I'm continuing to be lazy with the blog this weekend, by reusing a post I wrote on my pregnancy blog about Mia's birth. My little Mia will be turning 2 this Tuesday, so for me, it's been really nice to begin celebrating that by reading back over the story of her birth. I've found that I had completely forgotten some of the details, so I'm glad I had the foresight to jot it all down within weeks of it happening!
You can read Part 1 of the story here. Otherwise let's get straight in to Part 2. And I don't muck around with it, as you can see by the first line! This is all unedited from its original posting in 2010, apart from some spacing.
Note: Again, there's some details mentioned here. So if you don't like hearing details when it comes to labour and birth stories, well, firstly I don't see how you would ever read one, and secondly, maybe this isn't the post for you. You'll be missing a good story though!
My next memories are of pushing with all my might, and being encouraged to push down. My screams got louder with each push, and I almost couldn’t believe the sound coming out of my mouth was my own, it sounded like a demon had possessed me. I can imagine I probably scared quite a few women outside the birth suites that morning!
The doctor and midwife kept trying to sternly tell me to stop screaming because I needed to focus my energy on pushing instead, and I would try my hardest but couldn’t help releasing the pain through my screams. The doctor told me at one point to stop pushing, and it took me a few seconds to be able to stop, she was trying to avoid a labial tear for me but I had stopped too late, and would later need stitches.
The last push or two, probably because I now had a tear, came with searing hot pain and I could really feel the stretching. The doctor used the vacuum to help the baby out, and I could feel the pulling which was quite uncomfortable. I didn’t have much time to dwell on any of this though because next moment, there was a small person who had come out of me, looking a little pale and covered with stuff. She didn’t cry when she was first born, and was whisked straight away to the respiratory table to be examined by a paediatrician whom I didn’t even notice had been in the room. Hubby and I learnt we’d had a girl, Mia, a name we’d already had picked out. She was so petite and perfect like a little china doll, the name suited her perfectly.
She was born at 9.37am, officially the labour had been 1 hour and 12 minutes. In one way this is what some would consider a dream labour, and I certainly am glad I didn’t have to endure hours and hours of contractions as I don’t know if I could have held off on having an epidural. I certainly wasn’t exhausted after it all, stunned, but not exhausted. On the other hand, the speed of it all was very scary and confusing for all who were there, and the outcome could have been a lot worse. All in all, I’m just grateful my body did what it needed to do to get her out when she needed to come out.
I birthed the placenta and received my stitches while we were waiting for Mia to return to us, all the while looking over at her. I remember when I first heard her cry, what joy!
I began shaking all over and was very cold, my body was in shock, but my mind was completely alert and focussed on the new little being in the room. Turns out Mia was cold too, her heart rate had began to drop during the last part of the birth, hence the use of the vacuum as the doctor wanted to get her out then and there, rather than send me off for an emergency caesarean which could take longer than we had. She was born with meconium up her nose, in her ears, and covered all over her, which all had to be suctioned off and out as soon as possible. Luckily, she was ok and didn’t have any further issues because of it. She was also born with a body temperature of 36 degrees, too cold for a newborn, due to the fact that she was only 2.3 kilograms (5.3 pounds) and didn’t have much fat on her body.
So after she was checked over Hubby and I were both able to have a cuddle with her. What a beautiful moment. She lay on my chest, we attempted a breastfeed but I don’t think either of us were ready or calm enough at that point. She was crying and still had drying fluid on her head from the birth but I didn’t see any of that. All I saw was this perfect little person, and I couldn’t believe that this was what had been in my belly for so long, making movements, kicking me, stretching out so I could feel her body parts stretching my skin, and comforting me when I felt alone. This was who we’d been waiting for! We were so lucky that she was now with us, she truly is a gift of life and love.
Mia was whisked off to the special care nursery, with Hubby following and watching closely, where she would spend the next four nights being looked after by a team of nurses, and where Hubby and me would spend all our free time for that period as well. The story of our five night stay in the hospital is for another time, and a period which unfortunately, neither Hubby or I will remember with many fond memories. The various concerns for Mia’s health were her ability to regulate her body temperature due to her lack of body fat, for her and I to show a level of established breastfeeding together with her attaching properly and slowly increasing her intake and “output” (poops and wees), and for my milk to be gradually coming in, for her blood sugar levels to stay normal, for her to pass all the various test and examinations required, and for her to show an ability to put on weight. She very quickly showed that she was going to thrive, and after what seemed an eternity in hospital, we were allowed to take her home. I don’t know how some women do it, when they and/or their babies are required to stay in hospital for weeks on end. I was a physical and emotional wreck by the time I got home, and partly from relief, partly from hormones, never cried so hard out of happiness before when we finally got to see her in her very own bassinett at home. There have been some trying moments since we got home, but for the most part, we are loving our new role as parents to, in our eyes, the most perfect, beautiful baby in the world!
She made it, she's here. Mia, hours old, in her humidicrib
Holding on to Daddy's hand. I can't comprehend now just how small she was