19 January 2012

my pregnancy & birth stories: the mega mix

Greetings all,
I got into blogging after my 4th baby had commenced preschool & never posted my pregnancy & birth experiences.  After reading so many birth stories in blogland + my cousin had a baby last week (my husband is so clucky, vasectomy says ‘no’) . . . i thought I’d share my story . . .
  Pregnancy: I went into each pregnancy with my eyes wide open . . . from my sister & 4 sisters-in-law . . . I knew infertility, cervical cancer, miscarriage, still birth, bleeding, PND, intramuscular stitches, shock, OCD, mastitis, premature labour, episiotomies, reflux & emergency Caesareans can happen.  I fortunately skipped every single one of these painful heartaches.  This is not a rosey glasses view – this is my real story, honest & for true!! 
I had all of my babies in Darwin, Northern Territory.  We moved there in 1998, a few weeks pregnant & headed to the Private Hospital to find an obstetrician, the amazing Dr Andrew Miller (delivered each of my babies).  My ‘uneventful’ planned pregnancies were all the same: pregnant first time we tried - which made for short lived fun-baby-making-sex . . . to vomiting 24/7 for 9 months!!  I attended ante natal classes (solo, handsome soldier away), never smoked, drank coffee or alcohol, nothing to give up. 
  Labour: Now the only medical hiccup was mine – I had a spontaneous retinal detachment in my right eye when I was 21, so at my first OB appointment we agreed that lots of pushing at delivery could pop a retina & I’d have an epidural (controlled labour, push at the end).  Each of my epidural lines were put in before I went into labour (drugs not connected until required, then self-administered pain relief, I was familiar from pharmacology) i could walk around & shower, all very affective & active.  No high speed screaming trip to hospital/ waters breaking in public for me, NOTHING exciting like you see on television.
Delivery: None of my babies wanted to come out, all induced, first labour took 3 days, at 41+ weeks.  Each baby was delivered onto my chest, eyes open but not crying, weighing average 3.3kg, even the twins!!  Baby 1 required forceps (big head) & me, one stitch (tiny vagina) ha ha!!  When you have twins, your husband is handed the first baby, I was busy delivering her sister 4 minutes later.  Twin 2 was breech & pulled out by her feet, then placed on my chest – hungry, I was handed twin 1 & instantly taught how to dual breast feed, covered in vernix & all.  Darwin Private don’t wipe off the white vernix, best baby moisturiser ever!!    
  Guests: Actually I had my visiting parents at the delivery of our twins, I figured my father had NEVER seen a baby being born & knowing I have epidurals, it would be calm.  I remember the OB saying to my father “put the newspaper down, you’re going to miss it” as Dad hid behind the Sydney Morning Herald like a screen – let’s just say, we all focussed on the babies NOT where they were coming out from!!  Best of all, my parents got to see a normal delivery & a breech, they made the 2nd cuts of umbilical cords & each carried a baby back to the room!! 
Birth Plan: I didn’t create birth plans, I agreed with my OB & had met all of the midwives who might be there at show time.  I didn’t want whale music, poetry or candles, just healthy babies.  Hospital policy was to keep you in for 6 days after a straight forward delivery, sending you off into the real world confident & informed.  The rooms included a king bed & fridge, complimentary champagne & 6 meals a day, leather recliner & bathroom, who’d want to leave?? 
 Post Partum: I remember bumping into Dr Miller when our first baby was 7 days old, my husband & I were off to the cinema, he said “see, babies don’t stop you from doing anything” & I have absolutely lived by those words.  I had everything going for me as a new mummy, healthy babies, plenty of milk, supportive husband & tonnes of energy.  Each of my babies slept through the night, 12 hours, from when they were 3-5 weeks of age.  So on top of having 4 babies in my 20s, I didn’t suffer sleep deprivation. 
Breast feeding: Each of my babies attached to the breast perfectly, “big mouths & big boobs” one midwife said "Special K lips", from birth they slept 4 hours.  My mum always said “never make a rod for your own back” so I never fussed over them, they all fell asleep on the breast & popped into bed, no burping & no vomit, done.  I would vacuum around their cots while they slept, I could move them from cot to car seat to pram to car seat to cot without them waking to do the grocery shopping.  We lived on an air force base in the tropics, all windows open, fighter jets, barking dogs, they slept through it all.  I only used bottles to express milk & never sterilised them or used anti bacterial hand wash – we had good germs.  I breast fed all the girls for 18 months, had a month off, pregnant again.  I fed our son for 24 months .
