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
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
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
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