From 2 beautiful births to a devastating postpartum
"Blake and I woke up and planned to go to the gym. As I was getting ready I had a few niggly pains, but nothing that was going to stop me from doing a work out. I braided my hair though just in case things progressed. By the time we got home from the gym I was starting to have stronger pains. I had planned to catch up with my friend at lunch time, when she called to see if we were still on I told her I was having early labour pains but to still come over. I bounced on an exercise ball through the contractions as we chatted and laughed and caught up, they weren’t that bad so I was happy to just breathe a little through each one.
By 4pm I was having irregular but painful contractions, I called my midwife and she told me to let her know when I was ready to come to the hospital. I gradually increased what I was doing to work through the contractions as they increased in intensity, eventually I was swaying side to side, clapping my juggling balls together and counting 1,2. This worked when I had River and it was working again! We had set up a very calming environment at home, the lights were off with just my salt lamp on, I felt in control and ready to do this!
By about 6:30pm we were in the car for the hellish drive to the hospital, as we hit the highway the traffic stopped! We were crawling at 40km an hour, I was ready to get out and walk to the hospital, I was so mad! We eventually arrived at the hospital, my midwife met us at the door. In my head I asked her very nicely if she had the rainforest room prepped for me, but it came out a lot more like a demand. Thankfully she had the tub in the rainforest room ready to go. As soon as I got in there I got straight in the bath, that soothing water, but I still needed to move and forgot how to move in the water, I got pretty frustrated trying to work out a new rhythm again. Blake ended up having his hands supporting me as a rocked side to side, hit my balls on the bath and counted 1,2. I don’t know how long I was in the bath for, but I was getting over it, I wanted to know how dilated I was, I needed something to motivate me to keep going. My midwife encouraged me to get up and go do a wee because I hadn’t been since I got there and then she would check me. Walking from the bathroom to the bed my waters broke with a pop! I was stoked, Blake and I high fived! Then the worst contraction came, I jumped it was so intense and then I couldn’t hold myself up. After that I needed to push but I wanted to be in the water, I needed to be in the water. My midwife told me I could birth there, I could start pushing right there, but I wouldn’t, I could hardly move but I was determined to be in the water. With the help of Blake and my midwife I got to the bath, my midwife didn’t want me to push just yet, she put pressure on my perineum until I was in the water, then encouraged me to do little pushes no big ones to prevent tearing. She checked with Blake if he was going to catch the baby, he initially said no but she wasn’t taking no for an answer so he got in position to catch the baby.
Eventually she let me push, that burning of the head coming out is something I will never forget! Another posterior baby, but this time easier to push out, he was out in about 10 mins of pushing and Blake caught him and handed him to me. I laughed as he gave him to me I couldn’t believe I had done it, I was so happy! My mum arrived at the hospital about 5mins after Fox was born. After spending about 6 hours in the hospital we went home and River was so excited to see his baby brother in bed when he woke up.
"When River was born I hardly slept all night because I was so scared to sleep, that I wouldn’t wake up to him or that he would stop breathing. I received a phone call in the morning from my brother asking me for Blake’s motorbike keys, which I thought was weird and asked why? His response was that our house was flooding and he needed to move his bike up to the road. I hung up the phone and told Blake, I can’t even remember if we really reacted to it, we just thought of all the things was wanted moved and made more phone calls to make sure our important things, like nappies and our cow hide rug were up high enough. I don’t think I cried about our house flooding until about 6 weeks later, I must have run on adrenaline for those first 6 weeks because all of a sudden it all came crashing down and I’m a hot mess. My family set us up in the granny flat of a family friend’s house, where we lived for the next 6 months. I was in pain for 3 or 4 months post partum, my sister lived down the road from where we were living and I would walk to her house but be so sore by the time I got there. I later found out during post natal Pilates that I had an over active pelvic floor that was causing me so much pain and was able to release some of the tension. The birth of my first son made me feel strong, empowered and so proud of my body and all it had done, when I fell pregnant with my second I was pumped to see how I would cope postpartum without a natural disaster, with family around to support me and help me, since I felt like I had done such a good job this time. Well postpartum the second time around has been HARD! A lot harder then I was expecting it to be...
Blake had recently started his own business so taking a full 2 weeks off to be with me wasn’t really an option if we wanted to eat and pay our bills. My parents were both working pretty much full time and my sister had also started working. Before I gave birth my sister and I had discussed me looking after her daughter while she worked, I was so happy to do it, I smashed life after having River, and she would keep River entertained while I tended to the new baby.
This felt all true until the dreaded 6 week mark where I crumble and fall. I felt a dragging feeling in my vagina, I knew something wasn’t right. I got an appointment with my women’s health physio who confirmed my fears, that I had a pelvic organ prolapse. I was broken, devastated, this was the trigger to a spiral of events, postnatal depression really set in. I was sure I didn’t have it though, I thought I had post prolapse depression, I told myself and anyone else that. I just wasn’t coping with my diagnosis, these feelings didn’t go away though, they still haven’t. Eventually a friend of mine encouraged me to go see my doctor, to get a mental health care plan and to get on top of my mental health. There were days I wished I was dead, I secretly hoped when I went out that a car would crash into me, I didn’t want to physically hurt myself, but I wanted it to just happen to me. One morning I went for a drive, I had been crying most of the night, I just needed to get out of the house, I was still crying, like ugly sobbing crying, as I was driving I realised I needed to stop going where I was going. It was a dangerous road and the head space I was in, it could have ended badly. I’m almost a year postpartum, I am still learning to deal with having a pelvic organ prolapse, it has changed my lifestyle a lot and I am still working on my mental health. I am working on my body image issues that have come along with my lifestyle change as well and I am working with a counsellor through these issues. It is crazy how your pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey can be so different with each baby."