Well, I can’t believe I am sitting here writing the birth story of our little princess! Firstly I can’t believe I have a daughter and secondly I can’t believe she is here! It felt like the longest pregnancy EVER!!!!
It all started a couple of weeks after I had suffered a miscarriage (you can read about that HERE), we weren’t really sure if we wanted to try again because I couldn’t deal with the heartbreak from the miscarriage, I didn’t want to go through anything like that again. My monthly hadn’t even returned yet but I felt really strange! I took a pregnancy test just to rule it out and I was in shock when I saw two lines pop up! I thought it must have been the hormones still in my body from the miscarriage as it hadn’t even been a month yet but I had been back and forth from the hospital having bloods done to make sure the HCG levels were decreasing which they had! I took another test which said the same and had bloods done, I was absolutely shocked to learn that yep we were indeed pregnant again!!
The pregnancy was different, everything about it felt different. I felt I had lost all innocence and every single day was filled with fear and anxiety. I felt scared to bond with my bump and I felt scared to start buying baby things just incase.
I can’t even begin to describe how relieved I was at our 12 week scan seeing that little heart beat flickering on the screen. It was from that moment I started to feel excited!
I suffered with awful morning sickness and my hair was literally snapping off for no reason! I had morning sickness with the boys but nothing like this, with them I had really bad nausea but this time I was actually vomiting and had 24.7 full blown nausea and getting up to drive Brooklyn 30 minutes away each day for school was TORTURE!!!!!
I was so sure we would be having another little boy, I bought a couple of grey things, painted the bassinet grey and started looking at boys names..never once did I think we would be having a little princess!!
The day of our 20 week scan I felt ill, I was SO nervous!! As I lay down the ultrasound tech asked what we were hoping for and I replied “well I am happy either way but in all honesty I’m scared that it’s a little boy and we may end up wanting to try once more later down the track for a little girl… but I feel im done having kids now, I don’t think there will be anymore after this little one” ..the room went silent but I felt this rush of calmness as if deep down I knew it was a boy so I expected to hear it. She then said “well you won’t have to try again” , the words hadn’t yet sunk in and I asked her to repeat her self and she said “you won’t have to try again it’s a little girl” I felt this heat wave hit my body and I burst into tears..I cried SO hard!! Harder than iv ever cried in my life! I couldn’t believed what I was hearing! I had longed for a daughter since I could remember but I honestly thought I’d never be lucky enough!
The rest of the pregnancy went well, we had prepared ourselves for another 35 weeker as they say after a premature baby the chances of having another is slightly higher yet baby number 4 came one day past her due date! The longest pregnancy I have had yet!! Who would have thought!! I always said she would keep me waiting tho, I had waited all of my life for a daughter so what was another couple of weeks worth of waiting?!
I had always wanted to experience a water birth and to get to birth at a birthing centre but I always ended up at hospital and unable to have a water birth and I really hoped and prayed that I would be able to experience both this time. I wanted to have my baby at the Helensville Birthing Centre so bad and in order to be able to do this I had to reach the 37 week mark.
I also really wanted to experience a ‘text book birth’ ya know like where you start having contractions out of no where and they gradually get stronger and closer together and then off you go to the hospital or birthing unit. With Brooklyn I was induced, London was back to back and I had 3 days of labor stopping and starting and then had my waters broke to move things along because my body wasn’t doing it and with Cortez my waters broke spontaneously while I was in hospital. I wanted to experience that excitement of those first contractions coming and wondering if it was the real deal then waiting it out in the comfort of home and then making my way to the birthing centre to meet my baby!
I had an irritable uterus in all of my pregnancies from around 20 weeks I would start to have strong tightenings that sometimes where quite painful and some days they would get regular and time-able but they would never turn into anything more. It was quite frightening and I was constantly on edge worrying! However this pregnancy was different in a few ways and the main reason why was that I experienced something called prodromal labor. If you aren’t familiar with the word (which I wasn’t either until this pregnancy!) prodromal labor is a type of labor that happens prior to the onset of full active labor, it is real labor in terms of pain, contractions, and regularity but it comes and goes and it can go on for days, weeks or even months before actual labor begins.
