So I'm not gonna lie, Clementine's birth story is fairly uneventful - everything went to plan and I was blessed to not have any complications. So if you've heard some pretty traumatic birth stories, are scared of giving birth/having babies, then be sure to read on because this will make you want to have 100 babies!
New State, new baby... Both?
In case you didn't already know, my husband and I moved to Brisbane when I was 34 weeks pregnant. He signed a basketball contract with Brisbane in April, and I was on the plane in July.
I had never been to Brisbane, and Tom had only ever been here on a layover. Basically, we were getting on a plane to go to a place we'd never been, pregnant, first baby, no family, and scared shitless.
But, there's no right time for anything (in my opinion), so we rolled with it. We stayed in a hotel for the first night (Sunday night), and then started the moving in process the next day.
I met my obstetrician on the Tuesday, and instantly fell in love. This was the part that worried me the most - I had got so comfortable with my obstetrician back in Perth. What if I didn't like the one in Brisbane? What if I didn't want him to see my hoo-ha? I'd be delivering a baby without any family around me, with an obstetrician I wasn't comfortable with. I was stressed AF sitting in the waiting room, but Tom and I both walked out exhaling a huge sigh of relief.
For the next few weeks, I tried to stay busy, but was bored AF. I didn't really know anyone in Brisbane, so I didn't have much to do (except walk around the local shopping centre and spend Tom's money, because YOLOOOOOOO).
I tried heaps of things to get labour going (raspberry leaf tea, walking, spicy food, sex...), but I wish I had just made the most of the downtime (because little did I know that it would be the last 'downtime' I'd ever get... *insert eyeroll emoji). Seriously, what did I do with all my spare time pre-kids? Fucked if I know?!
Can we get this damn show on the road?
As my due date approached (22 August 2016), I was struggling with extreme anxiety, I couldn't sleep, and I had decided I couldn't go through with it (I know, a little late for that...)
All of a sudden, everything came crashing down and I cried to Tom constantly, was inconsolable, and stayed up watching the Olympics until about 3am most nights.
God I wish I had been exposed to oils at that time.
Anyway, we decided that it would be best for me to be induced two days before my due date, so as to ensure my obstetrician would be working (he was away on my due date), and that I could take some comfort in knowing exactly what was happening.
You see, I'm the type of person that hates surprises (even the fun ones), and I can't cope with things being "up in the air". I didn't want to put my baby at risk, but I didn't want to go into labour while my husband was at training (or away), with no family around to call. Even writing this has made me go and grab my bottle of Balance to inhale and apply to my wrists. I was seriously losing my shit!!
I have always been a pretty big woos, with a really low pain threshold
I had always said I'd get an epidural. I made that very clear to both Tom and my obstetrician.
So it was decided that we would go to hospital at 7.30PM on 19 August, have the gel, wait for contractions to start, and go from there.
We decided to have dinner at our new face place in Brisbane, Southern Attitude (which we can now no longer eat thanks to watching a documentary which has put me off meat for life hahaha), prior to heading into hospital.
We checked in and were taken to our room on the 10th floor for all of the pre-checks (monitoring baby, checking dilation etc etc).
Tom settled in on his 'bed', which he wanted to describe to you as follows:
The best way to describe this bed is to cut the smallest bed you can imagine in half, then shave that half down to fit the smallest person you can think of, then add a plastic bag filled with more folded plastic bags for a pillow.
A bit rich coming from someone who didn't need to push a baby out of their vagina.. amiright?????
The nurse then hooked me up to the monitors to see what Clem was up too - "this will only take 20 minutes", she said.
2 hours later and we finally had an accurate enough reading to get the go ahead for the gel (about 10pm). For those without babies, or those that don't know about 'the gel' (I have no fucking clue what it's actually called), they basically stick their fingers up your vajayjay and apply it to your cervix to help it soften and dilate (I think... I'm probably wrong).
I felt period-like discomfort immediately, but it wasn't bad so I went to sleep.
At about 3:30am I woke up with extreme pain from the contractions. I was only 2cm dilated. I bounced around on a fit ball and tried to take my mind off things.
At about 4:00am, the fit ball was no longer doing it for me, and I sent Tom to "find out what the fuck I'm meant to do".
A nurse came in and asked me what my birth plan was. It took a lot of restraint not to yell at her for not knowing. I mean, isn't this why you pay to go private? So they know what the fuck is happening at all times?
I told her I wanted an epidural, like 5 minutes ago, so you know.. can we get a move on?
She rang the birth suite immediately, asked them to come get me, and it was go-time.
At 5:30am, the anaesthetist arrived for the epidural, and I could see that Tom was mildly freaking out. I have a phobia of needles, but I think seeing Tom like that made me pull my shit together, because I didn't want him to freak out even more. I needed him to be calm - I'm the one that gets to freak out, not him!! Ha!
The epidural was administered with no issues, and by 5:45am I was chilling on the bed, watching the Australian Boomers play on the tv (how ironic), dozing in and out of sleep.
At 7:30am, our obstetrician strolled in with his shorts and boat shoes (I shit you not, he was wearing boat shoes), to see how we were going. I was 4cm dilated, and just chilling like a villain.
She'll be here by lunch time
Ok, almost there, I can do this!
9:00am - obstetrician checks on me again, 9cm dilated, be ready to push at 10:15am.
For someone who gets anxious and stressed fairly easily, I was so chill.
At 10:15am I started to push. This is when I realised that my obstetrician was the biggest legend on the planet and I may have to have many more babies just so I can see him all the time.
He and the midwife coached me through the whole thing. When to push, when to pause, when to breathe, when to change positions.
Clem's head came out and then the contraction ended so we waited until the next one came. It was so awkward. Like her head just dangling from my vagina, but not being able to get the rest of her out was the weirdest thing I've ever experienced. Tom took a peek, but then I told him there was no more looking allowed haha.
By 11:18am, our baby girl had arrived, Tom was a blubbering mess, and we had done it.
Tom wanted to add that he cut the cord "like a boss". Fucking men, seriously..
Our midwife, Nichy, was also a total legend, and said we could do skin-to-skin, feed, and just hang out for a while. Clem was then measured at 12:45pm, and Nikki showed us how to wrap Clem.
At 1:25pm we were back up at the labour ward, totally smitten.
I could have had another baby the following week. I felt so good - I didn't tear, didn't need to be cut, and pushed for an hour. Honestly, my obstetrician was a fucking legend and the reason why this is such a chill birth story.
The one thing I will add, though, is you know how most people say that the first two days are usually pretty chill because new babies tend to just sleep? Yeah, that's bullshit. Clem didn't sleep a wink that night, but Tom is a total legend and walked her around the labour ward with the other dads (bringing her back for feeds and a cuddle), so that I could recover and sleep.
I don't know how I got so lucky. I really don't. The best hands on baby daddy I could have ever asked for
The next few weeks were tough, but I'll save that for a later blog post.
It's not often that you hear happy birth stories, so I hope this gives you some confidence going into the birth (if you're pregnant), or just some happy feels
Lots of love,
and one more for good measure