Tag Archives: Labour

Tweeting the arrival of our 7th baby!

Our seventh child Charlie is one month old today, so just for the fun of it and because I was dared to, I decided to twitter his labour, here’s how it played out:

I was 37 weeks and 1 day gestation. I had been very close to having baby, so said the doctor, for a couple of weeks but I had to get to 37 weeks to avoid an airlift out of our country town. So if this was it, I had that complication out of the way at least, phew! I had had steroids at 30 weeks just in case baby came early as my last two have and needed to be shipped out to intensive care units miles away. I also had an iron infusion at 34 weeks to fix up my anaemia, so I hoped we had all our bases covered.

It would have been around 5ish in the afternoon of the 7th, while getting the kids dinner sorted that the cramps started, again. At that point they were a little all over the place and not regular but getting quite uncomfortable. I still managed to eat dinner. 😉  I was not willing to commit being labour, but just in case I posted this on the parenting website I use to chat with other mums:

Now don’t get excited, cause I’m not (have been disappointed SO many times before).
But I’ve got cramps happening around five minutes apart that are just slightly more uncomfortable than usual.
Hubby is checking the oil in the car right now. He just said “I know you; you say your fine and then you’re pushing, so I’m checking the car!”
I’ve got no vibs either way. But I have packed my bag finally, just now.
The cramps are only around 30 seconds long and a little bit erratic, so I think I’m okay might have a hot bath (that might bugger them off?)
But I did promise that I would post it on here when I went into labour, so just in case this is it….  But I don’t think so OKAY?

It seems I was wrong.

But when you have had three or four weeks of practice cramps leading up to labour day, you tend not to give them much credit as being the real thing.

I had not much else happening, except that the contractions started to settle into a pattern.  By around 7pm I was starting to think that I might need to pack my bag, as the contractions were beginning to a little more uncomfortable.  I had been dared/asked by friends to facebook and twitter my labour, so I thought okay I am up for the challenge…  

“just breath in, aaaaaaaaand out…… January 7 at 7:31pm via TweetDeck

 Hubby decided that he would dress for the occasion at this point, I told him not to as nothing will happen if he does. But he gave me a look that said: Yeah right. And after getting the rest of the kids off to bed, he sat on the lounge in his birthing best watching me pace the room.

So from around 5 till 9pm the contractions just stayed the same, taking my breath away but getting no better or worse. So I was still not convinced.  A little after nine however the contractions turned on me. And I suddenly could not stay away from the loo. Every contraction brought with it a frantic desire to wee, have you ever tried to run while having a contraction? Not so good. My BlackBerry became something to focus on during contractions.

 ouchie – getting closer together – getting closer to making the call. January 7 at 9:22pm via Facebook for BlackBerry

“okay I made the call to my mommy! Save me! January 7 at 9:35pm via Facebook for BlackBerry

I called my mother and told her to come in, but I said don’t think this is it, but just in case it is could she come in. It is a half hour drive for my mum to get here and by the time she does the contractions had really taken it up a notch. It’s time to concede defeat, this is it! I find myself needing to pace and rock my way through each one, as being stationary is now excruciating. As mum walks in the door we are frantically getting the last few bits of stuff together for my bag. Back to twitter…

“contractions at a minute apart and freeking painful!!! Think I should be thinking about the hospital about now? Probably… January 7 at 9:48pm via TweetDeck

 “is off to hospital January 7 at 10:09pm via Facebook for BlackBerry

As we are walking out the door my mum says to me “If you are done before morning can Kel come home because I’ve got to open the shop in the morning”. I am gripped by a sudden urge to pole vault the dining table and smother her with my humungous belly, but a contraction staves that urge off for me, I endeavour to shout at her during the contraction “I’m sure the good towns folk of Tingha will be able to live without hot chips for breakfast for one day!”, but it just came out as “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah f*#&!”  Will file that argument away to deal with that later.

At hospital now 10:21 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

Once in the delivery suite the midwife puts the call into the doctor, I hear her say that she thinks I am a fair way off. I decide that I am NOT getting on the bed, having had three prior posterior births and not being able to move around the room to deal with the pain, I will spend as much time as I can on my feet. That is of course, when I am not on the loo.  The midwife seemed a bit anxious about me doing this, and kept trying to coax me onto the bed to be monitored.

