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Thread: The birth of Ivy and Noah (very long)

  1. #1
    tiggy Guest

    Default The birth of Ivy and Noah (very long)

    Well, here it is. Itís taken quite a while and it is VERY long, so if you have the time and the patience for a story, grab a cuppa and go for it.
    There are some scary references to uterine rupture, so if you are gearing up for a VBAC, maybe itís not a story for you. Itís not aimed to frighten anyone, itís just part of our tale.

    Lucky is how I would describe myself after the death of my beautiful son in April 2004.

    Whatís that, I hear you say?

    Yes, I was devastated and hurt to have to let my long awaited little boy go and to this day, I still grieve his loss of life and I probably always will but through his birth and his death I learnt so much about trusting my own body and letting go and learning to trust again. Out of death came two beautiful lives and a better understanding of who I am. I learnt about the beauty of the human spirit and about a love that I have never known before.

    This is the birth story of Ivy Hazel and Noah William (and in parts the birth story of my gorgeous angel, William David).

    After 14 months of grieving Williamís death and trying to conceive we found ourselves pregnant again. It was an amazing, scary, exciting, emotion charged moment that I will never forget. When I was 7 weeks pregnant we found, to our utter surprise, that we were having twins again. Our first set were celebrating their 9th birthdays in the next month and our little girl, Lily would be 7. Both births had been caesareans, the first emergency and the second elective. Williamís birth was a VBAC.

    Williamís labour was everything I wanted for a birth until second stage when my uterus ruptured. I lost almost four litres of blood, I lost my son, I lost faith in myself.

    I was so lucky that I got to meet him, fall in love and spend five days with him because what we didnít know was that he also had a fatal heart abnormality and his gift to me was my one and only vaginal birth.

    I was lucky to see his spirit into whatever lies beyond this life.

    I was so lucky that I had the most amazing group of people around me, who thought quickly and were able to save my uterus. Who saw me through my darkest days and lifted my spirit so that I could see all the amazing things that my son had done in his short time.

    They repaired my uterus and we were told, after a while, that we could try again.
    So here we were.
    Pregnant, with twins.

    At 11 weeks I bled.
    We were in Tasmania, so far from home and I was sure that I had lost my little ones.
    On the day we were coming home it stopped.
    I was 12 weeks.

    We came home and the next day we went for a scan. We talked and decided that if everything was ok, we would tell the girls and our two foster boys afterwards. We hadnít breathed a word before, for fear of hurting the already wounded. We hoped for a miracle.

    We were lucky. Two heartbeats, two little souls.
    At 19 weeks we found that we would be welcoming one of each, a little girl and a little boy. There it was, our miracle.

    I have never felt more scared in a pregnancy as I have in this one.
    I didnít feel lucky, every day was like torture. I denied the flutters, the squirms, the kicks. I was sick with fear. My life consumed with the ever growing unrest inside my being.

    I had pain. Stretching pain, adhesions, the good doctor said. The uterine repair was so big, there were bound to be adhesions. That didnít sit well, I felt I knew my body and that the pain was something more.

    I had low haemoglobin, so low I needed an infusion, so low I passed out. Lower after the infusion and so they thought that maybe I was bleeding from somewhere another doctor suggested.

    I had diabetes. A sign of unresolved issues the midwife said. A sign of fear.

    I know I was lucky. I know that the doctor and the midwives were so very patient with me. I know that everyone was doing everything within their power to make me feel safe.

    I didnít think the doctor was hearing me thoughÖlistening but not hearing. The pain was different somehow and I was exhausted trying to explain. Uterine thickness scans showed nothing out of the ordinary but I just didnít feel right.

    And so at 29 weeks when I couldnít take the pain or the fear anymore I was admitted.
    I had the infusion, I had weekend leave to watch my beautiful girls dance in their concert, I thought I was going back in to wait it out until 34 weeks when it was decided I would have the caesarean.

    I was lucky that there were some beautiful midwives around me, talking to me, encouraging me to deal with Williamís birth before these babies came.
    I was lucky that, in the week I came in, my midwife and friend Val was rostered onto the ward and rostered on to look after the antenatal ladies; Me.

    On the Tuesday evening my husband called me to tell me that my father had gone into have the cancer from his liver removed. It was not going well.
    I cried.
    A lot.

    They say that a stressful event can start the onset of labour.

