Guest Post: My Birth Story … Through the Eyes of a Birthing Partner

Guest Post: My Birth Story … Through the Eyes of a Birthing Partner

Hello all! 
Firstly we wanted to wish you all a very happy new year! 2014 was definitely my fave! We celebrated by staying in with my sisters and a friend, watching movies and eating junk! Arjun had a late night and fell asleep on the bottle at 10pm haha.  How did you celebrate?
Upon reflecting on 2014, my sister offered to write a guest post for my blog.  I thought it was a beautiful idea and was really pleased she was up for it. 

The following post is written by my sister, Goov, who ended up being my second birthing partner at the very last minute. I don’t know what Preetam and I would have done without her. Just having a second person there made both of us that little bit stronger. It also meant that Preetam got a break during my week at the hospital. She was absolutely amazing especially given she’s not usually the greatest in such situations haha.  Both my twin sisters have been absolutely incredible – I’ll be blogging about this separately in the near future 🙂
Goov was unable to come to theatre with me so went through her own rollercoaster of emotions not knowing what was going on whilst at the same time my husband who was in theatre was facing a different type of unknown –  I know the aftermath of when Arjun was born was one of the hardest things he’s ever had to deal with – Arjun was taken away as his temperature dropped drastically and I fell unconscious. I can’t really imagine what that must have felt like.  But I have a small idea from his display of emotions over the few days after Arjun was born 🙁
I found Goov’s account super emotional to read as I guess for us ladies when we are in labour we forget about everything once we see our little bundles of joy but for those around us it’s probably a little more prominent and therefore harder to forget having to watch their loved ones go through what they do during labour. We’re probably quite quick to forget (I am definitely guilty of that!). 

A huge thanks to Goov for taking the time out to reflect.  Love you and Harv both so much x

Here it is …

At the turn of the new year, we always reflect back on our highlights of the last 365 days. For me, it would without a doubt be the day gorgeous little Arjun was born. Or rather, the 84 hours leading to his arrival! I know you’re thinking “why on earth would those 84 hours be a highlight seeing how traumatic it was!?” Well, let me tell you. Here is my birthing partner story.

So on the Sunday that Harps was being induced, I had cooked up a mean pasta to take with me whilst visiting her in hospital for her to eat. Preetam popped home to get things ready for baby’s arrival and sort out Bruno the dog at home. When I arrived and offered Harps my pasta – she categorically refused, she was in no position to be eating a gourmet meal whilst her contractions were getting under way! She was showing me how solid her stomach would become as the contractions came on – its mind boggling what the human body does to itself so naturally.
As the time was quickly passing, she continued to do her prayers and log the contractions using the app on her phone. When she found it too painful, she tossed me her phone so I could update it – she’s definitely one to stay on top of things no matter the circumstances even if it is data entry in an app! Soon enough, the midwife came along and as much as I’d love to say “the rest was history and here’s baby Arj…” you’ve all read Harps’ birth story – it wasn’t quite the case.
For me, hearing the words “we better take you down to the labour ward” were the scariest thing I could hear. Madam doesn’t travel light either so in my fear and haste to get down to the labour ward, I also had to pack all her things up – this felt like it took forever. Immediately I called Preetam and within about 4 mins, he had raced to the hospital and had met us at the entrance to the ward – perfect timing! I’d help settle her in and leave them to endure the process ahead. Not quite. I ended up hanging around a little longer, with both Harps and Preetam asking me to – I think they were both very nervous so having a third person there was in some way a comfort. The senior midwife came in to do an internal examination and check how well the pessary was working down under (sorry for the visual).

I have never heard such a scream – ever.
My family and friends will tell you how big a cry baby I am. I cry over the smallest things be it out of joy or sadness. I heard this shrill scream and did not cry. Seeing my brother in law hold on to his wife crying out like that with tears in his eyes I still didn’t cry. I was in absolute shock. Was this what she would have to endure? At this point, even as a bystander, its difficult to remember that by the end there would be a precious new life in the world! And after all that, she was 0cm dilated. (DO NOT be put off by that – I’ll explain why later!) Naturally, both grandmas to be and aunties to be were messaging asking for updates. To have previously sent a quick message around saying we were in the labour ward and stirring up tons of excitement to then having to tell them that actually it may be a while was difficult!

Eventually it was time to go home and as mummy-to-be started feeling the effects of the pethidine I snuck out, full on the pasta that she still refused to eat because she was in so much pain but insisted I eat because I had ended up sticking around for much longer than anticipated!

The next day I was at work when I got a message that Harps would like me to be her 2nd birthing partner. My twin sister couldn’t get time off work and my manager happened to be really understanding. Even saying that I refused. After what I witnessed the night before I was petrified and that wasn’t even the main event! Nothing would persuade me. Something somehow did. I still don’t know or remember what changed my mind but I found myself the next day at the hospital, helping Harps walk around to let gravity do its job, running up and down in turns with my brother in law to get Costa Peach Lemonade, sending updates to the family.

Still no dilation.

I would then go back home, with my phone on full blast volume like the rest of the family, waiting for the call that just would not come!

