At 5:55 am on lucky St Paddy’s day (17/3/13) we got to meet our handsome young son William Anthony Muilwyk!
We were proud to name him after both Sean’s & my grandfather, William John Carroll & Anthony John Featherstone.
Please note that this is my birth story, it has parts in it you may not want to read/know about and it is my point of view. If you are pregnant my experience may be completely different to what you go through and the best bit of advice I can give you is that it is all worth it and worrying/stressing about what could go wrong is going to make it worse, just think as positively about the amazing journey as you can!
William was due on Saturday the 16th March and our day started really normally. We woke with plans to do some work on our garden and maybe even head into town to get one or two things from the shops, so after breakfast Sean started mowing the lawn and I got busy weeding our front garden. It was a very hot day so I decided to go inside and make us some morning tea before continuing some more weeding, unfortunately it was way to hot so I decided to stay inside and have a nice cold shower and a quick snooze before heading to the shops. Sean must have thought the same thing cause I heard him jump in the shower about half an hour later. As we were both lying down for a quick nap I suddenly got a VERY strong urge to pee, so I jumped up quick to run to the loo and figured out that I was quite wrong… It was in fact my water that had broken!
So we rang the hospital and they suggested we head up to them as once your waters break your uterus becomes unsterile. We made a quick sandwich (we hadn’t even had lunch yet and it was around 12:30) and made our way up there. The midwives where lovely and welcoming ( I can’t recommend Watson House at the Shoalhaven Hospital enough) and put me on the monitors in one of the delivery rooms to see if I had started contractions yet and if baby was doing alright. I was having contractions but I could hardly feel them at all so I got really excited thinking YAY, these kind of contractions are awesome, I can easily do this! Little did I know 🙂
Anyway after monitoring me for about half an hour they moved us over to a recovery room to wait for my labour to start. About 3 hours later my contractions started getting a bit more painful and were only 10 minutes apart so we called one of the midwives in to let her know. Again how wrong I was, she politely and sympathetically explained that our real labour hadn’t started yet. Oh boy, these were already starting to get painful and it was only 3pm, so we waited and waited and walked around and around trying to get bub ready to come out. At about 10:30 the pain finally started to become a bit more regularly and it was very tiring, especially since we had been up since about 9am that morning.
So when the midwife checked in on us she offered me some painkillers and to move us over to the delivery room and run me a nice hot bath. I was very keen by this time to give it a go as I thought it would give me a chance to relax a bit and maybe even get a 10 minute nap in. Oh how wrong I was, as soon as I hit the water my real labour started (at 11pm) and oh boy was I sorry I ever thought the other contractions were hard. These were coming in waves, one after the other and I was battling to breath through them and that is where my amazing midwife came in! She was there the whole time talking me through the breathing that helped me cope with the pain and that made all the difference, I couldn’t believe how deep long breaths could help me so much with the contractions. So for a while I sat in the bath hugging Sean during contractions and enjoying the warm water when there was a short break.
We dearly didn’t want any intervention through this labour or any drugs but once the contractions started to get closer together we decided to give the gas a go to help me get through to the next stage. It was a little bit disappointing to me that I had to use anything but sometimes the birth plan doesn’t always go according to plan as I would soon find out. As the pushing stage of our labour started I thought I was doing pretty well, especially after using the gas. I must admit that no one explained to me how strange this last part of the labour would feel. It felt like I really needed to push out a poo! It was such an odd feeling but apparently because the baby’s exit is so close to ‘that’ exit it makes it feel like the pushing is the same. One of the midwives most helpful advice was to let it happen, “don’t fight the feeling” as she put it. So once this stage had started it all felt like it started to run a bit quicker, but our darling little man just would not make his was down. Considering this was about 3am I was quite literally exhausted and really didn’t think I could carry on any longer. But we kept trying and trying and then my midwife and Sean started to notice I was loosing quite a bit of blood and our sweet son had not moved any further down.
So she had to call in the obstetrician and he was fantastic. He quickly evaluated me (in a painful hands-on or up kind of way) and explained that William’s head was angled the wrong way which meant he wasn’t making progress and we would need a caesarean. Of course this was definitely not according to our natural birth/water birth plan! After having a small panic attack cause things weren’t going to plan Sean, my phenomenal biggest supporter and my strength the whole way though, managed to calm me down a bit and the doctor explained that he would first try the Kiwi cup. It’s a suction cup that sucks onto the baby’s head and helps get the baby down, we very happily said yes and he began the process. But before we could start he had to open my cervix more, even though I was fully dilated my cervix wasn’t soft enough and because of the angle of William’s head he just wasn’t going to move. As our Dr placed the cup on William he also stuck his hand up to open my cervix more, he combined my pushing with moving the cervix walls away from around the baby’s head and using the suction cup to move baby down. After only a few more pushes our very special little boy finally made his appearance.
As soon as he was out they placed him directly on my chest and we tried to get him to have his first big cough/scream and then on to his very first feed. It didn’t take long for him to cry because he had such a terrible bruise and some of the skin on his head been pulled off by the cup. But because he was so upset it took us a while for him to latch on for that first feed, we also noticed he had a very bad tongue tie so we were quite worried it would mean he wouldn’t latch on. However we finally got him to attach and he has been amazing at feeding ever since. They left us in the delivery room until I felt strong enough to get up and have a shower and move back over to our recovery room and that was that. A very long evening but such an amazing morning and a phenomenal outcome considering our situation.
I am so grateful to my darling husband for being such a great support to me and getting me through each stage safely, I know I couldn’t have done it without him!