Real Birth Journey: Harrison James

Birth. It is the most incredible, indescribable, unpredictable and miraculous occurrence. Bringing life into the world is an experience that is personal and precious beyond belief. Each delivery is different to the next, and yet I feel that despite the varying differences it is something so special it can actually bring us altogether. I’m pulling together a range of real birth stories to share in the hope of expanding our knowledge and expectations of birth, and to dwell in the wonder that is the gift of life, in the countless forms it may arrive in!

Name & age at birth:
Jessica Hood, 31 years old 

Due date:
25th of December 2018 (Christmas baby!)

Cravings during pregnancy:
Double quarter pounders (whoops!)

Worst symptom/s:
Pelvic pain and the morning sickness.

Biggest concern about birth was:
His weight! I was told he would be 5kg!

Ideal birth plan was:
Not so much a birth plan but I wanted to go into labour naturally.

Hours in labour:
Active labour was 1 hour and 6 minutes.

How we went from wombmate to roommate:
On December 26th I was induced. This was baby number 4 for me and I had never had an induction so this was my first experience with it. I was very anxious about it, you always hear the “bad” stories but for me it was fine! No different from going into labour naturally. The pain relief I used was the gas and I had 2 midwives and a student midwife assist me with my birth. I gave birth standing up! 

Most vivid memory during labour:
Seeing my babies face for the first time, my immediate reaction was HE LOOKS LIKE LOGAN! (my other son) identical twins I thought!

Most amusing/interesting moment during labour/birth:
Sucking on the gas while pushing and farting and announcing it to the entire room! We all laughed! Hey it happens to the best of us!

During labour/birth, I definitely did not expect:
My placenta was stuck! I ended up having to have it removed in surgery after losing 3 litres of blood, I suffered PPH (postpartum haemorrhage). I was lucky to not have a hysterectomy.

A myth/misconception I believed prior that I now don’t is:
Induction hurts more – wrong! Personally to me it was exactly the same. I spent a long time stressing over it but I really didn’t need to. It was fine.

Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Harrison James Hood , 7lb 5oz (closer to 3kg than 5kg!!) on the 26th of December 2018.

Baby’s name was almost:
It was always going to be Harrison, and Harry for short.

Time spent in hospital post birth:
3 days due to the PPH.

Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
Do not worry about the housework and have lots of pre-made meals in the freezer.

Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
Dockatot, rain sounds or static noise and swaddles!!

If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
Embrace it – I knew it was my last pregnancy and yet I was wishing it away. I look back now at my pregnancies, and all four of them were the best experiences of my life. 

If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
Your body was made to do this, every contraction is a step closer to meeting your new baby! It’s all worth it.

If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say?
Enjoy those cuddles, everything else can wait! Time goes so fast – you blink and you miss it.

Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
Just go with the flow! Everyone’s labour and birth is different. Always remember your body was made to do this, you’re strong and about to meet the love of your life.

Any further notes you’d like to include:
I loved reflecting on this! Harrison’s first birthday has not long gone by already, it’s been quite a year…. a very fast year! But the memories from his birth are still fresh in my mind and I am so happy to share it.

If you have a birth story you’d like to share, then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation and continue celebrating this incredible life changing event!

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