Prepare for your birth journey today with our birth class

Episode 361

Alicia

In episode 361 Alicia explains the overwhelm of not knowing where to go for information or guidance when she first discovered she was pregnant. She opted for midwifery care in the public hospital system and despite her fears around labour and birth, she laboured at home and in the hospital using breathing and sound practises and subsequently experienced a low-intervention birth. Shortly after her baby girl was born Alicia had a postpartum haemorrhage and she admits she still feels traumatised from the experience. She is very honest about her anxiety and overwhelm in the fourth trimester and the way it has affected her transition into motherhood.

Download Episode

“I thought it would have been harder to conceive considering I’d been on birth control for years and my cycles weren’t overly regular and my periods would last for ten days. We were thrilled when we found out I was pregnant but I was just so shocked because I honestly thought it would be so much harder.

“I was away in Noosa when I had a really light period but I didn’t think much of it. A few weeks later I was at a friend’s wedding when I started feeling really nauseous and I had what I thought was light period pains. I just put it down to being at the wedding and having a late night. Once I got home I was walking through the airport and I was hit with nausea again. A few days later I did a positive pregnancy test and Zac and I just broke down in tears. It was such a beautiful moment.

“My only option was Frankston Hospital and to be honest I didn’t have much knowledge about anything. I felt so uncomfortable about the whole situation and eventually I got into Zac’s GP and I had blood tests done and got a referral. I had a low BMI and I was advised to have shared care between an obstetrician and a midwife. The whole experience felt really rushed and it was only towards the end of pregnancy that they told me I could have had antenatal care at Rosebud Hospital which was only five minutes from home. I think staffing is an issue; they’re just so short staffed and it’s affecting everyone.

“I have a hooked coccyx bone so I did have concerns about birthing vaginally. I had a lot of anxiety about labour and I booked in with a pelvic health osteopath to discuss my tailbone and pelvic floor…again, something I had no idea about until I spoke to a friend who had a baby a few months earlier. I was trying to not read too much information but everything I did read inspired me to have the least amount of intervention as possible.

“I had a bloody show and then I went to sleep. A few hours later I woke up and I noticed more blood and the midwife at the hospital encouraged me to stay at home until I was having contractions that I couldn’t speak through. I had to pack my hospital bag and before long it really didn’t feel like there was much space between contractions. I called the hospital and told them we were ready to make our way in.

“Once I was in the car I started timing the contraction and they were only 90 seconds apart and lasting for a minute. The midwife did a vaginal examination once I got there and I was so happy when she told me I was five cm. I had a huge contraction soon after and vomited everywhere and they wheeled me into the birthing suite. I felt much more comfortable standing during contractions and before long my body was involuntarily pushing. I felt like I wanted to be on the toilet so I was on there for a few contractions and my body was still pushing and that’s when my waters broke.

“I asked for an epidural and Zac and the midwives talked to me about it to make sure I really wanted it. It just got lost throughout the contractions because it was too late for it anyway. The support I felt while pushing was just amazing. The midwives were using warm compresses on my perineum and they were encouraging me to do bigger, longer pushes. I started to feel that ring of fire and I reached down and could feel her head. I was smiling and so excited and then a midwife came in with a pair of scissors and I asked if they were going to cut me. The midwife asked me if she could cut me and I agreed and then next contractions her head was born and then she was out and on my chest. She was perfect and started crying straight away.

“The mood shifted all of a sudden and Zac looked down and went white. The placenta was still inside me and they were pulling on the cord and I had the syntocinon injection. Zac said there were just huge spurts of blood coming out and this was before I’d birthed the placenta. The midwives warned me that there were going to be a lot of people in the room and they rushed in; someone was pushing on my stomach, I had people putting things in my arms to get fluids into me, Zac took Isla-Joy off my chest…it’s such a blur. I ended up losing 2 litres of blood and I felt so sick and I had so much pain in my tummy from the medication they’d given me.

“Over the next couple of hours Zac was feeding me and the midwives kept trying to get a blood sample to check my vitals but it was so hard because my veins had collapsed. They finally transferred me to the maternity ward but Zac wasn’t allowed to stay because of covid protocols and we were devastated.

“I had such a great birth experience, I’m so proud of myself for doing it all. I stayed in the hospital for two days. It was a dream leaving the hospital with my beautiful partner and baby and yet I was so worried and it was exacerbated when the baby blues hit; I could only sleep for twenty minutes at a time and I’d be up watching her sleep. I couldn’t believe how noisy she was and if the noises she was making were normal.

“I still have trauma after the birth because even the thought of the doctor going near my vagina is something I couldn’t even fathom. It’s taking me a long time to accept how my pelvic floor and vagina has changed but I also know that I’m still healing and it’s quite early days.”

Topics Discussed

Episiotomy, One vaginal birth, pelvic floor osteopath, Postnatal anxiety, Postpartum Hemorrhage

Episode Sponsor

Today’s episode of the show is brought to you by Made by Fressko. Fressko flasks and reusable coffee cups are a sustainable, reusable alternative to plastic bottles and rubber or plastic coated single-use take-away cups. Our flasks and coffee cups are thoughtfully designed by our team in Melbourne with quality, aesthetic and versatility in mind. We use only 100% BPA Free materials, including our bamboo which is sourced from the mountains of Ningbo.

When you purchase a Fressko flask or coffee cup, you are choosing to make a difference. Choosing to be one of a kind, choosing to back quality products and reusable products – products that are kind towards the planet we inhabit, kind to yourself.From the 14  th of December and while stocks last any purchase of The Birth Class, The Caesarean Birth Class or The Bundle and you’ll receive an $80 Made by Fressko gift voucher so you can pick up some made my Fressko magic for yourself. Stock is limited so grab one today.

Fressko flask or coffee cup Won’t spill – so safe around bub. Theyre so reliable I often get a coffee and put it straight into my hand bag. As a busy mum I know all too well the classic 5 cups of cold tea and coffee you can find around the house at the end of the day. Here’s a hack for you, make you tea and coffee at home and put it into you Fressko cup and you’ll never have a cold drink again. If you’re pregnant you’re going to want the made by Fressko drink bottle in your hospital bag.

From the 14th of December and while stocks last any purchase of The Birth Class, The Caesarean Birth Class or The Bundle and you’ll receive an $80 Made by Fressko gift voucher so you can pick up some made my Fressko magic for yourself. Stock is limited so grab one today.

Sign up to get the latest updates, freebies, podcast releases straight into your inbox