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Birth Stories – Karina


Karina Smith – Labour, Bunbury Hospital, 31st August 2018


On the 26th of August 2018, I was admitted for the fifth time at almost 36 weeks after having a rough pregnancy with gestational diabetes, hypertension, and extra fluid. This was our third baby, and I was no stranger to pregnancy complications.

After being hospitalised only a few days, my blood sugar started dropping, and my blood pressure was beginning to rise. Doctors decided to start my induction on Thursday night to deliver on Friday, hopefully. Being that I had done this twice before, I knew what to expect and how things would more than likely go.

I had the balloon on Thursday night and progressed extremely fast after being measured 3 centimetres when the balloon popped out only two hours later. The next morning, Friday the 31st of August, we were taken into our birthing suite, and I was hooked up to my drip and a heart rate monitor to get things started. Within a few hours, I was having strong regular contractions and was getting excited that we would be meeting our third and final baby real soon.

Unfortunately, after being checked quite a few hours into the induction, I was only 5 centimetres, and the baby’s head was still really high, so I opted for an epidural. By the time the anaesthesiologist Entered the room, I was in unbearable pain and could not sit still.

The next 2 hours was one of the most traumatic experiences I’ve ever been through. I had over ten needles in my back. All were failed epidurals, and by the time they thought they’d finally got it in, I was screaming in pain. After the little bit of spinal they gave me kicked in, our OB and the head OB on call that night came in to check me. Sadly, I’d stopped progressing, and the baby’s head was stuck, which was now affecting his heart rate.

We had a hard decision to make, either keep going but risk him not coming down or getting stuck without oxygen, or have a C-Section. By the time we made our decision, it was too late, the baby was struggling, and we were rushed off for an emergency caesarean.

After two failed spinals, the epidural wasn’t in correctly, and we needed to get the baby out, my husband was asked to leave the room, and they put me under. It was honestly the scariest experience I’ve ever had.

I woke up at around 10:30 PM, and hubby told me we had a beautiful baby boy weighing in at 4.38Kg, but unfortunately, his health wasn’t great, so he was taken to the special care nursery.

When I woke at 5:00 AM, I had to see my baby boy, so I begged the nurse to take me.

I remember the pain of trying to get out of the bed; it felt like someone had been playing hacky sack with my organs.

Seeing that little boy’s face for the first time was heartbreaking, I wasn’t the first to hold my baby, I wasn’t the first to feed my baby, and I wasn’t there when they stuck all those needles and drips into his little arms. After five days in the special care nursery, we were discharged and able to go home.

Darcy George was our little miracle. He’s now 16 weeks old, and although having a few medical issues, he is a gorgeous boy. His birth will be something I’ll never forget and something I’m still working to process today.

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