Since starting my blog/Instagram I have met some amazing women who are or have gone through similar experiences to myself. I randomly started chatting to Jessiika, who is the gorgeous mumma behind @ohmylevi_. We hit it off instantly. We were both heavily pregnant at the same time and even though she was due before me I managed to get Harriet it out a week earlier. After multiple discussions about our labours, feeding, sex and the usual banter that comes with sleep deprivation, I asked if she would share her birth story. She made my day and agreed. It is a great read and anyone that has had a baby will undoubtably take their hats off to her tolerance…I would have lost my shit a lot earlier…
Bowie’s Birth Story
I never wrote a birth story after I had Levi and looking back now I wished that I had, I probably still could but there is so much I don’t remember about that night I don’t think it would make much sense. So while it’s still freshly imprinted on my brain I’m going to share Bowie’s birth story.
As most of you would know my due date came and went with no signs of little Bo coming out to play anytime soon, I remember I had been having Braxton hick’s contractions from about 38 weeks. Something I had never had with Levi so I thought for sure that this time I would go into labour naturally, WRONG.
The days went on and before I knew it I was 40+10 days and it was induction day, Monday November 28th. It was 3pm and my mum had just arrived at home to pick up Levi, my heart sank as she drove off with him in the back seat blissfully unaware of the change that was about to come. The guilt rushed over me like a tidal wave and I instantly started to cry. With a quick cuddle from my husband, Phil and a reminder that it was okay and to be happy because we we’re about to meet our baby I pulled myself together and felt calm again.
We were due to go into the hospital at 7pm but shortly after 4pm the midwife from the hospital called and told us to come in now because they were ready for us. I remember being really calm on the drive to the hospital, talking to Phil about what I thought might happen and what I wanted him to do/be like during the delivery process.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:30pm and were put on a CTG scan straight away to monitor baby’s heartbeat. The midwife made a comment while checking my scans about how busy they were tonight, she then shared with us that in fact only 5 minutes before we arrived another mum had given birth to her baby in the bathroom next door on the toilet! At 6:30pm she performed an internal and told us that I was about 2cm dilated and that she could probably just break my waters instead of using the cervidil like originally planned. “Do it!” I said, “do it right now”. I was so excited; I knew labour was going to hurt like a bitch but I was so ready. So off she went to talk to the ward leader to see if they could in fact break my waters. Phil and I looked at each other, “Shit, I just realised I have to push a baby out now” I said to him. He was very reassuring, “you’ll be fine”. The midwife returned and by the look on her face I could tell it wasn’t good news. “We’re too busy tonight and there are too many emergencies happening, you’ll have to come back in the morning.”
I was shattered, it didn’t cross my mind at all coming to the hospital that only 3 hours later we would be told to go home. I tried to stay positive, thinking to myself; at least we get to have a full night’s sleep before shit gets crazy tomorrow and it might make it all a bit easier. She told us that we were booked in for 7am but to call at 6am to make sure it was alright to come in.
The next morning at 6:10am I made the call. “I’m so sorry” she said. “We’re still really busy, can you call back at 8?”. At this point I was fucking livid. “call back at 8? Seriously?” She continued to express how sorry she was but they were just still too busy. I took a deep breath and thought fine, what’s 2 more hours. At 8 o’clock I asked Phil to call them, I knew that if they tried to push the time back again he wouldn’t be as nice as I was in his response. I could hear him getting frustrated on the phone and just knew that they had pushed it back again. “3 o clock!” he said in a firm voice.
When I heard that I just welled up inside, another 7 hours before we could even go to the hospital I thought, I was missing Levi so much and was so angry at the fact that he could have been with me another day. After Phil hung up the phone he told me that the midwife was going to organise for us to come in earlier and that she would call back when it was time.
