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 we profile teaching assistant Sandy Singh, mum to five-year-old Shanelle and three-year-old Shanaya.
Auckland residents Sandy and Kumar celebrated the arrival of their first daughter Shanelle, after a long and difficult delivery.
“Apart from the normal 12 weeks of morning sickness, my pregnancy was very straightforward,” Sandy said.
“I went into labour on my due date after my waters broke at 11pm. I then spent most of the night pacing around the house in pain.”
Watch: Questions about childbirth answered by mums - and non-mums. Post continues below.
At 8am a midwife came to do an internal examination and by this stage Sandy was still only 3cm dilated, but they were told to make their way to hospital.
“By this time, I hadn’t slept or eaten anything and I was exhausted from the pain. I requested an epidural as soon as I arrived at the hospital which provided some relief. I was monitored closely and given some hormones to help speed up the dilation process, but it was slow going.”
By 9pm, after almost 24 hours in labour, Sandy suddenly got the urge to push.
“Shanelle’s head got stuck so the medical team decided to bring in a suction cup to help get her out. I remember three more big pushes and thankfully, she came out okay. I had some skin-on-skin time with her before being whisked away for four hours of surgery to repair the third degree tear.”
While Sandy’s physical recovery was good, she struggled to breastfeed and felt conflicted by the pressure placed on her.
“I was exhausted, and not being able to breastfeed easily was overwhelming as Shanelle was clearly distressed. Thankfully one of the midwives spotted I had inverted nipples and got me to try a bottle instead. It worked and Shanelle was so much happier. Looking back now I realise how stressful that was so soon after her birth and how I felt like I wasn’t a ‘proper mum’.”
Eight months later the couple moved across the ditch to Melbourne for Kumar’s work as an architect.
Host Laura Byrne walks you through the big post-motherhood moments with stories of wisdom, humour, breakdown, ambition, love, hope and rebirth from a truly diverse range of parents on Mamamia's Me After You Podcast. Post continues below.