Mid wife just made the list 10:25 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

After speaking with my doctor the midwife tells me that I need to get up on the bed so she can put me on the monitors for twenty minutes. Twenty minutes, was she out of her mind?!  But okay, yes we do need to check on the baby, so I get up on the bed. That’s when the midwife tells me that I need to lay still for the monitors to get a good trace. Yep, out of her mind. Back to twitter…

Lots of pain 10:37 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

Got to lie on back for twenty minutes painful 10:39 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

This is torture why have I got to lay here 10:45 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

Off the bed thank the lord 10:51 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

Waters just broke 10:54 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

By this time hubby was helping me twitter. And quite possibly saving the life of a very expensive piece of equipment, that may have been used at some point to as a weapon. Ten minutes into my confinement on the bed I demanded to be let off NOW, I could not take it anymore. And in the ten seconds I had between one contraction and the next I was off the bed and into the bathroom again, where my waters exploded on the loo. I felt a sudden hard wham in my pelvis; it was so forceful I had to reach down to check there wasn’t a head sticking out! Thankfully there wasn’t, and hubby went and fetched the midwife back. The contractions changed in that instant to a desire to push. The midwife burst into the room shouting “Get off the toilet!” But being mid contraction I was not able to stand or move, but I eventually stood and leaned over the bed rocking. While the midwife made another call to the doctor to update him on the proceedings. All the while she was telling me not to push. Hubby was massaging my tailbone, as he had done for most of my third trimester. He told me afterwards that at the time he was thinking; that it’s not often I get a chance to rub my wife’s butt in front of people. Way to keep your mind on the job buddy.

I tried to focus on breathing my way through the contractions, talking myself through each one unfortunately people kept trying to get my attention and ask me questions during them. (This is just going to end in swearing at people). At the end of each contraction I could feel my body taking over and doing the pushing for me, so I gave in and just went with it.

For around five minutes I leant on the side of the bed resisting all attempts at getting me on it, the doctor arrived, hurrah! He, knowing my posterior birth history, coaxed me onto the bed by allowing me to kneel on it hanging over pillows. During this I could feel the midwife trying to find a spot on my belly with the monitor where she could hear baby’s heart beat. I didn’t like her chances getting anything through my belly fat. I was right, and again I was asked to get on my back. I wasn’t giving anyone any answers by now, so I was physically flipped over by who I don’t know? I still don’t know how they got me to let go of the bed head?

Once on my back I curled up grabbed the handle things on the side of the bed and decided to go for it.  I wanted this kid out and the pain over with. I was vaguely aware that instructions were being given to me. Someone told me not to vocalise while pushing as I wasting energy that could be used to push, I wondered for an instant how much energy I could put into a short two word sentence but decided I had a job to do.  And I lacked the ability to articulate anything at this point anyway.

I began to push with each contraction, and I was about five or so pushes in when I felt another sudden wham. It was like the baby had burst through my cervix and up that last 10cm in a hurry, I actually felt the movement!  I was suddenly and rather painfully crowning.  Game on!  I decided that there was no way I was letting his head slide back, and I continued pushing past the desire to. Three big pushes later his head was out and with one more so was the rest of him.  Charlie Sebastian Francis arrived at 11.30pm on the 7th of January 2010.

One crying boy 11:35 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

Baby looking good 11:45 PM Jan 7th from TwiXtreme

He was crying. Is there any sweeter sound at that moment? Crying meant breathing! Our last two babies didn’t come out crying, so this was such relief for us.  The doctor spent some time making sure that he was going to keep breathing normally then popped him up on me for skin on skin time. Awesome.  I was really hoping that this was how it would be this time.

Waiting to see if bub is all clear. Me attached to drip 12:03 AM Jan 8th from TwiXtreme

I began to shake quite uncontrollably after baby was delivered, but only on my left side. I was shaking so much I was not able to hold the baby nor bring a cup of water to my mouth without shaking the contents out! I was placed on an IV and given fluids just in case I experienced a bleed similar to last time.

so far he is okay, but is spending night in nursery to be sure. Thanks 🙂 1:21 AM Jan 8th from TwiXtreme

A while later I was allowed to get up and have a shower, and baby was bundled off to the nursery so someone could keep an eye on him. The midwife came and gave hubby a hand to get me dry and dressed, I was very shaky and faint and still not really able to comprehend normal conversation. The midwife chose this moment to say to me “You have very nice tits Candy, are they all yours or have you had work done”. WHAT? Did I hear that? I shook my head a couple of times to try and get all the flies heading in the same direction. Then I managed to find my husband’s face and say to it “What did she say?” He said “your teeth, she is asking about your teeth”.  Ah… It’s quite possibly the time someone should put me to bed I think.