Days later, we headed down for the epidural and to force the waters to break. Bear in mind, I know absolutely nothing about child birth or the process or anything of the sort. An anaesthetist came and explained the process and the side effects at which point I’m thinking “It can’t be that bad? Surely?” She then sprayed a substance to numb the back before administering the epidural. That alone was hard to witness, she was in a state. Whilst Harps clung on to Preetam for dear life and he was doing everything in his power to remain strong for her, I held her hand. We both kept talking to her throughout the process. Even when she wanted me to shut up, I would mention things we find funny – y’know, private sister jokes that kinda thing – to keep her mind off of the four attempts we could see the anaesthetist make behind her.

Eventually, several screams, tears and even laughs later, she was ready to go. Another thing to remember is that at this point, we’d all lost any sense of time so I couldn’t tell you on which day this all happened. Once her waters were broken, I was getting so excited, finally I’d get to meet my niece or nephew – I was absolutely certain it was a girl (!). As the hours wore on, we were given 2 reclining chairs positioned right underneath the air conditioning. This was going to be interesting.

As I endured the lovely Real Housewives of different states in America that kept Harps entertained, she was becoming more numb and feeling less pain and just pressure.

As the day and then night wore on, the midwives were becoming increasingly more concerned about the baby’s position and the monitor kept showing the heart rate was dropping so whilst Harps was dozing off, they kept having to wake her to change positions. This is probably the first she’ll know about it, but at that point I was extremely nervous and scared about what would unfold over the next few hours. The midwives were absolutely amazing and did not show an ounce of worry but when you are faced with the situation at hand you sit there and think, I don’t know what I can do here to help and I don’t want to add any more stress but AHHHHHHHHHH!

When the time came to push, we egged her on like we had never done so before! She told us she couldn’t do it. She fell asleep in between the spurts of pushing. She told us again she couldn’t do it. But we told her she could, because look at how much she had been through, over 4 days she had been contracting and tugged at and examined and awakened. I know now that some birth stories are the same, better or worse. Either way, I have an unbelievably new found deep respect for women, our mothers and grandmothers and mothers before that who would have had to endure this pain without the support of the amazing medical staff and facilities available now.
So she’s been pushing for hours and still no sign of baby.  I’m still thinking how lucky am I that I will be witnessing #1 the birth of my sister’s baby but also #2 my niece or nephew who I can tell this story to for years to come when they’re answering us all back! It was well into the early hours of the morning – FYI I’m definitely a natural sleeper. Let it be known, when you are in this situation, there is no such thing as sleep or tiredness. You can’t dare mention being tired in front of a lady in labour either – I’ve learnt the hard way (!).
The consultant on duty soon came in and decided that she would be taken into theatre to try forceps/ventouse. I was extremely disheartened to hear this because she had tried for so long to do this naturally. All of a sudden there was a mad rush and midwives and doctors were pulling wires out and taking the brakes off the bed and grabbing all sorts and pushing open the doors and out they went. Only one person was allowed in theatre so I was left in that delivery suite for what felt like an eternity. I was gutted that I didn’t get to see the birth of my gorgeous nephew but was feeling sick with worry about my sisters health because as they took her she was close to passing out!
I literally just sat there praying for hours and eventually Preetam came in to say with joy that their gorgeous baby boy was born at 5.31am but something wasn’t right. Harps was really unwell and he needed to grab her things as they moved her to ICU. At this point I went back to their house to shower up and let everyone know that they needn’t worry about anything – even though I wasn’t sure what state mum and baby were in as it was literally a whirlwind. When we found out what happened afterwards, even now, it makes us all as a family very emotional because none of us would want the first minutes of such a joyous occasion to be like that.

That day, once Harps was awake and conscious and comfortable, Preetam asked me to come to the hospital to meet my baby nephew as I was only a few minutes up the road from the hospital. He needed to get home and shower and even rest as he hadn’t slept for about 30 hours at this point. I quickly obliged. 

Here’s our first pic together:

When Preetam left, it quickly dawned on me – Harps couldn’t move because of the effects of the epidural and the C-section so when the midwife came to say we should check baby’s nappy I looked the other way. Little did I know I’d end up changing a pooey tar-like nappy for the first time much much much quicker than I had anticipated.

My twin sister works with children including babies in a nursery, she’s amazing with them. Me, on the other hand, its a universal truth that I’m not very good at all with kids. By the end of those first few hours, I had changed a couple of nappies and rocked him to sleep.  This was monumental for me and spending that much time with him I just kept falling in love with him – he was absolutely gorgeous. I’d  say I’m a pro now. We definitely had some fun very early on:

“Plotting to take over the World”
West side

And we continue to do so! I said earlier not to let the scary parts of the story put any aspiring mums or expectant mums to be off because even after absolutely everything…I can’t wait to go through it myself one day. I know – it’s crazy and Harps will say the same. But it is absolutely worth it and all mums out there will agree. As an aunty it’s the most precious thing so as a mother, I can only imagine that it’s priceless and indescribable. Needless to say, it was an honour being Harps’ 2nd birthing partner!

My handsome little nephew and I
Arjun and his twin aunties/masis
 Thanks for reading! 🙂
Goov x

+ There are no comments

Add yours