Birth Week: Take Two

by | Apr 29, 2013 | Little Babies, Little Childbirth, Little Miracles, MOTHERHOOD | 2 comments

So let’s
forget that last week was kind of sort of meant to be “Birth Week” here on The
Little Mumma. And let’s remember that I have three children. And also,
currently, a head cold.

Let’s try to
forgive me for not being perfect and also celebrate the things I DID manage to
achieve last week which amounted to getting caught up on the last season of The
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
.

Also, we
sent Luca to school with shoes on his feet and a lunchbox containing food.

It was
actually a week of highlights now that I reflect on it.

But Birth
Week. It starts this week. It starts today. It starts NOW.

Harlow
turned one almost two weeks ago and it seemed like the perfect time to finally write her fucking birth story Jesus
Christ I hope I can remember it.

You cannot
give birth without experiencing a seismic shift in your whole being. People
will try to dismiss something so common as not worthy of the title ‘miracle’
but try telling that to the woman holding a tiny, vernix-covered human being
that was just moments before tucked within her enormous belly. Yes, women do it
every day, all over the world, and it is a wonder and a miracle EVERY SINGLE
TIME.

So this week
on the blog, I wanted to celebrate that miracle. I have given
birth three times, each time a wildly different experience.

Luca BirthFinally holding baby Luca after returning from post-surgery recovery. 

My first labour was
induced (due to Gestational Diabetes), I had an epidural within two hours of
that drip going up and when it came time to push, Luca’s posterior presentation
coupled with my inability to feel a thing resulted in an emergency caesarean
section. I will never forget seeing the face of my very first child for the
very first time. It was magical. But there were some residual feelings of
disappointment at having failed to birth vaginally. You can read about that
labour here, here and here. Yes, it's very long.

Ziggy BirthMeeting little Zig, immediately post-birth. I call this one 'Gore and Glory'

My success
in achieving a VBAC the second time round was helped in no small part by Ziggy’s
arrival 3.5 weeks early. Weighing in at a decent 6.5 pounds, chances are if he
had gotten to full term size, I may have struggled to push him out. No, wait –
I did struggle to push him out. And
thus, he was born with a massive haematoma on his tiny head thanks to the
suction of the ventouse delivery. Once again, I had an epidural on board and
though it failed to work in blocking the pain, I was still stuck flat on my
back trying in vain to push my baby out. You can read about that labour ….when
I write it up from the notes I made THREE YEARS AGO. Let’s just say “Coming
Soon.”

Almost
immediately after this birth, I began to plot the third. Managing to birth
vaginally (although aided by the ventouse) was extraordinarily empowering for
me and I knew that if I took the lessons of the previous two labours, I might be
able to improve my experience for the third and final time.

I wanted to
avoid the epidural. Not because I don’t believe in them. I REALLY believed in
them…TWICE. But I knew that using them left me stuck on the bed instead of
active and upright which was not ideal when trying to keep a labour progressing
well. More importantly, I knew that it made effective pushing almost impossible
for me.


Harlow BirthHello, Harlow! A good 15 minutes had passed before we got a photo due to bub needing oxygen post-birth.

Harlow’s
birth, as you will read later this week, was bloody beautiful. It was exactly
as I hoped it would be – the result of luck and the experience of two previous
births. My birthing journey came full circle with her arrival. I could not have
birthed Luca or Ziggy in the same way because I just didn’t know how.

Birth
stories are kind of like war stories. Each is unique and deeply personal. I
tell my stories not to compare or be compared with. I tell them to relate. And
most women I know love to both hear and share these stories because they are
imprinted on our souls.

There is no
one way to birth a baby. What I consider my ideal birth may be vastly different
to another woman’s. And that’s okay. After my three experiences, I can say without
hesitation that the birth with the least intervention was the best for me.
However, I was very happy to be in a place with all the medical stuff on hand.
I like hospitals. I think you should own your
way.   

An interesting
side note is that Harlow, the baby born with no intervention or drugs, required
13 minutes of oxygen after birth. Luca (the Caesar baby) and Zig (who was yanked
out of my body by the head) both scored higher Apgar scores.

Apart from the
right to expect support, respect and professionalism from those present, the way a woman’s labour will
unfold is unknowable.

One thing is
for sure though; retelling the story to your best friends over a glass of Sav
Blanc is a seriously bonding exercise.

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Hello friends

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I’m Angie!  I mum. I write. I wife. My husband would say this is the correct order.  He’s so neeeedy. I live with my family in Melbourne, Australia, where I complain about the weather for 90% of the year – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Except maybe in Lake Como, waving to my neighbours George and Amal each morning.

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2 Comments

  1. Karen T

    Yep. Women are amazing! I’ve written O’s birth story before his first birthday, but I won’t bet my anything on having Ruby’s done by the times she’s 3…. I want to, but it’s a tougher story to write in some ways. Pushing out her breechy body was a little bit of a shock! X

    Reply
  2. Bec | Mumma Tells

    Hooray for Birth Week! Looking forward to celebrating with you, Mumma! (And perhaps being inspired to finally write my own… sixteen months later…) X

    Reply

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