My lovely doula, Rikki Walsh, wrote my birth story from her view, and I thought I’d share, it might fill in the gaps…
So the weeks leading up to this day had been tense, we were all hoping and praying that little N would make her own way into the world soon. She had us sitting on tender hooks. I think somewhere deep inside I knew Christmas day would be hers. I recall mentioning a few months earlier to Lizanne that I would be there for her even if it was Christmas day, and N was holding me to that promise!
So when I woke up bright and early and saw a message saying Lizanne’s waters had broken I was actually over the moon, and not that surprised! I asked if I had enough time to just to gifts and breakfast with the family, and then I would head off. Lizanne said we had plenty of time, and eventually she said they would only be going to hospital at 4ish to be monitored. Keeping an eye on my phone for the day, with constant messaging to make sure they were ok, I did the family Christmas thing, with everyone very excited for what I would be supporting later on.
At 4pm I headed off down to the hospital, with some Christmas Crackers and champagne for Lizanne and Chris.
When I got there Lizanne was still calm, and only in early stages of labour, but I’ve seen before how quickly early can change to “this baby is coming NOW” so I settled in, not prepared to leave until N had joined the world.
Angela came through at around 5 and did a checkup, and didn’t expect anything to happen, and suggested perhaps they go home for a bit. I gave a bit of counsel on the pros and cons to both staying where they were or going home.
Angela then called Dr. D, who said he wanted them to stay in for the night. – Thankfully as it turned out.
Around 6pm, they had family who brought them some food, and we sat and chatted, about how important this was for them. I found it delightful that a dad was so knowledgeable in what was going on
Around 9:30 N started moving like mad, and Lizanne’s surges seemed to get a bit more intense. Chris and I supported her as best we could, and a nurse came to monitor N for a bit. To me it seemed like it was happening, something was happening. Until the nurse looked concerned and paced in and out of the room a few times before calling in a Dr. to come look at her readings.
After a bit of time, and double checking with another Dr. it was agreed that an emergency C-section was the way forward. I felt my heart break with Lizanne and Chris, and the 3 of us sat and cried together. I knew how much they wanted this. I knew how much I had wanted my vbac, it is the main reason I love supporting couples in labour, to help avoid the heartache I have felt not getting my natural births.
But in this case I knew it was not a C-section of convenience, it was 11pm on Christmas day, the Dr.s were doing this to save a life. I told Lizanne what a great mom she was, and how her birth made no difference, and that she had done everything, above and beyond what most do, to give her daughter a good birth.
The staff were amazing, and allowed Chris and myself into theater to be there for Lizanne. I stood watching in awe. I saw how the Dr.s still struggled to get N out, how she was completely wrapped (arms legs, tummy) in her cord. She had gone so far back up they needed forceps to pull her out. The C-section saved her life. I shudder to think what may have happened if they had gone home.
Once the Pead had checked her over he handed her to me (yes I feel beyond blessed to have held her before her parents) and I got to take her to Lizanne.
Chris took her for a bit while Lizanne was in recovery – only about 10min, I was super impressed. And then we got to take her back for her first feed.
Although the birth may not have been the planned one, I still feel very privileged to have been a part of it. Little N arrived safe and sound at 12:01 on the 26th December and that in the end of it all, is what really matters.
Thanks, Rikki, for your support and help in ensuring that this precious girl was born safely.
four and a half months