Meet Avery and his sweet parents Kimberley and David. How many of us mums blame ourselves for the complications during pregnancy? This little soldier had his mama monitoring herself everyday. But I can tell that for his parents, it was all worth it in the end.
Where to begin?! Firstly, thank you Kayne for giving me an opportunity to share my story – I am one of those nosey people too who loves hearing other birth stories so it is only fair I share mine.
I have been thinking about this for a while, and remembering the events leading up to meeting my darling boy for the first time always gets me. The first thing you should know about my pregnancy is that I had gestational diabetes. If you have ever met me you would probably have had the same reaction as every other pediatrician, midwife, physician, obstetrician and nutritionist who I had to see because of this complication. I do not fit the criteria for someone who has gestational diabetes or even type II diabetes, but there it was. Mentally, I was shot. I cried when I found out because I blamed myself for not providing the best environment for my unborn baby. However, it had little to do with me and more to do with how my body functions when under the stress of pregnancy. It merely meant that I had to be super controlling of my blood sugars which was self-monitored by a finger-prick blood test done every 4 hours. I was put on a diet and also injected myself with two different types of insulin 2 and 4 times a day. Because of this, I was not allowed to go over my due date which was Friday 31st July 2015 as it would put the baby at risk, so I was scheduled in for an induction if I had not gone into labor before then.
Now, my ideal labor actually sounds a lot like Kayne’s experience (yes I have labor envy!), which in a nutshell would be sitting in a birthing pool with relaxing music and dim lighting but as my due date was pressing closer, I just wanted to have a natural birth without an induction.
Friday 24th July, 4pm: I had my first set of contractions! I was over the moon because I knew it meant no drugs for this mama. They were bearable and about 10 minutes apart so no need to alert the midwife. They carried on into the night and were painful enough to keep me awake and very uncomfortable, so I found myself kneeling next to the bed for the better part of the night. To my disappointment they stopped altogether the next morning.
Saturday 25th July, 7pm: The contractions were back! However it was slightly more painful than the night before and I found the one thing that helped was having a hot shower. For me there were no cravings during pregnancy or labor and just like the beginning of my pregnancy, I couldn’t eat anything for fear it would make me sick. I bounced on a Swiss ball and tried to keep myself moving while awaiting active labor. The contractions were now 7 minutes apart and it was about 2am. I felt there might have been something wrong (totally wasn’t), but I was feeling overwhelmed and tired so decided to text my midwife anyway. She told me to keep doing what I was doing and she would be around in the morning to check my status. Note to self: Don’t text your midwife at 2am.
Sunday 26th July: The contractions stopped AGAIN! My midwife came by and I was dilated about 2cm with a little blood starting to appear. Not time for the hospital yet though. This was getting me a little down and I was pretty exhausted from the lack of sleep, but what could I do? My hubby David bought us some curry for dinner (old wives tale) and what do you know it worked! Around 7pm the contractions were back in full force and for the next 7 hours I was breathing, bouncing, showering and doing everything I could to get this little man out! It was 2am when I text my midwife that my contractions were now 5 minutes apart and lasting more than a minute. To my relief she told me to meet her at the hospital in an hour.
Monday 27th July, 3am: It was nice to arrive at the maternity ward at this time of the morning during the quiet and peace. I got set up in my delivery room with two wires attached: one to monitor the contractions and the other to monitor baby’s heart rate. This was annoying to say the least. I could only walk as far as the cords could reach, which was about 2 metres from the bed. David called my mum but of course her phone was dead! After calling me every day for the last week, of course she is unreachable on d-day! Luckily my step-dad had his phone on and we got a hold of her. She was at the hospital by 4.30am and I have to say, I never appreciated my mum and husband more than I did in that moment. She and David did all they could to make me comfortable, she was by my side when David had a nap (poor guy was up with me since Friday) and made sure I ate post-birth to regain strength and helped me shower. David was my physical strength and mentor. I really could not have gone through with it the way I did if he had not been there. He kept me sane! The contractions were getting more intense but I was still only 4cm dilated. I asked for some gas to take the edge off of the contractions and to my surprise it did not make me feel nauseous, but I did feel out of it. My back was aching and I felt like it would break if I didn’t lie down. I remember thinking and pleading that all I wanted was to sleep. But my midwife was against it and said it would slow down my labor which I didn’t want, so I pressed on trying every position possible to ease the pain. I think it was around 7am when we realised my waters still hadn’t broken – yea I know! So my midwife got out the steel knitting needle and the floodgates were opened! I mean literally, there was so much fluid I could have had a family of beavers living in there! Everything was go from that point. My pain meter went up to 100 and my mum was so worried that she asked the midwife to give me an epidural! And what did I say to that? “Just shut up mum!” The contractions increased and I remember a clear moment where I was on my knees on the bed, pleading with Heavenly Father to help me get through this. A moment of peace came over me, and I had the urge to go number twos. Little did I know it was my baby and not my bowels that were needing to be emptied. At 10am I was fully dilated and started pushing. For me, the pushing was a relief. In fact I didn’t even feel the ring of fire because that’s how much better it was than my contractions. Interesting fact: My baby actually got stuck twice. First his chubby little cheek, then his shoulder which is called shoulder dystocia. But at the time no one told me this. And when a team of about 6 – 7 medical professionals came running into the room, I had no idea what was going on and was scared beyond measure. Two nurses pushed me right back onto my back and brought my legs up and past my shoulders (I didn’t know they could go that far!). Then another nurse pressed down on my tummy while a doctor was turning my baby at the other end.
At 10.44am on Monday 27th July 2015, I gave one final, glorious push and out came my sweet 4.5kg / 9.9 lb. boy. The doctors quickly cut his cord and took him to the “PANDA” station to clear his airways as he had turned blue from not being able to breathe. I distinctly remember hearing him cry out for the first time after they cleared him. I was terrified because I hadn’t even seen him yet, but when I heard that cry, I knew he was okay. They placed him on me and all at once he calmed down. I could not stop staring at this beautiful soul snuggled in my arms. All I could think was “he is mine”. He tore through me on the way out so I received stitches but after going through what I did, it really didn’t matter. We stayed in hospital for four days due to Avery’s very low glucose levels. We hated it because of all the heel-prick blood tests they had to do on him – if there was ever a time I wanted to severely punish someone, this was it! We were thrilled to finally go home on Friday afternoon and couldn’t get out of the hospital sooner. It all fell into place as we walked into our home with our son.
Avery Mila Frost
Avery. We wanted him to have his own identity from the get-go. We loved this name the first time we saw it and loved it even more when we saw him.
Mila. This is a Samoan family name on my mothers side. My great grandfather, grandfather, Uncle and cousins have this name so it was only fitting that Avery had it as well. I will let you know that he is a healthy, happy and very curious little man who I am pleased to say does not have any health issues to date.