“I am super proud of my birth. Although I was induced, was constantly monitored and had an epidural – I am proud of every single part of my labor and birth and never once feared.” ~Kacey
Zachary’s Birth Story
13th December 2011 at 8:37am
My husband and I had been trying to conceive a baby for a year before we were referred to a fertility specialist. After undergoing a few tests, I was started on a drug called Clomid – assists in ovulation. My husband had not long left for a new job in the mining industry at that stage so we had a small window in which the drugs were effective. We were lucky enough to concieve our son in that small period of time. Finding out we were pregnant was such a magical moment and one of relief. Telling our families was quite emotional as they all knew our struggle and desire to have a child. My pregnancy was up and down. Morning sickness lasted for just over 14 weeks and then I battled back pains in the later stage of pregnancy.
How did it all start? On Friday 2nd December, I awoke in the early hours of the morning with extreme loin/back pain. I managed the pain during the night by having boiling hot showers every two hours, rocking on all fours and using my lavender pack. By 8 am I couldn’t handle the pain any longer. I knew I wasn’t in labor as I had been battling this loin/back pain for a few weeks. I was exhausted and tired and knew something wasn’t right. I emailed my OB advising him of what was happening. He rang me within half an hour asking me to come into the hospital to see him.
I drove to the hospital, struggling with the pain. Not sure how I managed to get there safely, but I did. He organized an ultrasound and the ultrasound showed I had an obstructed left kidney. They couldn’t find any kidney stones and put it down to the way my uterus was laying. Around 3pm, I was admitted to the maternity unit and seen by the Urologist on call. He advised me that I would need a stent put into my kidney to unblock the kidney and keep it flowing. I was terrified of going to theater, even though it was only a quick half hour procedure. I was terrified as my husband wasn’t with me, he was at work and wouldn’t be home for a few days.
My mum stayed with me the entire time though – she was such an amazing support during my pregnancy, surgery and the labor and birth. I was worried about the affects the general anesthetic would have on my son. I was advised that it was only a light anesthetic and would have no affect on my son. I agreed to the procedure and went to theater around 7pm. I was discharged the next day.
Throughout the next week, I was free of the loin/back pain. On Saturday,, 10th December, I woke up in the morning with the exact same loin/back pain. I phoned up the hospital and was advised to return. I phoned my mum to take me back to the hospital. I had a shot of pethidine which killed the pain but made me dizzy and then I started vomiting. I was seen by the OB on call as it was my doctors weekend off. He advised me that he would keep me in for the weekend on pain relief as I probably had another obstructed kidney and would need to be induced given that I was close to 37 weeks. He said he would leave any decisions up to my doctor when he came around to see me on Monday morning.
I stayed in hospital all weekend anxious about what my doctor would decide on the Monday. I really hoped he would induce me as I couldn’t imagine struggling with the pain any longer. I was afraid I would feel exhausted by the time I actually went into labor and would have no strength and energy to make the most of labor, when the time came.
Monday morning arrived and my OB walked into my room. He advised that I would need another ultrasound, but he thinks the best option would be to go ahead and deliver my son. He gave me two options: a c-section or induction. He advised that induction would be a good option, but to be aware that it may fail given I am only 37 weeks and my body may not be ready to deliver my baby. In that case, I would end up needing a c-section.
I told him I wanted to try for a natural birth, so I took the option of an induction. He told me that he needed to go and check that the delivery suites were free and the staffing levels were sufficient. He told me that it may be today, tomorrow or at the latest Wednesday. My husband was on his way back from work and arrived after my OB had been around. He arrived at the hospital at 10am. We sat around for a few hours wondering what the final decision would be. In the meantime, I went off for another ultrasound and the results showed my right kidney was now obstructed. Wise decision to induce me as the Urologist advised me he wouldn’t put in a second stent and leaving it could cause further problems.
At 12:00pm a midwife named Hannah came into my room and told me to pack all my things together as they were moving me. I asked where I was going and she said the birthing suites. This felt so surreal! I was going to have a baby! My heart could hardly hold the excitement. From then on, I couldn’t stop smiling! I was over the moon that I was a little bit closer to meeting my baby boy. I really had no idea what to expect at this stage, but I really didn’t care because I was on the way to having my son.
At 12:30 pm my OB put in the gel. At that stage my cervix was hard and closed – nowhere near ready to have a baby! The dose was the initial 2mg dose. He advised me to rest for an hour to let the gel work on my cervix. He said that he would come back and check on me in a few hours and if nothing had happened he would put in a second dose and if nothing happened after that, then a c-section would be needed. Within ten minutes of having the gel put in, I started having tightenings. The midwife hooked me up to the monitors and told me that I was having small irregular contractions. For the next few hours, my husband, mum and I tried to relax and rest, but it was so hard given the excitement. I was terrified at this stage that I would need a c-section as it was something that played on my mind. I remained hopeful though given I was having small irregular contractions.
