Liam born 4 October 2012

Hi Melissa

We have a baby boy!

I didn’t even had time to read your last email, as little Liam decided to

arrive on Thursday the 4th of October at 6.17am. It was the best thing that ever happened to me!

And the birth, even though didn’t go as I imagined it so many times in my

head, was the best birth possible and I can’t imagine it being better

than it was.

It is just 3 days since we welcomed Liam in this world and I’m still

euphoric about it :)

It is an hilarious story!!!!

My membranes broke on Wednesday early morning, but I didn’t really

take any notice. I thought it was a simple discharge.

I had a bit of cramping all day but again didn’t take much notice.

I spent the day lazing around the pool and even planned to go to hairdresser in the afternoon :)

I asked a friend to drive me there ” as I was not that comfortable driving

anymore…(Glad I only had a cut and blow-dry or the hairdresser would be in

trouble…Lol )

As soon as I arrived home at 7:30pm, the annoying cramping became stronger.

I still had dinner and was in total denial that Liam was actually

coming sooner than planned.

In my head, he or she (as we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a

girl)  was coming late….and the number 20 kept coming through my

mind over and over again. At my baby shower that was the date I bet

on, 20 October and not 12 October as predicted.

Around 10pm I called the Mater pregnancy assessment unit, just to check

what this cramping was. The midwives said it could be nothing, as I

was describing it as period pain but just a bit stronger, but I could

always come in to have it checked as we live so near the hospital.

Surges (the period pain) started 10 minutes apart for an hour, 5 minutes

apart straight away and we thought it was better to have a look.

Still in complete denial that this was it, I left my computer part-way through a download and midway through a Facebook conversation.

On the drive to hospital (between Kangaroo Point and The Mater),

poor Simon had to stop twice, as the surges were coming on strong and close together. They were 2 minutes apart when I arrived at

the pregnancy assessment unit and well…of course I was in labour,

full labour, 5cm dilated!

The baby was coming.

I could only think “Oh dear..my mum is going to be so p***** off….”

she’s arriving from Europe next Thursday, just before the due date…

Until then, the surges were quite strong but I managed to breathe properly,

even though relaxation was becoming more difficult to achieve, especially as I was still in total denial. As soon as I arrived at the birthing suite though, they became more difficult to manage.

Too close together, too strong and too painful.

It was no longer ‘pressure’, there was pain there. There was nothing

I could focus on to take away the pain.

I remember Simon saying, ” Imagine yourself on favorite beach….try to

relax…you’re going in the water…etc…” as my favourite script is

the ‘Surge of the Sea’ …. but nothing was working….I couldn’t

relax…I could only breathe and just!

Later, I understood why this was the case. Liam had his little head sideways and the pain that I was experiencing was almost bone on bone.

But during that stage I got to a point of disbelief and total loss of

confidence…the only thing I could think was I was not going to

manage to have the calm birth with no intervention that I wanted so much.

I ended up asking for pain relief and I couldn’t believe my own words,

but I just wanted all that to stop, the pain to disappear…

Simon was with me all the time and I’m sure I couldn’t have done it

without him. It would have been hard for him to see me going through such

hard work and to drop the ball and go for something I always said I

didn’t want…serious pain relief…an epidural….

The option was there and I took it. Even though it was my last resort,

the last thing I wanted was a traumatic birth. I didn’t wanted to look

back and see a scene of discomfort, pain, stress and that was the case

at that moment.

When the anesthetist came to the room, she explained that I could

still have sensation, feel contractions and work through them. I could

hardly believe but I went for it. Hard to keep my thoughts through

contractions 2 minutes apart in such pain. She said it was going to be

a mobile epidural and not to feel bad about it…I had no idea was she

was talking about …mobile epidural..for me an epidural would “kill”

from the waste down…but I felt I needed and could trust her.

The support in the birthing suite was something I’ll never forget. I

felt secure, I felt I was in the best place possible to have our baby.

When the epidural started to block part of the discomfort ” not

totally- I understood what she said about being a mobile epidural. I

could see feel my legs, I could even move them, I felt every

contraction coming and going and even felt Liam kicking around ” a

kicker to the very last contraction! :)

I was already 9cm open.

I felt I’ve done almost all by myself and felt better about this

escape but I couldn’t stop blaming myself for not being able to

hypnobirth properly.

My OB Dr. Warrick Smith comes into the room and after a brief

assessment he says that the baby’s head was sideways and it was better

to help me out delivering him as he was getting tired. His heart rate

was taking longer to recover after every contraction.

But he didn’t take over…he asked me if I wanted him to help me with

the delivery and told us that suction was the safest way to do it and

after his little head was turned I could still work through it and

Liam would arrive safely and quickly.

After knowing my baby was getting tired and still blaming myself not

to be able to “do it properly” I handed over to my OB. The atmosphere

of trust was there, he would help me delivering my baby safely.

Neither me or Simon had any doubts of it.

Worked my breathing through every surge, finally was able to relax and

visualize our baby arrival.

Felt every move, felt every kick, felt everything part of the

discomfort of the special circumstance that occurred.

