We had decided to have another baby at the end of 2016. “Lets just give it a shot and see what happens” Very similar to the conversation we had when we were about to start trying for Olivia.
I have PCOS but it is nowhere near as severe as what many other women experience but you never really know what is going to happen. My period had started really playing up. 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 2 days, 5 days, I was starting to lose track of what was happening and when I was ovulating.
We went to Sea World for Christmas on our first family themed holiday and to be sure, I took a test before we left. Negative. Bummer. I hadn’t had a period since October so I knew I needed to see my Doctor to have a chat about how things would be this time around. We got home from the Coast on December 30th and still nothing. “What the hell is happening with my body. I better take a test because it will be the first thing the Doctor asks when I see her, and at least I can tell her that I have ruled out pregnancy”.
You could of knocked me over with a feather when those two pink lines appeared.
I walked out of the bathroom shaking and quite dizzy. While Matt and Olivia jumped up and down, I honestly had to lay on our bedroom floor to get a grip.
We were having a baby.
The vomiting came in hard and fast a few weeks later. I lost 7 kilos in a matter of days. This baby was really going to make me work hard. I have always maintained that I am the worst pregnant woman and this was just the beginning! 30 weeks to go and I was feeling sorry for myself. Ha!
At our 12 week scan I showed as a high risk for Trisomy 18 due to a low Papp A hormone. The fluid around the neck was fine but the numbers were bad. 1/130 she read over the phone. So back we went for more prenatal testing.
13 days I waited. Calling every business day after the first 7 days. I was beside myself. My anxiety is hard to control at the best of times but faced with a possible issue with the baby, I could hardly hide the high octaves my voice was reaching. Eventually I got the call that the testing had failed and I needed to go in again. More bloods. More scans. The upside was being able to see bubs so many times on the big screen.
We were just shy of 15 weeks when we had the second round done and the ultra sound tech asked if we wanted to know what we were having. HELL YEAH. She said “Now, I am no Doctor and it is not 100% but look between the legs” and there he was. Our son. Our William.
We went into the OB office and she said “So I see from the images you found out the sex?!” Oh, I say. So that is pretty much confirmed? “Either that or he has three legs darling”. Eventually the tests came back and along with no risk came the word in black and white; DNA MALE.
The pregnancy then became sort of like a roller coaster ride that I really wanted to be on but it terrified me at the same time.
Gestational Diabetes. Hypermesis Gravidarum. High Blood Pressure. Chest Infections. Sinus Infections. Anxiety. Extra monitoring sessions. Blood pressure meds.
At 37+6w I went in to Hornsby Hospital for my weekly Thursday check up. The OB was gearing up to give me a stretch and sweep to get things moving. I was relieved. My body was shot, I was done, I wanted him out. She slapped the cuff on my arm to double check. 130/95. No chance. Not only was I not getting a stretch and sweep, I wasn’t going home. At all.
My blood pressure never came back under control. I was monitored all night and it hit 160/100 even on 1200mg of BP meds. The OB walked into my room at 8am on Friday August 25th and said “We cannot wait anymore. We need to get him out. We have an opening right now, so lets head over to the birthing suite.”
Calling Matt was hilarious. “Hey Honey, you and Liv good? I am just being taken to the birthing suite now if you don’t mind coming in?” He said he had never moved so fast in his life. He got Olivia to daycare basically throwing her in the door yelling “IT’S HAPPENING. IT’S HAPPENING”.
I was hooked up to the drip, having a nice old chat to the midwife. I thought it was weird that she was setting up all the bits and pieces as if delivery was imminent. My waters hadn’t even broken! “We have a saying in midwifery. Never trust a multip.” What? “Never trust a woman who has given birth before. She can go from 3 to 10 centimetres like that” and she snapped her fingers.
Another OB comes in with the hook. Can we just talk about how horrific that hook is? As much as people had tried to prepare me, I was not prepared. “Just don’t look” she says to me. Apparently my cervix was facing back and there was not much fluid between his head and the cervix so it was a lot of “I am so sorry, you are doing so well, it will be over soon I promise”.
Pop they did and the inductive drugs began to flow. No sooner had the words “I threw up every time I dilated the first time” left my mouth when I got this ice cold rush through my head and chest. I couldn’t talk. I felt dizzy. I thought something was seriously wrong.
Nope. Just the hormones hitting my system and making me ill. We were off!
The first parts of my labour are fine. Matt and I talk, we laugh, its a community experience really.
Then the part comes where I stop talking completely. I sit with my eyes closed, breathing, deeply wailing, just focusing on the next contraction. Matt hates that part. It was 5 hours in when I could not take anymore. The contractions were so deep I felt it in my bones. I had had quite a few pelvic checks and I felt swollen and a little defeated. I was saying “I cannot take this anymore. Please. I need relief”
Which only happened to me at 9.5cms last time. I was in so much pain and only 4 cms. I couldn’t believe it. I did the sums in my head and based on Olivia, I figured I had another 6-8 hours ahead. I had no drugs with Liv and I really believed I could do it again but sadly I couldn’t.
So at 2pm they called for the anaesthesiologist who came 10 minutes later. He gave me the full run down of what happens, how it happens and how long it will take to kick in. What I learnt is that TV shows lie to us. It doesn’t happen right away. It makes the contractions less intense with each one until it is bearable. 30 minutes or so he tells me.
Ok ok. I could hear myself saying through gritted teeth. Please. Lets get on with it.
Sitting on the side of the bed, as still as can be with a pillow under my arms. Its now 2.35pm. I get a WHOPPING contraction, my entire torso goes rock hard.. and I need to poo. And I did. Everywhere. It was not pretty. I knew what that meant but I am holding still while a needle is going into my back.
“I need to poooooooooooooo” I say while my body is literally pushing a baby out. The midwife pulls the pillow away and there is his head.
“RIGHT” she proclaims. “You need to lay down NOW.” I had already birthed his head. The anaesthesiologist hadn’t even administered the drugs, he was still sticking lines to my shoulder and the midwife is saying to him “Just stop, she is having the baby now, there is nothing more that can be done!”
At 2.47pm, William Edward Peter Grima came shooting out. He was 3.2kgs and 50cms long. He needed some help to warm up because his system was a little in shock but when we heard that first cry, it was a rush of relief.
Matt cried, I started at him and said “What the hell just happened?”
What I know now is that at 2pm when I was checked at 4cm, I actually was starting to transition. I went from 4cm to 10cm in the click of a finger. Just like they had predicted. If I had known, I wouldn’t have even bothered asking for pain relief knowing how close the end was. But hey, it makes for a hell of a story. Have you ever had an epidural? No. But I had the needle!
Then the most amazing thing happened.
Our oldest baby met our youngest baby. I cried when she walked in the room and I cried again watching the video that Matt took. It is a feeling I will never be able to describe. The emotion leaks out my eyes and makes my heart feel like it wants to burst. I was, and continue to be, so proud of the two humans we created.