At 5:50pm my OB checked my cervix and much to everyone’s surprise I was 1.5cm dilated. The gel had worked wonders and my body was on its way to have a baby! I was just so relieved that my body was going after the little kick start. My OB went ahead and broke my waters. I sucked on the gas the entire time and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. A small hook is inserted up into the vagina and they break your waters. All of a sudden I felt a big gush of liquid and it kept coming out in puddles for the next few hours. I couldn’t believe how much fluid is inside, around the baby.
My sister and sister in law were in the room and I couldn’t stop giggling every time more fluid would come out. They would know exactly when I was leaking as I was giggling. My OB couldn’t believe it and had never seen somebody laugh and smile so much during labor. I smiled all the way to the end. I was so ecstatic and felt no fear about childbirth. I trusted my body that it knew what to do and I had wonderful support through my husband and my mum.
At 6:35pm I was started on the sintocin drip to speed up and intensify labor. Almost straight away my contractions were extremely intense and felt like they were on top of each other. I tried a few different things to manage the pain. Rocking back and forth, my husband massaged my back, I rocked back and forth and bounced on the fit ball. It was hard to stay active as I was hooked up to the contraction monitor, heart rate monitor for my son, and had an IV inserted.
My birth photographer arrived around 7:30 pm and straight away she got to work. I never noticed her taking photos. She was an amazing support also having been through childbirth three times. By 9 pm I was begging for a shower as my contractions were coming every 2 minutes and never seemed to get a break in between. They were so intense they made me vomit and the vomiting didn’t stop until I was near ready to push. The midwife allowed me to have a quick 15 minute shower as I needed to get back on the monitors ASAP. I kept looking at the big tub and feeling slight disappointment that I couldn’t use it. I had a shower and it was such an amazing feeling. I had the hot water on my back and then my husband was spraying my lower stomach with the hot water. I tried several different positions in the shower, on all fours, squatting, leaning over a chair, but the most comfortable was standing up. I dragged the shower out to 30 minutes as I kept having contractions and was refusing to get out of the shower.
Eventually I got out of the shower. I could barely walk two steps without another contraction hitting me. I thought I was doing really well with managing the pain and my husband and mum kept encouraging me saying how well I was doing. At around 10 pm I started the gas. I sucked so hard it made me dizzy. It took awhile to get the hang of it. I felt so high and drunk. I was saying funny and silly things that made my husband and mum laugh. Apparently I was over the top loving and tried to keep kissing my husband and telling everyone how much I loved them – even the midwife!
I remember leaning over the bed talking to my mum and telling her that I couldn’t do it and wanting the epidural. She told me that I COULD do it but if I wanted the epidural, then it was my choice. I wanted to see how far along I was before asking, I felt if I had progressed to about 6cm then I would keep powering through, so I asked the midwife to check me. She checked me at 10:35 pm and I was only 3cm dilated! 3cm. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!!! I felt so disappointed, I cried. I had managed hours of intense contractions on top of each other and had only managed to get to 3cm. I asked my midwife when did she think I would be ready to deliver and she said probably not until late morning/early afternoon. At that point, I asked for an epidural. I was managing the pain with the gas, but knew I couldn’t manage for another 8-12 hours. I was exhausted and tired and needed sleep. I felt like I was drunk and I was starting to loose focus. I wanted to reserve my energy for pushing out my son.
At 12:20 am the epidural was done and took about 15 minutes to kick in. It didn’t hurt. I sucked on the gas the entire time and only felt a tiny pinch as the local anesthetic was given. After that, I didn’t feel a thing. Once it had kicked in, it was amazing. I couldn’t feel the contractions, only a slight tightening of my belly. I was numb in my vagina and bottom and my legs were heavy, but I could still feel them. A catheter was inserted as I wasn’t able to get up and use the toilet. I didn’t feel the catheter being inserted.
It was so amazing to be pain free and I was able to sleep on and off all night long. My husband, mum and the birth photographer were also able to nap on the chairs and regain some of their energy too. My husband had worked a 12 hour shift at work, then drove 12 hours to the hospital and then stayed awake my entire labor So it was nice for him to be able to catch a few minutes sleep. My sister, nan, mother in law, father in law and sister in law were all sleeping in the waiting room as they didn’t want to leave the hospital until he was born. Once I was completely pain free, the nurse stopped the sintocin drip as I was having regular strong contractions all on my own. She said if at any stage they stopped, she would start the drip back up again.
At 2:10 am the midwife checked my cervix and I was 5cm. I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited that I was half way there, half way to delivering my son. I went back to sleep thinking I wouldn’t be ready to push until around 10-11am.
