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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Olivia's Birth Story

I am one of those women that thinks pregnancy totally agrees with her, when in reality, it does not. I tend to remember the positives instead of the negatives, I guess it is a survival tactic the human brain creates in order for women to keep reproducing and populating the world. You see, most of the time, pregnancy is NOT a cake walk. It can have its moments of bliss and beauty but it can also have its not so blissful moments. With both pregnancies I was living in the moment, full of joy and happiness about the beautiful life growing inside me, glowing and expressing my happiness and wellness to anyone who listened. People would ask how I was going and I would say something along the lines of 'I am great, feeling really healthy and relaxed, pregnancy seems to agree with me'. When in reality I was riding on the highs of the hormones; having five hours of broken sleep, up and down going to the toilet, back ache, jumpy legs, heart burn, burning feet, sleeping with a fan angled at my feet ALL NIGHT LONG, constant nausea and vomiting which was causing me to be dehydrated and exhausted, low blood pressure, fainting, anaemia and Braxton Hicks contractions. Nine months since last giving birth, I can honestly say if I had to do it again, I would, no question about it.

My first pregnancy was OK. I do not really remember all of the details but is was a classic textbook nine month pregnancy. The only problem was lack of emotional preparedness, who is emotionally prepared to give birth anyway?! I was young, early twenties, and I missed my Mum. I did a lot of crying for her during the labour. William was a perfect seven hour labour, eight pounds seven ounces, a lot of pushing and gas. After all that, and a mighty big tear (sorry, over share), I was home the next day. I stumbled through the first year, as we all do. I taught myself how to be a mother, I was too proud to ask how.

I have always wanted more than one baby. I did not want my child to go through what I did, life without a sibling. So when Will was about fifteen months old I started to pester Keith about adding another little one to our little unit. He agreed but wanted to wait another six months. I was ready then and there, and I knew that it would be sooner rather than later. It did not take long, only six weeks or so. I was so overjoyed to be pregnant again, another babe on the way. I felt confident, and ready to be a mama of two. The first few months were fab, I was not as aware of the pregnancy like I was when I was pregnant with Will. I had little to no sickness and lots of energy to burn. I had a new and different kind of confidence, I felt like a woman, a sexy woman. Plus I could actually eat scrambled eggs without throwing up. WOO!! At fifteen weeks I was diagnosed with Pneumonia, it knocked me around for a good month or two but it was a good opportunity to focus on rest. I was feeling so totally different during this pregnancy, I was quietly confident that we were having a little girl. When we received conformation that we were indeed expecting a little bundle of girly goodness we were stoked.

I hit the heavily pregnant stage mid summer. Let me just say now, if I was to ever be pregnant again, (believe me that's a big IF), I will make damn sure that I am not 7 months plus in summer. The heat was exhausting, I was stuck indoors. As soon as I would do anything slightly strenuous I would literally pass out. It was happening on a daily basis, I could never keep myself hydrated enough. Poor Keith was expecting the daily calls to his office from his heavily pregnant fainting lady. Keith would knock off early sometimes and we would venture up to the hills to feed the horses. I loved to get out in to the country air, it would often be a few degrees cooler up there too. The horses were in a beautiful paddock with 360 degree views of the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Barossa Valley.

I would hop out of the car and go over to where Sammy and Benny were relaxing under the tree and lay down with them. There is something about laying down with horses I cannot describe, it is magic. The often comforted me when I was feeling a little bit down and out, they could sense Olivia and were very gentle. Many occasions I would actually faint under that big old tree, Keith totally unaware, thinking I was just laying down. I would eventually come around to find a big wet horse nose on my arm.

At thirty eight weeks, I was done, totally over it. I had a growth scan and was told that the baby would be late and BIG, they couldn't get an accurate picture so basically go home and wait it out. I left the hospital with Keith, got in the car and cried. I was emotionally and physically done. I pretty much gave up hope of ever having this baby, I just didn't care anymore. Within nine hours I was in the beginnings of early labour. I awoke in the very early hours of the morning. Keith had only just come to bed as he had been trying to catch up on work he had missed that week. I knew something was happening but believed it to be Braxton Hicks contractions again, after a steaming hot lavender bath the contractions were coming faster and running longer. I kept yelling, "I cant do this, I am not ready" We were both certain that this was a false alarm, only hours earlier the doctor had told us it would be a long wait for this babe to be engaged and ready to go.

We rang Dad at dawn, told him to come and take care of Will. The contractions were becoming intense and I felt like I had to push. Will was sound asleep in his cot, I was on all fours on the kitchen floor moaning like a cow. Keith rang dad again,
'Hi Robin, just wondering how long you will be?'
'Im nearly there. A few streets away'
'Tell him to hurry the fuck up!!' I hissed
We couldn't wait any longer, I was in the car and ready to go, we parked out front of the neighbours an waited for dad, two contractions later I told Keith to go, I couldn't wait, Dad was one street away. This baby was coming...fast.We got to the hospital in five minutes, I had three contractions walking from the front entrance to the women's assessment unit. A lovely midwife told me to just sit and relax and would be with me in a moment. Honey I don't have a moment!. I begged her to please give me something, I felt really tired and unwell and I did not think I could do this. I had zero energy, if it was going to be anything like my first labour then I was going to need a mighty big booster of energy. She took my hand and said, sweetheart you can't have anything, you are too far along however, I can give you some gas...THANK GOD FOR THE GAS! It totally calmed me down.

I was fully dilated and pushing, I let out a big deep groan and three midwives came running.
'Oh that sounded like a push,' they chirped. Duhh 
We were whisked upstairs to the delivery suits. On the way I had a little moment, I wasn't scared but I wanted my mummy. I felt like she was there with me, I had a sense of calm. It was dark as the wheeled me through the to the delivery suite. A midwife smiled sweetly at me as she rose from her desk, 'congratulations darling,' she said. I cried and smiled, I was going to be a Mummy again.

There was a back log of birthing mothers. Every suite was being used. I was wheeled into the most beautiful room you had ever seen. Couches a spa, a magnificent view of the hills. And a beautiful midwife named Jo, she had a sweet kind smile that put you at ease straight away. Thank goodness. She was perfect, I was in a safe place. I told Keith to relax, take it easy and I would let him know if I needed anything. He laughed and said righto.  I asked the midwife if she actually thought I was going to give birth that day, she said she couldn't guarantee. I laughed so hard, I couldn't believe it. You see my water had not broken yet, and to be honest I was still in total denial that I was actually in labour. I knew my body, I knew I could do this, I was going to prove to them that this was bloody happening. At that moment 8:05am, bang!!!. Literally a bang and a rush like a torrent of water out of an Indiana Jones movie, the water broke. Jo wasn't even ready, she was still getting prepped. Five minutes later the beautiful Olivia Frances arrived, all eight pounds and fourteen ounces of her (just like her big brother), thick black hair, a good set of lungs and ten days early.

After a shower and a snack we headed home. The four of us in the car in silence. Keith and I looked at each other and said together at the same time
'What the fuck!'

So do tell me your story. I love a good baby tale.


  1. You are so incredible!

    I feel like you write things so well, I literally need to quote you!

    "I taught myself how to be a mother. I was too proud to ask how".

    That just hit me like a sonic boom.


    Olivia Frances is beautiful. Her birth story is beautiful.

    Just like her mama x

  2. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful story! I love how your face in the last photo just screams, "what the fuck?!". I will never, ever get sick of reading birth stories! xxx

  3. LOVE it. Thanks for sharing. Honestly, that is just one of my favourite photos. EVER.


Thank you so much for your comments. I am touched by every single one of them :)