Members birth stories

How levi came into the world

By Yarn

This is the story of Yarn's second child's birth. The story of her first child's birth can be found here.

A little bit of background first, methinks... I hadn't been well throughout the whole pregnancy -- much worse than the first time around with Ella-Grace; morning (all day) sickness, high blood pressure, terrible SPD plus downward spiralling CFS. Consequently, you can imagine how excited I was when the obstetrician did an internal and declared my uterus "favourable" for an induction. The excitement was dampened slightly when I couldn't get into until nearly a whole week away, but nevertheless, we had a date for our baby's arrival -- Wednesday October 17th, 2007.

So, after dropping some work off at school for Joel's students and leaving Ella-Grace with friends, we rocked up at the birth suite right on 8am as arranged. After ringing the doorbell, the midwife pops her head through the door and I promptly ask if this is the right place to come for a “bump reduction”. She gives me a strange look until it registers what I’m saying and then laughs and invites us in.

She settles us into our room and explains that there is a trainee midwife around as well which caused us no issues so it was all good. After being induced with Ella-Grace due to pre-eclampsia, I had some idea of what to expect and how long all the preliminaries could take, but it appears that when you’re induced when everything’s good to go already, it’s much, much quicker. So, all the internal examinations and other preliminaries were done by 8.30am, they broke my waters at 8.45am (which didn’t hurt at all this time as opposed to the excruciating pain I experienced last time) and promptly put the drip in and we were “off and racing” so to speak.

Joel and I played “Uno” for an hour or so while the contractions were fairly easy to cope with, but there came a point when I told Joel that we would just have to stop ‘cause I couldn’t concentrate on that and the contractions at the same time. All the time, the trainee midwife was doing as she had been told, and increasing the drip every half an hour. Unfortunately, she didn’t look at my CTG readouts before doing so because there came a point, about 2 hours in, when I was having full on “owie, owie, ouch” contractions with no breaks in between. When the fully fledged midwife came in, she had a look at the readouts and said, “Oh, they seem to be coming fairly close together, I’ll just turn the drip down”. She did turn the drip down, but by then it was far too late and I was doomed to endure never ending contractions until the baby was born.

At some point, I remember the midwife coming in and asking, very quietly, if I’d like some gas for the pain. I knocked it back at that time, but something must have clicked in my overloaded brain and I asked if I was being too loud. She hesitated and then answered, “No, you can be as loud as you like, but I’ve got two first time Mum at either end of birth suite”. I then realised that I was probably scaring them, because although my vocabulary was limited pretty much exclusively to “ow, ouch, ouch, ouch, OUCH!”, it was getting pretty loud. Anyway, about 20 minutes later, with the contractions just not easing up at all or giving me any time to rest in between, I decided that I would, in fact, have some gas please. As soon as the midwife handed me the mouth piece and I started sucking on that, when I was able I said to her, “Now I know why you wanted to give me the gas!” All my yelling was now directed at the mouth piece through which I was sucking gas as if it was the last substance on earth.

So, now I’m on the gas and thus Joel begins his semi-regular trips to the kitchen area to replenish his cup with ice chips (man that gas makes your mouth dry) and I’m being admonished by the midwife to take the mouth piece out of my mouth in between contractions. I remember yelling something about there being no “in between contractions” and just kept on sucking for dear life. At no point did a midwife have a look to see how I was progressing “down below” which again, was vastly different from the first time around when it seemed they were having a squiz up my clacker every 5 minutes!

Anyway, a decent amount of time passed without the midwife being in the room, and I was starting to experience very, very sharp pains right at the bottom of my belly. The pain was becoming unbearable and I had definitely not experienced anything like this when giving birth to Ella. So, as soon as she popped her head in, I asked the midwife about it and she thought that perhaps there was some pressure in my bladder and I needed to go to the loo. Sounded like a plan to me – the only problem was that I wasn’t ready to give up the gas for anyone or anything (at this point, I don’t think the gas itself was doing all that much, but having something to bite down on was of utmost importance!). So the poor midwife sent the trainee off for the portable gas bottle and then unplugged me and got me moving towards the bathroom. Of course by now, gas-less, I was beginning to make very, very loud “Ow that hurts!” noises again. The trainee midwife dropped off the gas bottle and went back to wherever she needed to be just as I turned around to sit down on the toilet – and boy, that was it! I didn’t even get all the way down to a sitting position when I informed the midwife that the head was “right there”. I believe the scream of “it’s coming” echoed down the halls of birth suite at that time (poor other Mums). The midwife then started encouraging me to breathe (well, dur) and telling me that I needed to get back to the bed. In my head I’m thinking, “I don’t think so, sister”, but all I could manage externally was a most vigorous shaking of the head and a screamed “Nooooooooo!” At this point, I’m clinging onto the handrail for dear life and the midwife is still trying to get me back to bed. She just doesn’t understand – the head is just there and this thing is coming now whether she likes it or not.

During all of this, Joel was standing in the room, looking into the bathroom. Afterwards he told me it was the most amazing thing to watch the range of emotions and expressions that crossed the midwife’s face in the space of about 30 seconds. He reckons it went from a bit of impatience with me not doing what I was told, to one of concern straight through to “Oh no, it’s coming right now!” I think it was at about this point that the midwife hit the emergency help button. Joel still laughs at the midwife’s expressions.

Anyway, here I am, insisting that this baby is coming and then I can’t help it any more, I give one almighty push and out pops the baby in one foul swoop. Full credit to the midwife who did actually manage to catch him, although I believe it was a very, very near thing. I call it the “slips catch in the bathroom” for those with a bit of cricket knowledge. Almost immediately afterwards the cavalry arrives for the emergency button, but here I am, looking down at this incredible thing that just decided that now was the time and the first thing that happens is I’m weed on – yep, it’s definitely a boy!

They get Joel in to cut the cord and then get me to sit down on the loo. The one thing I notice is all the blood and stuff that comes out with the baby – it’s amazing! When Ella-Grace was born, I was lying down on the bed and it all just sort of happened “down there” and I really didn’t see any of it. It’s so messy!!!!!! They attend to the baby, Joel providing the midwives with his name: William Levi John Walton, and then get me back to bed. It was only after all of this that they remembered to give me the needle and then the placenta was expelled. It was 1:08pm when he was born. In my notes it says I had a 4 hour and 22 minute labour. The first stage was 4 hours and 6 minutes, the second stage was 2 minutes and the third stage 14 minutes. I tell you, when he decided to come, he came with a rush.

For quite some time afterwards I felt very ill. Joel was busy ringing people to tell them about Levi and I could barely manage to join in the conversation. Sitting up was awful and it was all around bad. After a while the midwife came in to check my blood pressure and it was 110/60, which for me, is incredibly low and when that was taken, I was actually starting to feel a bit better. I don’t know how low it actually got, but boy it must have been pretty low.

So there you go – that’s our story. I must admit, looking back on it, I’ve realised it was a much more draining experience than Ella’s birth, even though it was about the same length of time. I think that is mostly due to the fact that the oxytocin drip got turned up too high and I was contracting basically non stop for 2 hours. I’m also surprised that the midwife never once checked on my dilation progress, considering I’d only had a 4 ½ hour birth with Ella-Grace. She seemed so surprised that it all happened so quickly, yet my history indicated short labours, not long drawn out processes. Anyway, we have a gorgeous boy and I’m not complaining at all.