I was still half asleep when my OB came at 6:30am to check me. I expected to be maybe 7-8 cm dilated. Then he said was “are you ready to have a baby?!” OMG!! I was 10 cm dilated – fully dilated and ready to deliver my son. My body is incredible. It took soooo long to get to 5 cm dilated, and then in 4 hours it had dilated another 5 cm to the point I was fully dilated. WOW!!! I was not expecting to be ready to push at 6:30 am. The last few hours being pregnant was such a surreal feeling. I am about to say goodbye to my huge and beautiful baby bump and say hello to our much anticipated son.
My OB then turned off the epidural as I wanted to feel the pushing stage. He then left me for about half an hour for it to wear off. I started feeling tightening again and they were getting more intense each time. At 7:15 am I started pushing. I pushed three times during each contraction. My midwife Hannah was amazing and the support she gave was incredible. She told me exactly how to push and I pushed that way every single time. I pushed for about 40 minutes before I was almost ready to deliver his head. I told my midwife that I was so desperate to see what color hair he had. When she could see the top of the head she told me he had brown hair and once I had finished the contraction, I turned to my husband and said “I told you so!”
My OB then told me to put one leg up on his hip and the other leg up on Hannah’s hip and pull my legs each time I had a contraction. He said I was doing very well and my pushing was fantastic! Each time I pushed, he told me to push as if I was angry, very very angry and I put everything I had into pushing like I was angry. Then I would smile in between. The end stage of pushing, felt like I never got a breath. Delivering his head was painful and I felt such a pressure in my bottom. I kept saying “I feel like I need to do a big fart!” and was reassured that no, it was his head. So I kept pushing.
My bottom felt like it was going to explode and that’s the only way to describe the feeling. As his head was coming out, my OB told me to do small half pushes so he could try and keep my perineum intact. I never felt the ring of fire that people so often tell you it feels like. I just felt extreme pain and pressure, but knew I was sooo close to delivering my boy! The whole pushing stage, I kept my eyes closed. Every time I would open my eyes I would feel dizzy from the pushing. They asked if I wanted a mirror, but I kept my eyes closed anyway so no point in that.
The birth photographer took photos though and showed me every now and then where I was up to and that gave me inspiration and motivation to keep pushing with everything I had!
Once his head was out, it was such a relief. My OB pretty much fished his shoulders out and he was born. It was such an amazing incredible feeling and one that cannot be explained in words. He was placed up on my chest and wow, the first glimpse of my son.
I was overwhelmed with love. The feeling I had at that moment is one I can barely describe. He looked up at me with his big eyes and I just could not believe that was my son and I am his mummy. My son graced us with his presence three weeks early on the 13th December 2011 at 8:37am weighing 8 pounds 1 ounce, 52cm long, and a head circumference of 33cm. The midwife couldn’t believe how big he was and asked whether my dates matched up – and they do!
I delivered the placenta without the need for the injection within 10 minutes after birth. My placenta was healthy and my cord was super long – according to my doctor. I asked my doctor whether I had any tearing and he told me I had a tiny graze at the bottom, but no need for stitches. He said I pushed like an expert and most first time mums don’t push like that. Wow! No pooping and no stitches – I realllllly got lucky!!
I really felt like I had an amazing team delivering my baby. Between the support of my husband and mum and the support of my midwife and my OB. I felt in incredible hands. I had incredible trust in my OB and admired him. I am so proud of my labor and birth. Yes, I was induced. Yes, I was constantly monitored and yes, I had an epidural and yes, I gave birth on my back. The birth I had was nothing like the birth I had planned, but I just went with the flow and am so proud of every single part of my labor and birth. I never feared birth, it is what it is and it was absolutely beautiful.
Meanwhile, I held him on my chest and breastfed him for the next hour. Breastfeeding him for the first time was magical. Then I asked if they could weigh him, etc., so my husband could have his skin to skin time. Watching my husband hold his son to his chest was such a beautiful moment. The way he looked down at Zachary just melted my heart. The love he has for this little boy is so beautiful to watch. He is an amazing husband and incredibly supportive. I remember thinking these are my two people – MY husband and MY son. Wow. Such a beautiful feeling. I have a little family. I have wanted this since before I could remember. This is our first born – our son. He is all ours to love and teach and learn from.
A few hours later, it all hit me and I was overcome with emotion. We had wanted this for such a long time. We had tried month after month – each failed month would break our hearts and I would loose a little hope each time. The first appointment where was saw his little heartbeat to this moment he was born. Such an amazing journey and one that cannot really be summed up in a birth story. I will never ever forget what it feels like to long for your baby.
Looking back it all feels like a dream. Alongside marrying my husband, this was by far the most amazing day of my life. The feeling I felt when my son entered the world and was placed up onto my chest was just something that words cannot describe.
Birth Photography by Naomi V Photography.