3 Babies……3 Different Births!

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As I watched the season finale of the Kardashians (I know sad but true – I love them lol) with Kourtney giving birth to her baby, it brought back the most beautiful memories – that still feel so raw – about the day I gave birth to each of my babies!

Giving birth is such a huge ordeal in so many ways! It is the most rewarding and powerful thing women can do and can also be the most dangerous and scariest thing too! It takes your body to a place that is indescribable and unimaginable (for the first time anyway) yet the second your baby is born and placed on your chest the world around you instantly feels the same, except you suddenly fall in love at first sight!!

I remember the first time I gave birth like it was yesterday…..

It was the end of summer and the preseason NRL matches started. I was 38 weeks pregnant and my husband thought it would be a good idea to go to a football game down the coast and have a few beers for the night! “Of course you’ll be right babe, the baby is due in March, it’s still February!!!!!!” mmmm well this baby had other ideas! At 5pm that afternoon I had passed a small gush of clear fluid and by 7pm I’d passed another gush, a bigger one which I then alerted my family to. My sister who is a midwife came and assessed the situation. By 9pm I had a ‘show’ and started to feel a few cramps. You can imagine the phone call to my ‘happy from beers’ husband who raced home so we could go to the hospital!

When I got to the hospital I remember thinking please be at least 5cm dilated….no such luck I was only 2cm, but fully effaced! By 11pm I was in labour nasty feeling contractions and all! I was last checked at midnight by my midwife who told me she would leave me now as their policy was to check every 4 hours unless something significant was happening. They seriously were the longest 4 hours in my life! I have always been very anti epidural and was hoping to go as long as I could with no pain relief at all! As each hour passed after midnight the contractions worsened, became closer together and I was becoming more tired by the second! I went from the shower, to the birthing ball, to the floor and nothing seemed comfortable!

I begged to be checked at 3am and at 3.45am my midwife came and said I was only 5cm dilated! I was shattered:( I was in so much pain and discomfort I thought for sure I was ready to push lol….clearly I was an amateur lol! I was offered to have my waters broken, but was told my labour would go to a whole new level and that it did! By this stage I had reached my maximum of labouring with no pain relief! I tried the gas and hated it, I begged for an epidural but was suggested I have a shot of pethadine. Once I had pethadine I’d forgotten all about wanting an epidural and before I knew it my midwife was telling me that I was 10cm and ready to go!

I went from 5cm dilated to 10cm in 45mins and that urge to push came on me like a tone of bricks! I had hoped to be upright during delivery but not sleeping for 24 hours and labouring on my legs for the past 7 hours I couldn’t get off my side! With each contraction I was told to push and bare down. I felt like I was pushing so hard that the veins in my neck were going to burst! I still remember my lovely husband removing my hand from pulling on his Bulldogs jersey….should of ripped the bloody thing lol! Finally 1 hour and 15 minutes of pushing later my beautiful baby boy was placed on my chest!
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9p 5oz, 52cm long, 5.56am, 26/02/06!

He was huge and loud!!! He had long fingers and flippers for feet…that boy is Bailey Kane Trew and would be the one and only boy that I would give birth to! From the moment we became mother and son, we have lived, cried, laughed kissed and cuddled together and have a bond that no one can break! My first born, my first for everything, has given me a life of experiences and challenges that I never thought was possible, but I love him to death!
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My gorgeous baby boy:)

The second time I gave birth…..

After having a boy first, I’m not going to lie I really wanted a little girl! We didn’t find out what we were having so by 36 weeks the suspense was starting to kill me! My babies head was engaged from 36 weeks so I thought for sure I would have another early labour…not so! The last 4 weeks were so tough! I literally felt like the babies head was between my legs and every now and again they would push down hard to the point I thought the baby was going to fall out lol! Having your second baby is just as exciting as your first as you are giving your first born a sibling, but you go through the emotions of leaving your first child to have another and them not being the only priority in your life!

I still remember the morning I went into labour…3 days overdue and just in time to make the cut for the school year intake:) Saying goodbye to my little man, my first born was gut wrenching. The next time I would see him he wouldn’t be my only child! Thank goodness this labour was so different to my first, so the time between saying goodbye to Bailey and seeing him again was like the blink of an eye!

I started getting my first pain at 5am by 6.30am the pains were getting closer together and I headed into the hospital! I was still so in control and the pain was very bearable! I was stoked when my midwife checked me I was 5cm dilated!!! I felt like I was in hell when I was 5cm dilated with my first baby…clearly my body knew what it was doing this time! Things really started to change its pace at 10am. The pain was intense, fast, one on top of the other and were starting to take my breath away! I found a comfy position in the shower with the hot water on my back as great relief from the pain!