I experienced this every single day for well over a month, in fact it was probably close to two months and let me tell you it was the most awful, draining thing i have EVER experienced!!! Some days I would have these contractions that would last for a few hours, sometimes they would last half a day but most days I would experience this and they would continue non stop for over a whole day! I’m not talking Braxton Hicks tightenings either I’m talking actual take your breath away, wraps around your back and thighs contractions that were 5 mins apart day and night contractions! It was pure TORTURE!! I can’t count on my hands the number of times I truly believed I was in labour only for the contractions to randomly fizzle out and stop, it was bizarre! It really started to take its toll on me after a few weeks of dealing with this, I was scared to go too far from home incase it turned into real labor as I have fast births so I was constantly on edge wondering if today was going to be the day! I was so grumpy and tired and I really wasn’t very nice to be around if I’m being completely honest, I’d just had enough.
On the 19th of September I had these niggles all day and at around 4pm they actually started to get stronger, I was pacing up and down the hallway, stopping and breathing through each contraction as they hit. I rang my mum and told her “this is it ma, this baby is coming!” and called the midwife to let her know. I was to wait at home to see if they got even stronger but come 9pm I felt baby move into a funny position (it felt like she moved into the transverse position as I could feel her feet poking out of the sides of my belly bellow my belly button and the top half of my belly was soft and squishy!) and they just stopped out of nowhere! Just like that…POOF…GONE!!! It was mind-blowing, how can they just stop like that after being so strong?!
More of this went on unfortunately..there was a day I had lost the plug and experienced these contractions and I thought this HAS TO be it but it wasn’t and I honestly just started to lose hope and convinced myself i was just going to be pregnant forever! I was mentally and physically drained and had no idea how the heck I would even have the energy to cope when actual labor started and I was panicking that I wouldn’t even know when I was in real labor!
I was trying to think of reasons why my body was doing this, was it because deep down I was scared about giving birth at the birthing unit? Knowing that if something was to go wrong I won’t be at a hospital like I was with the boys was worrying me! – was the stress from this stopping me from going into labour?! Was there something wrong with my body? Or was there something wrong with my baby and she didn’t want to come out and this is her way of saying somethings wrong?
Another worry I had on my mind since moving up to Auckland was how the heck it would all turn out with the boys..would I go into labor while they where at school/preschool or would it be at night? I am fortunate enough to have made a pretty amazing friend (shout out to Francessca!! Girl you are one in a million!!) who lives on the same road as me and she very kindly offered to watch my boys when I went into labor if I needed which took a great deal of stress off just knowing that we have someone there if needed!
On the 24th of September I was having contractions again and headed in to see the midwife to be checked only to be told I was NOT in labour! It was so frustrating and I felt like such a tool, like really embarrassed and feeling like I was being a nuisance because Id had 3 kids before so I should know if I’m in labor or not yet here I was annoying the midwife and I wasn’t even in labor!!!! She booked me in for a scan to check everything was ok and that she was in the right position as I was so sure she was flipping herself around in there! My midwife said that if I went past my due date they would look at inducing me at 42 weeks and all I could think was oh my Lordy I REEEEEAAALLLYY hope I don’t get to 42 weeks!!!!!!!!! As I was about to walk out of the door my midwife told me she probably won’t be around to deliver my baby as her mother who lives in the uk was going to have surgery and she needed to be with her, I completely understood but of corse I also couldn’t help but freak out a little at what the heck would happen from here!
My next midwife appointment was on Friday the 6th of October with one of the midwives who was helping out whilst my midwife was away, she was so lovely and straight away upon meeting her I felt very comfortable and safe and I knew I wanted her to deliver my baby! The appointment went well and she booked me in for a stretch and sweep for at my next appointment when I would be exactly 40 weeks!!
