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Episode 319

Sonia

In today’s episode I chat to Sonia who shares her first pregnancy and birth story. Sonia was adopted from India when she was four-years-old so pregnancy was particularly poignant for her as she thought a lot about her birth mother’s experience and wondered about her medical history (of which there are no records). She opted for shared care with her GP and chose to do genetic testing via Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) considering she has ulcerative colitis and her partner has MS, both of which are genetic conditions. Her labour started spontaneously but was augmented using syntocinon when she developed a fever.

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Sonia was 24 when she conceived baby Oscar and none of her friends had babies so she went straight to google. She had recently moved to Adelaide so she found a local GP who specialised in pregnancy and liked her so much that she opted for shared care. She has ulcerative colitis and her partner has MS so genetic testing was a priority for them and thankfully, the NIPT came back clear.

“It would be so nice to know what my birth mother went through when she was pregnant. When the midwife asked me about my health background, it was a very quick conversation because I don’t know much about my family history. It’s very special having my son look similar to me and when he grows up I can’t wait to hear him say I look like my mum.

“My mum did a lot of research and preparation because she was going to be my birth support but unfortunately because of covid she couldn’t be in the room with me. My partner and I opted to isolate in the weeks before my estimated due date because we didn’t want to risk one of us getting covid and the thought of birthing by myself really scared me; I don’t like hospitals anyway.

“I was booked in for an induction but labour started spontaneously. I was nervous and in denial that it was happening. I had early contractions and I went to hospital and they just timed my contractions and told me I was 2cm so they told me to go home and return once my contractions were closer together. My mum came over for lunch and once she left my contractions picked up again. I just kept reminding myself that it was only 40 seconds; that’s how I got through them.

“I was in so much pain and getting a bit frustrated so we went to hospital. I just wanted to be in the birthing room and have gas & air. The gas really did help until I got the epidural. I had a fever and I was shaking and Oscar’s heart rate was really fast so they opted to give me the syntocinon drip to speed labour up. My fever had passed but his heart rate remained high; I was 9cm at that point and they encouraged me to start pushing. They put my legs in stirrups and after an hour of pushing the obstetrician gave me an episiotomy and vacuum assistance and he was born.

“I didn’t know what I was going to feel when I saw my baby but I just cried. He was having trouble breathing and he had a temperature so they took him to special care and put him in the incubator overnight. I really wanted to have that time with my baby and my partner and me and instead they were together in special care and I was alone in the room with midwives coming and going. It was hard.

“It was so sad seeing Oscar in the little incubator but the doctors and midwives reassured us. I really wanted to breastfeed so I asked lots of questions, I accepted help from all the midwives and on the second night Oscar was with me in the room and he was getting comfortable with latching. I’m absolutely loving breastfeeding him now, it’s the best feeling.

“Waking in the night is hard but I try to be really positive about it; I get to feed him and have him on me and I’m just grateful. After three months I’m just starting to feel comfortable in myself again and overall, my recovery has been quite quick.

“I think of my biological mother more now than I ever had. I’m pretty open with discussing with my partner and mum and I emotionally debrief with them which is really helpful.”

Topics Discussed

Adopted, Epidural, Shared care, Ulcerative colitis, Vaginal birth

Episode Sponsor

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