I have given birth 5 times and each labour has been memorable and unique. However the one constant of them all has been an induction process for one reason or another, but mostly because when I reach 3 cms, my body says ‘well that was hard work I think it’s time to stop. Good job!’
My birth experiences have ranged from officially 2 hours long to 3 days. My smallest baby hurt the most to deliver at just 400 grams, while my biggest baby at 4.91 kilograms arrived with nary a tear or graze to my nether regions.
I have had the best of the best and the worst of the worst and I wouldn’t change anything.
I have watched doctors perform CPR on my baby who was lying on my chest with my oxygen mask over his tiny face until help could arrive. I have seen fresh, pink, slippery little bodies be delivered straight up to my arms as cranky cries and blinking eyes made the world fade away. Instant love. I have held the tiny body of my daughter in a silent room, my baby born too soon, forever sleeping, never again to fill my arms.
I have watched the Olympics and seen Australia win gold as I waited for that next pain, participating in my own personal marathon. The reward much greater than gold.
I have had haemorrhaging twice, for my first and my fifth. I watched the midwives disappear into the folds of my now empty tummy as they massaged my uterus after the birth of my first; who knew such pain existed. I needed surgery for a retained placenta with my fifth as well as a blood transfusion. I have had an allergic reaction to a drug which saw me move faster than a stampeding elephant into a nice cold shower for relief from the head to toe itchy burning rash.
I have been high on gas and watched my hands create rainbows as Donald Duck told me jokes. It was actually my husband and no one else could see the similarities.
I have pooed, I have weed, I have no dignity whilst in a delivery room. I have looked on in fascination as my ob/gyn demonstrated how the placenta and membrane sack had fit around the now squirming bundle in my arms.
I have listened in a gas-induced fog as my hubby said the things I couldn’t to the midwives and doctors; he advocated for my body when I could not – as we had discussed .
I have learned many things about my body and its tolerance for pain. I am proud of what I have achieved and amazed that I grew 5 beautiful people inside me. Loved instantly and forever.
If I could impart advice to you it is this: expect the unexpected, plan to be flexible, research all possible options, and discuss with your partner what you will be prepared to accept as you labour – you may not be able to do this yourself. Every birth is a miracle no matter how your baby arrived – whether through the boot or out the sunroof, no matter the outcome. I have cried with joy, I have sobbed with grief, I have watched with heart in mouth as doctors fought to save my baby’s life. Nothing is certain so prepare to disregard your birth plan and go with the flow. But most importantly, every baby born is a miracle even if they never cry.
Thanks to mum Mel W for sharing her wonderful birth stories with us.
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