I was missing Levi so much that I begged Phil to take me to see him, just one last time before we were a family of 4. We drove the 30 minutes to my parent’s house and I rushed inside to give him a big hug, he barely noticed me. He literally couldn’t have cared less that I was there; he was having way too much fun at grandma’s. At first I was a little like “fuck you jerk” but then I became content with the idea that he was okay and he was happy and that was all that mattered. No more than 5 minutes after we got there my phone rang, it was the midwife telling us they were ready for us now.
So it was a long 45-minute drive back to the hospital.
My husband must have made quite the impression on the phone because when we arrived and I introduced myself the receptionist had a look this strange look on her face. “Jessiika Wilson is here” she said to another lady. “oh right yes, we’re already for you, your room is ready to go” and straight to the birth suite we went. I remember feeling like a bit of a princess, not in a “oh they’re being so nice to me” kind of way but a “I bet they think I’m a demanding little bitch” kind of way.
We got into the room and waited for the midwife to come in, Emma was the first one we met. She quietly sat in the corner filling in her paperwork while Phil and I waited for any kind of indication of what might be happening. 1:30pm came and we were still just waiting, she then informed us that they were still quite busy and weren’t allowed to proceed until things quietened down. “just go for a walk, have some lunch the doctor should be free by 2:30 to break your waters”. So again we were leaving the labour ward to kill some time, at 2:30 we walked back to the birth suite to greet midwife number 2 who was taking over for Emma. The doctor then finally came in and explained that because of my low Iron I needed to have a cannula put in just in case, and also for when they break my waters if I needed a bit of Syntocinon to get me going. The first time he attempted to put it in he stuffed it up, I’m not terrible with needles but this hurt like a bitch. He managed to get it in the second time round.
It was 3:30pm, we’d been at the hospital for nearly 4 hours and they were finally ready to break my waters!
The pants were off, my legs were spread, the doctor had his gloves on with his little hook thingymabobby about to dive in when suddenly it happened, the emergency alarm went off. There was a split second of confusion and then they were gone, the midwives, the doctor, everyone. It was just Phil and I sitting in the birth suite with my legs still spread not knowing what the fuck was going on when midwife number 3 walks in. “I’m really sorry, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen today” she said. I was heartbroken. I just wanted to stand up and punch her in the face, even though it wasn’t her fault. I could see Phil getting angry as well, while we understood that shit was going down in the other birth suites around us we couldn’t help but feel angry and disappointed. “We need it done today” Phil demanded. What they didn’t realise was that it was now 5:00pm on Tuesday and Phil had a work trip scheduled for Thursday that couldn’t be cancelled whether I had the baby or not, so time was of the essence and we were both starting to stress the fuck out.
They explained that all we could do was wait and when someone was available they would then break my waters. At 8:30pm a familiar face walked into the room, midwife number 4 who I had met at my 38-week appointment who also gave me a stretch and sweep. I was relieved, I loved her and was so happy that she was going to be my midwife for this labour! She did another internal to see if she could break my waters, the 3rd one for the day and she could so FINALLY at 11:30pm, after 12 hours of waiting SHE DID IT. I felt so relieved feeling the warm water gush out of me knowing that something was finally happening. They also put the Syntocinon drip in to move things along. I was really calm at this point; I remember saying to the student midwife in the room. “This shouldn’t be too crazy for you, I’m more of a silent crier then a screamer” … Oh how I was wrong. By 12:45am I was in active labour and on my hands and knees in the shower, swaying and hysterically crying through every contraction. “make it stop!” I begged Phil to do something, to help me, I’d never felt this pain before. I had an epidural with Levi so these contractions were on a whole other level. Poor Phil was in such a panic; I could see he felt helpless but I was in so much pain I couldn’t care. He asked me to try the gas, I always said I didn’t want gas. I hated how it made people look when I use to watch programs about birthing. I said no, I screamed no, I pushed him away and yelled at him but I could see he was desperately trying whatever he could to help and so I caved. I tried the gas, I didn’t feel like it did anything for me, or helped with the pain in any way so I kept pushing it away. By 2:15am I was done, I’d had it. “get me an epidural, I want the epidural” I shouted.