Mum is SORE! 1:27 AM Jan 8th from TwiXtreme

Little boy is doing well 🙂 4:00 AM Jan 8th from TwiXtreme

The next morning Charlie was brought in to my room and we start to get to know each other. Lovely.

Is home 🙂 10:52 AM Jan 9th from TwiXtreme

I went home after a day, despite plans to score myself a short break away from my minions, but I was just too uncomfortable in the hospital bed in this humid weather we’ve been having.  And don’t get me started about the food.

One week on and so far so good. The family has fitted another little person in without much change at all. So there you have it, officially the hospital said it was a two hour labour with no drugs required, quite proud of myself for that. I have to admit I did feel better the next day than I would have if I have had a dose of pethidine; I usually get very sleepy for a day or so. And, unbelievably no tearing and no stitches, yay! 

It amazes me that we were able to facebook/twitter the whole labour, it brought a bit of excitement to it for us and our friends and family, some of whom had sat up watching the labour unfold live, and everyone was cheering me on!

Here is the wee rabbit.


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My Birth Stories – Austin

Austin Samuel Bodhi arrived on March 5th 2009, at around 36 and a half weeks gestation. It was around a 4 hour labour. A posterior birth, once again. And once again the midwives and doctor would not let me move around the room or get on my knees, total agony. I hate this tin pot country town so much sometimes, I wish our medical care was better and that I had more choices. When Austin popped out he was chocking on my blood, because it turns out I was bleeding very badly behind him. Within minutes he was purple and had to be placed into a o2 box, we had another 36 weeker who couldn’t breath on our hands…. great. Ripped off getting a post birth cuddle and feed again, what are the odds! So he had to be airlifted to Newcastle by Careflight Chopper, but this time I couldn’t go with him as I had had such a bad bleed I needed to be kept still for 24hrs. So by the time I got to newcastle he was three days old, I wasn’t even sure what he looked like, all I had was a few grainy little photos taken with our phones before he was hooked up to machinery to help him breath.

When I walked into the NICU I was seized with fear/stress/terror, after having spent time with Henry in RWH NICU on my own. At least this time hubby was with me. Austin was sleeping when we arrived, but soon stirred and cried, when I spoke to him he seemed to settle – ah he knew my voice. A bit over a week later he recovered and we could finally take him home.

Once home it took a long time before he settled into feeding normally (being tube fed caused problems) and he was very slow to gain weight to start with. He is now six months old and only really sort doing normal baby stuff now. Still coughes a lot though, the doctor is watching that though.

It still only seems like yesterday that all this happened, I am pretty sure its all only just catching up with me now. And here we are expecting another one! Bit of luck we’ll will have moved by then and be at a nicer hospital, fingers crossed!

Here he is in the NIC unit.

 Home at last 🙂

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My Birth Stories – Henry

It’s a boy! Little Henry arrived on the 21st of June 2007, at 3.27am, weighing 7lb 5 1/2oz. His arrival was slightly early and created a bit of drama, but all is well now.

Heres how it happened.  I found myself suddenly in pain, no warning, no build up, at around 12.30am.  Contractions were around three minutes apart and getting closer. My mother was summoned to look after my other babies, and by the time she got here half and hour later, my contractions were on top of each other and all in my back. With dread I knew what that meant. We arrived at the maternity ward, the midwife took one look at me and summoned the doctor straight away. I was fully dilated, waters hanging out ready to burst and as it happened they did, just as the doctor walked in the room, spraying a reported six feet, my husband was in complete hysterics at that moment. I was unable to see the funny side through the searing pain of another posterior birth. Screaming for pain relief, birth plan thrown out the window, I wanted to push but couldn’t find the right position. The doctor would not allow me off the bed!! I was furious yet unable to lift my own body due to the utter agony I was in, eventually I summoned some strength and managed to flip myself over onto my knees despite numerous protests from the spectators. But I just couldn’t stand it no longer. And pain relief was not forth coming because apparently it was too late. Being on my knees helped a little and the urge to push eased a bit, the doctor eventually coaxed me back over onto my back because he needed to check out what was going on. Being on my back reduced me to howls of pain again, and to make matters worse the doctor proceeded to insert his entire hand and feel my cervix, which was now swollen and had caused a lip to form, hindering babies progress. No wonder I’d been pushing for two hours.

