Real Birth Journey: Georgia Gayle

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: 
Nicole, 31

Due date: 

Cravings during pregnancy: 
I was OBSESSED with apple juice.

Worst symptom/s: 
For me it was swelling. I was so puffy I couldn’t wear shoes or my wedding rings.

Biggest concern about birth was: 
Giving birth! I was so scared about the pain that I chose to do no education on it (big mistake!)

Ideal birth plan was: 
My ideal plan would have been to naturally go into labour and have had my beautiful baby in my arms by the end of the day. I was totally ok with having an epidural, so having all the pain relief thrown at me as well was very welcomed in any story! 

Hours in labour:
I was induced, so that was started at 5:00pm and I didn’t give birth until 10:30pm the next night. So over 29 hours from start to finish.

How we went from wombmate to roommate:
I was told by the doctor I needed to be induced at 40wks+1 as bub was big and my placenta was calcifying. So in I went to have the balloon catheter put in the night before. Overnight I was told I could have any pain relief I wanted but I thought I can tough this out and only had paracetamol. The feeling is like really intense period cramps and looking back I should have had stronger meds to get a good sleep, but I didn’t.

9:00am the next morning the doctor came and took out the balloon and broke my waters, which I had gas for and I hated it! The gas made me feel so ill! A nurse gave me an enema to reduce the risk of the dreaded poop during birth scenario. The doctor then said ‘by lunch time you will have a baby!’ I was coping ok with the contractions, although there wasn’t much break between each one, but I was going ok. I heard a lady in the next room give birth without pain relief and her screams were like nothing I’ve ever heard before, in fact they scared me so much I asked for the epidural then! At 11:00am they put the epidural in, which felt like it took forever as they could only do it between each contraction. Once that was in I was as happy as a clam, an exhausted clam but still I felt no pain.

The doctor came to check on me at 12pm and I was only 4cm dilated, so he said ‘by 3pm you will have a baby!’ In that time, after each contraction the nurse kept getting me to roll on each side but wouldn’t tell me why. A little while later she said that bubs heart rate isn’t recovering between each contraction, which meant they had to slow down the hormones they were using to make me have contractions. 3pm came and went, 5pm came and went, 6pm came and went, and still no baby. By this point I was beyond exhausted. By 9pm the doctor came and checked on me and said you are 9cm dilated but I can tell by bubs head that they are stuck. He said we will give you another hour but if there is no change we will have to give you a caesarean. Hubby was amazing and said to the doc she is exhausted and so is bub, maybe only give her 30mins, to which he agreed.

Sure enough, in that time there was no change so they prepped us to go in for an emergency caesarean. Hubby only wore thongs to the hospital so was given a pair of the doctors gumboots and was also put in scrubs. I remember the room being freezing cold and filled with lots of doctors and nurses. I remember being so scared, I also remember hubby being scared but putting on a brave face for me. I was so scared I just closed my eyes until I heard the cries of my baby, they pulled down the curtain and I got to see we had a baby girl with a full head of black hair! They wrapped her up and put her on my chest, I was so overwhelmed and so, so exhausted. Hubby then cuddled her and I fell asleep! I just couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore! Even in recovery when they were trying to get me to breastfeed I kept falling asleep! This is not how I pictured it to go, but we were both healthy and ok!  

Most vivid memory during labour: 
The pain of the contractions. It is like no pain I’ve ever experienced before! 

Most amusing/interesting moment during labour/birth: 
Having an enema – those things are not nice! And hubby being told off for only wearing thongs to the hospital and not enclosed shoes!

During labour/birth, I definitely did not expect: 
Only having such small breaks between each contraction.

A myth/misconception I believed prior that I now don’t is: 
I thought not being educated on what I was about to go through was the right approach for me. This in fact was 100% wrong! 

Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Georgia Gayle, 3995grams, 07/02/2017

Baby’s name was almost: 
We loved Charlotte forever! Then when I actually fell pregnant we both weren’t so keen on it anymore.

Time spent in hospital post birth: 
5 days.

Best tip/trick you received for those early days: 
If someone offers you help TAKE IT! I didn’t always listen to this advice but when I did I was much happier for it.

Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn: 
I used the old nappy cloths for spew rags instead of nappies – those things are the perfect size.
Bonds wondersuits or onesies that have zips instead of buttons.
Baby carrier. 

If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say? 
EDUCATE YOURSELF! Not knowing what you are in for does NOT work!

If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say? 
Get up and walk around. I was so worried about my waters constantly leaking out that I didn’t get off the bed once! 

If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say? 
You’ve got this. This will pass.

Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth? 
You can do this! You are amazing and you will be an amazing mum! And make sure you are educated on what is to come and ask loads of questions so you feel prepared for any outcome that could take place. 

Any further notes you’d like to include: 
I found I became quite sad after having Georgia as I didn’t have that ‘bond’ that you hear mums talk about having. I didn’t instantly fall in love as such and I felt sad and like a bad mum because of it. It did eventually come but if any other mums have or get this feeling, you aren’t alone.

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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