My birth story
On March 12, 2018 I gave birth to a little boy, who we called Levi Jack.
He came a week early (at 39 weeks) meaning I had one week between finishing work and going into labour, to binge watch TV.
First born babies traditionally come late and I didn’t want to be sitting at home for weeks just waiting, so I extended my time at work by a week. I regret that!!
I had no birth plan. I went through the Canberra birth centre at Canberra hospital. My only plan was to deliver a healthy baby and to be guided by the doctors and midwives. I wanted to be ready for and open to anything, knowing things can change in an instant. Nothing about my birth went according to ‘script’.
I’d been to a housewarming the night before and at around 3am, my waters broke. It was only a partial break, called a slow leak so I wasn’t even sure I was in labour. I was expecting more ‘water’.
I waited a few hours before texting my midwife because it was early and I had no contractions. When she didn’t reply, I called. Someone else answered her phone and I remembered she was on holiday in New Zealand. All that meant was I’d have different midwives helping me with my birth, rather than just one. These things happen and I wasn’t worried about that.
After going to hospital to confirm I was actually in labour, I was sent home and told to come back later that night when I’d be induced. We went home, had dinner and got ready for what was to come.
I called my Mum who was about to get on a plane in Perth and fly to Canberra. She arrived the night before I had Levi – lucky!
After 12 hours of being in labour and still no contractions, the induction process began. Within a few minutes, I was getting intense contractions which my midwife said were only the mild ones. Being induced makes it all the more painful.
After what felt like hours but could have been a few minutes, I asked for an epidural. I knew I was not going to handle the pain.
I was being monitored and was about 3cm dilated for hours, so talk turned to a caesarean if things didn’t move along quicker. There was some concern Levi was either pulling on the umbilical cord or it was around his neck.
Things sure moved along because about an hour later I was 9cm dilated and about an hour after that I’d given birth naturally.
Having the epidural, I obviously couldn’t feel anything so some of my pushes weren’t effective and in the end Levi needed a little help to come out by way of a vacuum.
Levi came out with the cord wrapped once around his neck.
The next few minutes were some of the hardest. I saw I’d had a boy (we didn’t know what we were having), he was placed on my chest for a few seconds before being taken away to the other side of the room. Suddenly there were so many doctors and people in the room and I just anxiously waited to hear him make a sound. Eventually he cried and my heart felt like it started beating again.
Levi was born very little, just 2.525 kilograms. Neither Duncan or I are particularly big but there was no suggestion while I was pregnant he’d be so small. I was constantly monitored. We had no clothes that fit him so my mum and mother in law went to buy size 00000 onesies.
I spent a few days in hospital. Levi’s sugar levels were a little off and they wanted to make sure they were normal before we left.
My birth didn’t go to plan but I ended up with a baby boy. I felt overwhelmed with love and joy and fear that comes with being a first time mum.