So with the doctor physically pushing the lip back and me pushing against his hand, Henry finally tore his way into the world. Tearing, as he made his exit, right where I had my episiotomy last time. Thank god it was over. All my worries and fears had been realised (or so I thought), I was stitched up, showered and put into a room to cuddle bub. That’s when I noticed Henry was having a little trouble breathing. The midwife just dismissed it as probably mucus, and did a little bit of suction on him. Around 6am he was still struggling and I was still worried. The midwife finally took a bit more interest and took him off to check his oxygen saturation levels. He didn’t come back. It turned out that his level was very low and he had been placed in what’s called a head box inside a humidicrib, in an effort to get his oxygen levels up. By lunch time he still hadn’t picked up and the call was made to get him shipped to a hospital with the right kind of respirator.

Here he is ready for the airlift.

We were air lifted to Royal Woman’s Hospital in Randwick. There, Henry was admitted to the newborn care unit. By this time he was really struggling. I was admitted to the postnatal ward, and it was almost midnight before I was allowed in to see Henry. It turned out that they had been working on stabilising him. He had respiratory distress syndrome, a suspected infection and a bilateral pneumothoraces, which is a bubble of air between the chest wall and lung, which had come from a tear in the thorax, and may collapse a lung if not found quickly, thankfully they picked it up just about straight away and drained the air.

Nothing prepares you for the sight of your baby in such distress. He had a tubes down his nose and throat, and three cannulas hanging out of one tiny little arm, which was taped to a steel splint and pinned down to stop him moving. He was also being given morphine, to help him deal with all this discomfort. I could barely stand to look at him, I had to fight the urge to run from the room. And yet moments earlier my urge to see him had been overwhelming. But I stayed till the nurse told me to go to bed, I wasn’t allowed to touch him, just look. I spent everyday of the next week sitting by his crib for hours at a time, not knowing what I should be doing, until I was kicked out by the staff. I watched other parents come in and do the same thing, I noticed that they all had the same look on their faces, a sort of worried/sad look that I suppose I was wearing too.

The whole ward was filled with tiny babies in similar situations, and they were half the size of Henry. The camera crew from Saving Babies were there the next morning, filming some really tiny twins. I was asked how I felt about being so far away from home. It was very hard to give a polite answer, aside from the bleeding obvious, how did they think I felt!? Henry was better that morning and I was allowed to pat his little head. The following day he was no better, but no worse. He showed improvement by day four and he was weaned off the oxygen, and began breathing well on his own by day five and was moved from level 3 care to level 2, where I got to give him a bath and feed him. The staff were very excited by Henry’s progress, apparently these sort of things take a little longer to fix. By lunchtime on day 6 he was allowed to room in with me in the ward. Suddenly I had the normalcy I’d been craving, this was how things should have been to start with. The following day we were allowed to go back home. And after all that had happened, I had to sort out my own flight home!  So, even though you are transported by air ambulance initially, once you’re better they don’t have to help you get home (just as well I had my visa card). One bonus to being in hospital for a week, (where the staff were absolutely lovely) it meant I got a rest, of sorts. As I was still limping, bruised and battered from delivery.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Hubby was having to cope on his own with all the kiddies and a rather booked up last week of school. One would hope this has left him with a new found respect for how a spend my time each day. My long awaited homecoming was lovely, the kids were very happy to see me, as was hubby. You wouldn’t know anything went wrong looking at him now.

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My Birth Stories – Georgie

Well it’s a Girl!

