The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Stella’s birth story Part III
Stella Margaret White
Birth Story – Part III

WARNING: This post contains a lot of information about the actual process of birthing a baby and might not be for the faint hearted or heavily pregnant!

Part I and Part II here.

I announced that another contraction was coming and grabbed for Ron’s hand, both Penny and the Dr were down at my feet and as the pain peaked I dropped the gas and air valve, took a deep breath in, tucked my chin onto my chest and pushed as hard as I could, instantly the Dr shouted for me to stop and suddenly there was a flurry of activity. He was saying to Penny that the baby was coming down quickly and they needed to get ready for delivery. I was elated knowing that I was right, I was a champion pusher and Penny was laughing and patting me on the leg saying I had told her I could push but now I needed to hold off or I would push the baby out too quickly! It was 3.15pm and Ron and I looked at each other knowing it was very nearly time. Penny and the Dr wheeled a trolley over, draped some sterile clothes under me and the Dr robed up and then they both lifted my heavy useless legs up and helped me grab onto my thighs and then we waited for the next contraction. I was there on the bed with my legs up, clutching my numb thighs, Ron right next to me mopping my head with a damp washcloth and I was suddenly convinced that my contractions had stopped and I wasn’t going to be able to do it! I told them that I didn’t think any contractions were coming but then suddenly it was upon me and they were telling me to use the intensity, to wait till the pain peaked and then to use it to bear down and to push my baby out.
I braced myself and then pushed as hard as I could possibly imagine, I could feel the Dr massaging my perineum and Ron looked over and saw the head coming out. I stopped pushing, took a huge breath and then pushed again and then waited again until the next contraction came. Penny was saying that the baby was nearly here, the head was out and now I just needed to breathe and push the shoulders and our baby would be here. Ron was next to me but also watching what was happening as the next contraction hit and I brought every muscle and ounce of strength in me as I started to push again. I took another deep breath and then suddenly the rushing sensation of movement and then the sudden emptiness and Penny was pulling my baby up onto my chest. It was very quiet but Ron was saying “it’s a girl” and I was shocked because I had honestly been convinced that we were having a boy. She was very blue and covered in thick vernix on her back which looked like icing. She still hadn’t cried properly and I remember the Dr looking at Penny who said confidently, “there is a heartbeat” and then she brought over a suction tube from the warming table behind her and suctioned out her mouth after which she gave a weak cry. I was stunned and overwhelmed and Ron was kissing me and we were both crying. He said “its Stella right?” and I agreed. I asked Penny if she was alright and she said yes, just that she had probably swallowed a bit of fluid and she handed me a thin blue tube from the warming table and said to hold it over her nose. Just this small amount of oxygen was enough to stimulate her and suddenly she started to turn pink and then she opened her mouth and yelled and I could hardly believe that she was actually here and she was a girl! Then the Dr was holding the scissors and the clamps and Ron cut the cord and she went from being part of me to being separate to me and yet even in that very instant it was as though I couldn’t imagine her ever having not been right here with us.The Dr told me I had a small tear and then he bustled around finishing up down below. I felt the placenta come out, another slithering sensation and then an emptiness but the whole time he was working on me I was gazing at Stella’s face and talking to Ron. Penny told me she was a big baby and we started guessing how much she weighed. There was no sense of urgency to take her away from me and I was again grateful for Penny’s calm, no-nonsense approach. At no point did I feel any panic even though there was a lot of meconium on Stella and she was so still and blue and quiet when she came out. Penny didn’t whip her away to work on her but calmly went about taking care of what needed to be done whilst allowing me to hold Stella close on my chest in a blanket. I marvelled at her face, she had so much hair in comparison to Amy and Ron kept saying she looked just like Amy had done when she was born but I just saw my second daughter and although she had Amy’s chin, mouth and nose, she looked like her own person entirely. I was entranced. 15 minutes after her birth I put her to my breast and she latched on immediately and all the joyful feelings of feeding a baby came rushing back and I was overwhelmed by happiness, relief and excitement.

A while later Penny wheeled in the trolley with the scales on it and Ron carried Stella over and put her on them. 3.995kgs just a few grams off Amy’s birth weight of 4.01kgs. The perfect size. Penny took her over to the warming table briefly to measure her head (36cms) and length (56cms) and to do a final check on fingers and toes and breathing before she dressed her in a little vest and tiny blue hospital gown and then she wrapped her up tightly in a blanket and passed her to Ron. I called my Mum and then we called Ron’s Mum and all the while the sun was streaming through the window into the room and Stella was lying peacefully in her blanket and life was exactly the way it was meant to be. The momentary confusion I had felt when she was born a girl was long gone, replaced by a feeling of joy that Amy would get to have her little sister after all and would hopefully grow up to love her and respect her friendship as much as I did with my own little sister. Being a big sister is a huge responsibility but has brought me many rewards and I was hoping that my girls would find the same happiness in their relationship. Once again I was amazed that just mere minutes before Stella had not existed as herself, but as a nameless, sexless baby, physically real only to me and occasionally to Ron through kicks and movements and yet here she was and it was as though she had never NOT been with us. I couldn’t wait for Amy to get to the hospital so I could introduce her to her bran new baby sister.
Some time passed while Ron and I talked and kissed and shared our new baby girl. He was such a strong support for me during my pregnancy and especially during the labour. Calm but there in such a way as I knew if I needed anything he would do it in an instant. We were both elated that the much feared induction had once again ended in triumph and the safe and quick birth of our healthy daughter. Childbirth is one of the most natural events a human body can endure and yet it can still be such a dangerous process for both mother and baby and I was relieved and proud that both Stella and I had done so well. Then my Mum arrived with Ron’s parents and Amy and Ron went out to fetch Amy and bring her in to meet her new sister. I felt very emotional again when seeing my big girl knowing that although things are going to be very different in our lives going forward, nothing could change how I felt about my first born who is no longer my little baby girl! Ron and Mum helped me to get to the shower for a well earned clean up and then I dressed in clean pajamas and we had our first family photo. My legs were still very numb from the epidural but I was keen to get up and moving so they wheeled me and Stella round to our room in the ward.

Its very self-indulgent to record Stella’s birth story like this but it was such a wondeful experience that I want to remember how I felt. When I was pregnant with Amy I spent a lot of time looking for positive induction stories on the internet and didn’t find many so maybe my experiences might even help someone overcome their fear. Now that I have two daughters I am sure one day I will be discussing the process of their birth with them and it will be invaluable having this record.

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