Editor's Letter: Georgie | Mom Lifestyle Blogs & Websites For Moms 2019 |

Editor’s Letter: Georgie



Let’s talk about childbirth. I’ve wanted to write a story about this topic for a while now, because my two births were so dramatically different. For the first, I basically walked into the maternity ward backwards asking for an epidural before I’d even been given a bed...

To get into the specifics, an epidural is where painkilling drugs are passed into the small of your back through a fine tube. Once I was around 6cm dilated my wish to have a low-dose epidural was granted (a low-dose epidural means you retain some sensation in your legs and feet). For my second birth, I used pethidine in the early stages of labour, but couldn’t suck it in once the contractions started to get too intense. I ended up birthing Lottie without an epidural.


If I had another child, I’d try and do it drug free for two reasons: the recovery was far smoother and it was less invasive…

It was also empowering. But if I couldn’t and it didn’t feel right, it’d go for an epidural. My point is: there is no right or wrong way to birth your child. It’s your body and the most important thing is doing what feels right. We also found out the sex of our first child and kept it a surprise with our second. I enjoyed the surprise of not knowing, but also loved the preparation for Arabella’s arrival, knowing she was a girl. What can I say? I love pink stuff. I know I sound like I’m sitting on the fence, but you are the mother and you know what is best for you and your child. It’s funny how after you give birth, other women often ask you if you needed an epidural. It does feel a little competitive. After I had Lottie a woman I know asked me if I had an epidural. I told her I didn’t end up getting one. “Yeah, but you have small babies,” she replied. I wanted to slap her in the face. I have had two premature babies, which both weighed 2.3 kg, but let me tell you this: small babies aren’t easy to birth either. And I’d prefer a full term chubby baby over a premmie that heads straight into an incubator any day.


Arabella’s birth…

With our first child, Arabella, I had a fairly smooth pregnancy. We booked in to do a calm birth course and to our surprise, my waters broke the following day, six weeks early, while I was getting a manicure and pedicure with my mother. My mum isn’t one to panic and not much in life stresses her out. Her reaction will always make me laugh. She simply turned to me and said: “Ok darling but can we just finish our nails and then we’ll go to the hospital?”. We did end up finishing our nails and then rushed to the supermarket where we bought basically everything in the baby aisle – being so early, I wasn’t prepared! So much for an organised hospital bag. All I had was freshly painted nails and a dress and shoes covered in amniotic fluid. Even though my waters had broken, I ended up having to be induced with a syntocinon drip as 17 hours later, Arabella wasn’t showing any signs of coming out. I had an epidural and she was pulled out with forceps as her heart rate started to drop. I experienced intense pins and needles, major shakes and teeth-chattering (this is a downside to having an epidural and I found these side effects really uncomfortable). I tore and needed stitches, but I didn’t feel much pain during the contractions (being a low-dose epidural you do still feel slight contractions). After the epidural had worn off and the feeling in my legs returned, I had a shower. That first shower after you give birth is probably going to be the best shower you ever have. All in all, birthing Arabella was a positive experience and I credit having an epidural for it being a calm, relaxed birth. Having such a brilliant obstetrician and pediatrician also helped – I felt safe in their hands, even when her heart rate dropped. I didn’t get the chance to ‘bond’ post-birth with Arabella as she was taken to special care and put in an incubator. I had learnt how important this was during the calm birth course. I was a mess. I spent the first week feeding a breast pump every three hours as she was too small to latch-on. As the weeks passed and I was able to hold my baby girl more and more, I realised how there are many moments beyond those first few weeks and they’re just as important. It’s safe to say, I’m bonded for life to both my girls, despite the fact that we were separated for the first couple of weeks of their life.


Lottie’s birth…

Lottie arrived 17 months later and the birth started off almost identical to Arabella’s birth. My waters broke in bed at 1am. This time seven weeks early. I had been on bed rest for almost three months so I knew a premature labour was coming. We headed straight to the hospital and the midwife told me she thought the baby would be here in a few hours. 12 hours later and I felt nothing stronger than mild period cramps. Just like the first time, I ended up being induced and from that point on it was incredibly intense. The contractions started coming hard and fast but by that point, I was set on doing it naturally. I knew this was probably my last baby and if I could do it, I wanted to know what it felt like to give birth without an epidural. The midwife I had was phenomenal and I credit her with being able to get through it without an epidural. She was a little like a doula – a trained birth companion – and if I had my time again with Arabella, I’d use a doula. She massaged me throughout the intense transition phase and spoke calmly to me through the birth, explaining what was happening to my body. My poor husband just cried as he could see how much pain I was in. I screamed the hospital down – not exactly a calm birth – and just before I started to push the head out my obstetrician told me firmly to stop screaming or the baby would not come out. Suddenly, I went quiet and channeled all my energy into pushing Lottie out. It was an out of body experience – I rose above the pain. Finally, she arrived. I didn’t tear this time. It was the most painful experience of my life and without a doubt, the most exhilarating and empowering. I also liked that I could get up straight away and there were no pins and needles or shakes. The recovery was much smoother. Unfortunately Lottie’s birth turned out to be a little more complicated than we ever imagined. Six weeks after the birth, while feeding Lottie in the middle of the night, I experienced a late postpartum hemorrhage and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. I was in and out of hospital for a week and ended up needing five blood transfusions and a curette. That was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced – and horrible to be separated from my newborn again and it put enormous pressure on my husband who was left at home with a new baby and an 18-month-old. To be honest, that whole experience seems very surreal and when Lottie is difficult (being a toddler she tests me daily) I often remember what a journey it was bringing her into the world and how lucky I am to have her.


There really is no correct way to bring a baby into the world…

We’ve all got our own birthing story. It doesn’t matter if you have a cesarean section, an epidural or do it naturally. All I know is that things very rarely go to plan so be open to things playing out differently to how you had imagined. Ultimately, what matters is that the baby and mother are safe. What has been your experience with birth? I’d love to hear your stories. Georgie x Photo: Grace Alyssa Kyo


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