Birth Story: Heidi & Brandon

Pregnancy & Birth

The Merge Journal Birth StoryAll birth stories are different and we want to empower and support all kinds of births. We all have individual reactions to reading birth stories; some make us happy, laugh, cry or feel sad. Here at The Merge Journal we hope to give the mother who writes her birth story a sense of empowerment. A time for reflection. We respect all the different types of individual birthing stories. 

Heidi has bravely shared with us here, the birth story of her son Brandon:

On Friday 13th November 2015, I had my regular 36 week scan to check our baby’s measurements and positioning before delivery at 40 weeks. Well, so I thought…

Once we had our scan I saw our obstetrician, Dr Jillian Spilsbury, who advised us that our baby was measuring quite small. She said this was completely fine, however the doppler readings were off the chart.  She asked us to go away for the weekend hoping that the readings would get better, but said there was a chance I would need to be induced the following week.

We made an appointment for another scan the following week and an appointment to see Dr Felicity Parks. Let me tell you,  it was the longest weekend of my life! I did a lot of cooking and cleaning to keep my mind on other things as all I could focus on was the fact I could possibly be delivering my baby the following week. Somehow I knew in my gut that I wouldn’t be coming home after our next appointment.

On Tuesday 17th November 2015, we went in for our scan. There were no improvements so it was agreed that I would be induced the following day. I had a wave of emotions going on but more than anything I was super excited that we would be meeting our baby the next day.

I was admitted to the birthing suites for monitoring and steroids to make sure our baby’s lungs were nice and strong. Once they knew I wasn’t in labour I was sent up to the maternity ward for a good night’s rest.

The next morning at about 6am I thought I was just having my usual Braxton Hicks which I had been experiencing from about 20 weeks. But it turns out I had begun going into labour naturally, so I was taken back down to the birthing suites to be monitored before my waters were broken.

All I was thinking was today is the day we meet our baby. Would we have a boy or a girl? We hadn’t found out the sex of our baby which made the day even more exciting.

At about 8am Dr Jillian Spillsbury came in and started me on the syntocinon injections and broke my waters, which was not as bad as I thought it would be.

From here the day seems a bit foggy – it was the longest and shortest day of my life.

I had planned to have a natural birth and to try and go drug-free for as as long as I could.  My husband Brent was a huge support and helped me with my breathing. Our baby’s heart rate would drop when I would lay on my back or sat up so I was restricted to lying on my left side throughout my entire labour. This was definitely challenging as I wasn’t able to get up and move around as planned. From here on the only real plan was for Brent to tell me the sex of our baby.

By around lunch time things started to get a bit difficult. Jillian came to check on me and said she thought I would have had the baby by now. She adjusted the syntocinon and asked the midwife not to change it because the baby needed to be born as soon as possible, due to fluctuations in its heart rate.

At 3pm I tried using the gas, which did help for a little while, particularly with my breathing. At 3:45pm I was ready for an epidural as I was only 6cm dilated. I realised I probably still had a few hours to go and I was starting to get tired. I was not scared at all of giving birth  – my only fear was having a massive needle in my spine! Gary the anesthesiologist soon put my mind at ease.

At 4:15pm I was fully dilated and began pushing. It was then I realised how unfit I actually was! This was the scariest time of my life to date. Our baby’s heart rate was dropping at a rapid rate. Jillian had phoned the paediatrician and told her to get there quickly because she expected that our baby wouldn’t be breathing once it was delivered. I have never seen so many people pile into a room so quickly.

I began to push and our baby’s heart rate was now at zero … but with just three pushes and a vacuum assisted delivery, our baby was born with a good set of lungs – screaming! What an amazing feeling it was hearing my baby scream for the first time and knowing our baby was going to be ok! Everyone in the room was relieved! I asked my husband if we had a boy or a girl. He said: “Oh my god baby it’s got the biggest balls I have ever seen! We have a  boy!” Brandon was born at 4:22pm.

There was no discussion on the name – we had decided months earlier we would name him Brandon Laurence Gooley if we had a boy. Laurence is a Gooley middle name that has been passed down.

We were not out of danger yet as Brandon was very tiny. I got to spend a little bit of time with him before he was taken away to special care. He was a tiny 2kg (4 pounds). Our little IUGR baby! He was a fighter from the moment he was born.

He spent five nights in special care and then was discharged into my care for two nights before we got to go home. He started to thrive so quickly and you wouldn’t believe we still have the same baby, who is now five months old and growing up way too quickly.

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