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:
Jess Gard, 27
14th February 2019
Cravings during pregnancy:
Strawberry jam on toast and chocolate milk.
Morning sickness, anxiety and pre-natal depression.
Biggest concern about birth was:
Being too late for an epidural.
Ideal birth plan was:
I didn’t really have a birth plan. I knew I wanted an epidural and whatever else that needed to happen I was open to, I just wanted a safe arrival.
Hours in labour:
How we went from wombmate to roommate:
I was induced on the morning of Monday 18th February at 40 weeks + 4 days. I was induced as they don’t like to let IVF pregnancies go too far over due.
9am we headed into hospital to start our induction. After they examined me and saw I was not dilated at all and my cervix was still posterior they used the gel to get things started. 6 hours and another examination later and nothing had changed. So I had a second dose of the gel and waited another 6 long hours. By the time of my next examination my husband Cam had been sent home as nothing was happening. It was now midnight and I was 2cm dilated, had some cramping and a few little pains. I was given a sleeping tablet and told to try and get some rest.
However that’s when the pain started to get more intense, so there was zero sleeping. The pain was all in my back, I was using hot towels to try to help make it more comfortable. Heading into 4am I called Cam to come back and they moved me back to the labour suite. I tried sitting, walking and laying – nothing was making me comfortable. I tried gas and didn’t want a bar of it. I asked for an epidural thinking it would take forever but luckily enough was given one right away. Just as this happened my sister Shanna arrived, as the plan was to have her there while I was in labour.
Once I had had the epidural, they broke my waters at 7.30am and hooked me up to the hormone drip. Hours passed and not much was really happening and my epidural started to wear off on my left side. So the anaesthetist came to fix it. I was dilating very slowly and even by 8:30pm I was only 5cm. The midwifes then noticed that my catheter wasn’t draining and it came back that my kidneys were going into failure so off it was to have an emergency C-section, and my sister stayed back to wait for us.
At 10:33pm on Tuesday 19th February our little girl was here, I was only able to have a very short hold as she had to be taken to the nursery because she was breathing a little fast and had swallowed some meconium and needed antibiotics through a drip. Cam went with Peyton while I was getting stitched up and in recovery. My poor sister had waited all this time while I was in recovery, so Cam went and got her to go and meet our baby. Although he didn’t let her have a hold as I hadn’t really yet. My blood pressure wouldn’t come down so I was in recovery for quite a while, as I had pre-eclampsia during labour too. 3 hours later I was taken back to a room and Cam wheeled our baby girl into see me.
Most vivid memory during labour:
How quickly the epidural kicked in and also waking up being able to feel my legs again after such a long time of not being able to.
Most amusing/interesting moment during labour/birth:
I had been asking for a Caesarean the whole day because I was over it and then when I was told I needed one I didn’t want one.
During labour/birth, I definitely did not expect:
To vomit during a C-section and to get pre-eclampsia during labour.
A myth/misconception I believed prior that I now don’t is:
That when you get induced you go straight into labour..
Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Peyton Grace Gard, 4.1kg, 19th February 2019
Baby’s name was almost:
Was always going to be Peyton.
Time spent in hospital post birth:
Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
Double zipped suits.
Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
Double zipped suits
Love to Dream swaddles
If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
Cook some meals to freeze for later.
If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
As much as I wanted and had planned to have an epidural, I wished that I tried to go for a bit longer before asking for it.
If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say?
It’s ok for your emotions to be all over the place – you’ve just had a baby and are sleep deprived and those baby blues don’t last forever.
Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
It’s okay to accept help from family and friends don’t feel bad about it.
Any further notes you’d like to include:
Try not to get to caught up in sleep apps, sleep programs, etc. Just find your own routine and what works for your family. As hard as it is, ride it out and your baby will sleep when they sleep.
If you have a birth story you’d like to share then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation!