I LOVE hearing about other women’s birth stories. I’m super nosy like that. In the past year I have had a number of friends have babies. Every women’s story is different. Every birth is different. What works for one woman, might not work for another. And so I decided to start a new series on the blog called Birth Stories. It’s an opportunity for women to record this incredible experience, to share it with others, and for other mothers to find stories they can relate to.
If you have a birth story you’d like to share, please contact me. We can never have too many stories.
Meet one of my best friends, Chelsea. She is the first to share her birth story. We were lucky to get pregnant around the same time and she gave birth to her sweet boy two and a half weeks before me. Her story amazes me. There is nothing quite like it. After I heard how extreme her experience was, I was terrified to give birth! But she has articulated it so well. Have a read.
Kayne has asked me to share my labour story and of course, why wouldn’t I? If you have had a child you will know sharing ones labour story isn’t to compare or compete (because let’s face it! Regardless, it’s never the easiest thing to do). Rather it is such a beautiful experience that you may not want to relive any time soon, but will always find joy in sharing how your precious bundle of joy made their grand entrance.
So, my son was expected to arrive on the 18th February, but our story actually began on the 23rd February at 4am. Before this time, I had been having crazy Braxton hicks. Then at 4am that night I woke up with a stabbing pain. For the rest of the night there were 20 minute intervals in between every contraction, so I just took it as it came without letting anyone know. For that whole day ahead they came every 10 minutes, so not close enough to alert the midwife, but close enough to not get any rest all day. That night though, horrible! After a full day of irregular but frequent contractions I just wanted to go to sleep, but no, they then came harder and every 5 minutes. In my mind I began thinking “yes! Baby is on his way!” By this point I was really positive.
By 4am 24th Feb, my contractions started coming every 3 minutes for 90 seconds, so after 2 hours of doing this we called the midwife. At 7.45am we met the midwife at the hospital. We were both sure this was it, she then confirmed I had dilated nothing, ZERO! Basically, baby was ready to start coming, but he was posterior so he just wasn’t dropping. My midwife then decided to give me a pethidine. This dulled the pain of the contractions and I was able to sleep for 3 hours. But as expected, after this I was sent home to start again, and start again I did. The pethidine reset my contractions. The pain increased more, but the intervals went back to every 15 to 20 minutes for the rest of the day, again, slowly becoming closer and closer.
At 3am 25th Feb contractions went straight back to 90 seconds every 3 minutes. This time I thought surely this is it! 8am that morning I was back in hospital again for another check. 2 days in and I am wasted. To make it even better, the contractions at this point are getting harder and harder (especially for my exhausted body). AND yet again, second check, nothing, still zero and still posterior. So by this time, all happiness and excitement was gone. I’m glad there is no tap out option in pregnancy because if there were, this would have been the moment where I threw in the towel and dramatically yelled I QUIT! Haha. Straight after this check I had my 1-week overdue scan. So straight from hospital I had to sit through a bumpy painful ride to my scan that was about 20 minutes away, then wait in a waiting room for my appointment. If nothing, the most entertaining moment was watching the horror or a very early staged pregnant woman watch me go through contractions in the waiting room.
The scan took twice as long because the technician would pull off with every contraction. But half way through the scan she surprisingly told us baby had randomly turned himself to the right position. My sister had to tell me this again after the scan because I wasn’t listening to anything hehe. From this point, things finally starting going right. Baby was now in a position to drop and he slowly but surely did. Even better, because my muscles were in pain from the past 2 ½ days mum and dad had prepared the spa for me at home to use for the afternoon. By 6.30pm that evening I was back in hospital. And now I was 6cm dilated. I was obviously extremely happy with this, but by this point I had been having contractions for the past 62 hours. So even though I had previously planned a straight forward natural labour, I was literally exhausted and crying for an epidural straight away. However, my midwife was scared that the epidural would slow down the contractions again, so she talked me into doing 1 hour on the gas. 4 hours later (tricky midwife) I was 8cm so I finally got my epidural. But first they had to break my waters. Here I am expecting a rush of water but instead it was like having a little leak when you sneeze. Apparently I didn’t have much water left to begin with, and the water that was there was blocked by baby’s big head.
After this, contractions went crazy! They were coming every 1 to 2 minutes. And that’s when the doctor with the big needle for my back came in and said I had to be extremely still or the epidural could cause damage…oh great! Happy to say I miraculously stayed still for those few minutes and 20 minutes later BLISS! Honestly, I love medication! We are so lucky to have options these days!
From here they left me again for 3 to 4 hours to dilate a bit more, then came in to top up my epidural before the big push. They told me to will wait an hour for baby to descend a bit more, then after an hour I can pop him out and done! So I interpreted that as the epidural will mask all the pain, it won’t be hard and I won’t feel a thing. Well obviously in that frame of mind I thought, excellent! Turn the music up and get the make-up out! Party time!!!
An hour later time to push. First 5 pushes overly confident. Next 5 still confident but wondering what’s going on. 30 minutes later, what is happening! I’m breaking a sweat! What I’ve learnt is people are such liars! The whole time they kept telling me “great job I can see his head, great job he’s almost here.” 1 hour later, the SAME statements. Uh well obviously he’s not nearly here because I’m still pushing haha. An hour and a half of intense pushing, I felt like I had just run a marathon and my mascara was running down my sweaty a face. For the second time during my labour I threw my hands up in the air and declared “I QUIT!” My poor husband even made the wrong move of telling me to hurry up and push. Oh if looks could kill. By this point my midwife had considered the vacuum and got the hospital midwife for a second opinion.
This midwife was not mucking around. She strutted in, grabbed my hand, forced me to look her in the eyes and in a very demanding voice pretty much said “no one else can push this baby out, only you can so hurry up, pull your act together and push him out.” Well, never in my life have I wanted to slap someone so badly than at this point. I remember looking at my mum and thinking, who does she think she is? But funnily enough that’s exactly what I needed. I got so angry, those last few pushes were fueled with anger and my way to prove to this lady that I was not weak. I am so glad I had the epidural at this point, because 2 hours later it was starting to wear off and heck! It sure did hurt! He was stuck in that ring of fire part for some time. However, with one last push, that seriously made me feel possessed, he came shooting out! Literally one second there’s an empty bed and next minute a crying little baby has shot onto it.
7.50am, 26th February 2016. Weighing in at 8lb 6oz, my beautiful boy, Desmond Mahuta Paki Tarati finally made his grand entrance.
As I saw them lift him up my first words were “my son!” And straight away he let out a massive cry (let it begin). By great surprise however, as soon as they put him on me he stopped crying straight away and cuddled into me. That was a proud moment for me, usually I get the opposite response from kids haha. The pain wasn’t over after that, he came out with such force and his fist on his head that he caused a lot of damage and a long recovery, but let’s face it, it doesn’t matter.
One of the hardest decisions was coming up with the name. In the end we both agreed on Desmond Mahuta Paki TARATI, and here’s why:
Desmond. I just loved the name. Funny thing is my twin sister Kelly and I both thought of the name at the same time and that name had been sitting in the back of our minds for a few months before we realised we were both thinking of the same name. So technically his first name was inspired by twin telepathy. But most of all I wanted him to have his own name, and not feel like he had to live up to be like anyone else.
As per Tahitian tradition, Mahuta was Lorenzo (my husband) and I’s wedding name we received on our wedding day from Lorenzo’s father. It means growth and renewal, so this is now his middle name, and most importantly, his Tahitian name.
Paki is my maiden name. I didn’t want to hyphenate his last name but I am proud of my family line and I wanted him to remember the Paki side so it seemed appropriate to include it in his middle name.
The one thing I wondered when Desmond came shooting into this world was why I didn’t get that overwhelming surge of love for him when I saw him. I remember looking around the room at that moment and everyone was crying except me. After that I spent a long time just staring at him in amazement, but wondering why I wasn’t being hit with this overwhelming feeling of joy and love. It’s not until now I look back on the whole pregnancy and labour and realise my love for him did not start when he entered this world. I loved him ever since I knew I was pregnant. My love for him had grown stronger and stronger over those 9 months of nurturing and protecting him in my tummy. And the joy began after I had gotten over the shock of being pregnant, and it hasn’t ended, it never will. I love him more and more each day, and what a joy it is to be his mother.
My son, I love you xo