Her Birth - Part IV {Our Baby Is Born}

Where I last left off, I'd just had an epidural put in & was waiting to dilate that last stubborn centimetre so that we could get things moving. They covered me up in a blanket and left to let the epidural do its thing, advising me to rest. Er, rest? I'm nearly ready to have a baby and you want me to REST? Yeah, not happening. What I DID do was come down with a massive case of the shakes/shivers. My whole body would literally not stop shaking. Jase videotaped bits and pieces of the labour {and the birth itself} and my teeth were chattering the whole time. I kept trying to move my legs, and freaking out when I could barely control my little toe.

I know, I know, that's the whole point of an epidural, but I was positive I was paralysed. It was a really frightening feeling, maybe because I hadn't expected to use one? Scary stuff. I spent the majority of this 'waiting' part staring at the contractions monitor and marvelling at the fact that I wasn't feeling any of them.

After what felt like hours, but was only actually around 30 minutes, Louise came back to check me. Bam. 10cm. She disappeared to get the OB, and I started having flashbacks to all those episodes of 'One Born Every Minute' & 'The Midwives' that I'd watched, where women having epidurals weren't able to push effectively and ended up needing all sorts of help to birth their babies. Cue panic. Lots of panic.

That being said, I was completely and utterly determined that I would have control of my pushing stage. No, I couldn't feel contractions, but I'll be damned if I was going to go this far and not push my daughter out myself. Jase surprised me by wanting to stay down at the business end, as I'd assumed he'd want to be out of the line of fire - he was such a good help. It was just me, him, our one midwife & the doctor - nice and calm and comfortable.

They guided me through - each contraction, I pushed, new breath, re-pushed, and so on and so forth. We weren't at it for very long before people started getting excited - I shouldn't have been surprised at this, as her head had been so low and engaged for the entire labour. Hubby began filming at this point {I'll spare you the video, don't you worry!} and I got to re-watch and experience it again, which helped refresh my memory. As her head began to crown, the doctor walked me through my breathing/pushing, and guided things along to help everything stretch. She progressed quite quickly, and the head was out quite fast. The OB congratulated me on my pushing, and said that if I coughed, she'd likely fly straight out - and I laughed. The video caught her inching out a wee bit more with every laugh, and he told us to test out the cough theory: so off I went, fake coughing, to see if it worked. {It did!}

As another contraction started, we got down to business, and one push later, she was born. The doctor gave her straight to Jason, and had him hand her up to me - and as he did so, her cord snapped! Weirdly, it snapped at the exact spot where it would normally have been clamped and cut. After a quick check to make sure her cord & my placenta were still okay, Jase gave me my baby. My baby! She had the typical 'cone head' look and was very quiet, just making tiny squawks. I couldn't believe how chubby she looked for being born at 36 weeks + 5 days.

Welcome to the world, wee Georgia.

I was able to hold her and hug her for just a minute, before Louise asked if she could take her and give her a rub down to 'rough her up a bit'. This was when things got scary, and a little disappointing. I stayed on the bed post-delivery and finished off the birthing experience, with Dr. C walking me through what was happening with both me AND baby. My placenta was delivered intact, the cord was just fine {despite the odd breakage after her birth} and I avoided any external tears. I did, however, have a small rip internally, which the doctor said he'd prefer to stitch to make it heal faster - but if I wanted, I could leave it be. The quicker I healed down below the better, so he put in a few stitches and that was that.

As for the baby, she was under the warming lights. She wasn't screaming like you'd expect newborns to do, but was making softer cries, a bit like a kitten. They suctioned her mouth and throat to help remove some mucous, but she was still very shell shocked. Her initial Apgar score was a 7, I'd find out later. Another midwife had appeared, and together they told me that they would be taking her to the Special Care Nursery for a little while, probably to give her some oxygen and calm her breathing down. Jase followed along with them, while I was left on my own.

At the time, I thought that the baby would get her oxygen and then be returned to me. I was anxious, hating that I couldn't be with her {my epidural was in the process of wearing off, but I needed to stay in bed} and glad that hubby was there. As I waited, I played with my legs, wiggling my toes and hoping they'd come back to me soon. After a while, Jase came back... sans baby. It was then that I realised I wouldn't be getting her back with me straight away - though a part of me was still waiting to get reunited with her in our room later that night. He had taken plenty of photos to show me, though, and I got to visit her in my wheelchair later that evening.

Straight after birth - receiving oxygen in the head-box & being monitored.

I'll write more about Georgia's stay in Special Care later, but suffice it to say, while the birth itself went quite smoothly {last minute epidural aside} the post-birth happenings were NOT what I would have ever expected. I never got to breastfeed my baby after the birth and that minute of holding her was the last I'd have for a full day after that. No skin to skin, no chance to see if she'd suckle at the breast, nothing. Georgia stayed in the nursery for the first week of her life. It certainly wasn't the ideal hospital experience, but that's how it went.

During our time in hospital, I went through some stressful days - the emotion of being away from my brand new baby, of having other people caring for her more than me, of worrying that she wouldn't know me or know Jason, of worrying about whether she was breathing properly, or eating enough... well, it was a lot to go through. I have the utmost respect for parents who go through NICU or Special Care stays - ours was 8 days long, and it felt like an eternity. I can't even imagine being there long term.

First cuddles with mama - at 1 day old
The important thing is, we ended up with a beautiful, perfect baby girl. She is three weeks old today (!) and has brought us so much joy already - we still find ourselves looking at her and wondering how we got so lucky.

Missed part of Georgia's birth story?

13 Comments • Labels: , , , ,  


Anne-Marie said...

Congrats Aly. I've been a secret and silent follower all along and your story is just wonderful and unique. I wish you all the best. And I hope to see more pictures of the beautiful Georgia.

Sarah said...

you did great ali! i am so happy shes here and shes all yours! yours!

Tia said...

Oh no, I didn't know Georgia had a NICU stay :( My heart aches for you. I had my son at 35w1d. He was an emergency c-section, and the hospital I delivered at didn't deal with preemies, so he was shipped off to another hospital 2 hours after birth and I wasn't transferred for a full 24 hours. I'm so sorry you were separated from your baby too. Thankfully my little guy avoided the NICU. I'm so glad to hear Georgia is doing well now!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the arrival of your little one!! And hi from ICLW!

Mary said...

Congratulations!!! Great to here. Soon time for us too, only a couple of weeks left.


jill's infertility document said...

Congratulations from ICLW! With the exception of a rough start away from Georgia in the NICU, I am so very happy for your wonderful birth story!

Rebecca said...

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter.

Risa said...

Love these pictures! Congratulations!

Mands said...

I loved reading all four parts of your birth story. I was shocked to see your announcement on Instagram, so hearing about the whole story is a treat. I've followed you since you were on WeddingBee, but I am here commenting as part of ICLW this week! Looking forward to following you as you raise your beautiful baby girl!

~Mummy~ said...

loved reading the story
it is something you will never forget .... and she's so loved .. not having her that first day won't make one iota of difference !!

Anonymous said...


Ali @ Not All Dreams Are Free said...

Congratulations again! What a compelling birth story, I loved reading it. She is such a little treasure!!

Stephanie at Drama Happens said...

You're so brave, thanks for sharing your birth story! She's so adorable, then and now! :)

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