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 Gard, 27
Cravings during pregnancy:
Weetbix with cold milk.
Nausea and extreme exhaustion.
Biggest concern about birth was:
I was petrified of having to have a C-section.
Ideal birth plan was:
To go into natural labour.
Hours in labour:
I was induced, drip started at 1:30pm active labour from 3:00pm and baby born at 10:25pm – so roughly 9 hours all up.
How we went from wombmate to roommate:
At our 12 week scan we found out I had a short cervix which could lead to pre-term labour, so I was started on medication to help prevent that from happening. However the doctors didn’t seem to think it was working as my cervix was getting shorter and shorter. We were told we might not make it to 30 weeks, however we did beat the odds. Then at 32 weeks we found out that I had Pre-Eclamsia. I was put on blood pressure medication and would have blood tests every few days, by 36 weeks I would have to go in everyday and have my blood pressure taken and have fetal monitoring done.
At 37 weeks on one Friday morning I went in for my daily check and the doctor told me I would be having a baby in the next 24 hours as my blood pressure was too high and both my liver and kidneys had started to take a turn for the worst. She gave me a stretch and sweep and discovered to our delight that I was already 3cm dilated. The next day, Saturday the 24th of June they broke my waters and started me on the drip at 1:30pm I remember thinking in the first hour ‘this isn’t so bad’ then all of a sudden it hit me. The contractions came on strong, hard and fast. Being on the drip and continued monitoring I couldn’t get in the shower like I had hoped to, so I paced around my room leaning over the bed for each contraction. I truly believe standing and walking around is what helps baby come quicker.
By 5:30pm I was having gas and air which was helping but unfortunately my blood pressure was going up as I was obviously in pain, so an epidural was ordered as they can help bring blood pressure down. At 8:00pm the anaesthetist came and gave me the epidural – the longest part of my labour to me was sitting still while they did it. Strangely I could still feel my legs and the pressure from every contraction just no pain. I remembered freaking out because I was shaking really bad like I was cold but apparently that can happen when you have an epidural.
At around 9:30pm I started to get some pain back with my contractions and felt huge pressure down below, and by 10:00pm I knew I had to push. The midwife checked and I was right baby’s head was right there ready to come. 4 contractions and 4 big pushes later out came my beautiful baby. As soon as I saw his face I knew he was a boy. I was able to pull him up to my chest which was the most amazing thing ever. He knew exactly what he wanted and went straight for my boobs – and still does 2.5 years later haha!
Most vivid memory during labour:
Yelling at my husband to not look at me.
A myth/misconception I believed prior that I now don’t is:
Every induction is bad and will result in a C-section.
Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Sonny Arthur Gard, 7 pound 15 oz, 24.6.17
Baby’s name was almost:
Time spent in hospital post birth:
Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
Perineum ice blocks were my saving grace.
Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
Love to dream swaddles, baby carrier and burp cloths.
If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
Take more care of yourself.
If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
Breathe breathe breathe.
If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say?
It’s normal for baby to be attached to my boob and it won’t last forever.
Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
Don’t have any expectations of labour, unfortunately it’s something we cannot control, however we can control how we are handling it.
If you have a birth story you’d like to share then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation!