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Episode 250


In this week’s episode I interview Kylie who shares the story of her two eventful births; a surprise footling breech and an accidental homebirth. After coming off the pill and not having a period for a year, Kylie went to her GP for blood tests and an internal ultrasound. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and referred to a fertility specialist who recommended clomid to assist with ovulation. On the first round that she ovulated she fell pregnant.

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“I’m originally from New Zealand and over there most women are cared for by a small team of midwives. I just presumed that Australia had the same system but when I started looking into it I realised that definitely was not the case. Gold Coast University Hospital has a brith centre so I called really early on and was accepted. I had my own midwife for my entire pregnancy and I could choose to see her at the hospital or at various clinics around the Gold Coast which made it really easy.”

Apart from having swollen hands and feet late in her third trimester, Kylie had a really straightforward pregnancy and credited her physical and mental health to walking 5-10km a day.  She loved the idea of a water birth, was very hesitant of an epidural but was also open to her birth plans changing if necessary.

At 38+4 she woke up at 2am with a sharp pain in her tummy but didn’t think much of it.

By 5am her contractions were 5-10 minutes apart so she woke her husband and he started preparing to go to hospital. She had a bloody show at 6am and was coping well at home but by 7:30am she was having contractions two minutes apart and her waters broke.

“It was a massive pop and a gush of water and my midwife encouraged me to go to the birth centre. It was a 40 minute drive because it was peak hour traffic and it was starting to get painful. Once we got to the birthing suite I had all this pressure so I went to the toilet but I couldn’t go…but then I felt something coming out of me and I just couldn’t work out what it was. I still clearly remember my midwife examining me and saying: oh, there’s a foot!

“I was fully dilated and it was so chaotic. I blinked and there were 10 people in the room. Someone was reading me my rights and they told me they needed to do an emergency caesarean and they’d have to give me a general anaesthetic. I was in so much pain, Troy was getting prepped for surgery, they rushed me down to theatre, I remember my midwife had prepped me for what to expect from an emergency c-section so I was shocked by everything but knew what the steps would be.

“It was really overwhelming, they put the mask on me and then they realised that the baby was too low and so they took the mask off and told me to start pushing. My midwife was explaining everything because the obstetrician had taken over. They did an episiotomy and I birthed her, but she was quite cold and needed help with breathing. I was trembling uncontrollably, I was just in shock.

“Upon reflection I held on to a lot of birth trauma. She was a low birth weight – 2.1kg – so we had to spend four days in hospital. She was in special care and they really wanted to monitor her milk intake (my milk came in on day three) and because she wasn’t taking the bottle they had to put a tube in. We went home on day four and breastfeeding was fine but she put on weight really slowly; she was in the third percentile and she’d only put on 20-80grams a week. She was perfectly healthy and her development was fine but I did feel pressure and guilt and I wondered if I was doing something wrong. I was always worried about my milk supply but my midwife was really reassuring.”

Kylie planned to start trying for a second baby when Piper was ten months old. She had to do another internal ultrasound with her fertility specialist and started on clomid again. It took a lot longer to conceive and reiterated the fact that she was so lucky to have fallen with Piper on the first round. It took seven rounds to conceive Willow because her body stopped responding to the medication. In the final month, when she vowed for it to be the last so she could give her body and her mind a break, she fell pregnant. Her birth trauma came to the surface in her first trimester so she did rapid eye movement therapy to process to help her process and it was really successful.

“As soon as I found out I was pregnant I texted my midwife and applied online and I was accepted back into the birth centre programme. By the end of the third trimester I was really tired as any pregnant woman with a toddler will say. I was preparing to go into labour early so I finished work at 37.5 weeks…and I went into labour at 38 weeks.

“I remember repacking my hospital bag before I went to bed so that everything was ready to go. I woke up at 2am to go to the toilet and as soon as I lay back down I noticed a tiny little niggle, a little cramp and it was so mild, I just thought it was a braxton hick. Twenty minutes later I had another one; I felt it but it wasn’t painful. At 2:30am I really needed to do a poo which I thought was strange because I’d been constipated for the weeks prior. And then 15minutes later I had to go again. I woke Troy at 3am thinking that something was starting to happen. I told him to stay calm because nothing was really happening but then five minutes later I had a contraction that went from 0-100.

“I felt the pressure straight away, we called my mother in law so she could look after Piper, the pain was so intense and I felt the need to push. Troy was really encouraging me to breathe and took me to the bathroom because I was feeling quite hot and sick. I had another painful contraction then and Troy called the midwife and she told us to call the ambulance. He could see the head. As soon as the person on the phone said I could start pushing it was just a release, I just let go. I did a really big push and Troy noticed that the baby was still in the sac. By chance there was a safety pin on the bathroom sink and he burst it and the person on the phone told him to rip it open.

“It’s so rare and my phone was beside me so I was taking photos of my baby being born. Once the head was out Troy ripped the sac open and he caught her and put her straight on my chest and she let out a big cry. She was born at 3:26am after I’d woken him at 3am. Soon after my mother in law arrived and then the paramedics. They gave me a shot of syntocinon to help me birth the placenta and they checked my blood loss and everything was ok.

“I was really happy and I felt safe. I held her the whole time and we went in the ambulance together. I didn’t tear at all – I had a little graze but no tearing. She weighed 2.88kg and they checked us both over and then we went home, we were only in the hospital for about four hours.”

Topics Discussed

Vaginal breech, En caul, Clomid, Accidental home birth, Two births, PCOS

Episode Sponsor

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