thread: The beautiful birth of Clara - 3rd July 2012

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Add Stephie on Facebook

    May 2011

    The beautiful birth of Clara - 3rd July 2012

    I haven't been around on bb for a while as I was too anxiety ridden during my pregnancy to come on here, but for anyone who is interested I gave birth to my beautiful DD earlier this month and thought I would put my story "out there" as I thought I had a beautiful birth. Warning - it's long, so good work if you get to the end!

    Clara’s birth story

    DH and I married after almost 6 years together in December 2010. I had longed for a baby for a very long time by then and after a bit of wheedling on my part, managed to convince him to TTC in February 2011. Being young and healthy, I thought we would conceive straight away, and when my period came after the first month I was absolutely devastated. This went on for around 7 and a half months, and each month when my period came I fell into deeper and deeper despair. Finally I went to see a fertility specialist. My first appointment was scheduled for the October 21, 2011. That morning I woke up, and being in my “Two Week Wait” thought I had better do a pregnancy test just to make sure. A strong second line came up straight away and I walked out to the kitchen where DH was doing the dishes. I just held up the test and he came and hugged me, dishwash gloves and all, as I cried in shock. I couldn’t believe we were finally going to have our baby.

    Although I was ecstatic, I lived in fear of losing the baby for almost my entire pregnancy. I was working as a Research Assistant in Obstetrics at the time and had seen many miscarriages and late losses as well, and the idea terrified me. Nonetheless our baby continued to grow beautifully. My EDD was June 27, 2012. We nicknamed the baby Caramel as we thought it would be a blend of our skin colours! I’ll never forget the scans we had. The first scan, at 8 weeks, the sonographer put the wand on my belly and straight away we saw our little blob with a heartbeat blinking away rapidly at us, and it made everything so real. Then at 12 and 19 weeks we had more scans, with our little Caramel looking like a perfect little baby, and we also found out we were expecting a baby girl, as I had insisted all along! (The sex was kept secret from everyone except grandparents and a couple of very close friends, although I must have been giving off pink vibes as virtually everyone suspected we were having a girl.) We then had a scary bleed at 24 weeks and rushed off to the hospital, where the doctor did another scan to show us Caramel was fine. While in the other scans they were always moving around taking measurements and assessments, this scan was purely to show us that Caramel was well and we got to watch for a few minutes and Caramel moved around. We also saw her face for the first time, and it was the absolute prettiest little ultrasound face in the whole world. We were so in love with our little bump. People must have thought I was crazy as I used to talk to my belly baby constantly. DH read to the baby every night at bed time and we even sang to her, despite DH's awful singing voice. DH also spent hours and hours reading on baby development and playing with babies. He couldn’t wait for Caramel to be born. I on the other hand was enjoying having her all to myself as I knew it wouldn’t last long once she was born.

    My pregnancy went pretty well except for another scare at 34 weeks where I came into the hospital with high blood pressure. I was strongly suspected to have Pre Eclampsia, and was even sent to the delivery suite and told I may have to have my baby that day. Luckily all was okay but this episode did make it very real that the baby was coming soon and I needed to get all her things ready. I started my maternity leave early and began to prepare for baby’s arrival. After I reached the safe zone of 37 weeks, I readied myself to have Caramel any day, but as the weeks passed by I began to feel a bit frustrated that Caramel did not actually want to come out! I wasn’t so much “over” being pregnant, but I was anxious to see the baby was out and everything was okay. Some nights I would just sob at the fact I never knew if she was okay, despite the fact she was a very active baby and could and did kick me savagely at times!

    I never really thought I would make it to my due date as my mum had had me at 38 weeks and I thought I would go into labour early too. However my due date came and went. At Term +3 my MGP midwife came to visit me at home and offered to do an examination and a stretch and sweep. I was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced and baby’s head was stationed at -1, which the midwife was pretty happy with. We booked an induction for a weeks’ time just in case I didn’t go into labour, but the midwife said she was reasonably confident I wouldn’t need it. She told me later that she had really expected to see me in labour later that night, but Caramel stayed put. I started to relax a little more knowing the end was in sight.