Tuesday the 10th of October rolled around, it was my due date and the date I was getting the stretch and sweep! I couldn’t believe I was still pregnant when I woke up that morning! When hubby finished work we went and picked up our groceries then got fish and chips for tea and parked up by the river to eat before my appointment at 6.30. I had lost hope so i never once thought that this could be the last day of me being pregnant!
After my appointment we went home and I had absolutely no niggles, no cramps..NOTHING!!!! I was gutted!!!!! Literally had lost ALL hope and I went to bed feeling sad and absolutely fed up!
Around 2am I got up to go to the toilet and saw I had lost the bloody show, I shrugged it off and thought whatever, I’m not even going to build my hopes up this whole thing is just one big joke! Literally as I stood up a huge contraction ripped through my body and I thought woah that hurt!!! I jumped back into bed and another hit, then another.. I grabbed my phone and started timing them, they where lasting roughly 30 seconds and around 1 minute 30 seconds apart, I thought no way it was real labour…until they got even stronger!!!!
I ran down to the lounge where my hubby and the two older boys where having a camp out/movie night and woke him, ” babe I think this is actually it!” I walked up and down the hallway for a bit to make sure the contractions didn’t stop as they seemed to have slowed down a bit! 2.45am came around and I thought I’d better let the midwife know but I still wasn’t sure if this was actually it or not and I felt so bad for ringing at this hour in the morning!!! She told me to head on down to the birthing centre to be checked out so I got the kids bags ready and we decided we would take them with us as we felt awful ringing Francesca at this hour in the morning when she has 4 kiddies of her own to look after and I’d feel even more awful if I was sent home! Before we were about to head out the door Brooklyn grabbed me and wrapped his arms around me and said “Mum I love you, I don’t want to see you in pain” my eyes began to well up and I knew I had to try my hardest to breathe through these contractions as best i could so I didn’t terrify my kids!
We all jumped in the car and made our way down to the birthing centre which is about 3 mins from home. That was the first time I’d ever experienced being in a car whilst in labor! One word…OUCH!! I take my hat off to those who have had to drive over half an hour to get to hospital, I don’t know how you did it!!! It wasn’t a very nice feeling going over bumps and around corners whilst having contractions!!!
It was about 3.30am we got to the birthing unit and I was checked and was expecting to be told nope go home nuisance! Haha!! But to my surprise she said yes your 4cm! You’re in labour!!!
FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And quickly the contractions where getting extremely painful and I was soon wishing I wasn’t actually in labor yet and got sent home hahaha!!! I hopped into the birthing pool and straight away it felt so amazing! I felt weightless and the pain just seemed to have dulled. I was able to completely breathe through the contractions -something I’d never been able to do before as with my boys once my waters broke the pain was unbearable and it quickly turned into a scene from the exorcist!!
The kids where standing there hovering over the pool watching and I could see the excitement on Brooklyn and London’s faces! As the pain was getting more and more intense Larry decided to take the boys down to the room I would be staying in after giving birth, at first I felt sad because I thought the kids would fall asleep and miss it but it was actually really nice to be alone in peace and quiet where I could just concentrate on breathing through the contractions. At one point they all came back in the room and I remember hubby standing over me whistling and I just shot him an evil look, teeth clenched together and said “you BETTER shut the F up with that F’ING whistling!!!!!” …he had done this 3 times so he knows to do as he’s told before I loose it and he quickly shut up and left the room hahaha!!!
It didn’t take long for the contractions to start hitting hard and fast and I felt like I was on the edge of loosing control. The midwife handed me the gas but I felt like it made the pain more intense!
This is how I knew it was close!
I started to feel pressure and asked if the midwife could get hubby and the kids…
No one could find them and I started to panic they would all miss it!!!
Finally hubby waltzes on in with the boys as I began to push. At this point I lost it, the pain was so intense. I didn’t remember the pain of pushing to be THIS hardcore with the boys, my goodness it was awful!!!!!!! I remember begging for someone to just pull her out- I couldn’t deal with the pain!!!! As her head came out I heard the midwife say my waters hadn’t broken and she was still in the amniotic sac and just as her body came out it broke! The sac feels amazing by the way incase anyone wandered! Haha! It was so silky soft and just amazing to see. Amazing to think that that had been my babies safe little home for 9 months!!
