Bonnie is one of my best friends in the world. I’ve never connected with somebody like her, and I’m so honoured to share her birth story for baby Daisy.
I wish I could say that Daisy’s birth story began with a bang; that my waters broke on someone’s foot in the middle of Woolworths; that it was like in the movies where they’re driving back from a doctor’s visit and all of a sudden, they’re crowning. But alas, my day started and conducted itself just like any other, so I will skip the mundane drone that is my usual Friday, and I’ll start at 2:30pm…
After watching Bolt with Rosie for the 15000th time, I noticed two things:
- It was nearly school pick up time
- I was contracting
Both of these had been regular occurrences for me. I had been having near-constant and irregular contractions for over 2 weeks, and unfortunately school’s don’t do sleepovers so I had to go and pick my kid up. I paid little to no mind to the goings on of my uterus. At this point, I was at that “I’m going to be pregnant for the rest of my life” phase, and so the fact my contractions were forming a pattern and getting longer and stronger didn’t really cross my mind.
We picked Poppy up and arrived home. Immediately, I am inundated with requests for food. My temper was shorter than usual, I didn’t feel like talking or arguing or doing anything for that matter, so I let the girls raid the junk boxes and went into my bedroom. I noticed my body felt different, that my uterus was extremely busy, and that I needed to double check my series link for My 600lb Life had worked on my Foxtel box. It’s around 4pm now, and my husband rolls in home. I told my Ben about my contractions purely because I know he gets hypersensitive about these things and doesn’t like to be kept in the dark. In my head, this was still nothing. He busied himself with his latest BBQ metalwork masterpiece, and I noticed my body reacting to the contractions; contract, sway, breathe, repeat. Ben noticed too. “Should I call Mum?” “Let’s give it until half 5”.
It didn’t take long for me to put 2 and 2 together and acknowledge the fact that this is ACTUALLY probably labour. I showered my kids, and Ben took them to his mum’s house. For the next 3 hours, I laboured at home; pacing around my room, checking and triple checking bags while Ben watched the Bronco’s game and kept out of my way. By 8:10pm [almost 6 hours in], we were on our way to the hospital.
We arrived and I was contracting in earnest now. I had hit that “can’t speak, can’t listen, can’t think” contraction phase. After the usual flurry of questions, temperatures and blood pressures, the midwife announced that she needed to put a cannular in my arm because of my history of post-partum bleeding [it was one time]. Now I’ll be straight up: my births with my two previous children were strictly de-medicalised. I walked into the hospital, pushed a baby out, then went home. No one stuck anything anywhere, and so the thought if them putting something in my arm “just in case” bothered me. This bother heightened when I made the rookie error of turning and looking at them mutilating my arm and seeing my blood pissing out everywhere. “Oh you ARE a bleeder aren’t you?!” the midwife joked. Funny, Jane, oh SO funny…
Anyway, they let us be for an hour. I stood in the shower for a while, I walked around the room, Ben told me the score of the Bronco’s game, and I was still completely distracted by the thing in my arm. At 9:45pm, the midwives entered the room. “Because you’re post-dates, if you are more than 4cm dilated, we can break your waters to get things happening. What do you think?” I thought about it for about 1.3 seconds before replying, “yep, fuck it, let’s have a baby”. I knew that once my waters went, things would move quickly, so I gritted my teeth and let them wave their magic crochet hook around in my fanny, bunkered down and began the wait…
The wait lasted about 15 minutes because that’s how long it took for things to pick up. In hindsight, I was ready for labour and for a baby, but I didn’t put much thought into letting the intensity build slowly. I took that slow build up away from myself, and all of a sudden I was in a world of pain. For the next 2 hours, I screamed profanities. Glorious, made up profanities at every single person who was in the room. I told my husband to “bash it up his dickhole”, I told the midwives to “please shut the fuck up for a minute” and to “get your hands off for fuck sakes”. A lifetime of my BEST choice words had all built up and were suddenly being released in this moment.
But things were getting sticky. I wanted to push. It was overwhelming. For a while, they let me, but something wasn’t working. “We need to check and see if you’re fully dilated, ok?” After much procrastinating and yelling, they announced, “you’re only 8cm, and we need to wait…” I communicated my displeasure accordingly [“FUCK. THIS”], the contractions kept coming with little to no reprieve, and panic started to set in. In the blink of an eye, I begged them to let me push again and they said “ok”. With all my might, I pushed. I pushed and I pushed but nothing felt right. I couldn’t get comfortable, I felt like my body was failing. My anxiety picked up and I started looking around the room. My eyes fell on my husband, and knowing that he was [supposed to be] on my side, I declared, “take me the theatre, I can’t do it”. Rather than clicking his fingers and making that happen, he replied, “nah, not happening, you’re fine bub you can do it”. Asshole.