(Curious and funny thing: our midwife was trying to get Liam’s heart

beat on the screen and it was hard work as he didn’t stop moving, so

unfortunately she tripped on my epidural drip cord! ” oh you don’t

need this anymore anyway” all sort of funny things happened this


The surges were still pretty strong and the suction cup was in, I felt

our baby turning and after another 2 or 3 surges we had the best news

ever. Our baby was born.

I received him in my hand and as soon as this little ray of light came

into the room our lives changed forever.  Simon announced we had a

gorgeous baby boy.  No crying , no fuss, a calm baby came to my arms

and eyes wide open started staring at mum and dad. A very calm and

very alert baby.

Placenta was delivered minutes after the cord stopped pulsing and Simon cut it.

I had minimal tearing, 3 stitches that I only knew about a few days

after. I didn’t even noticed…

Was the most amazing moment of my life.

All the frustrating about not being able to hypnobirth as I imagined<

went away…I’m sure I had the best outcome possible.

My recovery has been extraordinary. I was having a shower after an

hour or so, something I never thought I could do after an epidural.

I was feeling comfortable, relaxed, happy and I can only thank all

this to mental preparation I had before.

“I am prepared for whatever turn my birthing takes” played over and

over and over during the last couple of weeks made the difference.

The Mater staff were extraordinary. We felt like they were there just

for us…pretty silly thought considering the amount of mums and

babies around us but that’s how I felt like it. Any time of the day or

night, there was always a super kind hand to help us out.

As first time parents we didn’t know that much about dealing with a

newborn and I can’t thank them enough for the support.

Funnily enough, there were a couple of midwives that found hard to

believe we were first time parents, because we were so relaxed. I

remember one saying if she wanted a break from her shift she would

come to visit us, ’cause we were in such a chilled out mood….

Later during these last few days flash backs of the birth have been going through my mind.

A curious one is of the visualization I used for birthing my baby. The rose blossom picture never really worked for me, not sure

why, but only a couple of surges before Liam was born I visualized our

baby coming from a sea shell, the same sea shell we pick up in ‘Surge

of the Sea’. I visualized him turning around and coming from

inside that sea shell…I’m sure at that time I didn’t think that that

was really what was happening, Liam was turning inside me and coming

out in spiral…

So many thoughts that ran though my mind at that time and I’m sure I’m

going to be able to get them back along this week…but that was the

most curious one.

Another one was the number I’ve been picturing on my mind for weeks

and weeks…20…the number 20…since my membranse broke and serious

cramping started until baby Liam was born roughfully 24 hours went

by….was a rough guess I may say :D

We’re at home now and very well settled.

Liam is a gorgeous little one, sleeps and eats like a big boy and

everyone is so surprised about his alert state and calmness.

The only time we heard him crying was a couple of nights ago when his

little tummy was not coping too well with this new food.

Nothing that a calm and relaxing bath didn’t sort, even though was 3

am! He loves the water!

I always thought I was going to “freak out” if my baby would cry and I

wouldn’t know what to do…guess what ” I actually do know what to do! :)

My instincts are guiding me…we are connected 100% and Simon

as well. Now Liam is having tummy time with daddy and we had our first night

without a sound…

He wakes up, plays around with his little hands, I wake with his

playing…and off we go! Nappy change, feed, lying with his tummy on

my chest or Simon’s and then we’re back to sleep again. We couldn’t ask for

more…from a 6 day old.

I’m so glad to have this all off my chest.

I was so anxious to share it with you.

Again, my recovery has been out of this world. I hardly have a tummy!

I look like I’m 20weeks pregnant if so…

No more bleeding apart of when he feeds…no pain, no discomfort..

everything feels in the same place ;)

I’m sure being active and being at the gym everyday until 32 weeks is

paying off as well; but I really can attribute this amazing transition to parenthood to my state of mind.

Again, Simon only told me yesterday I had 3 stitches…I couldn’t

remember anything about it. Apparently Dr. Smith did it just for a

comfort purpose. He knows I have always been very constipated and he said it

would help out the healing process and I would a bit more comfortable

if my tummy wouldn’t work straight away (which it did)!

My breasts were a bit sore on day 4 but nothing like using the zip-lock bags as icepads.

They’re nice and flexible and I only needed to use it a couple of times. Now breastfeeding is just the most normal

thing to do. Poor Liam still chokes a bit…there’s a bit too much for

him at the moment but he’ll get there :)

I wrote this email in several parts, first after 3 days, then after 6 and finally got to read it all after 3 months and still have tears in my eyes.

I learnt that Liam was posterior only on my 6 weeks check up…another explanation for my “sea shell” visualization. When I asked Dr Smith why he didn’t he tell me that during birth he simply replied “you didn’t have to know, you were doing well and I was there if it was a problem”. Couldn’t be luckier choosing my Obstetrician J

After these 3 months I learned to know my baby, this wonderful little human being that will fill our lives with laughter. My first instincts as a mum have been always correct and I’m having the time of my life.

Melissa, I’ll thank you forever for teaching us how to enjoy this amazing gift

life has given us.

Thank you for making us informed and alert parents.

Thank you for all the support and caring and …I can’t thank you

enough for the preparation you gave us to receive our little one.

Lots of love

Carin, Simon and Liam



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