I am a Mom (or Mum as they’d say here). And I have a daughter. Two sentences I knew I’d be able to say one day, but even as I type them and see them on the screen, I still can’t believe it.
It’s night two around 1:15am, Dad is cuddled on my hospital bed (because his mini pullout bed is terribly uncomfortable and I hate sleeping alone) and OUR DAUGHTER, the new angel in our lives, is dreaming peacefully beside us, wiggling and making all the adorable baby sounds.
I always knew I’d want to write down the birth story, not only to share with friends and family, but to always remember and have saved for our girl to read someday. Here is the story how our little Lia Bean entered our beautiful world:
Around 5:30am on Tuesday, May 29th, 7 days after her due date, I woke up with small, but regular contractions. These felt very similar to the Braxton-Hicks, I’d feel after long walks or being overactive, but for the first time, I was feeling them while laying down. They were regular, coming every few minutes lasting 30-45 seconds, but not very painful. I let Ryan slowly wake up and we laid in bed, hoping this was the beginning of labor.
They continued for the next few hours and we relaxed with films and Friends until my body eventually let me fall back asleep. At 2pm, we had a scheduled appointment with the midwives and we found out we were in early labor. From there we went on a long walk around town, doing errands and grabbing food, all the while more contractions continued, getting slowly stronger.
At home that night, I moved through the contractions anyway I could. I danced to music while Ryan cooked dinner. I enjoyed a long bath, but I didn’t like not being able to move much during a contraction in the water. I quickly realized moving and walking through the contractions with strong, deep breaths was best. And the hot water bottle immediately became my best friend. We watched hours of episodes of Friends timing the contractions and making sure our bags were ready for the hospital.
At around 11pm, the contractions started spacing out and my body was craving sleep. We climbed into bed and I rested between each for the next 90 minutes. Then they returned, strong and frequent. I huffed and puffed up and down the hallway through each contraction as Ryan timed them and reminded me to breathe. My contractions were not what I expected. The pain was radiating through my hips and back. I’d switch off the hot water bottle from hip to hip or have Ryan press deeply on my back. Once we’re measuring around 3 to 4 minutes apart lasting for a minute, we decided to start making moves for the hospital. I took a nice, long shower that was hard to leave and Ryan messaged the midwife who told us to head to the delivery suite. By this time the contractions were shortening around 45 seconds but every 2-2:30 minutes. Thankfully the hospital is only a 5-minute drive away and I only had to sit through one excruciating contraction in the car.
So at around 3am on Wednesday, May 30th, we checked into delivery suite 9 where I continued to walk through the contractions. When our midwife, Rachel checked on me, I had barely progressed from that day’s checkup. I decided to take something to help me get some sleep and to see if I could progress and dilate on my own. After some wonderful zzz’s (from both Ryan and I), my midwife checked me again and I still hadn’t progressed. So after 3 to 4 hours in the hospital, we decided to break my water (waters as they say here) to get things moving.
(honest Mama moment, I wrote until there and continuing the story 5 days later)
At that point I had a few options. Continue sans medication to see if I would progress, be induced on a small dose and/or get an epidural. The last few months of the pregnancy, I decided I would have no set birth plan, but rather see and feel how my body reacts to laboring. I’ve heard too many stories with women upset that it didn’t go as planned and it usually doesn’t. Especially if it’s your first child, you have no idea how your body will respond. In my early 20’s, I’d always say I’m opting for a c-section, thinking I could never deliver a baby with my small hips. At the start of the pregnancy, I thought epidural for sure, but as I learned more and more about the birthing process, I wasn’t so sure. Each delivery suite includes a massive bathtub for women to relax in or give birth in. I thought I might like being in the warm water, but I quickly learned at home in my own bath that I needed to move. After 24 hours of contractions and no progression, I decided to accept the medications. I received a low dose to induce me and ordered an epidural. After the not-so-scary big needle went through my back, I tried to relax hoping this babe was closer to coming into the world.
After an hour or so, the epidural stopped working and I had to lay through the crazy, strong contractions for around an hour until it was sorted. Ryan pushed on my back and I concentrated on my breath. After that little ordeal, I could relax. Around noon, Ryan headed to the cafe to get some food and I started feeling loads of pressure, but I assumed I still had hours to go and time for a nap. Silly me. The midwives checked me and I was ready to push.
Me: It’s time!
On my way.
Don’t have Bean till I get there.
The lights were low, the mood was relaxed. It was just me, the midwife and Ryan. I pushed for 30 minutes while nearby construction workers drilled into the walls, not ideal, but nothing else mattered. At 12:45pm, I gave birth to the most precious angel baby girl. I held her on my chest, we cried, we laughed and we couldn’t stop kissing her perfect little body. The moment felt so surreal, yet so natural at the same time. It was a moment I will never forget and will forever be grateful for.
Lia was the best surprise we could ask for. Throughout the entire pregnancy everyone (give or take a few) thought we were having a boy and when I saw all the hair, I still thought she was a boy. Our little princess arrived on the full moon, on Daddy’s half bday and the day my mom guessed at my baby shower. We are absolutely in love with every inch of her and spend all our time staring, cuddling and loving her.
We’re finally settled at home after a five-day stint at the hospital (my blood pressure spiked and although I felt great, it needed to be monitored). She’s an absolute dream and we can’t wait to show her the world.
– Mama Viktoria