine, whatever! The head is there already!" Perhaps thinking that I meant the head was out, the nurses took it upon themselves to strip me from the waist down. Great, so now I'm bare-assed hanging out the car in the Middlemore carpark... and I was still managing to think, "Oh, for God's sake.... I got amniotic fluid on the upholstery of my NEW CAR!!!!" In fact, I managed to grab a towel off the car floor and attempt to mop it up

Rowan finally returned with Super Efficient Hospital Midwife in tow, and a wheelchair. Super Efficient Midwife informed me there was no way I was having a baby in the carpark, and ordered me into the wheelchair. She continued issuing orders all the way up to the delivery suite, where we met my student midwife, who had got there in time (but the midwife hadn't). Super Efficient Midwife barked orders over all my protestations that I couldn't do it, and actually got me up on the bed and into a reasonable position. I asked if I could have some gas (at this point, I think I was still thinking that the whole point of this trip to the hospital was to imbibe nitrous oxide). Super Efficient Midwife replied that no, I could not, I could have a baby instead, and that at the next contraction I should pull my legs up and push. Which I did, with still not much confidence that this line of attack was going to get me anywhere. However, with one big push, out came his head. Short pause til the next contraction, and he was born in a big gush and put straight onto my chest. I couldn't believe it!

The ticket from when we entered the carpark will testify that we arrived at Middlemore at 7:17pm, and our little man was born (inside! thank god!) at 7:34pm. One tiny little graze that I requested not be stitched, and it was all over

On the downside, I was duly informed that due to severe staff shortages, no 'normal births' were being admitted into the brand spanking new maternity ward. I'm still fuming about that actually. I was given the choice of going to Papakura, Botany, or Birthcare, but I thought if I was going to have to get up and dressed and put my new baby in the car, I might as well just go home. So we did.

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Birth Story of Nathan

At around 2am on Sunday 29 June (28 weeks preggers) I woke up to feel a trickling feeling between my legs. I thought it felt a bit heavy for EWCM (sorry if TMI ) so I went to the bathroom to have a check. I found quite a bit of blood and clots and it was running down my legs onto the floor. I yelled to DH “We have a problem, I’m bleeding, we need to get to the hospital NOW” and he was out of bed like a shot! I ended up changing my pyjama bottoms as I’d soaked through them, DH got DS out of his cot still in his pyjamas and we headed off to the hospital. No time to pack a bag!

We got there approx 10 mins later and were sent straight to the labour ward. I was put on a monitor and baby’s heartbeat nice and steady was picked up straight away. They also gave me a steroid injection to boost baby’s lungs in case he was to be delivered early. I continued to bleed throughout the night but it wasn’t quite so heavy. DS was getting tired and grumpy and at around 7am DH took him home and they both got some sleep.

I was kept on the monitor for most of the next day and the staff were discussing sending me to the maternity ward to rest up there but soon after I passed a massive blood clot and it was decided that I was better off staying in the labour ward where there were more staff to attend to me should anything happen.

The bleeding wasn’t too bad for most of the night and I managed to get about an hour’s sleep. My haemoglobin was tested and it was 101 in the morning and had dropped down to 88 by the evening. I was told that if it dropped to below 80 by midnight then I would need a blood transfusion.

I was woken up at about midnight for a blood test and then at 3am by the MW who wanted to do further monitoring. She noticed that I was having uterine contractions which could possibly have meant that labour was starting although I couldn’t feel much other than mild Baxton Hicks type contractions. Over the next hour she and I were chatting away and discussing the contents of a mazagine I was reading when I felt a huge gush between my legs. The MW took one look and called the emergency bell and all of a sudden I had about 10 people in my room! They started putting IV lines into my veins and a catheter and were desperately trying to clean up the blood which had made a huge mess. It was decided that a blood transfusion was needed and I remember hearing the registrar demanding the blood be brought “stat” and to put it through as quickly as possible. Apparently I was losing blood faster than what they could put it in! I don’t think I was panicking that much but I do remember that I couldn’t stop shaking. The MW told me that they had to look at the possibility of me having an emergency general anaesthetic c-section because the blood transfusion wasn’t very successful and that I would need to phone DH. I gave him a call and said something like “Oh it would be good if you could come in now as I might need a c-section at some stage, you’d better drop DS off at the neighbours just in case” not really thinking that things were as serious as they were.

I was still haemorrhaging at this stage and the decision was made to wheel me down the operating theatre. I kept thinking “Maybe I wasn’t forceful enough when I spoke to DH, I really hope he brings the camera!”. When we got to the operating theatre they were still monitoring the bleeding and it did slow down for a while. My OB told me that they would wait a few minutes to see if the bleeding held off and then they might take me back to the labour ward and delay the c-section. Approx 1 minute after he told me that, I felt another gush of blood so my OB made the call to go ahead with the c-section. I was still worried that DH hadn’t arrived and we wouldn’t get any photos. Just as I was put under the general anaesthetic DH arrived and managed to pass on the camera to one of the staff who took photos.

