Our birth story.
Early in the wee hours of August 9th, 2016 I began to notice an unfamiliar feeling. Daddy was fast asleep and I thought better of waking him until I knew I wasn't feeling something silly like indigestion. I walked around the house for about thirty minutes and realised something was well and truly happening with baby and I. I woke Daddy, and thus began our journey into early labour.
From approximately 1am until nearly 4am we stayed home while I could manage the increasing contraction pain. Paul attached the TENS machine to my low back and I did some rocking in front of the heater on the fit ball. This really did help. I was afraid I wouldn't cope with intensifying contractions in the car without the fit ball, so we headed towards the hospital.
We stayed in the assessment ward for between 30 and 40 minutes until I was progressed enough to be considered in "active labour". Once in active labour I continued on with the TENS machine, fit ball, and nitrous oxide for natural pain relief. I was introduced to a lovely midwife who helped keep me calm, and teach me how to breath through a contraction. After a few hours her shift ended and another midwife along with student midwife were put in charge of my care. We continued on with natural pain relief. Daddy put on music for us. The playlist included: Bon Iver, Prince, Frank Ocean, Florence and the Machine, TLC, Salt n Pepa, and Local Natives. The music also helped an immense amount. Every so often I could sing along with the music and fight through a contraction. It took another several hours to progress far enough to begin pushing. At approximately the last 2 hours or so of labour another midwife took over for lunch breaks and helped take care of me. She was an absolute godsend. I needed her to keep me calm, we simply clicked and I'm so grateful that she delivered our boy. After 14 hours of labour I was finally able to push. Pushing was by far the hardest part of the experience. It only just clicked today that I wasn't in sync entirely with how I was meant to push. But we powered through it. I pushed for one hour and finally met the second most handsome man in my world, Duncan Robert Forsyth. He was born at 4:04pm on August 9th, 2016. He weighed in at 3.47kg and measured 50cm long.
Unfortunately, what we didn't know and couldn't know is that Duncan was in some great distress towards the end of my labour. All the monitors were reading completely normal (normal for something traumatic like labour). Once Duncan was out in the world he didn't quite realise how to take his first breath. Luckily for us the head midwife in charge was there at that moment. She well and truly took charge. She insisted on cutting the cord, and getting Duncan onto oxygen. Once on oxygen he was able to get a breath in. But we weren't out of the woods.
In the meantime it was my turn to still push out the placenta. Daddy was by my side. Though, I blacked that part out. I was more preoccupied with pushing and catching glimpses of my poor bub across the room.
Once he got in a couple of good breaths he was brought back to me for a kiss and whisked off to special care. Everyone who was available to help did so. Paul went with. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He didn't want to leave me, but I needed him to be with Duncan. He looked back at me several times asking for reassurance. I insisted he go. I may have spotted a tear in his eye. I was stuck in the delivery room awaiting my own post delivery requirements. That took about two hours. After I was sorted I was wheeled to special care to meet Duncan again and join Daddy. We got in some skin to skin (finally), and I was encouraged to head to bed, as he would be in very capable hands. I did so, and got just enough sleep to be there for Duncan in the early morning again. The special care team got Duncan right and gave him all the extra TLC required to transition safely into life in the real world. Over the next three days several tests were run. Lots of bloods, some antibiotics, an IV drip of fluids. Virtually everything came back negative. There was no real answer to his sudden hiccup. We are blessed beyond measure to have been in the care of such a great team. Everyone was so professional. They kept Paul and I educated about his progress. They were respectful to the emotional reactions on our part and ultimately they got our boy safe and sound.
With all that said, we had a slightly scary start. But we are the lucky ones. Our boy is still here with us. He's giving us strength, and I wouldn't change a single thing.