    Since about 37 weeks I had noticed an increase in my Braxton Hicks contractions, where the top of my belly in particular would go very hard and tight. They were completely painless for the most part, although towards the end of my pregnancy I felt that my belly was contracted more often that not and it drove me crazy wondering when Caramel would make an appearance. At 1:30 in the morning a couple of days after my midwife appointment, I woke up and felt a different kind of tightening low down on my belly, still not overly painful but different than the Braxton Hicks. They came and went at longish irregular intervals. I woke up a couple of hours later and they were a bit more painful so I took some Panadeine Forte and tried to sleep. I dozed on and off but I was a bit too excited to sleep properly so around 6:30am or so I left DH in bed to sleep and got up and watched some of my favourite Friends episodes – at the end of season 8 when Rachel has her baby. Once I got up the contractions became more regular and went from being 8-10 minutes apart to 5-6 minutes apart. They were sore, too, so I walked around while I watched TV, did some ironing and tidying, and squatted when the contractions came to encourage Caramel’s head to move down. I didn’t time the contractions too religiously as I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself to progress too quickly. I just wanted to let my hormones do their job without stress hormones interfering. I also figured I would have time later to shower and wash and blowdry my hair (pfft! why did I think this?) as I didn’t want to feel yucky and feral going to the hospital, but I wanted to wait until my body “emptied itself out” as I had a bit of a phobia about pooing all over DH or the midwife whilst in labour! I always heard this happened to most women in labour eventually so I figured that once it happened to me then I would know things were starting to happen. But my contractions started to get closer together and they had more bite to them, and I was losing a lot of bloody mucous by this stage too, so around 11am I called the hospital to let them know I thought I was in early labour, contracting about 4 minutes or so apart. I was very polite and calm sounding on the phone so the midwife I spoke to thought things were very early on still and would maybe have my baby late that night or tomorrow. She advised me to rest up and maybe take a bath or a shower if things started to get more painful.

    Not long after I hung up, the contractions started to get quite a bit more painful and I was groaning through them. I tried to take the midwife’s advice and went to bed, but when I had the contractions laying down I was screeching in tears at how painful they were. Finally DH insisted that we get ready to go the hospital. I wasn’t so sure yet, as I had previously been told not to come in until I’d been having 3 contractions in 10 minutes, lasting at least 1 minute each, for at least 2 hours at home. (Luckily I never ended up taking this advice because I would have been having an unplanned homebirth on the floor of my bathroom!) Anyway I agreed to take a shower, and was shouting through each contraction. They also seemed to be getting closer together, about 3 ½ - 4 minutes apart. Straight after I managed to get out of the shower I called my midwife and told her my contractions had ramped up and I wasn’t really coping at home anymore. After speaking to the last midwife I thought she would put up a fight to have me stay at home, but she must have listened to my voice and agreed to meet me at the hospital in 45 minutes.

    On the drive in I was anxious that I wouldn’t be dilated enough and they would send me home, and I was watching the clock and thinking that I was only just having 3 contractions every 10 minutes. I was able to be a little calmer through the contractions though, thinking at least I was going to be checked out soon. When we got to the hospital at 1:30pm there were no parks around so I had to walk to the Women’s Assessment Service by myself while DHparked further away. As I walked there and while sitting in the crowded waiting room I cringed silently through several contractions, feeling guilty for the other women that had to watch me. The midwife came and met me, and she looked at my face and said that she didn’t need to check I was in labour, I could go straight to the birthing suite! This made me feel a bit better although I was still anxious that I was dilated enough not to be sent home. I hoped I was at least 4cm, but thought maybe it would be nice to be 6cm. She did a check and I was actually 7cm dilated already! We couldn’t believe it, we were so happy and I was glad I had come into the hospital after all. DH and the midwife were very impressed that I’d done so well and so calmly getting to 7cm all by myself.

    I still wasn’t sure how much longer it would take but I just continued to do my thing, walking around the birthing suite and trying to get through each contraction. It was like two completely different worlds – I would feel normal between contractions, then the wave of pain would hit and it was hard to think of anything else, and then it would subside and I would feel normal again. I continued to stroll around the room for maybe 45 minutes before I felt I needed something to help me through. I had planned to use the bath for pain relief but in the end I didn’t feel like it. I hopped in the shower instead and the warm water felt ood on my tummy. Eventually though it became too much, I was moaning loudly again and I asked if I could use the gas. They started on the lowest setting and it was great, I could still feel the contractions but it took the edge off really well. The only trick was knowing when the contraction was starting so you could use the gas the whole way through it, and mine were coming with reasonable speed so it was hard to tell where one contraction stopped and the next began.