Nathan Geoffrey was born at 5.03am on Monday 30 June with APGAR scores of 9 and 10 and he cried as soon as he was pulled out. Nathan weighed 1.3kgs or 2.9 lbs which is just above the 50th percentile for his gestation. DH wasn’t able to be present in the operating theatre but was able to spend a brief moment with him when Nathan was placed in the incubator and taken down to NICU.
I woke up at about 8am and was told that I didn’t need a hysterectomy after all and I had placenta previa not placenta accreta as originally thought. Apparently I lost approx 1.3 litres of blood between the time when I started haemorraging at 3am and when Nathan was delivered at 5am. The MW reckons I lost around another 700mls prior to that.

DH did fantastically well throughout the ordeal. The one thing that still amuses me is that when I asked him to bring in some clothes he must have been in a mad panic. He brought in a black strapless bra, 2 woolley jerseys and a pair of non-maternity pants!

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Birth Story of Xanthe

I was due on 7th Oct 2006. On Sat the 30th of Sept I started feeling some mild contractions as I went to off to sleep, thinking they must be braxton-hicks, which I hadn't felt before. They continued all night, but I mostly slept. At 10am the next morning I had a big show, and the cx began heating up straight away. I knew it would be ages, probably days, before the baby arrived though (I was ABSOLUTELY convinced I would go overdue). I spent the day doing normal things, walking the dogs (and packing a hospital bag), then around 3pm the cxs were getting quite insistent (by this stage I was kneeling rocking on the swiss ball, watching a DVD with DH) so I rang the MW, she suggested I come into the hospital once I had 2 'toecurling' ones within 10 min. About 7 pm we drove into the hospital (me lying in the back seat with a hot water bottle for the 30 min drive), when the shaking and nausea started. MW checked me and I was 5 cm! Woohoo! I got into the birthing pool, which was hopeless and I couldnt get comfortable in. By this time I was shaking violently and vomitting constantly. This continued for the entire rest of the labour including during pushing. I got out of the pool at 11ish(?) and stood leaning over the bed for hours, until 3 am when the cx were getting way too much for me, I felt stuck and I was fighting each cx. An internal only showed me at 8 cm, so I opted for the epidural- refused gas and pethidine, I wanted oblivion by that stage! The epidural meant my body could relax and get on with it without my brain screaming 'NO' with every cx. I felt so good once I had handed responsibility over to someone else and could just be told what to do (weird eh?). At 7 am I was fully dilated and the MW ruptured my waters- what a splash!! Then began the pushing (DS was still very high up at this point). The epidural had been allowed to wear off and I could feel every excruciating minute of those 2 hours. Aargh it still makes me shudder thinking about it and the NOISES I made, like a cow in pain. Anyway, at 8:52 am on Monday Oct 2 we finally got there and DS was born. I got a lovely 2 degree tear at the same time, and he got a bump on his head which is still there today, his orientation was not quite right as he came out. The MW put him on my tummy and I asked if he was a boy or a girl and the MW suggested I could look for myself :). Fortunately he was a very easy baby, BFing and sleeping well straight away which made the recovery a lot easier.

Looking back at it now (and about to go through it again), I can see that I panicked and got an adrenalin response as soon as we got to the hopsital, which is why dilation slowed down and I shook and vomitted. This time hopefully I can remain a lot calmer and remember to breathe during the cx.

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Birth Story of Hunter

Written to him to might sound like a strange way of writing it.

Because your big sister was a very small baby, we had a midwife and obstetrician looking after you while you were in my tummy. By the time I was 36 weeks pregnant with you, your growth started to slow down a little. By the time I was 37 weeks pregnant I was starting to feel quite unwell, I think partly anxiety throughout the pregnancy had taken it’s toll on us both.

The obstetrician decided at 37 weeks that I needed to go into hospital for a few days for some rest and then he would induce labour on Friday 24th August. So we had a few days lounging around the hospital watching telly and reading, while Daddy had some time off work to look after Holly.

On Thursday night I was speaking with one of the hospital midwifes about what would happen in the morning and she said they use some new stuff to induce labour now, so it may even take 2-3 days. I was not very happy to hear this as I really wanted to meet you. I was worried that things might still go wrong in the meantime. I didn’t get a lot of sleep overnight.