  Situations: We were living in Sydney while pregnant with my son, I couldn’t get into any private OB (at 4 weeks!!) & they quoted $6K + appointments in fees.  Gulp.  So I rang my Darwin OB & he said if I flew up for the first trimester appointment & for delivery, he’d charge me cost.  Please don’t think we were rich & I was jetting about hospital-shopping . . . in 2003 my husband was on $35K & I was sewing a little at home with 3 daughters.  My flights, hotel, car hire & baby delivery cost $1K!!  We didn’t have much but we had health insurance.  So glad I did, my ante natal at Royal North Shore Hospital, hmmm, awful experience . . . they asked me if my husband beat me/ was the father/ wanted the baby, they wrote my age as 38 not 28, & my son was breech so they said “Caesarean” no choice.  My husband stayed in Sydney with our girls & I had our son in Darwin (I chose my OB over my husband at the birth, yes really) baby turned, easy delivery which I videotaped (in the mirror) while I was on the phone to my husband.  Multitask that one mums!!  Then I flew home with him, 4 days old, ready to meet his Daddy (bursting with pride) & join his sisters.  I have since been advised that domestic violence often commences during pregnancy, isn’t that HORRIFYING!! 
  Coming Home: Every time we brought a new baby home, we let our puppy sniff & check them out first, helped with jealousy.  My husband had his wisdom teeth out 4 days after I delivered twins, so I had to drive myself home from hospital (my father babysat him & his swollen cheeks).  With each new baby, I focussed on the toddlers, carried on like normal, avoided sibling rivalry (very easy with settled new borns) - I used to sit my toddler between the twin’s heads when they fed & read to her (malleable boobs!!)
Journey: This smooth ride has not been lost on us, we know we’re lucky & appreciate it.  They are allergy free, smart, sporty & social.  I am strict & consistent, i have to maintain order or they’ll over run me.  I look back at the time I had 4 under 4 years 8 months, BEST time of my life.  In a blink I’ll have 4 teenagers, so I savour the time I have with them now, embrace full time motherhood & our wonderful future.
  Advice: Take all advice, good, bad & ugly, preparation & knowledge is power.  No delivery is perfect, however, I delivered full intact placentas & had minimal bleeding.  I lost ALL the weight in the first fortnight (hello Hollywood) & Yoga rebuilt my strength.  I did poo when I pushed out my first baby so I would recommend ANYONE to have an enema & be empty, it feels like the baby is coming out of your bottom during labour!!  I had zero back pain in other deliveries - post bowel evacuation.  Ask for things & question medical staff if it doesn't feel rightWhen my milk came in, my husband had to hold my boobs while I showered, I could not bend down with those heavy bowling balls on my chest!!  I suffered haemorrhoids, a midwife named ‘Joy’ said “honey, you have grapes of wrath down there”, good to know, pass me the Preparation H & a blow up rubber ring, no really!! 
Now my greatest thing EVER . . . stick ice packs in your knickers after delivery, REALLY, reduces swelling & makes a HUGE difference in speedy recovery.  First time I kept melting disposable ice packs, so next time, I filled up condoms with water & froze them (you don’t insert them, hell no, you lay them flat in your knickers on top of the giant maternity pads, they melt so make lots!!)  ONLY – warn any guests about your new iced penis sculpture hobby, as my darling conservative father went looking for the champagne in the room fridge & discovered them.  Oh we laughed!! 
Motherhood: Once you resign yourself to the fact you are a mother & life will never be the same again, things will really fall into place.  I’m all about your husband still being number 1 in your world, then babies, he was there first & will be there last, when your babies grow up & leave home . . . having a wonderful loving relationship with lots of communication & sex makes for a very smooth transition from couple to parents.  We waited 4 weeks after each delivery before giving sex a go again, it was fine 'down there' but 'up top' - milk EVERYWHERE so i kept a bra on & milk pads in, charming.  Fun times!!  
So that is my story, it’s a long one, lots of babies.  I often wonder if marrying my teen love, then having children young (our first born came along 5 years after we first kissed) assisted healthy pregnancy statistics & coping so well with the fast changes in our lives.  My handsome soldier & I have been through every possible major stressor – losing a parent, having a baby, having twins, having 4 babies, 5 war zones, buying properties, moving interstate 7 times, living in poverty, living apart – through it all we’ve had love, trust & laughter.  I believe I was born to be a mother, my siblings were freaking out though, I was pregnant at 23 straight out of Uni, but it was the most natural thing & thanks to Mr Love.Commitment.Marriage.Babies – there was never any doubt in my mind we’d be a success at this parenting game. 
Cheers to you parents out there, you are all remarkable, ditch the guilt – if you know better, do better, quit the frills & just get on the floor with the toys, eye ball your children, just love them & you’ll get it back tenfold.  Love Posie

