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Birth Stories – Amy

My first baby and my first birth – I went in with no expectations and no idea what to expect… except for pain!

I had a very open mind to it all and the only things I knew I wanted was my husband, our baby to arrive safely and a photographer there to capture the rare and special moments.

Having being diagnosed with gestational diabetes and becoming insulin dependent, we agreed an induction was the best for me and baby. I went into the hospital late in the afternoon and had the foleys catheter put in to try and get things started. My husband and I went back to the room scared about what the next day involved, but also very anxious and excited to finally be meeting our little miracle.

It was the weirdest feeling knowing exactly what day she would arrive, just not what time it would be.

I didn’t have to experience Braxton Hicks or false alarms, no questioning is that a contraction, was that my waters breaking? We simply drove to the hospital nervous as knowing it was the last time it was going to be just the two of us.

I entered the labour suite on my own, hubby still getting breakfast and Jodi (our photographer) on her way. The doctor removed the balloon, I was 3cm and had a long day ahead of me. At 9am they decided to break my waters, I tried to move around but whenever I did they would lose bubs heart rate on the CTG. With nothing happening, they started me on the drip and I finally started contractions around 11.30. The midwife asked if I mind if a student came in to observe – fine by me, everyone starts learning somewhere!

By 1.30pm I decided that this was all too hard and too painful – I don’t want to do this anymore! It was great having the student, as the midwife explained this is how we know she is in active labour because she keeps repeating make it stop, I couldn’t find the words to ask questions but the student asked them without me having to say anything so I could just focus on the contractions.

I tried distracting myself with music or walking around, but each time I moved or got comfortable we lost bubs heart rate, it was doing my head in.

I tried the gas but just ended up biting down on it as I couldn’t change the way I was breathing (I was nose breathing and couldn’t coordinate changing it to my mouth) I kept telling the nurses I needed the toilet to take the monitors off me and I’d hide in the toilet for 10mins or so for a break from them. But the contractions intensified, I told my husband no more kids, and told Jodi she was crazy for having 4!

At 3.30pm I asked, how long till the next ‘stage’ and they responded 3-5 hours! I couldn’t keep going like this for 5 more hours and I’d be exhausted, so I asked for an epidural. They called the doctor and did an IE – I was 7cm and stretched to 8. I remember feeling relief that I was so much further than I expected. I expected them to tell me I was only 5. I was shaking uncontrollably it was driving me nuts! But after the epi went in around 5pm everything changed. I couldn’t tell them how effective it was as everything just felt different, I think I was just distracted by having some relief and be able to just chill in one spot comfortably.

6.30pm we did another internal check and I was finally at 10cm! Scared myself after asking how long the pushing stage goes for… but at 7pm I was able to start and 45mins later and with the help of forceps, lots of colourful language and a lot of screaming, our little bundle arrived.

Bub landed on my chest, I looked up to my husband and realised he was in the room (poor guy, I ignored him most of the day even when he tried helping by rubbing my back) bub took her first breaths and cried and the doctor asked me ‘have you looked? What did you have?’ I asked that dad look and be the one to say out loud – A girl! We had a gorgeous little girl!

The next little while is all a blur. There were doctors and nurses checking me, checking bub. The screaming had stopped and I started realising what’s just happened.

Jodi came over to me to congratulate and show me a couple photos… Ohhh that’s right I had a photographer!!

I didn’t notice her at all during the final stages, she was so discreet and courteous that I had forgotten she was there. With the hype all over we asked her for a couple of photos in particular. We discussed at length before the birth what sort of photos I was wanting. I was very interested in just ‘reaction’, not ‘action’. I wanted the emotion of dad seeing his little girl for the first time, our first cuddles, the joy, and love. We got more than I ever could have imagined, the photos are perfect and every time I look at them it’s a reminder of the emotions I felt that day. Even looking at them a dozen times I see different things Jodi captured that I missed the first few times!

We didn’t decide on a name for almost 24hrs. After calling her a few different names we finally agreed… Mia Louise.

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Jodi Byles Photography © 2019