    On Tuesday night I had the worst pain yet, searing along my scar line and up into my belly. I didnít sleep and my complaints fell on the deaf ears of the night staff. One suggested pethidine, which I refused, too scared that it would mask another rupture. Angrily she muttered that she couldnít help me if I was unable to help myself. She told my doctor, who came in to visit on Wednesday afternoon. We talked about my still dropping haemoglobin and the tests that needed to be done, we talked about my Dad, we talked about how my faith in my antenatal care was shaken and my wonderings as to when he would start listening to meÖI didnít want to be another obstetric emergency. We talked about William and his birth and how much this had affected my doctor and how he wanted a good outcome for David and I this time. I wanted that too. I felt better, like there had been some sort of breakthrough.
    He left.

    Val came in. We talked. She hadnít been in delivery suite since she left to go to the low risk unit, almost a year ago. She had lost faith in the system, didnít like the environment offered to women and so had avoided it. We debriefed on all that the doctor had said. I felt so grateful that she was there.
    A buzzer went off in another room and Val went to answer it.
    I went to the bathroom, to discover I was bleeding.
    As I went to get Val (ok, Iím a midwife too and midwives NEVER buzz, LOL) I felt those first gripey niggles start low in my uterus.
    ĎAre you okí? Val asked, looking at the loss,
    ĎYes, I think soí, I said, knowing full well, I wasnít.
    Val knew me well, ĎIíll get the CTG, weíll just have a look at what is going oní.
    ĎOkí, I replied now feeling the familiar searing starting across my pelvis.
    We both knew this was it.

    It was lucky that David and the girls came in to visit me that evening. They didnít come every night. Dave still in his work wear, the girls oblivious to what was happening. Lily, my youngest, climbing up and over me and jumping off the other side of the bed, Maddy, lying on the floor next to me telling me about her day, Immy standing in the corner, watching everything. I think she knew what was happening before Dave did.

    It was lucky that my mum had just come home from dinner out, on the third and final attempt at calling her, to come and pick up the girls and lucky that Davidís Mum was at home with the boys.

    It was lucky that David hadnít taken the camera home, even though I had asked him to

    It was lucky that, even though Val told my other friend and midwife not to come in because I was not sure what was happening (as I had requested), that she turned the car around and came straight back in. (She told me later that she just knew as well).

    It was lucky that there were just two beds left in the NICU on that Wednesday night and that the staff specialist on call was the head of neonatology.

    It was lucky that Val was there, that she knew, from Willís birth, that my pain threshold was good and that there was no time to waste, even though the registrars wanted to do varying tests, even though the doctor didnít want to come in until he was sure, even though they were throwing around words like Ďmonitorí and Ďovernightí.
    I was so thankful that she jumped up and down, that she was my advocate.

    My obstetric emergency was quickly becoming a scary reality.

    I am wheeled up to delivery suite, the tightenings are coming, short and sharp, now palpable. The right sided burn getting steadily worse.
    Donít touch me!
    It hurts!
    So, so frightened.
    Gown, hat, consent.
    Told I would have to have a general anaesthetic Ė NO!!!
    I NEED to see these babies alive!
    Val by my side, we need a spinal, itís VERY important.
    Whereís Dave?
    Who has the girls?
    Itís ok, everything is ok.
    Dave is there, the girls come in and I give them each one of my rings to look after and my necklace with Williamís portrait engraved into it. Their frightened faces peering into my soul.
    Iím ok I reassured them, The babies are ok.

    Into theatre
    The staff are kind.
    Just as they prepare to give me the spinal, my other midwife arrives. Carolyn.
    Breathe, she says and I do.
    This is meant to be, she says and I know she is right.
    The pain starts to blur and all I can do is pray that the babies I have come to know will be ok.

    Carolyn and Val are talking to us non stop. Reassuring us and themselves, I think.
    ĎPleaseí, I say, ĎI canít do this again, they have to be okí, knowing that I am only 30 weeks and knowing I havenít had the steroids that would mature their lungs.
    Flashes of Williamís birth fly through my mind as I see concerned faces swimming around me and tears start to fall. I have never wished for something so hard in my life.

