The Birth Story of Daisy Emmeline
Born 11th August, 2013
At 04:41am in the Birth Centre at RWBH
Weighing 3.51kg and 49cm long
After a 1.5hr natural labour
It is the 11th of December 2012. I can hear the sounds of Hannah and Blake’s laughter through the bathroom window as they run around in the summer sunshine. I look down and see one strong line on the pregnancy test. I knew it, I think, negative again. Then I realise the line is in the spot where a positive line should be and I watch as a second line apears. A sound comes out of my mouth that is somewhere between a cry/scream/laugh. I am in shock. Your daddy knocks on the door and asks if we’re pregnant. I open the door and look at him with tears in my eyes, one hand covering my mouth and the other holding that stick with two strong lines. He hugs me when he sees the test and whispers in my ear, Looks like our little Daisy is on her way….
We are in shock for days. We had only paid for our tickets for our overseas trip just two weeks prior. Obviously right around the time that you had been conceived. We’d been trying for our third baby for over a year and were going to wait until we came home from the holiday to try again. Since I was still breastfeeding Blake it seemed that I was practically infertile even though my cycle returned when he was 14 months old. It must have all changed when Blake night weaned. But it was unexpected. As I hold that pregnancy test, I realise our life has changed again. Little do we know that in exactly eight months time I will be holding you in my arms.
I have had many signs over the last 18 months that lead me to believe another baby was coming into our family. All the signs were related to Daisies so we immediately think that you are a girl. We don’t mind either way of-course, but it is just a knowing that we both have. It seems Hannah feels it too as she is adamant that I am growing her little sister. We decide to have an early scan at 8 weeks and check to make sure you are growing well. We don’t take Hannah and Blake to this scan as we aren’t sure if we were going to get good news as scans have not always been a happy time for us. We find out that you are growing just fine but I have some cysts on my ovaries so we book another scan for 14 weeks. Hannah and Blake come to that ultrasound and that is the first time they see you. Watching them watch you bob about on that screen makes it real. It’s even more special to arrive at the 20 weeks anatomy ultrasound and watch Hannah’s face light up when we hear the sonographer declare that you are indeed a girl! I let the realisation sink in that you will be okay, and that soon I will be a mama to three little people.
We spend a lot of time during the pregnancy talking with Blake and Hannah about you. We make you a part of our family before you are even born. I had maintained my interest in pregnancy, birth and babies since Hannah was born so both your siblings had already seen birth videos and flicked through my birth books but we really amp it up in preparation for your birth. We spend time talking about how you are developing and growing in my womb and what it will mean to have a baby in the house. Hannah and Blake just take it in their stride. They seem genuinely excited to meet you and to have you finally home. The length of a pregnancy is obviously a very long time for a child to wait, but they are as patient as they can possibly be. You receive many, many cuddles, kisses and pats while you are still in my belly. You are so responsive, always moving to the spot where the person is touching and rarely does anyone miss out on feeling a kick from you. You are a mover and shaker in utero, just like your siblings before you!
Even though I had two great birth experiences with Hannah and Blake I did have one regret, and that was not having Hannah present at Blake’s birth. It had been my instinct to have Hannah there but everyone had told me she was too young. This time though, I know that all going well, I want your siblings to be there to witness your birth. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, we feel that birth is a natural and beautiful part of life and something that we as a society should share and celebrate. There is no happier day than the day a child is born and I have found that children are very open and accepting of how babies come into the world and are excited about the idea of being part of that. Secondly, birth is the natural conclusion to pregnancy and I felt that being at the birth would give Hannah and Blake closure with the pregnancy chapter and allow the beginning of the new stage of life as a family of five naturally unfold.
I initially picture having you at home. Literally every time I close my eyes during the pregnancy, I visualise myself getting on my knees on my bedroom floor at the foot of my bed and birthing you. I intuitively feel that the birth will be fast and that we may need to prepare for an unexpected homebirth so I want to bypass that fear and plan a homebirth from the beginning. I have always been open to having a homebirth and had very seriously considered one during Blake’s pregnancy but we hadn’t been able to find a midwife. This time though, everything comes together and we find a midwife. After an inital meeting at our house where we chat for over two hours, I know this is the way I want to birth and I excitedly begin to prepare to have you born at home.
Unfortunately just a few weeks later, Brians work car breaks down. We have to use the money that we had saved for the homebirth to pay for a new vehicle to transport Brian to work. I am absolutely devastated and need to call the midwife and let her know the homebirth is now not an option for us. I question that decision for the rest of the pregnancy. We live only 10 minutes from the Birth Centre where Hannah and Blake had both been born and everyone keeps telling me that it is a great – and free – option so we put our application in and we are accepted. My heart still aches for the homebirth and logistically and emotionally I feel it would be the better option but I can see no way to get it. It just feels out of my reach.
The visions of having you on the bedroom floor don’t stop though. Brian and I have many conversations about the labour and I question myself for much of the pregnancy, wondering if my gut instinct will be right. I keep being told that third labours are often unpredictable and this clouds my ability to hear my intuition. I know I can handle another long labour if it comes to that, but I know that’s not what I want or instinctively feel will happen. I predict labour will be about 2.5 hours long. I don’t want to have you at home unexpectedly now that the homebirth is no longer happening, so I decide that we will need to go into the birth centre as soon as I know that I am in established labour. Brian and I discuss a fast labour though and decide that if my waters break we will stay at home and call an ambulance rather than risk giving birth in the car on the way to hospital. I gave birth to Blake just one contraction after his waters broke and I feel if this labour is similar then it will be safer to stay put. I feel comfortable that if you want to be born that quickly then we can handle it together.
