Australian Birth story – Early baby and on holidays story from Leah Sizeland

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Leah and baby in hospital

Here Leah describes her birthing experience being 5 weeks early and on a family trip to the counrty.

Describe your birth experience in 3 words:
crazy, empowering, trusting

Was it your first?
No

How did you prepare for birth?
She births in-person course for the 2nd time

How did you bring your baby into the world?
On all fours on a bed

Who supported you throughout the birth?
Husband Oliver Sizeland

What was the most challenging part of the birth?
I was in a completely different place and Ari came early

What most helped you through the birth experience?
My Knowledge from she births, my girlfriend and husband

What has been the best post-birth care for you?
My mother in law and my parents coming over from the UK to help.

How did She Births help you?
It gave me internal confidence to know whatever got thrown my way I had the knowledge and power to trust my instincts as a birthing woman. Forever grateful XXX

Ari’s Birth was completely different to my first birth.
I had a girlfriend visiting from the UK, we decided to take our kids away for a weekend. It was 5 weeks before my due date, I felt really fit and healthy, going to Kiama felt like a great idea a couple of nights away in the country resting, and hanging out. We went down on the Friday and Olly (husband) was to join us on Saturday.

The morning we left I felt great, we spent the whole day on the beach, at Stanwell tops.
I went to buy ice cream for the kids, and the little old Greek lady that served me looked at me and said you are going to have that baby very soon! We smiled and commented “not for another 5 weeks we hope” We walked back to the car en route to our Air BnB.
we were there for about 30mins when I went to the toilet to my surprise was my mucous plug was in my pants.
I looked and gazed not really quite knowing what to think. My husband was taking all his staff out for the day “teambuilding” so I called him and asked him to start making his way down tonight instead of tomorrow.

I felt fine, spoke to Lucy and we agreed to go to the shops and get supplies for dinner and have a chilled night.
When we arrived at the busy shopping centre. I had this awful feeling of just wanting to hide and not be around anybody. I then thought oh gosh is this it? Still in denial, I wasn’t having contractions so the baby could still be a couple of weeks away.
we swiftly left the shopping centre and went back to the Airbnb.
Lucy cooked me dinner I had an extra-long bath with Cee cee ( my four year old)
After dinner, I took Cee Cee to bed, read her a story and fell asleep with her on the top bunk. Jacob (Lucys little boy 10yr) was going to sleep on the bottom bunk.

Baby on Leah's chest in hospital
After about 30mins I woke, as I sat up I felt this sudden gush! OMG, my waters had broken.
Desperately trying not to wake Cee Cee up, I called out to Lucy.
She ran up the stairs we both looked at each other in disbelief!! “Shit I said I need you to drive me to a hospital” At this stage it was about 8 pm. Lucy has no idea where we were, I had no idea what hospital to go to, shell harbour, Wollongong, or Nowra.
We called my girlfriend who had recently moved to Kiama (but just as luck goes she was in the city that night) She called a nurse friend and she explained go to Wollongong as there is no special care unit at the other hospitals. Deep breath.

I still had no contractions but at this point felt slightly panicked when I heard the words “special care unit” on top of that I didn’t want to alarm my little girl. Jacob was 10 so he actually found it quite exciting.
So we agreed to try and keep her asleep. I called Olly to see where he was, he was stuck at a railway station in between Bondi and Kiama due to track works. Again I then felt slightly panicked but just told him to meet me at Wollongong hospital. Just trying to keep as calm as poss
My Waters at this stage was still coming out of me I couldn’t believe how much, I had never experienced this in my first birth.
So I wedged a rolled-up towel between my legs stuffed what I needed into a hospital bag.
Lucy lifted Cee Cee very carefully into the car, still asleep, typed Wollongong hospital into google maps, and off we all went. I felt calm, but I could see Lucy was internally worried, however, made me feel like I had to keep everything calm for everyone especially bub and from what we had learnt at she births big deep breaths, I just kept reminding myself of all the tools I had from she births. In the car I had a contraction but was very gentle, we played some music and giggled a little about the situation trying to find the funny side. Deep down I was praying Olly would be there when we got there.

Lucy has been my best mate since I was 5 yrs old so I trust her with my life! Thank god!
Once we arrived at the hospital it looked closed, we called them they said we had come to the wrong entrance! (due to building work) , It was like a carry on movie at this stage we couldn’t believe it.
we found a new entrance just around the corner and waddled through, went up into a lift and were greeted by nurses at the other end.
I explained our situation and they put me in a room on my own and Lucy and the kids in another room. They then told me they might send me back to Randwick.
I told them my husband was on route and I don’t think that would be a very good idea.
I put my earphones in and started listening to the Shima mantra that I had from She Births®,I listened to it on repeat two hours later Olly arrived. Lucy took the kids home.

My body then went into full labour. They moved me into a birthing room I felt very different not as friendly as my last birth but I just kept reminding myself of all the She Births® breathing techniques and I wanted to hear was the Shima mantra.
I asked for a birth pool they said they would fill one up, but that never happened, thank goodness I had the knowledge from She Births® to birth on all fours.
The midwife was young and kept asking me to stay on the bed, I asked for a bean bag and a mat they said they didn’t have one!
time and time again my wishes kept getting knocked back, time and time again I just kept reinforcing myself with all the tools she births had given me.

So in the end, I stood in my power and told them I would not be birthing on the bed legs up, if they couldn’t give me anything to support me on the floor, then I would kneel on the bed. Which is what I did.
My labour slowed down for a couple of hours. I started to tire I had been kneeling on the bed for three hours then my contractions felt deep and I knew this was it, but I had a resistance, and I could feel that I just needed to surrender that last little bit. I tried to chant as I did in my 1st birth but for some reason this time I was losing energy doing this.
So the midwife advised me to stop which I did, and I just remember the coffee plunger breaths and surrender as soon as I did I saw blood splash on her facemask and I felt my little boys head between my legs, I cried and felt such relief.
He was earthside. I held him for a short time when a nurse came then very quickly without my consent cut the cord and he was taken into special care.
As his little lungs were not fully developed so he was finding it hard to breathe he was on CPAP for two weeks which is where I stayed with him.

As crazy as it all unfolded, I truly believe that if I had not of had the knowledge she births had given me my story could have been extremely different. I am forever thankful for the toolbox, of breath, mantras and visualizations and all the knowledge I was given. Even in the two-week stay, we had in the neonatal ward. I still leant into the She Births® meditations.

So much gratitude for this incredible course. Thanks, Nadine XXX

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