I kept talking to myself each step of the way. I kept saying waters break, waters break! I really wanted my waters to break naturally this time! Thankfully they did (all over Kane’s shoe lol) and literally seconds later I wanted to push! At that stage I was ready for my pethadine, but OMG the window of any pain relief was closed…this birth was going to be all natural!!!! As I was pushing nothing was happening. On inspection my midwife realised the lip of my cervix was stuck on the babies head…having this removed was the worst, most excruciating thing I’ve ever felt! That paved way for my baby to be born 20 minutes from when my waters broke….lucky they didn’t break at a shopping centre!!! I’ll never ever in my life forget the moment my second baby was born. As I gave one final push and her whole body slide out I was able to help catch her and pull her straight up to reveal to everyone that we had a little girl…I was the proudest and happiest mother in that moment!
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10p 2oz, 52cm long, 11.55am, 30/06/08!

I thought Bailey was big, but my little girl was massive…no wonder she hurt! Sienna Lynette Trew came out, not crying, with her eyes open, ready to take on the world! Unbeknown to us Sie Sie would become our middle child and boy does she suffer from middle child syndrome! But aside from that she has been my shining light on so many occasions when I needed my dark days to be brightened up! And my goodness are we going to have some disagreements when she is a teenager, but I love this girl more than life itself!
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I finally was given a princess:)

I’ve always wanted a big family and three children has always been a dream of mine. But once we had a boy and girl and add to the fact that my health was becoming an issue, we had pretty much decided to leave our family at 4….but fate works in mysterious ways!

My third and final time I gave birth….

Still to this day I’m puzzled as to how this baby was brought to us (I know that sounds stupid) but fate would have it that we were meant to complete our family with a third baby and thank goodness our little miracle baby was brought to us!!! If we didn’t conceive Mia we would have never found out about my heart condition and who knows how long I would have lived for! Because of this, Mia’s birth was very bittersweet! On one hand we were so excited to finally be meeting our little girl (she was our only baby who we found out the sex for) but on the other hand we were entering an unknown world with my heart condition! So instead of going into labour naturally and giving birth how I knew best, I had to be induced and monitored very closely!

The day of Mia’s birth was long and tough. I was hoping when my induction started and my waters were broken my body, who’d been there and done that before, would remember and go into overdrive and things would happen quickly….no such luck! I spent a lot of time sitting around and waiting for things to happen that day. I can’t believe I was getting excited every time I felt pain. I kept telling myself every bit of pain got me closer to meeting my baby. I had so many different doctors coming in and going over the same questions as the doctor before – my heart condition is quite rare in pregnant women so no one really knew what may have happened, but they sure were prepared for anything!

For the first part of my labour my heart rate and blood pressure were good. My midwife was under strict instructions to let my doctor know if my heart rate and blood pressure went past 100. Once my labour started to progress I went and stood in the shower as the hot water was acting as pain relief, but my heart rate went up past 100 so after that I was confined to the bed….grrrrr!

By 3.30 that afternoon, I was finally in established labour. One excruciating pain on top of the other! I didn’t bother with the gas and when I started to feel a bit out of control I opted for some pethidine. It didn’t seem to relax me like it did when having Bailey, I think the worry of my heart was preventing me from staying calm by this stage. Towards the end when I was about 8cm dilated I was at my limit. I was loosing all control. Control of my breathing. Control of my positive thoughts!

But then I had a change of midwife who was like the horse whisperer of midwives and the way she came in and handled the situation was like something from a movie! It was her words of encouragement, her tone of voice and the cues she was giving me, which enabled me to give birth without having to do very little pushing. After going through the most terrifying day of my life and without any intervention or epidural, my miracle baby literally slipped out and I am still here to tell the story!
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8p 13oz, 51cm long, 7.36pm, 17/02/11!

From the second Mia Natalie Trew and I touched skin our bond has been like no other! She has been my hardest baby by far, but as she grows her personality is funny and delightful! I still look at her and thank god everyday she was given to us…she is my gift of life and will always be my baby girl!
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My little miracle!

I consider myself very lucky to have had experienced three pretty good labours and each time at the Mater Hospital, with the most caring, professional and dedicated staff! I was also blessed with a loving support team in my husband, mother and sister! Giving birth is such a wonderful time in a women’s life and no matter how you give birth, where you give birth or how many times you give birth, each baby and birth is unique and should always be recognised and celebrated for what it is….a true miracle!

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The reason I get out of bed each day!

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Knowing When You’re Complete!

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I love this time of my life! In the past 10 years I’ve married my true love, bought a house that we’ve turned into a home and produced three of the most adorable babies we could have ever wished for! All while going through many ups and downs which is called LIFE! We’ve come to the crossroads of the reproductive part of our life when a decision needs to be made….are we complete yet?

