Real Birth Journey: Lily Jean

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:
Courtney Dixon, 32

Due date:
2 October 2019

Cravings during pregnancy:
Berries, ice cream and toast.

Worst symptom/s:
Gestational Diabetes.

Biggest concern about birth was:
Gestational Diabetes and morphology scan came back with a very minor marking on her heart.

Ideal birth plan was:
A no complication repeat cesarean.

How we went from wombmate to roommate:
Cesarean was going to plan until she became distressed for an unknown reason and then pooed during delivery and swallowed 10ml of meconium, which meant she came out barely breathing and was coughing and choking instead and had to be taken straight to NICU before I could touch or see her. When I did finally see her after recovery she was hooked up to CPAP, oxygen and antibiotics and had a helmet on her head for 2 full days. I wasn’t able to touch her, feed her or hold her for 2 full days. It was absolutely horrible and I was an emotional mess. They had to give her a few mls of formula because my boobs weren’t producing the colostrum (probably due to stress) and on day 3 I think I was able to start feeding her but she lost too much weight so we had to continue with a little bit of formula until my milk came in which was about day 4. She was in NICU for 3 nights before she was off the machines and then we were able to go home on day 5. I still feel like I had a bit of PTSD from the whole experience.

Most amusing/interesting moment during labour/birth:
They had to remove a heap of scar tissue from my uterus from my previous cesarean so after she was taken to NICU I had to stay in the operating theatre alone (Ben had to leave with her) and have the scar tissue removed before heading to recovery on my own!

During labour/birth, I definitely did not expect:
Any complications!

A myth/misconception I believed prior that I now don’t is:
That you don’t need to gather colostrum in the 4 weeks leading up to birth – I feel like all mothers should definitely do this because you never know what can happen!

Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Lily Jean Dixon, 27 Sep 2019, 3.4 kgs

Baby’s name was almost:

Time spent in hospital post birth:
5 days.

Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
Save up colostrum! Plus charcoal tablets for wind pain after cesarean, adult nappies, and put baby straight into a sleep suit.

Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
Sleep suit, dummies and enough newborn clothes!

If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
Stop worrying so much about your baby!

If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
Nothing, I’m pretty proud of how strong and brave I was with the birth!

If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say?
Because of the complications I was DYING to just be her mum, feed her, etc so if anything – everything will be okay and she will get better.

Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
You are so much stronger than you realise.

Click here to read more on Lily’s birth on Courtney’s blog.

If you have a birth story you’d like to share then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation!

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