After 13 months of trying to conceive – plus a couple of miscarriages along the way – we were finally pregnant with a healthy little bub!
To say we were excited is an understatement. The days and weeks kept rolling by and we had finally made it to the last few weeks. Everything to this point had been perfect.
Then, at 39+2wks I developed a small leak in my waters. I phoned the hospital, but they brushed it off.
The next day, the leaking continued. Again, I contacted the hospital, asking to be seen, but again I was told, “No.” So, I persisted, and after a visit to the hospital and a checkup, sure enough, I had a leak in my waters. An induction was booked for me for the next day, but at home that evening, I went into labour naturally.
During early labour I phoned the hospital for advice on when to come back in. They told me to ring them back when I was having 3-4 contractions within 10 minutes. Two hours later, my contractions were within this range. But when I phoned the hospital again they told me to stay at home! It was likely I had hours of labour left to go.
As a first-time mum I didn’t know any better; I trusted the advice of the experts.
Another two hours passed. I wasn’t coping with my labour anymore. I called the hospital again, asking to be seen. Again, I was told to stay home. I persisted and was advised I could come in for a check up, but would likely be sent home with some pain relief.
As we got into the car my water broke completely. Contractions intensified. I was in active labour! A phone call to 000, four ambulance officers, 20 minutes, and 3 pushes later our beautiful baby girl was born on our dining room floor.
As if my motherhood story this far wasn’t crazy enough…
One morning, just a week after our baby was born, I became very unwell. I had a high temperature, I was incoherent, and in and out of consciousness. My husband phoned for an ambulance. I suffered a seizure while we were waiting for them to arrive. (I have no prior history of seizures.)
I spent four days in hospital, and had every test under the sun. I was too unwell to care for my baby, so she was at home with her dad. Testing revealed I had developed sepsis due to retained placental tissue. I remained unwell for a number of weeks, but had to soldier on at home – as us mums do.
Because of the seizure I had a medical restriction placed on my driver’s license for 6 months, which meant I was not permitted to drive. As if having a newborn isn’t isolating and hard enough! Now I was stuck at home full-time – just me and a brand new baby.
My birth experience, plus post-birth trauma, saw me develop postnatal depression and severe stress issues.
The mental struggle has been the hardest part of our journey thus far. Every hope and ideal I had for me and my baby was flipped on its head. It’s been hard work to turn it all around, and it is still very much a work in progress.
My biggest learning from our birth and parenting ordeal? Advocate for yourself. Keep pushing the issue even when you’re told no – we know ourselves best!