The Mother Hood birth stories have been lovingly shared by mums. In their own words they have told the story and experience of their child’s birth.
Please read and respond with respect and love.
Names: Hannah and Richard
Baby’s date of birth: 4 June 2015
Where do you live?
Where did you plan to give birth?
Waterford birth centre in Hamilton (or the hospital if needed)
Where did you actually give birth?
Auckland City Hospital
Tell us about your pregnancy?
My pregnancy was reasonably standard. Horrific morning sickness from 6 weeks – 12 weeks, then became more manageable and finally stopped vomiting at 23 weeks. My stomach always felt very tight and lopsided so we were booked in for a growth scan at 32 weeks but didn’t quite make it!
What happened when you went into labour?
We had decided on Easter Sunday to go away for the night to Auckland on a babymoon. So we booked a hotel and went up to the beach, went to the movies, out for dinner etc. We were lying in bed about 11.30pm and my waters broke. I was 31+4 so it was very unexpected.
Tell us about your labour and how it progressed
I rang my midwife who told me I needed to get to the nearest hospital. We packed up the few things we’d brought to Auckland, Richard went to get the car and I asked at reception for a map on how to get to the hospital. They were a lot more concerned than I was at this point! We got to the hospital and they checked me over and confirmed it was my waters. They did a scan and saw that baby was head down, and then administered my first dose of steroids. The plan was to give me another dose in 24 hours, and they admitted me. Richard went back to the hotel about 3am with plans to return the next day.
Did you go to hospital or stay at home?
Went to Auckland City Hospital as it was the closest!
Share your birth experience.
I had a few twinges overnight so they gave me meds every 15 minutes to stop labour coming on. I think I managed around 45 minutes sleep at one point and then Richard came back. Had a great chat with my midwife who gave me facts in plain terms. The hospital were still talking about me possibly going full term and maybe going home, whereas my midwife explained there as a high likelihood the baby would arrive this week and at this stage I wasn’t going anywhere.
Around 8.30am contractions started. I knew they were contractions because I was feeling them front and back. Nothing was showing up on the CTG so the doctors were reluctant to check me over as they didn’t want to encourage labour if it wasn’t contractions.
By 10.30am they checked and I was 4.5cm dilated so they took me off to the delivery suite.
I started pushing at 12pm (with an obstetrician, 2 midwives and 4 from pediatrics), and Regan was born at 12.25pm. He was 3lb 3oz but he was breathing perfectly and doing really well. They wrapped him up and gave him to me for a wee cuddle before taking him off to NICU.
My placenta wouldn’t come out (no matter what we tried), so at around 4pm ish I was taken in to surgery for an epidural and a manual retrieval. I was a little frustrated I needed the epidural at that point when I had managed the labour drug free, however it was necessary to remove my placenta.
The staff were amazing and wheeled me into NICU on the way to my ward so I could see Regan again. It then became a bit of a whirlwind of hospitals (including the transfer to Waikato via helicopter), NICU, and learning a lot over the next 6 weeks before we got to bring him home. He’s now a happy and healthy 17 month old with no issues at all.
I’m currently pregnant with number 2 (35 weeks today) and this is a totally different experience as we now know I have a bicornuate uterus and that explains the original lopsidedness, and the premature birth. It’s meant this pregnancy has been very different, and the labour and birth likely will be too.
What things would you do the same?
Auckland City Hospital was amazing. Both during the delivery and the NICU staff. I can’t fault them. The spontaneity of it all was a surprise, but I kept really calm through the whole process and wasn’t worried about Regan’s safety, I knew we were in good hands, and I think the calm attitude helped.
Would you do differently?
In all honesty, nothing. Yes I might have preferred to push on my knees rather than lying down. Yes, a scan earlier would have shows an incompetent cervix which means I would have been monitored more. And yes, not walking up all of Queen St that day probably would have meant delaying the labour. But it was actually all pretty perfect. I didn’t have time to overthink anything, I wasn’t scared, and it was all as smooth as it could have been.
It was a fairly perfect birth (even if it was a few weeks early).
What advice would you give to other mums?
Find a midwife you love and trust. They are the ones who will give you the most advice and who you want on your team if things get tough or complicated. Trust your gut, and remember that even if it’s your first child and you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, once your baby is here you will know them better than any of the doctors or nurses, so be strong and stand up for what you need to. Remember that the best birth plans can change in an instant.