For some people that question is very easy to answer, most people know while they are pregnant with a baby that it will be their last, but for me I always knew letting go of having any more babies wouldn’t be an easy decision. I feel like this has come upon me so quickly! It only feels like yesterday I was trying on my wedding dress and wearing it like a princess, now it’s three kids later and only feels like I’ve blinked my eyes shut for a second. For years I dreamt of the day I’d become a mum for the first time and I’ve absolutely loved every waking moment (maybe not every lol) and a part of me wishes this part of my life would just stand still for a little while. Call me crazy but I could cry at the thought of never carrying another baby inside, feeling it kick for the first time, watching my belly grow, giving birth and experiencing the moments after that, breastfeeding, being the only one who can provide a source of food, snuggling and bonding with a newborn….yep definitely brings tears to my eyes!

But then I look at the three little blessings we have and take in consideration my heart condition and I know that it is time to say we are complete! Ideally if I didn’t have a heart condition I’d love to have just one more, but like my husband says I say that every time lol! Four would be a nice even number. With Sienna at school next year and Mia home for another three years, it would be nice to have two older ones and two little ones, but that isn’t going to be the case for us. Most days I’m completely at peace with this decision, but a teeny tiny part of me will always wish we had of. I knew from the minute my first born was placed in my arms that being a mum was the job I was meant to do and from that moment I have embraced each day and captured all the wonderful moments that I’ve been able to cherish while staying at home with each of them!

What has helped make this decision and allowed me to be at peace with it?
Well Mia for starters lol! I love this little bear more than life itself, but man she is full on lol! I often say if she was my first I probably would have only had one lol! But I seriously look at things realistically. Our house is just big enough for the five of us so another child would mean a bigger house and car for that matter and along with that comes an added expense! Two out of three of our children will be in school next year and before long they all will be. It’s nice to go out now and watch the three of our children have fun together. Mia still has a day sleep but we manage around that and she is getting to an age where she copes with whatever we do! And the most obvious reason is my heart. Mia was a blessing for us, so I’m very much at peace with the three angels I have and being healthy for them.

So with all of this said my mind is now adjusting to moving forward. We have so much to look forward to and as the kids grow older and start playing sport and being involved in extra curricular activities at school, we will be busier than ever! Before Mia was born, I always saw a third child sitting next to Bailey and Sienna. Now when I see my three cherubs sitting together I see a complete picture and that my friends is why I know my family is complete!

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The Battle of the Bulging Belly!

If you could change one part of your body what would it be?

Mine would be my belly!

I’ve always been smaller up top than the bottom and if I put on weight it always goes straight to my thighs and butt. Throughout my pre baby days I had a flat stomach and never had any troubles with putting on weight in that area and then I had one baby, two babies and before I knew it 5 years had past and I was cradling my 3rd baby!

When I first fell pregnant with my son almost 7 years ago, I never once worried about what it would do to my body. I was so thrilled that I was growing a little life inside my belly. I am one of those people that start showing early on in my pregnancies, so by 20 weeks I always had a decent size belly, that would just seem to grow and grow by the second! I first gave birth at 38 weeks to my beautiful baby boy Bailey Kane Trew, who was 9 pound 5 – ouch much! Again even though I still looked like there was a baby left inside of me two days after he was born, I was happy and content with our new bundle of joy and our new little family that we created!

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Days before giving birth to my 10 pound baby girl!

Because I was less than 60kgs when I fell pregnant and ended up carrying close to a baby elephant at the end, I ended up with a 4cm stomach muscle separation….but trust me I can push them out lol! After seeing a physio weeks after giving birth and taking good care of myself and following the physio’s exercise plan, my muscle separation went back to normal and by the time Bailey was one my belly returned to its normal flat state:)

Then a whole new world began for me when I fell pregnant with my second baby! Where I craved not much other than slurpees with my first pregnancy, I craved anything fatty, juicy and sugary the second time round! And milk, I couldn’t get enough of the stuff….frappes by the dozen!! When I think about it, I really ate myself stupid! Which is why I put on over 20kgs and alas gave birth to a 10 pound 2 precious baby girl Sienna Lynette Trew! She came out running and looked 3 months old compared to most other babies lol!

At this point the state my belly was in didn’t even cross my mind. I’d just given Bailey a little sister and we now had a bigger family to enjoy, but i was sore!!! Sienna was so big that she left my insides hurting for a long time! My stomach, ribs, kidneys, it felt like I’d been in a boxing ring.This time round I ended up with a 5cm stomach muscle separation, but that didn’t phase me as I was confident things would go back to normal just like it did after having Bailey….not so easy!

