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The Truth

8 May

It’s been over 6 months since I made a post on the blog. It’s not because I haven’t had anything to say and it’s not because I’ve had a baby and now all of a sudden I’ve forgotten about my blog. Apart from the fact that I managed an exhibition in the Fringe Festival, planned and ran my first few workshops in over 2 years, went on a trip to Adelaide AND have been caring for a baby – who is now 9 MONTHS OLD! Apart from all of that…

I’ve been dealing with something that is too hard to explain. Normally all you badasses hear it straight, I tell things to you straight, even when it’s not pretty or when I’m not proud of myself. But now, what’s been going on for me is so personal… so confusing that I just can’t seem to get it straight in my own head first before explaining it out loud. Definitely not something that I’m used to struggling with.

Many times I’ve started to write, with the intention of sharing my situation but I end up just freezing and no words come. This has been blocking me for so long now that I think it’s best just to address it, share what I can and move on. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things and keep the momentum going (you know that comments always get me going). So let me just say this: I had a more difficult time with childbirth than I let anyone know (a true hardass). I did not recover well. Everyday I am reminded of this. And even though I am feeling much better and will continue to do so I feel that it’s important to tell you the truth. The truth is… sometimes I will tell you that I’m fine – when actually I’m not.

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.

Baby Badlet

27 Jul

Welcoming my daughter Dottie. Born at 8:40am on Thursday 26th July on the Gold Coast in Australia.

image

Posts about the birth and first week of life coming soon!

Nesting

11 Jul

Everyone keeps asking me, have you been busy nesting?? Um… is that just the same as being organised? If so then, yeah I guess. Obviously expectant parents need to rearrange things at home a bit, and prepare as much as possible for the arrival of a new person. Bob and I have got all the stuff we think we will need – for the first little while anyway and – apart from the gathering of stuff, I really don’t relate to this whole “nesting” thing at all.

What are you meant to do anyway? Get emotional while ironing baby clothes? Sit in your ‘nursery’ and dream about when the baby has arrived? Actually that’s the other thing we get asked alot – “do you have your nursery all set up?” umm… assume much?

The simple answer is “no”. A baby is a tiny person that needs constant care and supervision, not it’s own room decorated with trendy wall hangings and their name on the door. Nurseries like that are for parents not babies. Sure, I can understand how having all of the baby’s things contained in one area rather than stored around the house could make things more convenient but in all honesty, the baby is neither going to care about the interior design of it’s nursery nor remember it anyway. So yeah, we have baby stuff. Most of it is in a room that I will never call a nursery.

And the other side of this nesting thing is cleaning. Apparently it’s normal for women to become manic, clean freaks or crazy perfectionists in the lead up to having a baby. I must admit I have used having a baby as a good reason to get a few things done that I’ve been wanting to do for ages like washing the kitchen walls (that were covered in oil because our kitchen doesn’t have a fan) but the truth is that I probably would have done that anyway, just as I would have cleaned the bathroom, done the dishes and swept the floor. I’m in no way a cleaning maniac but I do make an effort to keep things manageable so I haven’t really noticed any increased inclination to clean.

I am not at all doubting that the nesting instinct exists and that it serves a purpose however I feel perfectly ready, organised and ‘nested’ without going to any extremes. Thank goodness.

Walking

9 Jul

Everywhere I go people are offering me sincere, fear-based warnings that I could go into labour anytime simply because I’m walking around. I understand that physical activity can be useful in an attempt to bring on labor for women who are overdue but seriously… what’s more normal than walking?

I am fit, I feel fine, I have had an active pregnancy and I’m really not doing anything strenuous (like walking up my street for example). So, I can’t quite get why everyone is so worried about a bit of walking. It doesn’t matter whether it’s from the shops to my car or out around the neighbourhood, the theme is the same. In fact today I had 3 people tell me (not warn me but tell me) that I will go into labour because I chose to walk 200 metres in between to places I was going instead of driving.

I can understand that it is just as much human nature to protect a pregnant woman as it is to protect the life of a child but in all honesty, what is sitting around “conserving my energy” going to achieve? My guess it that it will leave me bored, stiff and depressed. Exercise releases endorphins which (hello?) reduce stress, hake you happy, improve your immune system and (ta-da!) give you more energy. In fact my midwife has given me her blessing to participate in any endorphin-releasing activity that I feel capable of. And I love walking so just try and stop me!