Real Birth Journey: Peyton Elizabeth

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:
Lauren, 23.

Due date:

Cravings during pregnancy:
My cravings revolved around mac and cheese, pasta or cheese toasties! That is all I could eat. I was totally put off anything to do with meat!

Worst symptom/s:
First 12 weeks of morning sickness was horrible because I was still working – literally vomiting on the side of the freeway before work.

Biggest concern about birth was:
The birth itself. I always tried to remain calm but because this was my first I just had absolutely no idea what to expect.

Ideal birth plan was:
I had no birth plan at all. I had the conversation with my amazing obstetrician Margo that I just wanted to let her do her thing. However the baby needed to come out was totally okay with me! I did mention I would prefer an epidural though. 

Hours in labor: 
Being induced I was given the cervidil at 6am but they didn’t break my waters until 8am and I didn’t start pushing until 4pm, she was born at 4:55pm.

How we went from womb mate to roommate: 
I was already 40 weeks when I went in for my final appointment and upon checking my cervix my obstetrician said I was completely shut and there was no way she was coming out anytime soon! She gave me the option of waiting or being induced and as I was already so uncomfortable I asked to be induced. So we booked the date of the 20th of October. I went in the night prior to begin observations. I remember walking down the corridor to go to the birthing suite in the morning, turning and looking at my husband, I was shaking and nervous and said ‘I can’t do this.’ I was so scared of the pain and the unknown but at that time he held my hand and gave me a cuddle and said ‘I’ll be there every step of the way, making sure you get what you need.’

They first put cervadil in about 6am and then decided to put my drip in and break my waters at about 8am to keep the progression of the labor.  I then got the epidural quite soon after as I was afraid if I waited too long I wouldn’t get one in time! Getting the epidural was definitely the easy part because I wasn’t in active labor so I could remain calm and still. I was quite comfortable, just getting a small pressure feeling every now and again so I was able to have a couple of hours sleep and so did my husband! It got to about 3pm and I was in a lot of pain – it went from 0 to 100 really quick and I couldn’t understand why. That is until the nurses realised my epidural had moved and come out a little, so I was now feeling the full force of the pain. My husband remembers this moment because I had been so calm and then next minute I am crying in pain and struggling so much. Luckily the doctor who administers the epidural was close by and was able to get it back in just in time!

Then it came to about 4pm where I was 10cm dilated and ready to start pushing. It was quite hard to feel the contractions as I had just had the epidural put back in with a lot of the fluid. My obstetrician was incredible and so calming throughout the whole process, I actually never felt scared. At 4:55pm my first daughter was born. It was such a surreal moment as I didn’t learn until a few hours after birth that she came out so quickly, she had the cord wrapped around her neck a few times so she wasn’t breathing. My obstetrician was so quick at getting her breathing and crying that I didn’t even know what had happened! That first skin to skin and breastfeed was a moment I can’t ever forget. I was looking down at her almost confused as to how I was so lucky to have given birth to such a beautiful girl. I did also have a moment of thinking about what I have done and how I am going to take care  of this newborn baby too.. But my husband was so hands on he helped me through so much of it. 

Most vivid memory during labor:
When my epidural came out and just thinking how on earth do women give birth without this to help them?!

Most amusing/interesting moment during labor/birth:
Not during birth but about an hour after the nurses turned to my husband and said ‘you look like your hungry can we get you something to eat?’ They gave him silverside, and even after watching my whole birth he wasn’t even put off! 

During labor/birth, I definitely did not expect:
When my daughter was first born I have to admit I was quite scared and I was always told you will instantly have this amazing overwhelming feeling of love and I actually didn’t have that, which I thought there was something wrong with me because of! The next day was totally different and I remember staring at her, in awe of everything about her, how perfect she was and the feelings that I had first had at birth were now gone.

A myth/misconception I believed prior that I now don’t is:
Especially regarding your first born, I wish I could have my time again and enjoy more alone time in hospital as I feel like everyday we just had an abundance of visitors. I now know people will wait until you get home and they won’t be upset if they don’t see you in the hospital. It is such a special time and it’s like you truly don’t care what is happening around you, all that matters is you, your baby and your partner.

Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Peyton Elizabeth Edmondson, 3.370grams, 20/10/2016

Baby’s name was almost:
We never had a back up, we just loved this name so much.

Time spent in hospital post birth:
5 days.

Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
I loved being in hospital for the 5 days as I needed more help with breastfeeding, and the nurses were incredible.

Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
Hard one, I don’t think there are many tips I could offer but I believe having a newborn now that you need to just be there – love, cuddle, and don’t force yourself to do too much. This time is so precious and goes too quickly, so just try to enjoy it.

If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
Enjoy the sleep! Even if you are uncomfortable, you can still rest!! 

If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
Stay calm, you’re in a safe place, they will take care of you.

If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say?
Let your emotions go, and just do what makes you feel happy, have a shower, then cuddle and love your newborn baby. 

Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
The more calm and at ease you are with the process the calmer it will be. These doctors and nurses do this day in day out, they know what is best for you and your baby. Definitely have your boundaries and express how you would like things to go, but don’t be upset when it doesn’t happen because every woman, mother and baby are so different. Trust the process.

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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