Where do I even begin to start with my birth experience?
I went into the whole thing unexpected, unprepared for what was to come and I don't really think there would of been anything that I could of done to prepare myself for the outcomes of it all.
At like 41 weeks (not sure of the days) but it was during that week that I lost my mucus plug and things started to progress in my mind for natural labour, it was about a few days from our next appointment so I was hoping things would happen on there own but alas that was not the case. So after turning down the induction few days later in the hopes of things happening naturally we had our next appointment on the Saturday, everything looked fine, Little Viking was moving around nicely and blood pressure was normal, but it wasn't until they checked the fluid levels in the amniotic sac that it was a cause for worry. The fluid levels had significantly gone down in the last few days and this became a huge concern for a number of reason. After being told the risks and factors, the Dr decided it be best to induce me sooner rather than later for Little Viking's safety. They gave us a few hours to go have lunch and decide on what we wanted to do and honestly, we both were a massive mess emotionally, because this was not the outcome we saw for us. We decided to go along with the induction after alot of thought & prayers, which was happening on that same day and made our way up to the birth unit.
At this point I was majorly scared and shaken up by what was to come, number one issue being they had decided to use prostaglan gel to ripen my cervix which meant another internal examination (seriously have PTSD from the last one) and if that did not work in a few hours then they would use more or just insert a foley balloon (which by the way sounds horrendous). So they set us up in one of the birth unit rooms and first thing we noticed was the machine warming bed thing they put babies on when they are born and we got excited at that aspect of it all. They put me on all the monitoring equipment and I was having a few contractions here and there but nothing major, they had me on all that for a little bit and Little Viking was doing good. So it came time to do the internal examination and our Dr said that she would do it because my fear of them is just intense and I sort of trusted her more than anyone since she was the first Dr we ever saw at the beginning so we waited for her to come and she didn't. In that moment when a different Dr walked through the doors I knew things were going to go different from that point on. This Dr was all damn business, like holy heck, she sighed when I asked if I could go to the toilet before she did it, she was so rushy and not sympathetic at all! They gave me gas and air but she did not really care about letting me relax or anything like that. At one point she even complained and said don't kick me, I have other babies to deliver and its the end of my shift (I WAS NOT GOING TO KICK YOU LADY!) sorry if I am merely moving my legs because your bloody hands are hurting the crap out of my lady bits! Heck! She finally inserted the gel and then I was put back on the monitor for 6 hours. So 6 hours later at around midnight they told us we have to stay overnight and in the morning they would check me again and attempt to break my waters (yay..)
During the night we had a few visitors and I was able to get up and walk around which was darn exciting for me because sitting in that bed was just horrendous on my tailbone. So we walked around the hospital for a bit (crazy thing was, the downstairs toilet was overflowing or something so there was literally a flood on the ground floor) which was exciting for us, as something to walk and look at. During this time I was contracting a fair bit and things were progressing at this point. We went back to the room and tried to get some sleep for the next day.
In the morning they woke us up to inform us that my waters would be broken around 7:30 but they only got broken at 9:30. Again horrible internal exam (was still trying to find my happy place when these happened), she broke my waters and I literally felt like I was wetting myself. At this point they also put a little clip on Little Viking's head so I could freely walk around and not be tied down to the bed the entire time. So they gave me Pitocin through a drip (and this is the part I never ever wanted to happen with my labour at all, I was very afraid of the contractions), being mobile at this point helped immensely with the contractions but once I was lying down in bed it was just so horrible to endure. So I was labouring for a few good hours, just dealing with gas and air and the contractions which were so concentrated in my back that I literally felt I would rip in half. So after a few hours, the midwife noticed that Little Viking was not coping very well with each contractions (well that is what people say with Pitocin contractions, that they can cause stress for babies), so they made me try different positions to see if that helped her, but she kept having heart decels. (her heart rate kept dropping during contractions and it wasn't a very lively baseline) but at this point it wasn't something to worry too much about.
I was so determined to try to labour naturally and in the water but at this point I honestly could not take it anymore, the back labour was just horrendous, like I cannot describe it but I just could not cope, believe me I tried and I had Benjamin to support me through my decision making but it was a tough call. I didn't want to feel like I failed and I didn't want to blame myself for the outcomes in the end. So the midwife suggested for me to try water spinal block injections before going for the epidural so I said sure to this, she said that it would sting a bit and that I had to hold very still (IT STUNG ALOT AND HOLY HECK!) but it did stop the back contraction pain but then the front contractions got way worse for me to handly, so I decided to get an epidural and the midwife told me that the anesthetist would be a good 20 minutes because some other lady had gotten in line before me. So I had to endure a few more minutes of contractions and finally he came in, he went through a list of risks etc and all of that procedures and then it was time. The hardest thing for me during the time of getting the epidural was that I had to sit very still through a contraction and let me tell you that was so so hard! It was just burny and horrible but after that the pain was bearable and I just felt the tightening of the contractions and not the pain.
