Tuesday, July 15, 2008

birth story: Danielle Russell

Danielle and baby Tennyson, moments after he was born

Just days away from becoming a registered nurse, it's only natural Danielle is a fan of gory details! So, here she is sharing her own birth story to her now one-year-old son Tennyson.

"My due date was the 23rd of July 2007. My pregnancy all went really well, except for low iron, but I think a majority of women suffer from this! On Saturday the 21st my legs and feet swelled up to the size of an elephant. I spoke to my mum that day - I needed a whinge and she assured me that the baby would be on its way very soon! That night I woke up at 3.30am with some light abdominal cramping. I tried to sleep through it but I didn't really get any rest. I think the thought of the baby coming excited me so much that I couldn't sleep.

At around 8am on Sunday morning, the cramps were getting stronger and were about 5-7 mins apart. They still weren't agonising and I wasn't ready to go to the hospital just yet. I had some light bleeding but had been told to expect that. We went to the shopping centre to buy a few things we needed and Luke desperately needed a haircut. So I sat in the hairdressers waiting for him whilst worrying that my water was going to break! Luke kept on looking at me to make sure I was ok. I had moments of sitting there with my eyes shut trying not to think about my painful heavy belly. When we got home I managed to have a sleep for about an hour. I relaxed on the couch for the afternoon, breathing through contractions. At 5pm we rang the hospital and they told us to come in. They monitored baby's heart and did an internal exam. My cervix was a little sluggish and wasn't dilating. They let us go out for a while and Luke got some dinner. Whilst driving over speed bumps at Hungry Jacks (Ew) I had the worst contractions and made Luke drive back really quickly. I was feeling quite nauseus and so tired - I didn't know that it was going to be worse!

I didn't want to have pain relief but wasn't quite prepared for the pain of labour. My cervix still wasn't ready for a baby. They gave me some pethidine to help with the contractions but it didn't have a good effect. My contractions just got stronger and closer together. I jumped in and out of the shower 3 or 4 times with hot water. Luke was fantastic and put the shower on me and I probably injured his hands when I was squeezing!

By now it was 3am and I was exhausted, physically and emotionally. I was screaming for an epidural. I didn't get one and I'm so glad about that. I was in the shower when I just started to push. They made me get into the bed and felt the cervix - finally time to push!! My water didn't break until I was well into the pushing stage. Laying on my back did not help to get the baby out. My contractions slowed and I couldn't push anymore. I think I gave up for a while there. Helen, my midwife, then brought in a bar that goes across the bed. Whenever I got a contraction, Luke and her pulled me up so that I was squatting above the bed. It obviously worked, before long they could see the head. When I thought I could not push anymore they showed me the baby's head with the mirror and I got a second wind. Once the head was out, the rest was easy!

Tennyson was finally born at 5.39am on Monday the 23rd of July - his due date! They put him straight on my chest and I had plenty of blood, sweat and tears. It has got to be the most special moment of my life. I needed internal sutures and had grazes as well so oogled over my new baby boy whilst they stitched me up. Luke fell asleep in the chair holding our son. I was wide awake. I got up and had a shower, put on some clean pjs and sent everyone a photo on my mobile! I was in the nude - but that's the best way to be, skin to skin with the baby!"

Thanks Danielle for sharing! If anyone else wants to share their baby's birth story, please email me at bgraham@acpmagazines.com.au

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a nice surprise, I love that picture. Danielle is one of my best friends and I'm also a God Mother to Tennyson :D I'm proud as punch of her.