    There is some pushing and pulling going on
    Suddenly there he is!
    Crying, wet and wriggling
    I am filled with love, hope, joy and overwhelming relief
    Carolyn smiles at me, she knows as I am looking at my tiny, miracle son, I am thinking of William too. She says just that and I cry more tears.
    Then moments after he is wisked away my final miracle arrives.
    Hello little girl.
    There is a tiny cry and my heart melts for this little being.

    They are small and will need some help to breathe.They are taken to the NICU. David looks amazed and everyone is smiling.
    People come and go. The doctor cleans me up
    He comes over to talk with me and I hug him, in all the sterility of theatre because I have no words to describe everything that I am feeling.

    The next day the doctor comes to see me.
    There were no adhesions.
    There were only four strands of uterine wall left. A small window of uterus, so thin, he could see the first baby through it It was nothing short of a miracle that the babies were born before my uterus ruptured for a second time.
    It could have been a very different outcome and he apologises for not listening to me.
    I donít care. They are here and they are safe, growing stronger every day in the NICU.

    Ivy and Noah are now 51/2 months old and havenít really looked back since their shaky start.

  2. #2
    skyelar Guest


    Ohh Tiff, I am crying & smiling all at the same time!

    What a beautiful birth story, so well written!

    Congratulations on your two little miracles, they are just gorgeous!


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    in the valley of cuddles with mountains of smiles


    I had tears streaming down my face too,Tiff, both for the joy and sadness you shared.
    I cannot imagine the terror you felt.
    It is very well written and a joy to read. They are the most precious, gorgeous babies I have ever held.
    They are true champions just like their mum.
    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story with us all

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Tiff, what an amazing birth story. I oo am smiling with tears running down my face.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Congratulations on your two beautiful little miracles

  5. #5
    mizzsocial Guest


    OMG what a brave woman you are.. you told your story so well..
    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your twins.. im so happy that there was a happy ending..

    Thankyou for sharing your story!!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Back in Brisvegas :)


    To echo everyone else; Tiggy I am in tears of joy for you over the story of the safe arrival of your precious twins. I truly believe that William was watching over them from above and ensured their safe entry into our world.

    What an amazingly strong and honest woman you are...such an inspiration.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Mooroolbark, VIC


    Tiff, Ivy and Noah truely are little miracles. What a frightening time it must have been for you - as I said in the other thread, I think you are an amazingly strong woman and am so happy that Ivy and Noah are now doing so well.
    I think that your lovely children are a testiment to you as a mother.
    All my love-

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    your birth story has given me goosebumps, thankyou for sharing it with us

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Miracles Happen!!
    What a bautifully written story. make sure you print one off for Ivy and Noah for their keepsake boxes so they know how much they were loved - even before they entered this world. Their guardian angel is looking after them.

  10. #10


    Tiff, that was simply amazing. What a compelling read. Ivy and Noah are just the most precious little miracles...thank you for sharing their story with us.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sydney's Norwest


    Tiff, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with us. You had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Very well written. Well done hun. Ivy and Noah are truely lucky little bubs.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Wow I don't really know what to say, I am still wiping the tears away but with a smile on my face at the same time. They sure are your little miracles! I agree very weel written too.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean


    Tiff, I have never cried so much reading a birth story as I just have. That was amazing. Thankyou so much for sharing such intimate thoughts and feelings.
    Ivy and Noah are indeed precious little miracles, and I'm glad to hear they are thriving.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Melb - where my coolness isn't seen as wierdness


    Oh Tiff that was worth the wait and more. I was crying and laughing and feeling broken hearted and elated all at the same time!

    You deserve all the happiness in the world, my sweet. Thank you for sharing your story so honestly and bravely.


  15. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    Tiff - you are an amazing woman who deserves to have these little miracles in your life.

  16. #16


    Aww Tiff, you are such an amazing woman. I had had tears streaming down my face. Thank you so much for sharing your pregnancy and birth story with us. I am so happy that Noah and Ivy are safe and in your arms and are doing so well.

    Take Care matey

  17. #17
    Sal Guest


    Oh Tiff, I am shaking and crying after reading that. You were always so upbeat in the preg after LTTTC thread even though we knew of the various complications. You kept from us how serious it all was for you. Thank goodness you knew your body and you had others around you to champion you when you really needed it.

    You have a wonderful way with words, the story is just amazing and beautifully written.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    May 2004


    Ditto sal.

    Beautiful Tiff, give your guys an extra cuddle from my guys.

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