Dottie’s Birth Story

22 Aug

Disclaimer: I am happy for this story to be linked to on this blog however I do not give permission for it to be reproduced, printed or reposted on another website. The photos are my own and may not be copied. The Badlet blog is an exploration of my personal journey, opinions and interests – it is not a pregnancy, birth or parenting blog. This story is deeply personal and I make no apologies for not following the apparent “rules” for writing a birth story. I ask that comments remain respectful and understanding. Judgemental or preachy comments will be deleted. I have no judgement whatsoever of the choices of others and ask for the same freedom in return. More about that here. Sorry that I even need a disclaimer but it seems that everyone has an opinion on how birth “should” be to which I say, “take your self-righteous preaching and fuck off!”. Open-minded nice people can read on! Much love, Naomi xx

We were planning a homebirth. The birth room was set up, everything was in order. My due date came and went. You can read about the week following my due date here.

My contractions began on Sunday 22nd July after 2 stretch & sweeps in the days prior. That was the last night that I had proper sleep… My Mum arrived from Adelaide the next day and after a week at home awaiting the baby, I decided to get out of the house and go with Bob to the airport to pick her up despite my contractions. That night the contractions were strong and regular (about 5 mins apart) and painful enough that I didn’t sleep. The next day they eased and I was determined to do whatever I could to get things moving again. I used my breast pump and had an acupuncture appointment that evening. By the time I went to bed my contractions were nearing 3 mins apart and once again, painful enough to prevent sleeping. I was hopeful that things were progressing but unfortunately they never did…

My midwife, Rosie arrived the next morning and I was 3cm dilated. Dottie was posterior so we spent an hour or so getting her repositioned and then I laboured at home all day without much change. Over the following 10 hours I had reached 4cm and I was utterly exhausted! I was not able to sleep or even lay down to rest.

At 5pm my midwife suggested breaking my waters. As much as I was keen to get things moving along, I felt as though I couldn’t go on without sleep. After much deliberation, lots of crying and weighing it all up with Bob, I looked within and found my answer… I wanted to transfer to hospital for pain relief and sleep. As hard as it was, I knew this was the right decision.

I had honestly not expected to need to transfer but we had a bag packed and a plan just in case. We spent the next 20 mins getting packed up and then I jumped in the car with Rosie for the 40 minute trip down the mountain. On the way in, Rosie coached me through each contraction and I felt surprisingly at peace with my decision. Upon arrival we weighed up options for pain relief.

I was pretty keen for an epidural but Rosie encouraged me to consider pethidine in order to get a little rest (it lasts about 2 hours) and then hopefully continue to labour naturally. I chose this option but I don’t think I would do it next time. I was able to sleep however I could feel the pain again (preventing me from sleeping) within 1 hour and once it wore off I had not dilated any further and I felt totally drugged!

The recommendation was for a synto drip and to break my waters to which I agreed along with the epidural so I could sleep. Meconium was found when my membranes were ruptured which (had we done this at home) would have been a cause for a transfer anyway. I knew that I’d made the right choice by transferring when we did.

As much as I’d wanted a natural birth, I loved the epidural and felt fine on the drip. I was still able to move my feet a little meaning that I was able to reposition myself easily. I got a few hours of broken sleep and by sunrise I was fully dilated and ready to push – the only problem was… pushing with an epidural is virtually impossible. While I was pushing, the pain of the contractions in my lower back returned. Ontop of this my temperature started to rise (suggesting an infection) which meant that I required antibiotics. I really didn’t want to have them but my temp kept escalating and I was advised that it was the best option.

Then, back to pushing… I was restricted to lying on my back or side. Dottie was moving down very slowly but it was hard work and I was running low on energy. When I had been pushing for two hours, my strength started to fade and Bob spoke to the doctors about a vacuum extraction which we were really keen for. Once this was organised, the whole energy in the room changed, it was great. The resuscitation team were on hand and the Doc doing the extraction was positive and vibrant. I was relieved to know that it would soon be over because I was certain that I wouldn’t be able to push her out. Once the vacuum was attached, her head was born on the next contraction! On the following contraction her body emerged and was placed on my belly. The cord was too short to reach any further! She had her hand up near her head which was partly why I was having such a hard time pushing her out. She required oxygen and observation so was taken to the resus unit before coming back to me, My placenta came out within 2 minutes and I was informed that I had a second degree tear requiring stitches (I was so thankful not to have an episiotomy). I happened to look down at the exact moment that the doctor was preparing the hook needle – I’ll never get that image out of my head!!

Dottie was returned to my chest but was still very pale so she was taken within a few minutes to the special care nursery and Bob went with her. I wasn’t concerned, I knew in my heart that she would be perfectly fine and of course she was.

So it didn’t really go at all to plan but I have no regrets. I made every decision from an empowered, informed and peaceful place and as a result, I had a peaceful experience!

I’ll continue this story to include my recovery when I get a chance. Follow Badlet on facebook or twitter for updates on new posts.

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7 Responses to “Dottie’s Birth Story”

  1. Pippa August 22, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Congratulations again on the birth of your beautiful daughter. This is such an inspiring story of birth, with informed choices all the way through. When people talk of a family’s right to choose their birth this is all you can ask. I know you don’t need anyone to tell you this but you did incredibly well, and I’m so happy you’re at peace with the way Dottie joined you!

  2. drac August 22, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Sniff sniff your story brings tears to my eyes. In an emotional way. So special you have written story. Because after a year you prob will forget all the details and pain. Well I kinda have anyway. Reading ur story brings back memories for me in a good way:) pics are great to you seem very relaxed.:p awesome yr mum came too. And bob looks super happy in that pic:) as u would of course. Well done guys.xxoo

    • drac August 22, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      Oh and go the epidural . Woot woot . Great relief for exhausting pain.:)

  3. casey August 22, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Truly epic nomi, what a legend you are for maintaining that equanimity and making decisions from your heart that were obviously the right ones. See you tomorrow for some rockin post natal yoginess 🙂

  4. newheightswellbeing August 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    Thanks everyone! It certainly was an epic journey! & Drac yes – LOVED the epidural after being in labour FOREVER! Naomi xx

  5. Megan Gala August 28, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    Congratulations, Momma! The most important outcome of a birth is healthy momma, healthy baby and you accomplished that. I know it wasn’t what you wanted but thank goodness you were at the hospital- with all that occurred it was exactly what you needed- and that is why they are there! Much love to you and your family!

    • newheightswellbeing August 28, 2012 at 7:19 am #

      Thanks Megan. It was quite a journey! I had to surrender to Dottie and my body and just go along for the ride! I had a very positive experience at the hospital & am very grateful for the care that I received!! xx

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