At my birth centre appointment at 38+6 weeks (Wednesday the 7th August), I speak to J who I have a feeling will be the midwife at our birth (I have 3 midwives caring for me through pregnancy) and we discuss the labour. Once again she explains how unpredictable third labours can be with lots of women having stop and start contractions and not being able to fully get in the zone. She also explains that because one of my three midwives is on holidays her and the other midwife are flat out busy and jokingly tells me not to have the baby before the weekend. I am disappointed. I tell her once again, that I feel the labour will be fairly fast but I am not sure if she is really hearing me. J checks your position and you are partially engaged. I have been squatting several times a day during this last trimester as a way of encouraging you to go lower into my pelvis as both your siblings had not engaged at all before labour. As we leave I tell her, I’ll call you on the weekend. This is my last birth centre appointment.
I crossed my fingers that you would be born the next day on the 08/08/13 all through the pregnancy, so that your birthdate would match Hannah’s (31/08/08) and Blake’s (12/10/10) and have double numbers in it. I notice lots of painless Braxton Hicks’s during that Thursday but the previous days appointment has taken me out of the labour mind zone. I know if I go into labour that day I might not have one of my midwives with me and I really want to avoid that. Little do I know that is what ends up happening anyway.
Brian and I both know the end is near. Even though I haven’t even passed my 15th August due date, I feel very strongly that you will be here by the end of the weekend. We decide to go out on Saturday morning for breakfast as a family of four for what we hope will be the last time. The waiter askes me when I am due and when I answer Any day now, he quickly asks me not to break my waters whilst in their cafe! Normally I get annoyed by these sort of comments but because I feel that we are so close to meeting you, his words just make me laugh. We enjoy our breakfast and a play at the park before heading home for a nap.
Blake falls asleep in the car and Brian transfers him to his bed when we come home as normal. I go into the room a little while later to have a rest and notice that he has woken up which doesn’t usually happen, but he runs off to play. About half an hour later I am woken by a childs cries and immediately feel they are Blake’s. I know Brian is out there taking care of the children but as I lay there for another few seconds, I feel in my gut something is very wrong. Just as I leap out of bed I can hear Brians footsteps racing up the stairs and he begins calling my name as I open the bedroom door. He is holding a screaming Blake who’s hand is covered in blood and Brian quickly says, We need to get him to a doctor NOW, his finger has been bitten by the dog next door.
All I can ask, as I start throwing things into bags, is whether his finger is still intact and Brian says he isn’t even sure, there is too much blood. My heart is literally pounding in my head and I am screaming obsceneties about next doors dog while running around 9 months pregnant in my bra and undies. I don’t realise the next door neighbour has come up on our front deck with his first aid kit and can see and hear everything. I don’t care, I am completely freaking out and I rush us all into the car. We drive to the hospital. I am driving which is painful at this late stage of pregnancy and it starts to give me Braxton Hicks’s. Thankfully at the Childrens Hospital we are seen pretty quickly by a lovely doctor and she lets us know that this is not an easy fix. Because dogs can have a multitude of germs in their mouth and can cause a serious infection Blake will need to be taken to theatre and sedated while they properly clean his finger with some heavy duty solution. They will also give him stitches if necessary. Luckily after a quick clean in some saline it looks like there is no serious ligament damage and his finger is fortunately in one piece.
Blake is an absolute trooper through the entire day and barely cries even while receiving his IV. Hannah is fascinated with medical events so this is an interesting experience for her and she listens and watches everything intensely. In the late afternoon, all we can do is wait for Blake to be taken to theatre so we agree that Brian will stay with Blake and hopefully bring him home later that night and I will take Hannah home and have dinner. I have been having BH’s intermittently throughout the day and sitting on those plastic chairs for hours is so uncomfortable. I have also barely eaten since our breakfast that morning but I seem to have a bit of a tummy ache. My heart is so split. I want to stay with Blake and care for him, but I know Hannah needs some dinner and rest and that I have to take care of myself and you too. After a quick chat, Blake is quite okay with us leaving and I know he will be just fine with Brian.
Hannah and I drive home, get some take-out for dinner, have a lovely bath together and are asleep by 8:30pm. I wake at 10:30pm to a couple of texts from Brian letting me know that Blake has come back safely from surgery and that they will get a cab home early in the morning. I fall asleep more relaxed and wake again to use the toilet at 2:30am. You are kicking around furiously so before I walk out of the bathroom I take a minute to watch you somersault around my belly in the mirror. It makes me smile and I am very tempted to grab my phone and video the action but I remind myself that logically I am not even due and I will have plenty of time to video you in the coming days.
I go back into the bedroom and for some reason feel like swaying a little. I press the acupressure point on my wrist while doing so. I feel a little like I am in dreamland, just following some deep instinct rather than using my thinking brain, but after a couple of minutes I feel silly, I’m not even having any Braxton Hicks! I lay down and look at Hannah sleeping next to me while my hand feels you kicking in my belly and I get a little teary looking at my big girl and realising I will be starting the baby experience again in just a matter of days.
To be continued…
(Birth Video here)