Georgie Eleanor came into the world on the 11th of July, at 7.35am after being induced the night before. She looks like her daddy. I am still recovering after quite a traumatic (to me) delivery. Georgie was back to back. Her spine against mine, absolutely excruciating. I had pethidine, but that did nothing but render me unconscious for the 30 seconds between very very painful contractions.
Apparently I was screaming for an epidural for at least 3 or 4 hours, so my husband said, but the midwife didn’t call anyone until she worked out I was really in trouble at about 6am (full labour started at about 2am) The doctor was finally called in because I was bleeding from somewhere and baby had to be got out very quickly, which meant pushing when I was only 8cm dilated and having my first episiotomy. OMFG!!!!  Georgie came out facing up, hard and fast with the cord around her neck 4 times, and oh my god I am bruised! (You know where).
Afterwards the doctor told me that I had lost a lot of blood, which end up being replaced intravenously. She had pulled the placenta out as she came out.  It took me four days to stand up without the room spinning. I cannot believe how injured I am, I also did some ligaments in the left side of my pelvis whilst pushing her out.  Georgie recovered quicker than I did, she wasn’t placed on my chest straight away, her cord was cut super quick and oxygen had to be put on. But thankfully she seems unharmed and is now feeding very well, and is the first of my babies to breast feed properly. And she is very beautiful.  Her brother and sister seem to have taken to her okay.  Every time she cries Tom runs over to look at her, and then laugh at her hysterically!  Lucy considers Georgie to be hers and measures out how long you are holding the baby compared to how long she got to hold her.  And her daddy just can’t stop looking at her.

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My Birth Stories – Lucy

Lucy was born on the 6th of November 2000 in Penrith Hospital.  The labour started off at around 5am, with me getting up early thinking I had a belly ache. After leaning over the ottoman for an hour or two while watching some evangelist on tv, I decided it wasn’t a belly ache and woke hubby up.  Till this point I was doing okay with the pain and really thought that I was a long way off having baby. Once in the car I found myself not able to tolerate sitting in the seat, and was holding my butt up in the air off the seat every thirty seconds or so as we drove, I nearly got out of the car when we stopped at the lights!  Thankfully we only lived five minutes from the hospital.  Hubby dropped me at the door to A&E while he found somewhere to park the car.  I was standing there panting away when I was hit by an urge to squat with the next contraction, but I managed to fight the urge off.

I worked at this hospital at this time and it was shift start time for a lot of people I knew, so there I was panting away trying not to squat, nodding and exchanging pleasantries with co-workers – who had decided that now, yes right there and then was a fantastic time to share their experiences with me.  And while they were jumping up and down with excitement as my next contraction started, I was dry retching into the gutter.  Thankfully hubby appeared and we made the slow shuffle into the hospital, as I had to pause every half a minute and hug the wall.  We finally get to the delivery suite, I love how they call them suites, there might be a spa but that’s about the end of the luxury – you ain’t going to be lazing around in bubbles sipping champers in it. 

And would you credit it, another co-worker from my own department was there in early labour.  It was around 7.10am by now, and I was feeling pretty damn anxious by now, the midwives were being excruciatingly slow in sorting a room out for me (they probably weren’t, but you can think of a lot of nasty things in 30 seconds), meanwhile my co-worker was happily panting her way through her contractions was excitedly nattering away at me.  Little did she know how much more time she was to spend doing that… sorry little bit of Schadenfreude creeping in there?

Delivery room finally found, I am levered up on to bed so the midwife can check out where I up to, it is at this point of my labour that the scene in the room dramatically changed.  Hubby likens it to a scene from the movie Men in Black (you know the one where the alien gives birth in the car?).  Turns out babies head was right there ready to go and the membranes that hadn’t ruptured were poking out like a water filled balloon. Lucky for this midwife she had kitted up in a big plastic apron and safety glasses, because the second she touched the membranes they exploded with an audible pop and sprayed the room and drenched the midwife.  I felt the pop and a sudden wham and out shot Lucy, so quick the midwife nearly missed catching her.  I opened my eyes at this point to see a snickering husband and a midwife trying to wipe the gunk off her head, at the same time finishing off the delivery.  Ever the helpful one am I, I said to her, “You’ve got a little something… just there” – pointing out gunky bits on her neck.  I recall someone saying thank god that didn’t happen in the car. Little did I know that in subsequent labours I would hose the delivery room again (and again).

After having such a quick delivery I did go into a bit of a shaking shock, but rallied and was allowed to go home in time for dinner. Lucy was such a fair skinned little baby, she was as white as snow (still is) born with steely grey blue eyes and hair so blonde you couldn’t see it. She weighed 3100 grams and measured 51cms long, arriving at 7.25am.

Incidentally my coworker eventually had her little boy at the same time… the next day. I heard from staff later that she spent the later part of her labour cursing my name.

PS: Yes this is an old blog entry I dragged over here to keep for posterity 🙂


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