For those of you that follow me on social media you will know that on Saturday the 20th of August at 4.58pm I gave birth to another little girl, our second daughter, Ivy Mae.
Now that we are into week three of Ivy's life I think it's time to share the story of how she entered this world - it differs hugely from her big sisters birth, which you can read here - not so long ago!
It all started on the Friday (19/8/16), I'd been having Braxton hicks contractions daily since week 20 of my pregnancy but on this day they were considerably more uncomfortable - to the point of becoming painful. I had told my midwife that I would be seeing her this weekend as I had a feeling (like my first birth) I would be going early - I was due on Sunday the 21st.
As it turns out the timing couldn't have been better. My husband, Tom, had a day off having finished work ready to go on leave the coming Monday. My sister had flown down to Christchurch to spend the night at our place in the hopes that I might go into labour when she was there so she could take care of Ella.
That night I woke at precisely 1.45am to my first contraction. I had wondered how I'd know what contractions would feel like but I VERY quickly remembered. These were pretty painful straightaway but were only about 10mins apart and lasting 1min, so I let Tom know what was going on and we both went back to bed to try and get some sleep.
At 6.30am, I phoned my midwife who suggested we go into the hospital to see how things were progressing. In the last month of my pregnancy Ivy was never engaged, so we had thought it was progressing much the same as my first pregnancy and we would probably end up with another caesarean. So, I woke my sister up, gave her some last minute instructions, put our bags in the car, kissed my beautiful firstborn goodbye (which very quickly became a tearful goodbye as Elła didn't want me to go) and started the hour long trip to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at about 8.30am, my midwife did an internal and found I was only 4cms dilated. The Doctors came in to assess the situation, since I had a previous caesarean they weren't going to leave me too long if I wasn't progressing naturally on my own, I had said I didn't want to be induced so the call was made to give me an epidural, break my waters and give it a few hours to see how things were progressing.
The anaesthetist arrived an hour later and administered the epidural, my waters were then broken and I was left to hopefully dilate. The epidural, initially only work down one side of my body so I was still able to feel the contractions, it took a couple more top ups and adjusting of position to get it working properly. By this time it was about 12.30, and I was still only 5cm.
It was now just a waiting game to see if would dilate anymore or if we would be making the call for a caesarean. At 2.30pm we asked the Doctors to check me again to see how far along I was and it turned out in only a short amount of time I had gone from 5cm to almost fully dilated!
Now, I had a different dilemma on my hands - I had to wrap my head around the fact that I was about to give birth naturally! Up until this point it had never crossed my mind that it was a possibility. Obviously, it's always a possibility but I think I had convinced myself that I would be having another csection - my pregnancy had been much the same as Ella's, she had never been engaged and was also posterior so I had just assumed I was incapable of birthing my babies naturally.
About 30mins later I could feel pressure in my rear end and I could start to feel contractions again - meaning the epidural was starting to wear off. I was told it was time to push my baby out - and because last time I'd had a caesarean - I was given 2 hours to get my baby out before they intervened.
After an hour and a half I was told that my baby was starting to get tired - so was I - and her heartbeat was dropping too much during contractions. It didn't help that she was posterior and her head was at an awkward angle. All of a sudden there were about ten people in the room, my legs were put up in stirrups and they were getting ready to use intervention in the form of forceps or vontouse.
This made me panic a little as I really didn't want forceps used on my baby, nor did I want an episiotomy - especially since I could now feel EVERYTHING - I distinctly remember telling my midwife I wanted one hole not two. I needn't have worried because with the next contraction, the threat of forceps and the change of position, one big push managed to turn her from posterior into the right position and turned her head in the right direction - out she came a perfectly tiny, hairy cone headed little girl.
Our second beautiful little girl, Ivy Mae, was born at 4.58pm, weighing 6lbs14oz and measuring at 49cm in length! I had managed to push out a little human - the feeling was like no other!
I'd had only a minor 2nd degree tear so while I had skin-to-skin and Miss Ivy latched on for her first feed (10mins after birth) I was stitched up.
Ivy's birth differed so hugely from Ella's birth, so much so I remember repeatedly saying "I can't believe I just did that!". It was such a positive experience, even with the pain, for me and I feel so blessed to have been able to give birth to another beautiful little girl.