    Eventually I felt some pressure on my bowels and thought, finally my body is doing it’s emptying out! I forced everyone out of the bathroom and sat on the toilet and waited for the emptying out to happen, but it just would not come. Through the gas I tried to explain that all I wanted to do was the biggest number two in the world! In my head I knew this was the pressure of the baby’s head coming further down, but I still didn’t want to risk doing a poo in front of everyone, so I continued to sit on the toilet and breathe down the gas with each contraction and made everyone else stand outside with the door closed. I had asked them to turn the gas up so I was pretty damn hazy by this stage, but as I tried to breathe through each contraction I would reach a point where I could inhale anymore, I was exhaling and grunting loudly and I think my body had started to push without me doing it consciously. I hazily remember reaching down and touching between my legs at one stage and feeling the baby’s head right there, so I let DH and my midwifery student back in. I had the gas on high and was quite stoned by this stage so I’m not sure how long this went on for, but it seemed like the contractions had all melded into one another by this stage, with no start and no end. Eventually I just had the inclination to stand up and push properly, so I did. As I began to grunt, the midwife said to the student, “you’d better just watch her because she might start to push”, but obviously they didn’t expect the baby to come straight away as it usually takes first time mums an hour or two of pushing before baby is born. But I just pushed hard and as I did I felt the baby’s head start to come out. They rushed over and told me to pant, pant, to avoid tearing as the head came through. I did for a few seconds, then pushed again and out she popped! Clara Annabel was born at 3:38pm, just 2 hours after I had got to the hospital. I was a bit of shock I think, I just sat back on the toilet and they handed me my slippery, squirming baby, and I just couldn’t believe this was our little Caramel. She went straight to the breast, then after they towelled us both down a bit we lay on the bed and had skin to skin cuddles. DH laid down next to me and we just stared at our new little wonder. It was completely surreal.

    (I later realised that I have no idea when my waters broke. It must have been when I was sitting on the toilet or maybe as I was actually pushing, because it definitely didn’t happen when I was walking around or when I was in the shower, but I must have been so distracted with contractions that I never noticed.)

    I had a second degree tear which needed to be stitched up, so DH got to hold the baby for 45 minutes while they took me out of the room. I actually have never asked what that time was like for him, although I know she was so well behaved and didn’t cry at all while he had her to himself. He is a natural daddy.

    I am so grateful we had a wonderful natural birth. The midwife later said that she thought it was absolutely lovely, the kind of birth that made her want to go through it too! The midwife who I had originally spoken to on the phone was also shocked at how well I had obviously coped too, and that I had delivered so quickly. I like to think it was mummy and baby working together and trusting each other. I hope the rest of our years together are this easy!

    Clara is is already growing up so quickly. She feeds so well and when the midwife came to visit us the other day she was amazed at how well our bubba is putting on weight! She looks so much bigger and more grown up already, and she has so many facial expressions that she didn’t just a few days ago, including some very cheeky little smiles. I finally understand the term “blink and you’ll miss it”. It does make me sad sometimes thinking how quickly time will pass now, but I can’t wait to know more about our amazing little miracle. Last night DH and I had some alone awake time with her, away from any visitors, and we are so smitten by everything she does.

    Clara Annabel
    Born July 3rd, 2012, at 3:38pm.
    3.51kg (7 pound 11 ounces), 51cm long, head circumference 33cm.
    The absolute light of our lives.

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Jul 2006

    Congratulations & welcome to Clara!

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Apr 2008
    Home, where else??

    It was a beautiful birth.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Nov 2011

    Congratulations sounds like you coped fantastically! Well done.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Jan 2008

    Beautiful story and I love love love the name! My favourite but it didn't work with our last name!

    Welcome little one

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jul 2007
    in a super happy place!

    Gorgeous birth story! Congratulations on the arrival of Clara - I adore the name and had it on my list but it is the name of our nextdoor neighbours daughter (who also has a son with the same name as my son )

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Sep 2006

    Congratulations on the arrival of Clara!!! You both did an amazing job!! What a wonderful day to be born

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Nov 2008

    SUPER HUGE congratulations on the birth of you beautiful healthy little girl!

    What an amazing birth story. Thank you for sharing.

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    Apr 2007


  10. #10
    Registered User

    Oct 2008
    In a Nice Safe Space

    Lovely birth story. Thanks for taking the time to share. You were amazing!

  11. #11
    You were RAK'ed in 2015

    Mar 2011

    Thank you so much for posting your beautiful birth story, Stephie. I've been watching out for your announcement, and I'm so pleased that Clara had such a lovely birthday. Congratulations!

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Mar 2011
    Brisbane's Southside

    What a gorgeous birth story - it just sounds perfect!

    Congratulations on doing such a wonderful job and welcome to the world little Clara!!

    Thanks so much for sharing

    **Sent from my phone using Tapatalk.

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Jan 2011

    Wow it sounds like a wonderful, calm birth. And I love her name. Congratulations!

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Apr 2008

    Congratulations. A Beautiful story, thanks for sharing. Xoxo

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2008
    Kurri Kurri

    That was a wonderful birth Steph and welcome to baby Clara. I absolutely love her name btw

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Apr 2008

    What a wonderful birth. I can remember a lot of those thoughts and memories of when DD was born reading your story.

  17. #17
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2012
    Melbourne , Victoria

    The beautiful birth of Clara - 3rd July 2012

    What a wonderful birth story! Thank you for sharing your experience :-)

  18. #18
    Registered User

    Feb 2010
    on a big patch of paradise.

    What a lovely birth story. Thank you for sharing it with us.