But after sometime Little Viking's heart rate began deceling again so now it became an issue to be addressed. Some Dr's came in to explain what was happening and what they were going to do next depending on where things went from then. They had to check me again to see where I was at and I was like an 8 at that point. Now at this point we had like two or three Dr's in the room and two midwifes, the majority of them all had their hands in me at some point, trying to decide what my cervix was doing whilst teaching and holy heck! I am not a fan of internals at all (honestly Little Viking you shall be an only child) but at this point I had found my happy place or maybe the epidural made it more easier to relax or what but we had Bethel playing during the entire time and I just focused on the lyrics and kind of went into an outer body state of mind (that or it was the gas/air making me lightheaded). So then after another hour or so they checked me again, this time with some telescope thingy to see my cervix better (apparently it was huge, according to Benjamin, praise the God's I could not see anything down there) and I was now a 9! So now my cervix was not dilating past this point, there was just a little bit left over on one of the sides. The Dr tried to move it out of the way and she told me to try to push (um hello never pushed out a baby before in my life), I literally did not know how to push! It was a little stressful but funny at the same time (honestly the Dr's were pretty damn nice). I did manage to push a proper push like once but Little Viking's head just would not come down enough to progress to proper labour and her heart rate kept dropping so we were running out of time & options.
The Dr's went away to discuss what was our best options but the mention of a emergency c-section came up along the way and honestly I knew from the start that if we were induced that it would probably end up being a c-section I just knew it! and at this point I was not very fussed by it because I was exhausted and I just wanted her to be here safe and healthy. Once the decision was made for the c-section things moved pretty darn quickly after that. It was honestly a blur, like I got wheeled out of the room, so many people were around me moving the bed, I couldn't see Benjamin and kept just following the lights on the ceiling, we moved to surgery and was greeted by a team of surgeons, I was transferred to a different bed, my epidural was topped up, some needles were given, my stomach was tested for feeling (which did freak me out! but thankfully I got numb pretty quickly), they shaved me (>.<), prepped me and got everything underway. I was a little bit freaked out just because I could slightly see the reflection in the lights above me (and the fact that I have watched tonnes of One Born Every Minute) so I knew what was going on behind that sheet. They explained that with getting her out they had to pull her back out of the birth canal and up and out because she had descended. It was all just so fast, a blur, and in no time she was here.
Phoebe Rey Bethel Lorraine Urquhart //
The moment they held her up over the screen was surreal and so strange to me, I mean they just pulled this little life from my body and she was in me for 10 months and now she is here crying and covered in goop. Benjamin instantly started crying and I just loved hearing her quiet little baby cries!! They did all her checks and all of that with Benjamin by her side and he got to hold her while they finished everything with me. Then I got granted a little time for skin to skin which was so wonderful, her tiny nakey body on my chest was just so adorable! After that it was time for me to get fixed back up and for Benjamin and Little Viking to leave and wait for me in the maternity ward. I was just constantly shivering the entire time, woozy and just exhausted, it seem to take forever for them to finish everything and I still had to wait in recovery for like 3 hours, which was beyond shite because all I wanted to do was see my baby and to not be lying there and being constantly watched in a giant room with other patients. I literally was watching the sun set through the windows, it took that long. It took so long because they had to get a Dr to check over fluid levels and all of that stuff (Dr's take forever people) and then they had to wait for a "porter" to come around and wheel me up to the maternity ward, since when do they need special people to wheel you up? I could of been up in the ward in a flash if anybody could of taken me. It was just horrible waiting around forever.
Finally I got up to the maternity ward and at this point I was just so exhausted from it all, I got wheeled into the room and first thing I saw was Benjamin holding Phoebe like he was born to be a daddy. From this night to the night we left the hospital, I honestly do not want to think about it or remember it. Hospitals are just horrible to be cooped up in and all I wanted to do was just go home and to not be so cripple. The days and nights consisted of futile attempts to breastfeed, midwifes forcing Phoebe onto my breast (literally), man-handling my breasts to express, no-one taught me how to hand-express, listening to the stupid call ding in the hallway constantly, me not wanting to be waited on constantly, the inability to get up by myself, to use the toilet myself, to sit up properly (my tailbone was wrecked), swollen feet, constant monitoring, more injections, not being able to pick up Phoebe if she fussed, watching other midwives feed her formula while she stared into their eyes because I could not hold her, not being able to change her diaper, being told to pump all the time, being judged on not keeping track of her feeds and how much she was getting, being told to breastfeed but not getting coaching on it at all, freaking out over every single sound she made, not getting enough sleep because I literally counted down the hours till Benjamin could visit (AND BTW THEY DON'T ALLOW PARTNERS TO STAY WITH YOU OVERNIGHT WHICH BLOODY SUCKS SHIT!!), crowds of shift change midwifes bursting in on you even when your boobs free, bleeding like a stuck pig and just hating hospital life. The things that got me through this period was listening to Bethel constantly to help me fall asleep and focus on something else, having Phoebe near me and the thought that Benjamin was going to be here in the morning.