27 comments:

Jen R said...

Fabulous, wonderful story thank you for sharing Posie...even the grapes of wrath...a badge of honour for motherhood just like stretch marks...lol

Jan-Maree said...

At 35 weeks after all sorts of unpleasant things happening during my pregnancy I apologized to my OB for being a sook. I said I am sure you have lots of other women who have much worse pregnancies than me and he said "Um Not really." I didn't any better but I did feel a little vindicated. Wish I could have breezed through it too but at least I have my handsome boys!

Bree said...

Oh man you make me laugh love. No way in hell am I sharing some of my stories! Maybe I'll tell you in private next week?

B

polkadotpeticoat said...

Its a precious adventure don't you think....I always love your life stories and the color you bring to them!!
your one great Momma!!

Teresa said...

I loved reading this - I love reading people's birth stories and sharing experiences.

I think this is one of the best birth story(/ies) I have read, Posie - I love how you tell it how it is.

Mum on the Run said...

Look at that gorgeous foursome!!
I loved this - all of it.
You did have some brilliant experiences - but you also have a brilliant persepctive.
:-)

Bridget said...

So refreshing to hear a positive, uplifting story about it all! Particularly in my impending situation ;) Your attitude to it all is amazing and inspiring and I am definitely going to take a leaf out of your book and JUST DO IT!! Now if only this baby would come OUT already!!!! Thanks so much for sharing. Loved the read xx

Helen said...

wow, i love your birth story mega mix! love your positivity and no-bullshit attitude. good on you posie :)))

Cherie @ 'a baby called Max' said...

I didn't think it was possible, but I have just fallen more in love!

Your honesty is ... like someone opened every door, & WINDOW in my house, & let all the breaths of fresh air in :)

Refreshing :)

P.S Haemorrhoids are awful. Noone should be more fearful of giving birth to their bowel movement than their baby! ... I was! LOL.

P.P.S Your Dad & the frozen condoms? I laughed so much, I snorted!

CHD said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing. I totally agree with your husband as number one. That's how our family works. I want life to be fun when the kids are grown up and moved on too. Cx

Christina said...

I loved reading your story. Honest, brave, funny and beautiful. :)

We have been on the opposite end of the spectrum. Ovary removed, miscarriage, high risk pregnancy, complications, third degree tear, allergies, visits to emergency, thyroid problems, minimal support, family issues - and this with just one baby! But you know, you still just get on with it because nothing is as important as the man you love and the child/ren you have together. And it hasn't put me off at all. 33 weeks along with our second baby. I hope this babies story is a little more dull though!
xx

The Provincial Homemaker said...

Great post Posie. Very honest. Thanks for your hints on getting in with Dr Miller. I am feeling really happy about my care during this pregnancy.

Lisa @ Simply Me said...

Thanks for sharing, lovely read. I'm shocked that you flew to Darwin and there was such a difference in cost and the level of care!!!

AJ said...

WOW what a summary! Thanks for sharing I enjoyed reading about your family

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Gosh you could write a book. I'd read and re-read every page. I only hope that I will have 1/4 the strength you seem to have.. but love your can do, go get 'em attitude!!

Anonymous said...
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Sindy said...

That brought back a lot of memories of your stories at the time - glad I hadn't heard the condom one before. I remember you laughing about the drive up to Darwin pregnant with no1, with the bucket on your lap due to the constant vomiting...

rebekah @ justfordaisy said...

What beautiful stories! I had a wonderful first birth with my daughter and am expecting #2 in June this year!
It sounds like our families might have similar things on the cards this year with farm/homestead life approaching! I'm your newest follower - please come visit at Just For Daisy!

Kylie said...

:) thanks for sharing your birthing and parenting stories. I too loved Dr Miller - he was amazing:)

Anonymous said...

very interesting article! I will follow your themes.
Can I subscribe to your posts on Twitter or on your Facebook profile?

Caitlin said...

Posie. Loved reading your birth stories. It's so nice to hear such a positive story. While, you have been blessed with uncomplicated births/good babies, I'm sure that some of this can be attributed to your positive attitude. Thanks for dropping in at my place. It's a pleasure having you around!

Crazy Sister said...

Wow, what a story!

I love hearing birth stories. Mine are on my blog under the 'babies' label. I can't imagine 9 months of nausea, poor you! Apart from your poor bottom, the rest sounds like a great journey.

LOL at your Dad. :)

Posie Patchwork said...

Ooppss, deleted Corrie's comment, sorry honey . . .

love the post and LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the photos! that last one is just a bit further ahead than I am! How cute is your eldest? I haven't see pics of her little! adorable!

let's not talk hemarroids though! for some reason I get them 1st trimester - so embarrassing!

Corrie:)

Tania McCartney said...

This was WONDERFUL to read, Jenn and I loved the photos. I can even pick the twins as babies!

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Gorgeous stories Posie, my eyes are all teary now.

Amanda said...

Love this post! But golly, you were so lucky to have four settled babies :) A great read. The frozen condoms made me laugh :)

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