The pain was unbearable, it was literally the worst thing I had ever experienced in my life, I wanted to climb up the walls to get away, I was so tired I wanted to lie down, but I could barely move. “where’s my epidural” I screamed at Phil. He kept saying it was coming, but I knew it would be a while, I know they always take a while to get to you and that just made me more hysterical, I pretty much started to lose my shit. “he’s not coming, your fucking lying to me” I sobbed to him. “stop lying, help me”. “He’s coming baby; he’s coming” He kept repeating while trying to console me in any way he could.
But I knew, the contractions were coming hard and fast, I couldn’t catch a break. I knew that even if and when he got here they would tell me it’s too late and I would have to go without it. At this point I’d just hopped onto the bed to try and lie on my side, I couldn’t stop moving and throwing my arms and legs around, pulling at Phil’s shirt, I couldn’t stop crying, I wasn’t doing any of the proper breathing exercises at all when my body just started tensing and pushing, I had no control over it what so ever, there was water or pee gushing out of me, I had no idea at this point. The midwife realised what was happening and grabbed my leg to lift it up, “you need to push Jess he’s coming”. I pushed 3 times, on the 3rd push he was out. The pain was gone instantly, everything just stopped and it was silent. I could have fallen asleep on the spot, then they put him on my chest. 30th of November, 2:29am weighing in at 4.6kg. His face was so swollen and bruised but he was healthy and he was here, my baby. It gets a little blurry from here, I remember Phil cutting the cord and the doctor pulling out my placenta, while trying to stitch a first grade tear they realised that I wouldn’t stop bleeding. I’d been holding Bowie for less than a couple of minutes before I was being whisked away to theatre. As I laid on the bed they explained to me what they were going to do and what they were looking for, I was so exhausted I could barely comprehend what they were saying. I remember them saying “if we can’t stop the bleeding we might have to do a hysterectomy” which now that I look back is kind of a big fucking deal but at the time I couldn’t care less, I couldn’t have cared if they said “we’re going to remove your left leg” I was just so exhausted I just wanted to be put to sleep.
I woke up a little after 6am as they were taking me back to the birth suite, the surgeon explained that Bowie had torn my cervix as he was coming out due to the quickness of the labour and babys size. I’d also had a post-partum haemorrhage and lost 2000ml of blood and had to have Bakri balloon inserted into my uterus as well as 1.5m of rolled bandages. The rest of the day was spent sleeping on and off feeding. Phil lied on a thin mattress beside my bed catching up on what sleep he could as well. I had a catheter in and compression socks on my legs, as well as these big massaging things that literally massaged my legs all day. It was 6pm when I was finally able to get up, they had removed the bandages and the balloon and the bleeding had stopped. After a little help from my mum I was able to walk and shower and finally hold my little Bo. My perineum and vagina was so swollen I couldn’t close my legs, in fact it was so swollen I had people ask me if they could look at it just because they hadn’t seen anything like it before, my vagina was the talk of the birthing ward. #goals
The next few days were tough, Phil lift for Melbourne and it was just me and Bowie in hospital. I was missing Levi HARD, I was still sore, the day we were supposed to come home they told me Bowie had jaundice and we would have to stay another night for him to have treatment. I broke down a few times, I was furious with my husband for leaving me, angry at the doctor for not noticing bowies jaundice sooner, angry at the midwife staff for letting me go overdue knowing that Levi was such a big baby and that the chance of bowie being bigger was high.
If Bowie had been my first born, I can honestly say I probably wouldn’t have had a second. This labour went the total opposite way of what I had planned. I’ve been left a little traumatised by the whole experience. I am so grateful that it’s all over and done with and have my little Bo home with me happy and healthy. I have Levi who is being a total rock star at this big brother stuff and my husband who like me is still adjusting to a family of 4. We have our moments but we are totally smitten with the little humans we’ve created and are loving this new journey.
For more gorgeous pics and to get to know Jess and her family better follow her on Instagram at @ohmylevi_