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Episode 209

Lauren

In this week’s bonus episode I chat to student-midwife and mother of two (almost three), Lauren. Half-way through her final year of highschool, Lauren fell pregnant at the age of 16. She shares her teen pregnancy journey, her traumatic first birth and redemptive second. Now she’s come full circle as she works towards finishing her midwifery degree and looks forward to supporting pregnant women and especially teen mums as they journey towards birth and motherhood.

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“Unbelievaby I fell pregnant the very first time I had sex,” says Lauren. She’d been with her boyfriend for four months and did a pregnancy test while she was at the shopping centre. A week later she broke the news to her very religious mother who lovingly accepted the pregnancy and took Lauren for a dating scan; she was 8 weeks along.

Shortly afterward Lauren moved to Adelaide with her parents and her little sister but flew back to Melbourne regularly to see her boyfriend and friends. She continued her final year of school via distance education and was under the care of midwives at her local hospital. Regardless of their support and encouragement, Lauren admits that in retrospect, she knew very little about labour and birth.

Her waters broke early one morning and after going to hospital to check the amniotic fluid, she was sent home as labour hadn’t begun. However, within ten minutes of walking in the front door, her contractions came on hard and fast and she returned to hospital, was admitted to the birthing suite and told she was 3cm. She didn’t react well to the gas but was able to calm down with pethidine. However, as labour and her pain progressed, she opted for an epidural.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t done correctly and while my whole left leg was numb so while I could still feel labour pain I could move, get in the bath or get comfortable.”

Towards the end of her labour things became quite serious. “It says in my notes that I pushed unsuccessfully for an hour and a half. The foetal heart rate was decelerating rapidly and my blood and urine samples came back showing late onset pre-eclampsia. They did a vacuum delivery and I ended up with a three-degree tear and lots of blood loss. Dean was born blue and floppy but I was unaware as I was really dizzy from the drugs and pre-eclampsia. He was rushed to special care after really low apgar scores but four hours later he came to my room and we had our first cuddle.”

Lauren was really passionate about breastfeeding after witnessing her mum feed her little sister for over two years. “I knew that I wanted that same experience. Mum was the best support, showing me positions, encouraging feeding on demand, she’s a wealth of knowledge on breastfeeding and I’ll always be grateful for her guidance.”

Despite her family support, Lauren received a lot of public criticism during pregnancy and once Dean was born. She continued to travel back to Melbourne to visit friends and Dean’s father but when she was in Adelaide she became increasingly lonely and suffered postnatal anxiety, depression and PTSD from the birth experience. Her psychologist guided her through the following year and after returning to Melbourne to live, she settled into life as a single mother with the support of her parents.

Four years later she reconnected with her high school crush, Josh, and they’re now married. Lauren was diagnosed with third-stage endometriosis and was told she would have trouble conceiving but happened to conceive the following month. Her pregnancy was more challenging than her first and despite everyone telling her that her second birth would be quicker, it definitely wasn’t. After hours and hours of labour and talk of  a cesarean, Lauren opted for an epidural and when it was time to birth Isabelle, the midwives told her to stop pushing. “She was literally wriggling her way out of me! It was the healing birth I needed after what happened with my first.”

Lauren is now in her third trimester with her third baby and as she gets closer to graduating as a midwife, she is looking forward to supporting pregnant women and new mothers.

“If there’s any young mums out there, know that it has been tough but it’s also been the very best thing I’ve ever done.”

Topics Discussed

Breastfeeding, Endometriosis, Pre-eclampsia, Teenage pregnancy, Vacuum delivery

Episode Sponsor

Today’s episode is brought to you by ErgoPouch. If you’ve not heard about Australian sleepwear brand ergoPouch, it’s time to get to know this much-adored brand! ergoPouch makes organic and natural fibre TOG-rated sleepwear and sleep solutions for newborns to 6-year olds. Parents around Australia and the world LOVE ergoPouch for several reasons; their eco-friendly credentials, stylish prints and colours, and ergonomically designed products for each age and stage as they grow. And we also love ergoPouch because they simplify how to dress your child for sleep, which is exactly what tired parents need!

Gifting season has landed online at ergoPouch in a bid to help you reduce waste and provide a gift that is useful and joyous, ergoPouch have curated a list of sustainable stocking stuffers that are useful, will be enjoyed for a long time, and care for our environment. First on the list is this season’s online exclusive discounted sleep packs. Choose from the Newborn Hospital Pack, the Newborn Pack with Nappy Wallet, or the Mama and Mini Matchy Newborn Pack. Why not give the gift of sleep to an expecting mama and her newborn baby.

Ergopouch have an exclusive offer for AUBS listeners for this week only, take 20% off the entire collection (excluding outlet, gift vouchers and sleep packs). This offer is valid from the 3rd of December untill the 11th of December. Enter the code AUBS20 at checkout on ergopouch.com.au 

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