People were coming in and out now and I felt like I caged animal at a zoo. The student midwife kept waving her Doppler around my body and I kept pushing her away and telling her to fuck off. I couldn’t understand that these people were all happily watching me DIE and no one was doing anything. Now I was yelling, “take me to theatre, this is fucked, I can’t do it, it fucking hurts”, and all they could say was, “just breathe, you’re doing great, deep breaths, don’t panic”. HAHAHA UM OK YES I AM IMMEDIATELY CALM AND COPING BECAUSE YOU SAID THAT, WOW THANK YOU. This went on for what felt like hours [it was 45 minutes I think], when an angel graced my presence. A person which I am going to call The No Bullshit Midwife marched into the room. “Bonnie, we need to put this trace on baby’s head because we can’t pick up the heartrate through the Doppler or the CTG”. At the same time I said “no”, my husband replied, “yes”. Fucking Judas. I tuned into what was going on around me and people looked very serious. Brows were furrowed, things were being pulled out of cupboards, people were being called. It felt like a flurry, and all I could hear was NOISE. It was loud. People kept talking and saying all of these things about stuff I didn’t want to understand. A new midwife appeared at my left arm and was trying to be encouraging. I looked her dead in the face and pointed to that fancy little cannular in my arm and said to her, “put some drugs in here. Now”.
No Bullshit Midwife was busying herself around in my insides. I noticed it and told her to get her hand out…please. “Your cervix had a little lip and that’s why you aren’t pushing successfully. Push my hand out”. I started to push again, still to no avail. She asked me about the monitor again and at this point, I didn’t know how to think, feel or do anything. All I could manage was to panic. After a little more coercion, I allowed her to put that pointy little corkscrew into my baby’s head. I don’t remember what else went on. My husband informs me that everyone watched the fetal heartrate monitor with baited breath and that doctors were called in to stand by. All I can remember is yelling and asking to go for a C/Section. The next thing I heard was No Bullshit Midwife saying, “ok, baby isn’t happy, we need to deliver”. I looked at her and said, “did you say baby isn’t happy?” The student midwife flew into damage control and started to say, “oh no baby is fine!” but was cut off by No Bullshit Midwife who looked me square in the face and said, “yes, I did. Now you need to stop the carry on and get your baby out…now”. Sweeter words had never been spoken, and I said to her timidly, “ok. Just tell me what to do because my body isn’t working”.
So I pushed. Harder than I did before. The profanities and yelling stopped and I felt my body work. After 2 good pushes, I saw a head. There was no time to pant and breathe and wait while my pelvic floor and muscles stretched out a bit, so I pushed that head out fast as fuck. “Do you want to touch the head?” the student midwife asked eagerly. “No, yuck”, I replied. The No Bullshit Midwife grabbed my attention again. “Is the contraction still there? Push again”. And all of a sudden, there she was. A little dark haired beauty being thrown onto my chest. I felt the sting of an injection in my leg and clamps were hastily being put on. “Here, dad!” Ben snipped the cord and one of the midwives said to me, “baby just needs a bit of oxygen now, ok? We are gonna take her over here”. My panic peaked again and I said to Ben, “go over there with her don’t leave her alone”. I felt guilty as sin. I felt like my body had failed her and her start to life was jaded because I couldn’t get my shit together. They bought her back over and assured me she was ok.
Everything went calm then. The noise stopped. People trickled quickly out of the room and didn’t return. I apologised to everyone and they all laughed and said, “congratulations, you did really well”. No Bullshit Midwife poked her head in and said, “because she was born right on midnight, you can choose her birthdate”. 18 May was a no brainer because 18/5/18 please me aesthetically. Everything was done. It was still but I still felt shaken by the absolute shit storm that had just occurred. One of the midwives appeared at my arm. She said to me, “so, Bonnie, the reason why your pushing wasn’t working was because of baby’s positioning. She had spun from anterior to posterior in her decent down into the birth canal. It was nothing to do with your effort – we couldn’t figure it out – her position was backwards and she couldn’t make it around your tail and pubic bones. We didn’t realise until she was crowning; she spun back to anterior as she was crowning and coming out so I’m going to have to give you a really good look over for tears because that would have put your body under a bit of stress”. And suddenly, it aaaallllll made sense. I felt relieved. It wasn’t my fault, just one of those things we can’t control. And by some divine miracle, for the third time around, I didn’t tear and was somehow still intact.
I asked to go home after my 6 hour minimum. The midwives busied themselves getting our paperwork done, and Ben and I threw different names around the room like confetti. I threw out Daisy and we knew it was the one, despite our resolve to steer away from the whole floral vibe we managed to land ourselves in. At 6am on the 19 May, we discharged and made our way home, completely in love with our new baby girl and completely comforted with the knowledge that we were never, ever, going to do this shit again. Next stop: fake titties.