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6 months after Sienna was born, belly still ‘pregnant’ looking!

I went to the physio again, who like last time gave me the same exercises to do, but having a 2 and a half year old in toe this time round, life was far more challenging and of course things like myself got pushed to the side. Things were different this time too. I had to wear a support compression belt for 6 weeks after having Sienna and when this time was completed, I had to wear those belly support undies. After 6 months my belly had gone down considerably, but I was left with a bulge that had so much loose skin hanging from it, as my skin was stretched beyond repair!

I didn’t get even a hint of stretch marks with Bailey, but with Sienna I did! I mean I really should be grateful to only get what I did….she was 4.6 kgs born!!!! I remember approaching Sienna’s 1st birthday and my belly was no where near back to its flat state that it was pre baby and post Bailey! But I came to accept that this is how it would be now and if that was the result of being able to conceive, carry and give birth to two beautiful precious gifts, then I was ok with that!

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At the races for my 30th birthday, nearly 2 years since Sienna was born and still sporting a belly!

The kids loved my belly. It was like a big bowl of jelly that they could mush their little hands around in. I still remember Bailey coming into our bed in the mornings and lifting my pj top to play with my belly. I wasn’t phased by it at all! They would always ask me “why is your belly like that mummy?” and I’d reply with telling them how they grew inside my belly and everytime they grew my skin would keep stretching and stretching and eventually it stretched so far that it didn’t go back anymore! They loved that story!

My support undies became an essential to my wardrobe and I never would go out without them on. I know it sounds stupid but I lacked confidence without them. Things I use to wear nicely, didn’t look as nice anymore and I always had an overhang whenever I bent over or sat down! I was often asked if I was pregnant or not, but all I kept thinking of were my two precious babies and how blessed I was to have them! Then I did fall pregnant with Mia. By now my thoughts were more focused on crap 3 kids how am I going to manage this as apose to how will my belly look now!

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Hours before giving birth to my third and final baby….my belly had reached its peak and will never be like this again!

Mia’s pregnancy was a cross between my first two so I didn’t put as much weight on as I did when pregnant with Sienna, but more than I did with Bailey and I finally got my wish for a baby in the 8 pounds lol! At 38 weeks, weighing 8 pound 13, Mia Natalie Trew was born and completed our beautiful family! Mia’s birth was very bittersweet as I was diagnosed with a heart condition a week prior so the last thing I was thinking about was my belly, I was happy that I got through it without any complications to Mia or myself!

It’s amazing how different your body feels after giving birth to an 8 pound baby as apose to a 10 pound baby! But third big baby in 5 years, it was always going to take its toll and this time I ended up with an 8cm stomach muscle separation:( Between my heart and my belly, I wasn’t able to do any heavy lifting for the first few months, bit hard with 3 kids under 5! I saw a really awesome physio this time and within 4 months of having Mia, my muscle separation was back to 2 and a half cms, which meant it didn’t need to be surgically fixed….I was stoked!

20120511-142148.jpgBailey and Sienna meeting their baby sister for the first time….my belly is like a shelf in this photo!

Again the excess skin and bulge was as bad as ever and the kids thought it felt as squishy as ever too. As much as I was beginning to miss my lean flat belly, the belly I had now was a beautiful reminder of the three precious babies I carried and nurtured while they were growing inside of me. But something was changing, I was starting to feel a strong urge to reclaim my original body shape that I’d given up hope on, while I was getting use to being a mum of 1, then 2 and finally 3 children. Knowing Mia was our last, the time had come for me to put myself first and do something about my bulging belly!

It’s been 7 months now since I started my weight loss journey and I can happily report that it is possible to win the battle of the bulging belly! It takes time, but with patience, determination and perseverance, the battle can be won! I haven’t spent hundreds of hours at the gym, nor do I spend hundreds of hours exercising each week! I simply walk or run for half an hour each day and follow a healthy eating plan. It took a long time for me to finally put those running shoes back on to reclaim the person I once was, but the timing was right and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

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15months after giving birth and 7 months of exercise and healthy eating, my belly is close as it will get to pre baby:)

I feel like I have a new lease on life now. I’m so much happier, fitter and healthier, which reflects on every aspect of my life! The kids love me exercising and join in with me whenever possible. I have thrown all my belly undies away and feel as confident as ever! When I tell people I have 3 children, they look at me and say “you!” and I think “why not me!” People stereotype mums and what we should or shouldn’t look like or wear. At the end of the day we are humans and should be allowed to do things for ourselves that make us happy! Losing weight hasn’t affected my mothering duties, I think I’m an even better mum now. My belly will never be back to its original state prior to having children, but it’s as close as it will ever be and I’m so satisfied with that!

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