I did reach my breaking point and boy was it an emotional spiral. So the day we were going to be discharged, we literally sat around waiting all day for someone to release us after both me and Phoebe got the all clear. Benjamin packed the car, I managed to shower by myself and put on my clothes to leave, I cancelled lunch and dinner orders with the food staff, all of that. So the end of the day we get informed that because of my syndrome, several more tests need to be done on Phoebe because she seems jaundice. The moment they told us that we would have to stay another night, meaning just me was enough to push me over the edge emotionally. I had to quickly turn away from the Dr because I just broke down inside and the moment she left the room it just all flooded out, like I mean I have never in my life cried like I cried that afternoon, it was like weeping widow type stuff, I just could not stop. It wasn't just the fact that I could possibly be staying another night, being waited on by midwives, more constant tests, the fact that they are doing all these tests because of paranoia, I mean nothing looked out of the ordinary for her, she was and is still a healthy normal bub, it is just because of this syndrome that I have that they want to be extra cautious because no one knows that much about it. Just everything toppled, I felt so horrible again for causing all these tests and things for Phoebe based on genetics. They had to do a liver functions tests and if that came back abnormal then we would have to stay but if it didn't then we could go home. AND PRAISE JESUS IT CAME BACK NORMAL AND WE GOT DISCHARGED!!! I was over the moon, we both were and just ready to get up to the mountains.
Walking to the car took a lifetime and a half, everyone was staring at us, mainly because I am walking as slow as a donkey and Benjamin was carrying a newborn. My poor swollen feet were just horrendous to walk on and I had to put on Benjamin's socks because my thongs would not fit on my feet! We finally got the car and then it was a challenge to get into the car! Tried the backseat, it looked like a horrible obstacle course from The Hunger Games to me! We tried the front seat and it worked out much better, I was able to make my way into it slowly and then it was the instant urge to use the toilet, coupled with going over bumps whilst trying to hold my jigglying belly still! Worst car ride! But heck I got a nap in. Then we got home to my parents to get our things, picked up the dogs (decided best to leave Buddy behind, just because he jumps and can reach my belly and he is quite the handful) and eventually we drove up home to Katoomba (pretty late at night) but we were so keen to just get home.
So we got home safely and have been adjusting to life with a newborn. Phoebe is the most content little one in the world, she sleeps so much and only cries a bit when she is hungry. We have had two midwife follow up appointments and I am healing wonderfully, Phoebe is doing brilliantly and I am expressing more transitional milk by the hour. Benjamin has been a wonderful darn help (literally doing majority of things for me and Phoebe), he is just a star and I could not cope without him, like honestly he is such a huge help and I am so blessed to have him as my husband. We are exhausted all the time and even the little naps we get make us seem more tired then we are. Phoebe is developing fast for us (Well just Benjamin), she is building up her neck muscles, cooing all the time, her feet are getting stronger (its a bit cute when she curls her toes around your fingertip), we gave her a bath and she darn well loved it and slept for a few solid hours, Benjamin did skin to skin and she managed to crawl up to his beard several times (she loves the beard btw and always holds onto it), she has managed to projectile pee and poop on Benjamin now (he is a diaper changing king), Dakota is so lovely with her and gives her kisses and is a gentle little thing, so curious. We just love life with her and I cannot wait for her to start walking and I just want her to grow up already! Also I have decided not to have another baby anytime soon, seriously ask me in 4 years time! Not keen to go through all of that again, so Phoebe you will be an only child for a little bit but heck it will give us all the time in the world to spoil you to bits! (Disneyland for my 30th anyone?!) but heck the a midwife that came today said something that made my heart think about a sibling for a second, she said that I have to remember that I got to 9cm dilated and that my body can do it again it was just something unknown that caused Phoebe to stress out, but to focus on that I was so so close to delivering myself and to keep that in mind. (perhaps a little brother, but in due time).
As far as my feelings about how my birth experience went, I have had a few days to think about it and I have mixed feelings about it. I am so happy and blessed that our little girl is here and that I am healing up very well, but I guess at the same time I am a bit let down or sad about the fact that it hardly went my way at all in the end but hopefully next time around I can soldier through it better and do it the way I want it to go.
Thanks for reading this (if you even got this far!) but here is your reward! Some sweet first photographs of our little Phoebe Rey.