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Episode 203

Kellee

In this week’s bonus episode I chat to Kellee from Little Humans Linens about her three births - two in the birth centre and one at home. As an emergency nurse, she had to consciously let go of the need to manage her own pregnancy and birth and instead place her trust in her midwife. She speaks candidly about her emotional response to becoming a mother and the identity crisis that followed; the inevitable ups and downs of postpartum that all mums experience to some extent. She decided to birth at home with her third baby and says that it took away a lot of anxiety for her.

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“My husband was working away when we decided to try for a baby but regardless I knew that it could take a while to conceive. Like a true emergency nurse I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best.”

Kellee admits that she never had a longing to be a mother and while she imagined herself with a family, having kids was never high on her agenda. She was excited but nervous about the inevitable changes to herself and her life. She fell pregnant quite quickly and after doing a bit of research, decided to book in with the Belmont Birth Centre. She was late to the program thanks to a change in living circumstances but she immediately felt calm and confident in the care fo the midwives. However, a discrepancy with her 26week glucose test meant that she was monitored quite closely in the low risk unit and had to give birth before 41 weeks.

Like most first time mums she assumed she would go into labour early so with her due date fast approaching she became frustrated at the lack of action, despite trying everything to kick start labour. The day before her due date her midwife gave her a stretch and sweep and told her that she was a good few days from labour starting. However, Kellee woke that night and her waters broke quickly followed by one contraction and then another.

She didn’t experience a slow build up of contractions but instead launched straight into active labour. Thirty minutes later she was on her way to the birthing suite and she found relief in the bath where she stayed for another four hours till it was time to push.

“The midwives were very hands off and there was no one else there; the lights were dim and it was calm and peaceful. I remember saying to my husband: this is taking a really long time. I felt really helpless at times, I was taken by surprise by how intense the contractions were but as soon as the midwives were beside me, talking me through the contractions, that level of comfort they gave me was huge. They made me feel really safe.

“I pushed for two hours and I was getting quite exhausted and one of the midwives wanted to examine me and in turns out I had a cervical lip. They encouraged me to get on all fours and they helped release it and two pushes later Edie was born.”

I didn’t cope very well with a change in routine, i was struggling with my identity as a mum and figuring out what happens next, making sense of it all…I don’t think I struggled any more than any other mum, it’s just a normal part of becoming a mum

Edie was diagnosed with hip dysplasia (dislocatable right hip) shortly after birth and from day three had to wear a harness that put her legs into a frog position to encourage the hip joint to develop. She was in it for 12 weeks and had to go to the hospital once a week to get it changed.

After moving to Cairns, Kellee fell pregnant with Thomas and at her 20 week scan, was told her had a hole in his heart. “The ED nurse in me was wanting to desperately research everything and when we finally saw the OB he told us that the scan showed a small head and abdominal circumference and his cord wasn’t attached correctly to the placenta.

“They weren’t giving us any scario which is what I was finding so hard to deal with. Despite it being an urgent scan it took 3-4 weeks to get it and while we waited we had a repeat consult because it felt like we weren’t given the whole story. The only definitive way to find out was an amniocentesis and on the morning of the test we met with a different OB and she questioned why we were having an amnio and simply said that these measurements standing alone didn’t mean anything. She encouraged us to get another scan and when we did it showed that there was no hole in the heart, a normal cord insertion and his head and abdominal measurements were on 50th percentile.”

The relief was enormous and Kellee started thinking of her imminent birth. When she got to hospital with her hund waters leaking, she was expecting a speedy birth and when her braxton hicks weren’t growing in intensity or regularity, she started to get irritated. A young midwife reminded her that she was birthing a different baby; it was going to be a different birth.

“She broke my waters and the first contraction hit and I yelled out: fill up that bath! I got in and I said: I can’t do two hours of this and then ten minutes later I delivered Thomas.”

While she got her speedy delivery and went home soon after, Thomas never slept or fed well. At his six week checkup the nurse commented on his heart-shaped tongue and at four months, when he was in the 3rd percentile for weight, Kelle decided to have a skype consultation with a lactation consultant in Brisbane who diagnosed him with a severe tongue tie.

“We flew to Brisbane to have the tongue tie revised and as soon as he latched I knew it was fixed; it was a proper latch and I had a proper let down and he was feeding as he should. He started putting on weight then and it was a very different experience.”

Fast forward two years Kellee and her husband Matt decided to leave Cairns and move back to Newcastle. They arrived when she was 36weeks pregnant and under the care of the Belmont midwives, Kellee opted to have a homebirth.

“I was nervous about a fast delivery so we opted for a homebirth. Knowing the service in Newcastle was amazing, safety was always my priority but I feel like there so much misinformation about homebirth, it felt like the safest option for me because as soon as labour began I’d have a midwife coming to my house to look after me; it just felt right. Good, solid, safe homebirth is a really amazing option and for us it was just perfect. It took away a lot of anxiety for me.”

Topics Discussed

Hip sysplasia, Birth centre, Tongue-tie, Three births, Home birth

Episode Sponsor

Today’s episode of the show is sponsored by Who Gives A Crap. The lovely team at WHO GIVES A CRAP are offering my listeners $10 off your first subscription. Just head over to Who Gives A Crap right now and use the coupon code Birthstory to get $10 off your first subscription.

That’s $10 off your first subscription purchase at Who Gives A Crap with coupon code Birthstory.

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