Motherhood is one of those crazy and beautiful things in life. From the very moment you see those two positive lines on a pregnancy test, its a journey of every emotion imaginable... and some of the time, all those emotions can hit in the same day.
I LOVE reading about birth stories. I remember this excited yet terrified feeling when I was pregnant with Myla, researching and reading, asking and listening to birth stories all around me. The good ones and the scary ones both brought the same feelings out in the end...WOW - how amazing are our bodies?!?!
I thought I would share the details of all three of my daughters births. All three are very different to each other. Something I was told, but still thought...oh they'll be the same... But each one is unique, each has its own story, just like each child. I hope you enjoy reading my birth stories. Please know, this is my personal experience, including emotions and feelings towards how I wanted to birth my babies.
- Janelle xx
Elsie Mae Spies - Birth Story 2018
Heavily pregnant and ridiculously over it. Not only had I reached the point every pregnant woman reaches at the end of almost 40 weeks growing a baby, but my pain was at an all time high. I was struggling to walk, sit and sleep from pelvic pain, my swelling was so bad that I skipped the ‘kankles’ and went to having ‘legs with toes’ (thank you to my husband for pointing that out), and my Braxton Hicks which I had had constantly since 32 weeks, had become incredibly painful, all day and night long, keeping me from getting any rest.
I went in for my 39 week appointment and requested a stretch and sweep. I was 2-3cm dilated. They measured me 43 weeks at 39 weeks though and were concerned for a large baby. We spoke to the doctors and discussed induction, which we agreed to and booked it in for my due date on the 6/12.
From this point onwards, my 'braxtons' had turned into more 'contractions' with multiple times having me check the clock and time them. I figured when labour hits though, ill know all about it.
39 + 4 weeks:
I had been trying all the wives tale ways to induce labor.... today I had half a litre of straight pineapple juice... its a 'trick' apparently (worked for me I guess). I had a stretch and sweep booked in for the next day but I wanted to book in for acupunture to do anything to bring on this baby before induction- so I called the hospital to change my appointment time so I could book the acupuncture. They told me if I left now, I could get one that day (Monday). As soon as I got in the car, I felt the contractions hit. They were 8 mins apart the whole way to the hospital, but became a little more irregular once I got out of the car- though still there. I continued to have them during my midwife appointment (which didnt phase her at all). I had another stretch and sweep and was 4cm dilated. I left to get to the car but contracted the whole way to the car park, with more regular timing and pain increasing. I decided to call the birth suites, but told them 'if I was at home, I would stay home a bit longer' But because I was 50mins drive away, I wasnt sure it was smart driving home... which they disagreed with and said 'oh youll be fine, just head home and get yourself ready if it is labour' (umm...ok?)...
I drove 50 mins home, with 5 min apart contractions. I was on the phone to my mum the whole time. I actually had to fill my car up with petrol...that was fun timing my contractions to go fill up and pay.
I arrived home, had a shower and laboured for about 30 mins, then we left to go back to the hospital. Once arriving at the hospital I went straight on the fit ball, and laboured for 10/15 mins. I could hear them say 'she doesnt have long, this will be quick' which gave me so much relief. They checked me, and I was 4cm dilated- which I expected to be more than that, so I was a little worried. They broke my waters as per my request (me thinking...yes ill have her in no time!) and I laboured in the shower for a while. Contractions got intense and they kept asking do I need to push...which I didnt feel the urge. I could hear them saying I was close but maybe baby is a bit stuck. I moved into the bath and contractions went insane. I was breathing through them, I wasnt coping and I was heading into a full panic. Screaming through each one saying I cant do it anymore. At this point we were all thinking - great - this means its transistion time...right?!. The checked me with a mirror in the bath and I caught a glimpse...NOTHING. No head...no nothing!
By this point I needed out. I was done. So I begged them to tell me the truth... what is wrong?! They said they think she is partially posterior and she must be stuck because my contractions are at the end point but she isnt moving down like she should. I asked to be checked again because I needed help now. They checked me (we were all thinking surely ill be close to 10cm!)... I was only 5cm. I burst into tears and asked for an epidural. Ive never had one before...I never even really considered having one with either girls- not because I had something to prove...but I just purely didnt think of it, and I figured this time, I had done it twice-why need one now!? I remember just crying and crying on the bed between the next contraction or two thinking - this isnt what I expected...I expected a short labor...nothing like this. Does the epidural hurt? will it go wrong? how long until the pain is gone? Will I tear to shreds with her being so big and birthing without control?
Over about 5-10 mins once they checked me, I had about 3 contractions, where I was screaming more than before. They got the IV in, and called the doctor for the epidural. When the next contraction hit, I turned to the side and instantly felt her move down and come out " Im pushing! " I said in a full panic, and pushed her head out in seconds! I couldnt breath it was so intense and I barely even had to think or try to push, my body just knew what to do. Within a minute, I had the next contraction and pushed her body out and up she came! She was completely wrapped in her cord - around her neck, body and legs. They had to untangle her to be able to reach me. I went into complete shock at how fast it all happened. Lewis and mum said I looked 'possessed' whenI pushed her out. And I felt it too. I also remember thinking "Crap, Ive just murdered my Vajayjay pushing a huge baby out on my back on the bed at 5cm dilated..." hahaha. (Obviously I was 10cm when I actually pushed)
So there it was. I went from 5cm, crying over the fear of a longer labour with an epidural.. to having her on my chest less than 10 mins later. I dont even remember the burn of pushing her out, it happened so fast and naturally. I was terrfied I must have torn badly though, being so fast, but I didnt have anything.
9lb7oz, 53cm long. Wow. What a ride!
All three of my labours were so different. I feel a strong emotion with all of them.
Myla, I think of just exhaustion, and trauma of how long it took. Especially the pushing phase. It makes me feel a little sick, thinking of her birth and how hard it was mentally and physically. But that moment she was on my chest was something indescribable.
Azalea, I think of joy and amazement. It was beautiful. Hard, but truly amazing. It was exciting. The feeling of joy once she was out within a few hours was so great.
Elsie, I think of shock. Wow. Not what I expected at all. Im still in shock how it all turned out. I didn't expect it that way, and Im just so thankful it ended the way it did. I still feel like it was heading to something much longer and harder, but really in the end, it was amazing and fast.
Aren't our bodies so truly amazing!!!!
With each of my births, I specifically prayed for certain things to happen. And with each birth, I received exactly what I prayed for.
Myla- prayed: My mother to be at the birth (she lived 9hrs away), have no medical intervention, no bigger then 9lb (she was spot on 😂) and no tearing ✔️ All answered.
Azalea- Prayer: short birth- less that 6 hours and to be able to say ‘it was amazing’ and have beautiful thoughts about her birth instead of traumatic. ✔️ All answered.
Elsie - Prayer: short birth - have her before my due date, 3-6 hours, that I make it to the hospital, no tearing and no intervention ✔️ All answered! Amazing
So they are my labor stories. They are stories I want to cherish and remember forever, in every detail. Because what an amazing, crazy ride motherhood is!