I had wondered if the reason why the pushing was so painful was because the amniotic sac was still intact?!
At 4.44am on Wednesday 11th October 2017 our precious little girl was born with her 3 big brothers hunched over the pool with the biggest smiles on their little faces as she was brought up out of the water and they just stared at her with pure amazement!!!! We were all so engrossed with the beauty and love pouring between us that it took me a while to have a look and check she was a she!!
I kissed her little head and then checked to see if she had a willy (I found it hard to believe I could ever be so lucky to have a daughter so I never 100% believed she was a girl!!) and I shouted “oh my god she’s ACTUALLY a girl babe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” It was such a magical moment, holding my daughter and looking up to see her Dad and brothers faces it was just pure magic! I thought that I would loose the plot and burst into tears with disbelief that I had my little girl in my arms after so many years of longing for her but everything I felt was quickly over ruled by powerful after pains that felt worse than labor! They were so bad I couldn’t hold my baby I needed her off me and quickly! They ruined that moment…That moment when it would have just sunk in that I had a daughter, the moment I imagined absolutely bawling my eyes out in pure happiness…Instead I had to ask someone to take her off me quickly so I could get through the awful pains! I didn’t want to move out of the pool because I was afraid they would be much more painful out of the water! These things where killer painful!!
As I was breathing through the pains I could see Brooklyn sitting up on the bed holding his brand new baby sister, he just sat there quietly not saying a word, just staring at her and holding her close. I could sense the love he felt for this little girl when he first saw her, I could see it in his eyes the way he was looking at her. My heart-felt so full!I felt so content and complete. This is what I was made for, to labour, birth and be a mother!
All the elements of my dream birth were met, I did not at any stage feel like I was not in control and I was very aware of everything that was going on!I hadn’t experienced anything like this before and oh boy was it empowering!!
I am sad that we didn’t get any more photos but it all happened so fast! I am also sad that that moment is now just a memory, I’m sad I can’t re feel those magical feelings from any of my babies births. If I could rewind time I would in a heart beat and experience it all over again! Having my boys there made the whole experience even more magical,the way their little faces lit up like they did is a vision that will be imprinted in my brain forever!! The only downside to letting them be there is that iv heard Brooklyn say “I watched my sister be born. She came out of my mum’s bum” ?? now that’s a bit of an awkward convo!!!!
I would like to say a big thank you to Heidi my midwife, even though you weren’t there for the birth you were still a big part of my pregnancy and we truly appreciate everything you have done! You were always there and always supportive and never once did you make feel like i was being a nuisance even tho I felt like I was haha!! Thank you so much Heidi you truly are amazing xx
And Sally, the midwife who delivered our princess. You made the whole experience so magical and you made me feel so safe and confident! I can’t thank you enough for all that you did, you are SO amazing at what you do!!!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of such a special time in our lives!! ? Xx
And also a massive thank you to all of the amazing midwives at the Helensville birthing centre…WOW what an experience that was compared to hospital! There was no hospital beds there they were all normal (I think they were queen or king sized!) beds and it just felt like you were at home. It was comfortable, you had privacy and your own bathroom, yummy meals and super helpful midwives that were there to help you at the press of a button. I couldn’t fault it one bit, I was absolutely amazed at the place! Thank you for making our stay so amazing!
And welcome to the world our little rainbow baby Birdie ? oh how you are loved sweet girl! You’ve stolen all of our hearts!
And oh boy you have no idea how much your mummy has longed for this! Our family is complete, my heart is complete..I have 3 handsome sons and a beautiful daughter to treasure forever ? boy do I feel blessed beyond words!
I thank my lucky stars every day for blessing me with such a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I also believe everything happens for a reason, and without the rain, there would never be rainbows!