I thought it was about time I explained the main reason behind Mabel's 'Pocket Rocket' nickname - her birth story. She is two now, so it's about time I wrote it all down!
Let's start with the pregnancy. Following suit from my previous pregnancy I suffered with Hyperemesis Gradium once again. It was the main reason I took a pregnancy test - it was a few days before my period was due9 but I felt incredibly nauseous and vomited. I instantly knew I was pregnant again, the nausea was exactly the same as my first pregnancy.
Unfortunately I remained unwell for the entire pregnancy, with several admissions for re hydration and medications. I lost 10kg in my first trimester. It was recommended I stopped breastfeeding my toddler, which initially I was apprehensive about but given how unwell I was it was definitely the right decision for us at the time.
On the day I hit 12 weeks gestation and had my 12 week scan it was announced our country was going into level 4 lock down - yet another stress to add in! I have vivid memories of vomiting in the bathroom whilst making fairy puzzles on the floor with our toddler - she got very good at holding my hair back. There were many days of me being couch bound with Frozen 1 & 2 on repeat. The months went on and once the lock down was over we were well supported with family and friends to help care for our older child and give me some much needed respite.
My due date rolled around and needless to say I was NOT happy to still be pregnant, I had previously been adamant that she would be born before her due date and was not prepared for anything later than that. Every morning waking up - still feeling nauseous and vomiting most days STILL pregnant was miserable! In hindsight I apologise to all of those that were around me during this time - I was not a nice person. I begged my midwife for a stretch and sweep at 40 weeks +2 days, and she obliged, but still NOTHING!
I woke up at 2am to be sick - except this time was different. Along with the nausea was severe stomach cramping, next thing I know I go from vomiting to needing the toilet for the other end… Gastro. It had been going around preschool and now I had it. Great, a real highlight of pregnancy having to sit on a toilet and vomit into our baby bath we had just purchased for the new baby.
I had to call Mum to come and take our daughter to daycare - THANK GOD for mums! I spent the day between bed and the bathroom - gave a message to the midwife who suggested it wouldn't be a good idea to go into labour today! I wholeheartedly agree it was a very bad idea.
Later that evening I had managed to stomach some hydrolyte but definitely no food - we put the eldest to bed and then hopped into our bed to watch Netflix. Around 8pm I started to feel a niggle and popped out of bed to sit on the couch - I told my husband not to worry so off he went to sleep. I gave a call to my mum to ask her to pop over just in case I went into labour so she could stay with our eldest. I told her no rush - I was just being overly cautious.
Within 10 minutes of phoning her I was then unable to speak, on the floor of our lounge having contractions one after the other - with what felt like no breaks. To get through the contractions I focused on my body and had no idea of time. With no breaks between them I wasn't able to get up and wake my husband. My mum walked into our house just before 9pm - having taken her time as I suggested, and needless to say, she was a little panicked when she saw how far along I was. At this point she tried talking to me and asking was what going on mid contraction and how it felt - well my response wasn't great "Shut the f%@*k up!". After the contraction was over I profusely apologised and told her I found it easier to do it in silence and concentrate. She began to time them and turned out at this point they were 90 seconds long with 50 seconds between. A quick call to the midwife and it was decided that it was time to go to the hospital - Mum went to wake my husband.
By the time she came back out I was begging for a bucket and trying to vomit - TRANSITION. I could feel my body wanting to push, I had that strong urge to sit on the toilet but didn't want to panic them so I didn't tell anyone. As Mum was telling me we needed to go to the hospital I absolutely refused to go in my pyjamas - I was not going into my place of work to see my colleagues in my pyjamas! I was adamant she had to go and find me some more appropriate clothing.
My husband was taking a little too long - Mum went to check and it turns out he was doing his hair…. He didn't quite realise the urgency we were under until he walked out and saw me trying to walk to the door. At this point he ran out and got the car ready in the driveway. Mum told me there was no time to get changed and no one would mind my pyjamas except for me. She helped me stand up and make our way to the door.
By the time we got to the front door I told Mum I couldn't go any further and the baby was coming NOW. She told me “stop being so silly, your waters haven't broken so she can’t be coming”. I told her to stop and check. She pulled down my pyjama pants to have my waters break on her hands and the beginnings of a head coming out!! Quickly calling my husband inside to call an ambulance and rushing around to get towels. Her first comment when the ambulance dispatch was on the phone was “I see a head should I push it back in” - I wish I was kidding. I immediately stated no she shouldn’t do that - as did the kind voice on the phone.
The ambulance dispatch was on speaker phone and had the most calm and reassuring voice - my husband and Mum on the other hand clearly had panic in theirs. In my head I could not stop thinking about all the things that could go wrong - thinking she would be stunned from such a rapid labour (NICU nurse brain in full overdrive). Mum was instructed to put her hands on my perineum to prevent tearing (a memory I'd rather forget) but within minutes Mabel was born! I don’t feel like I actively pushed, my body took over and she was born into the hands of my Mum, with my husband there to provide the towel to wrap her in.
I heard her cry and she was brought straight to my chest, they were instructed to dry her off and place another dry towel on top of us. I quickly scanned her over to check her colour and to see she was breathing - within 5 minutes she was on the breast and feeding. Like I said earlier, she's a pocket rocket! The ambulance dispatch stayed with us on the phone right up until the ambulance officers arrived 10 minutes later.
Just before they arrived my dad also walked in the door - turns out Mum had been messaging him to come and help out as she thought things were moving quickly. As he walked in the door - I had to shuffle to the side, I had literally given birth at the front door - on the wooden floors of our 100 year old bungalow. My comment to my Dad was “bet you think this is dramatic”, and he had a rather large chuckle and a big “I’m proud of you”. Then handed over the keys to our car which my husband had left running in the driveway.
Once the ambulance officers arrived I was given oxytocin to deliver the placenta (as was always part of my birth plan). I was given a duvet and pillow as I was starting to go into shock - with very good reason! Mabel was absolutely perfect - the ambulance officers left her on me the entire time and were happy with my assessment of her. They were polite and courteous, even finding me some clothes to put on from my drawers since the only pants my husband could find were white… Not ideal after giving birth.
My midwife requested I was taken into the hospital for observation as with my previous birth I had had a significant hemorrhage. I was taken in via ambulance, all I could think about when I was in the ambulance was all the mess I had probably made at home. I was thinking I was going to have to sand back the wooden floors and reseal them. Did I mention I was in shock and clearly not thinking straight? My husband followed in the car - I wasn't there long but that is a story for another day. In the end I was grateful to return home into my own bed ready to start life as a family of four.
Total labour time: 1 hour 34 minutes.
An absolute whirlwind - as we say Mabel entered the world with force and on her own terms and continues to live life in the exact same way!
GOOD NEWS: There was no staining to the wooden floors and Mum had already put the towels in the wash by the time we got home. Our eldest slept through the whole thing and was incredibly excited to hear Mabel had arrived when she was sleeping.
Not the birth I was anticipating at all - home birth was never on my agenda - I prefer the comfort of the hospital but there you go!