Birth: there's nothing quite like it, and it's clear no two birth stories are the same. Which is why we're asking everyday women and some of our favourite celebrity mums to share theirs, in Mamamia's My Birth Story series.
This week, our resident My Birth Story writer Laura Jackel shares her own experiences with her sons Toby, 10 and Leo, three.
After almost a year of trying for our first baby, I was ecstatic to see two lines appear on a pregnancy test in January 2010.
Apart from the usual exhaustion and nausea in the first trimester, my main issue with being pregnant was coming to terms with my new identity as a mother-to-be. It sounds selfish, but I hated being sober, not exercising or socialising while my husband Jules carried on with his life ‘as normal’.
Watch: Thoughts you have during childbirth. Post continues below.
At one of my regular scans with obstetrician Dr Oliver Brown, we discovered that the baby was in a breech position. Dr Brown suggested a planned c-section and honestly, I felt relieved. I hadn’t thought much about a birth plan, other than what we had discussed at our pre-natal classes. I just knew I wanted my baby out in the safest way possible.
A few people asked if I was going to try and get him to move by doing weird yoga positions or getting a doctor to manually turn him. The insinuation was I would surely want to try a vaginal birth, but I thought, if my baby is happy upside down and I’m cool with it, then so be it!
With my c-section booked for 21 September, it was a bit of a surprise when I woke in the middle of night of on 7 September with mild cramping and realised my waters had broken.
Jules and I drove to the hospital where I was checked out and told that as Toby was still breech, I would be having an emergency c-section later that morning. At 7am I felt incredibly nervous but excited as I was wheeled into theatre and given a spinal block.
There was no pain, rather a strange rummaging sensation in my tummy as Dr Brown pulled Toby out and showed him to us. Here was our rather long, bloodied, quiet little boy, and I just remember saying, “oh, it’s a baby!”
As the drugs wore off, I was desperately hungry so I asked for a milkshake and a cheese toastie, which I promptly vomited all over myself.
There was then a never-ending parade of visitors and congratulatory messages and I was constantly being touched or man-handled by everyone that entered the room.