In the words of Livima - Zenaya's Māmā
I’ve always been one to plan and prepare ahead of time so when they say “your birth plan never goes to plan” they’re not joking.. Late October my birth plan was pretty much set and it was a course of the waiting game 2 short months to go until our girl will be here. However I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GDM) and was told I wouldn’t be able to have my birth at a birthing centre like I had eagerly anticipated.. years of planning my dream water birth ripped out of my hands and all of a sudden I felt like I was no longer in control.. It took me a couple of weeks to accept and mourn the loss of my original birthing plan and although I maintained positive to everyone on the outside deep down on the inside I was at war with my own feelings. Fast forward late November, we’ve adapted to our new lifestyle with GDM and apart of this new lifestyle we’re required to visit the hospital monthly to check on babies growth and check in with the Diabetes team. Everything’s functioning as it should but BUGGER, she’s fallen behind in growth and measuring behind her gestation. Instantly feelings of failure consume me, I’ve failed my girl yet again. However there’s no time to be down as the induction date has been booked.. I can’t change what’s happened, all I can do from here is focus on keeping myself relaxed, positive and bringing my girl into this world safely.
Day before Induction! I had my last midwifes appt finalising any last minute details we needed to discuss she also performed a stretch and sweep much to our surprise I was already 2-3cm dilated and my cervix was soft which meant I’d skip INDUCTION YUSS! I felt in control again. If there was anything I’d been trying to do for the past couple of weeks I was trying to bring on my labour as naturally as I could to skip induction so any tips or tricks family, friends or LMC were recommending I was trying and I felt like it’d all paid off when she said “wow your already 2-3cm dilated your won’t be getting induced tomorrow”.
Induction Day! Up at 6am I had a sleepless night due to being overly excited with a hint of nerves unsure of what to expect ahead. Contractions were bearable I was able to go about my business as usual but definitely different to the Braxton hicks I’d been experiencing leading up until today. 9am we (Hubby, mum and I) arrive at the hospital shown to our room and settle in nicely. Our ward midwife comes in and performs another examination (stretch & sweep) and confirms I’m now 3cm dilated have skipped being induced via balloon. One mistake I made was not eating properly because I was expecting baby’s arrival shortly I didn’t care too much about my GDM blood levels so I was snacking on my sweet treats I’d missed out on for the last 2 months which resulted in my blood levels readings being too high the ward midwife told me if my blood levels didn’t normalise I’d have to have an insulin infusion and that it’d prolong baby’s arrival and suggested going for a walk.. So we did just that and thank goodness it worked my blood levels were normal again. Throughout the day my contractions were still bearable and didn’t really progress any closer than I had expected but I didn’t put any pressure on myself I just wanted my body to do what it was made to do on it’s on and remained calm and positive.
5.30-7PM - We’ve arrived in the delivery suite after monitoring contractions and baby’s heart beat I have my waters broken. Again another mistake I made was not eating a proper meal before arriving to delivery suite trust me you need the fuel! I hadn’t eaten all day just my little snacks here and there but because I wanted to settle my blood levels I skipped my last meal (naughty naughty) and assumed I’d be able to snack if and when I needed. BIG MISTAKE SIS, my midwives told me I couldn’t eat because people throw up through labour and I was reassuring them “naaaaa I won’t throw up promise” but it didn’t matter they didn’t let me eat.. Even while they were looking away I was trying to get mum or hubby to sneak me a piece of liquorice LOL. FINALLY the part I’d been trying to avoid had arrived the PITOCIN (synthetic oxytocin) drip. From this moment on everything sort of starts to become a blur. Every half an hour my contractions were getting more intense and frequent.. I sang for as long as I could the same 5 songs I had on my playlist until I got sick of hearing them. My contractions started to get unbearable and I needed something to take the edge off so the midwife suggested the gas but I still was trying to be staunch and avoid the gas for as long as I could but it got to the point where I needed something........ My head felt so high in the clouds although I laughed through the gas I hated the feeling like I was away with the fairies..
8PM man I hated having a clock in the room. It made me feel like time was ticking so slow and no one was understanding how much pain I was in. At this point contractions were coming in so close between each other and so intense it was like my body couldn’t cope and I couldn’t catch a break. Cue the waterworks all of a sudden I was overcome with fear and mentally no longer in control feeling like I couldn’t do it anymore. I’m exhausted I need a moment to just catch my breath but I can’t as each contraction is getting stronger and lasting longer and I’ve forgetting to breath. It started to feel like I was losing consciousness at this point and my mind started hitting auto pilot. Another examination only 4cm dilated REALLY I thought to myself surely things would’ve progressed by now unfortunately not. At this point back when I was coherent I remembered back to my two midwives joking predicting what time baby will be here one was saying midnight the other was saying early tomorrow all I could think was stuff enduring this for another hour let alone all night long EPIDURAL it is! Epidural seemed like the answer to my prayers.. All I needed to do was endure a little longer until the doctor or someone could administer my Epidural. At this point my midwife stepped in grabbed my hand started encouraging me feelings and tears of fear turned into “BREAAAAATHE and relax through your contractions”. The feeling of wanting to take a poo came surely this was wrong though because the last time I was examined I was only 4cm dilated and things can’t have progressed that quickly if nothing had previously progressed. On all fours as the midwife recommended & *SMAAAAAACK* this excruciating pain hit my tail bone.. bubby had positioned herself in the birth canal ready for her arrival. Another examine wow 8cm dilated it’s nearly time to push everyone gets up and gets ready because we know baby will be here soon. Once I laid back down on my back due to the pain being so unbearable I knew this was the position I’d stay and birth my girl.. Still though where’s my Epidural unfortunately both doctors were held up surgery so they had to call an anaesthetist who was on call to come in and just my luck he lives an hour out of town. By the time he’d arrived it was too late for the epidural he’d literally walked in as it was time for me to push lol.. I still wanted my Epidural though in fact I was crying and begging for the epidural but the midwives told me it was too late. Everyone huddled closely around me words of encouragement and reassurance were shared and through each contraction I started to push. At first my pushes were quite weak and every time I’d stop pushing it was like I could feel her going backwards so I started pushing harder, stronger and longer! Panting through that burning sensation .. then Jacob said he could see her head and I knew a couple more pushes she’d be here.
Friday 6th December 2019, 10:38PM, weighing 5.12lbs our precious Zenaya Leigh Hafa was born. Her high pitched scream was music to my ears my heart had never felt something so wonderful still in disbelief that wow I actually have a baby she is everything and so much more than I could’ve ever imagined! I lay there in absolute awe of my precious babe everything I’d endured for the past 9 months and surely the last 4hrs were so worth it!
To this day I still giggle to myself about some of the things that went down at my birth. I could not have done it without any of the people I had in my delivery suite Trudie, Angela, Mum, Jake and Cat you each played a valuable part for my first birth experience from holding my hand, to distracting me or words of encouragement. Although my birth was far from my original birth plan I felt empowered and to be honest as intense as it was, I would 100% do it again.