Real Birth Journey: Chanel Isabel

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:
Krystal Mackay, 25

Due date:

Cravings during pregnancy:
Lemon with extra lemon!!! Salt & vinegar chips, Milo – a biiiig glass every night! And BEER!! I didn’t drink it but I would smell it! haha so strange!

Worst symptom/s:
BAD morning sickness – I had it with ALL of my pregnancies for about 20 weeks. 

Biggest concern about birth was:
Not having a caesarian as I have a blood condition that would mean I would have had to be put completely under anaesthetic and I didn’t want to miss the birth. I was determined to see my baby born.

Ideal birth plan was:
Just to have it naturally as my blood condition complicated things if I wanted to take anything.

Hours in labour:
6 hours – and it happened like the movies Even though everything I read or course I did said it probably wouldn’t. But my water broke and then it was ON!! Just like the movies!!

Most vivid memory during labour:
We didn’t know what we were having although I was certain in my heart she was a girl. So when she was born, without even looking I said “Give her to me” then realised I hadn’t actually asked or heard if they said she was a girl, so I asked and then when they all said “yes it’s a girl” I said “I knew it!”

During labour/birth, I definitely did not expect:
The pushing to take so long! Baby was posterior so it took a little longer than normal (even though it was a quick labour) and I was exhausted!!! 

A myth I believed prior that I now don’t is:
I actually can’t think of one. I was pretty determined to just listen to positive birth stories and run with that!

Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Chanel Isabel, 4th March 2011 and she was 4.025kgs (my biggest bubba)

Baby’s name was almost:
Elira – which means TO BE FREE. But hubby didn’t like it. Chanel was always my first choice! Or Lior if she was a boy.

Time spent in hospital post birth:
5 days. As Chanel had jaundice and had to go to special care. But I found it so helpful being there, we had a great midwife who helped me so much!

Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
Feed feed feed – and let your milk come in! And just go gently!

Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
Burping cloths, mama’s cuddles and MILK!

If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
You look GREAT!! Look at how amazing your body is growing a human!! 

If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
I actually kind of did! I had affirmations and bible verses that I quoted and got my mum and Ben to learn and say to me. My fave was: ‘He will keep in perfect peace all those whose minds are fixed on him.’

If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say?
Keep going mama. Have a cup of tea, cry if you need to and go sleep when your bubba sleeps. Everything else can wait. 

Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
Your body is AMAZING and capable of so much! Don’t fear the birth, trust your body and go with it!! Don’t fight against the labour. You are SO close to holding your baby!

Any further notes you’d like to include:
This is just my first labour story. But I have others – a miscarriage and 2 other amazing, beautiful births. I guess with a little experience under my belt I would say this – just embrace YOU and YOUR pregnancy/BIRTH. It’s a wild ride and the steepest learning curve but it is amazing and beautiful and hard and fulfilling and your life will never be the same – but it is THE GREATEST GIFT. Find other mums and build each other up. Encourage, don’t judge and do what works for YOU, YOUR baby, YOUR family! You’ve got this mama!

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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