Mamamia wants to break the code of silence when it comes to telling your birth story. Here, we share detailed, raw and real accounts of what it’s really like to have a baby.
Our babies were always going to be delivered by c section, we knew this from very early on. Those with the ‘too posh to push’ attitude can just take a seat because I certainly didn’t ask for your opinion.
We had an amazing obstetrician and opted for intermediate care, which meant I would have my private ob delivering the babies in a public hospital. It gave me peace of mind to know I would be seeing the same practitioner through my pregnancy and on grand final day.
We had the c section date booked, the boys would arrive on Monday the 2nd of December. We would spend all day having skin on skin before introducing them to the family that night.
Well, on Friday the 29th of November after one of the worst nights in my life- severe lower back pain and discomfort, I asked my darling supportive partner to please drive me to my final obstetrician check up. Being the dedicated work horse that he is, he explained that he had to go to work. It was an important day at work.
So off I go, driving myself to my last check up and to be talked through the procedure on Monday. I arrived at 8am and was told I was in the wrong place, so after much shuffling around the hospital I ended up back in the same place. Ta-da, this time it was the right place. Apparently they just required me to do some hot laps before remembering who I had to see.
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I spoke with the anaesthetist and was walked and talked through the whole procedure. It started to feel very real and I was super looking forward to getting out of there and enjoying my last weekend before becoming a mother. So off I waddle from my appointment down to my obstetricians aneoffice. It’s only a short walk and the non-pregnant folk would manage it easily but I remember feeling like I was climbing Everest.
I had my steroid injections, and waited to chat with my ob. We had a pleasant conversation about how Monday would go down then he set me up for my usual ultra sound.
Straight away I could tell something was off, the change in his demeanour was apparent.
“Baby A appears to be having a heart deceleration.”
What? What does that mean? Is he okay? What?
Before I knew it I was hustled across the road for a blood test en route back to the hospital to be hooked up to a trace scan (a scan that monitors a baby’s heartbeat over a period of time). I rang Matt who was of course working hard. I told him in a jumble of words that I had to be monitored, that I didn’t feel well and no he shouldn’t bother coming because it would be annoying to have two cars there. I told him I was sure it would be fine and… I was overwhelmed.
Back up to hospital I go, straight in and on the trace scan. About 15 minutes into the scan, my dad pops in... out of nowhere here's my dad. He's like that; always around when times are tough. He lightened the mood by confusing everyone by introducing himself as 'the father'. He was genuine in thinking that obviously meant the father of me, but the poor hospital staff assumed he meant the father of the babies. AWKWARD. So very awkward.
I was really uncomfortable, worried and beginning to feel anxiety overwhelm me. The nurses were lovely and informed me I was experiencing the early stages of labour. Instantly I thought, "Sh*t, I should have told Matt to come." Within five minutes of thinking that, in he walks with the hospital bag. Not only dedicated work horse, but dedicated father-to-be.
I chastised him a little bit because I was sure we didn't need the hospital bag. We would be going home and coming back on Monday just as planned.
Fast forward another half an hour of anxious waiting while nurses ducked in and out to check the print out from the scanning machine. About an hour after being hooked up my obstetrician arrives and jovially informs me, "We're going into surgery at 2pm."
Cue instant vomiting and heavy breathing. Panic overwhelmed me. All of a sudden the room got very small and I couldn't breathe. The tears came heavy and hard, I wasn't ready... I wasn't ready to be a mum... I didn't want a c section, not today... I'M NOT READY!
It was honestly the most surreal experience; my logical side knew everything would be okay and I should be feeling joy at the the thought of meeting my babies, but I felt DREAD... so much dread.
Into a hospital gown and wheeled down to surgery crying the whole time. I'm talking really attractive sobbing and repeating, "No I'm not ready". I know this sounds dramatic and it was. It felt like I was being wheeled in for a terrible illness and not to meet the loves of my life.
Everyone was so happy. The nurses were buzzing, the midwives we're pumped and my obstetrician arrived quickly (around the time I was being sat on the hospital bed for my epidural). I was shaking, crying and in the early stages of the biggest panic attack of my life. The epidural didn't worry me, but I was struggling to get my breathing to calm down. Luckily for me a family friend was working that day and she was in theatre with me. She held my hands and talked me through my breathing while I had the epidural. I can't remember if it was painful; I recall a sting but it was nothing compared to the terror that was washing over me.
I AM NOT READY. I'm not ready to be a mum, please no, make this all go away.
Catheter in, Matt by my side, anaesthetist rubbing ice on my legs, bright lights...
Holy f*ck I can't do this... Stabbing pain in chest.
Matt looking happy... Why is he happy?
The obstetrician talking about the amazing chocolate cake they had for morning tea. The f*ck?!... Don't mind me, I'm just dying over here.
The anaesthetist, "Just a little more rummaging in the handbag." What the fuck? I must be imagining this. Surely she didn't say that.
Why is SHE smiling?
Shouldn't she be watching my vitals? Because I'm definitely dying and/or having a heart attack because I'M NOT READY!
And baby A is here... he cries! He's so little and I can't really see what he looks like and then a minute.
Later baby B is here... he cries! He's so little and I can't see what he looks like and then I'm so overwhelmed I can remember begging the anaesthetist to help me because the stabbing pain in my chest and not being able to breathe was concerning me.
Next minute, Matt was asked to cut the chord. I looked at him and I can't remember whether I actually said it or just shot a look that said, "Don't you move an inch...don't leave me." He was torn and for a second, I snapped out of it long enough to say, "Go cut the chords". Really, I wanted to say get me off this table and take me home because I can't do this.
The boys were rushed up and I got a chance to see them briefly. It was such an out of body experience and I didn't really take them in because I was in full blown crisis panic mode. Matt left with the babies and went to special care, I went to recovery.
Did that just happen? It must have been because I can't feel my legs. I'm so itchy that I've torn shreds off my chest and I can't breathe. Finally, a student midwife who was in on the procedure came into recovery with an iPhone of photos of my boys. Even now thinking about that moment, I get tears in my eyes because that waste first moment amongst all of the panic that I caught my breathe. Matt looked so happy, my babies were here. They were tiny and beautiful.
I was wheeled into the special care nursery to meet my boys. It was such an overwhelming experience. Before I knew it, a nurse had my boobs out and was busy attempting to attach baby A. I remember thinking, "I just want to look at him, give me two seconds to look at him." I was a teary mess, as quickly as I had arrived I was wheeled back out. I couldn't stop looking at the photos of my babies. It still felt so surreal. I eventually caught my breath and began to take everything in.
I was a mum.
A mum of twin boys, and despite the mega panic attack and screaming thoughts of not being ready, here they were. The two little pieces I never knew I was missing. I can't believe I had gone 26 years with out them because once I felt the mama love hit me, I knew I would never be the same again.
You can read more from Kylie on her website The Routine Mama.
Do you have a birth story you'd like to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: My Birth Story.