Friday morning I got up early and at 7:30 I moved around to the birthing unit. Daddy meet me there after he dropped Holly of at daycare at about 8am. The doctors came in at around 8:30 and inserted the induction tape. I was put on the monitor to make sure you were ok for about ½ hour. Things were just normal, so we went up to the cafeteria to get something to eat. I wasn’t hungry, so we went for a walk around for a bit as this was meant to help speed things up. By this time my back was already starting to hurt, which is what happened when I was induced with Holly. We went back to our room and tried to set up the tv to try and distract me from the pain as it was already really quite bad. The aerial plug in the room didn’t work though and neither would the bunny ears, so we just hung out for a while, with me mostly in the toilet with the runs and Daddy rubbing my back. At lunchtime I asked for some Panadol. This took a little bit of the edge off the pain and I was able to lie down for a while. Daddy decided to pop home for a while to get the house set up so that Aunty could look after Holly when she finished daycare. While he was gone I started throwing up. He came back and things carried on much the same until he left again at 3:30 to take Holly home, get her tea organised. Had some more panadol around 4pm. I wasn’t sure if anything was happening, I was having some tummy cramps, throwing up and the runs, but not sure if any of it was contractions. The tummy cramps were quite regular but down low not up high.

When Daddy came back at 4:30, he walked into the room and I realised he had come back on the motorbike. He started to explain that he needed to complete the circle and a whole pile of old memories came back to me and I burst into tears. Anyway, so the pain went on. I asked the hospital midwife at about 6pm if anyone would examine me to see if there had been any progress. She said no they would just wait until the morning. I told her I needed to know what was happening and that I could not put up with the pain in my back all night, I couldn’t even walk (I got the feeling she thought I was being a wuss). She said they would probably give me a sleeping pill. At about 7pm I went back into the toilet and there was quite a bit of blood in on my pad, so Daddy called the midwife in. She said it was probably my show even though it was quite watery. A whole lot more stuff came out in the toilet and when I got up I realised my back didn’t hurt anymore. We decided to go for a walk while I could, what a relief, I just wanted to cry because the pain was gone. We walked out the front of the hospital and then I realised that the tape had probably come out in the toilet and that was why I felt better.

Went and found the midwife to tell her about the lost tape and she was just doing change of shift. Holly’s midwife who now works at the hospital had just come on duty at 8pm. She took one look at me and said ‘Right lets examine you’, which was exactly what I wanted to hear!! She checked and the tape was gone, she also said that she could not feel your head at all. She went and got the scanning machine to check you weren’t breech. You weren’t but you were also not engaged at all, so there was no way they could do anything further as they couldn’t break my waters incase the cord came down before your head and got clamped off. She said did I want some pethidine to help me sleep overnight. I said yes, if nothing was going to happen. We decided we would discuss it at around 10pm and she inserted another induction tape and put me on the monitor. Everything was ok at your end, still no contractions though. She left me on there for ages. Daddy said at about 9pm that he might go home and I said that was fine but could he please just wait for me to get something to help me sleep. I called Lorraine in to take me off the monitor so that I could go to the toilet, as my back was hurting again. While I was in the toilet I lost a lot of ‘stuff’ and was in a fair amount of pain. Lorraine decided that she wanted to move me into one of the proper birthing rooms (was in an assessment room). I could hardly walk down the hallway and by the time we got into Room 7, I was having bad tummy pains. Lorraine said they were contractions and when the next one finished I needed to get up on the bed. No sooner did that one finish and another started, she told me I had to get on the bed. She said she would just examine me and then get me some pethidine for pain relief, I didn’t really care at this point!! She examined me and started laughing, nevermind we will have a baby soon, ring this girls midwife she is 4cms and contracting hard, I can feel the babies head ready to come down. This was at 9:13pm. The contractions were very intense and she asked me what was happening, I told her I needed to push, the urge was absolutely ‘almost’ overwhelming. She said ‘Ok, listen to your body’. I thought hold on is she crazy (felt like I had only been having contractions for like 5 minutes) and I can’t be ready for that yet. The next contraction was so intense that I was actually trying to crab crawl up the bed backwards, so I started pushing. I think I pushed twice and then she was laughing again saying that your head was crowning, she couldn’t believe it!! I managed to pant your head out, just, and only got a small tear. My waters broke as your head was born. With the next push your body was out and Daddy called out ‘You got your boy!!’. It was 9:41pm. I couldn’t believe it. We had tummy time while I birthed the placenta. You were a little cold and definitely small, so we stayed that what with lots of towels and blankets on you for about ½ hour.

Helen, your midwife, arrived just after this, she missed the whole thing!!

Helen took you away to weigh you, clean you up and get you dressed into something warm. Your measurements were:-
APGAR at 1min: 9 & 5 mins: 10
Weight: 2820grams (or 6 pds 3 ozs)
Head: 35.5 cms (Holly’s was only 32!!)
Length: 47 cms
Gestation: 37 weeks 5 days
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