Hello baby- our birth story

Writing this blog, I have to say as I write, I know I can’t do the full story justice. It really was just such a magical experience.

I still can’t believe she is here. One day your pregnant wishing for it all to come to an end and the next your sweet little muffin is here and all you want to do is stare at her beautiful face.

So many of you have been following my pregnancy story, so I felt I wanted to share Emma’s birth story with you too.

Preparing for labour

At 39 weeks I went in for a quick check up. The Doctor had a quick look at my progress and said I have not started to show any signs of going into labour yet and all my muscles are very tight. He wanted to do a Cervix sweep, however I was not mentally or emotionally ready at the time. This was during the festive season a week before Christmas to be exact. I didn’t want to ruin all the Christmas fun if you get what I mean.

After the new year I went back to the hospital to see the Doctor and there was still no progress. At this stage we were back into strict Covid regulations. The second strain of Covid was now fully active and 70% more contagious than the first strain.

So the Doctor didn’t want me hanging around for too long. There was lots of people coming into the hospital that wanted to drop of goodies for their loved ones that have been admitted into the Covid wards. I could really feel their pain and see the hardship on their faces. It really was not a nice place to be at the present time.

The Doctor had me admitted into the maternity ward and they did a CTG (Cardiotocography scan). This is to monitor the babies heart rate and have a look at contractions in the womb, which can also help the Doctors see if the baby is in distress.

On my CTG scan all was perfectly normal, baby was very cozy in mummies tummy. The Doctor then performed a cervix sweep to help my muscles relax. This was really a painful experience. The reason why he chose to do the sweep was because baby’s head was fully engaged into my pelvis but there is no sign of labour and my muscles were just too tight.

I survived the sweep and went back home. 3 days later the Doctor asked me to come back for another check. We were all hoping at that stage I would have at least had some muscle relaxation (dilation), but nothing. Not even half a cm.

They performed a sweep again. Thankfully it wasn’t so painful the second time round. After another CTG scan I was once again discharged and told to walk, walk and walk some more and sit on my yoga ball each day.

Reaching my due date- 40 weeks pregnant

I have to say being pregnant over 40 weeks is tough. Your body aches in all sorts of ways, you struggle to sleep, your tired, emotional and just really fed up. Lots of people comment and say ‘still pregnant?’ or ‘wow you look so ready to pop’, those comments do not help either. I know it is an exciting time and most people mean well, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit irritable about it.

Going into labour

I basically didn’t go into active labour and a few days before 41 weeks my Doctor recommended I move forward with planning an induction. He mentioned as the Covid 19 crisis took hold, the health system has to make some major decisions based solely on patient safety. That being said my doctor made me feel very safe and committed to ensuring I have a good birth experience. I never felt forced to make any decisions, however I was advised to go in for a planned induction.

My husband and I decided a planned induction would be for the best. To be honest I was getting nervous and I wanted to be in the hospital for the least amount of time as would be safe for all of us. A planned induction totally made sense to me in the given circumstances.

Getting induced

Wednesday morning the 13th of January we arrived at the hospital. I felt as ready as I one can be. I was ready to meet our baby girl. I even packed some healthy snacks.

Knowing I was getting induced gave me the opportunity to wake up, take a shower, do my hair, pack all my things and head off to the hospital feeling prepared. I guess that is a counter side to being induced, knowing ‘today is the day’. It is kind of an odd feeling.

Once we arrived we met our nurse. Such a wonderful team of people. They are amazing! We discussed my labour and chatted about how things will work. The nurse was with me every step of the way from admission to delivery and recovery. She really made me feel important and special, but everyone was very encouraging.

Thankfully my husband could be there throughout the entire process as well. He was a constant support system. He remained calm and collected and strong during all the craziness. The one thing we learnt in the antenatal class that my husband really helped me with throughout was breathing, breathing through the pain. He constantly reminded me to breathe the pain away.

I got induced twice before going into labour. It was a long day for us and when the contractions started it was constant for 2 hours, seconds apart. I honestly have to say, the contractions were more painful than giving birth. I wanted an epidural for the pain. When the midwife checked to see how far dilated I was during all the contractions, I was informed I was 9 cm and it was too late for the epidural. They gave me an injection to help cope with the anxiety and the pain. The Doctor came a few minutes later and it was time to push. I could feel the pressure of actually needing to push and pushing through the contractions actually helped to alleviate the pain. An hour later baby Emma was born.

I had no tearing, which means no stitches. Reflecting back now, I think wow how did I do it! I have to honestly say, the antenatal classes beforehand helped so much in teaching me how to breathe the baby out. I tuned in with my breath and could feel exactly when I needed to inhale and exhale in order to push the baby out at the height of my contractions.

As soon as she was out I felt so much joy and relief. I think it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I was able to hold her skin to skin and she latched really quickly. We just bonded straight away. I feel so blessed that we bonded straight away, I just loved having her with us. Finally!

My husband was in complete awe with how serene I was during the birth. It was everything and more I had hoped for. A beautiful, gentle start for our baby.

Our beautiful baby girl – Emma

Our baby girl arrived at 10:55 pm on 13 January. She weighed a healthy 3.71kg and 55cm long.

The meaning of her name is so special, it means whole or universal in English, 9 blessings in Thai and God has answered in Hebrew. Each one of those meanings means something special and dear to us.

Our new family of three were on our way home the next day from the hospital as ready as we can be for this new adventure.

Thank you for all your sweet messages over Instagram and Facebook following Emma’s birth. I will be going off the grid for a while, enjoying all the newborn snuggles.

Much love to all.

Dot you later! X

About the author

Qualified chef, Health Coach and Nutritionist based in Johannesburg & Cape Town, South Africa

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