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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Just Breathe!

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It takes 9 months for a baby to grow in utero and once the baby is born our job as a mum lasts forever, but the one thing that takes the shortest amount of time, but causes us the most grief, is child birth! The idea of me writing a blog about child birth is certainly not to boast about my experience, as everyone’s stories are different and the way each baby is born into this world is unique! The idea of this blog is to get the message out there on the importance of deep BREATHING when giving birth!!!

It took me to give birth three times and a heart condition for me to experience the power of breathing (and a great midwife) when birthing your baby! When I was in labour for the first time I thought I was going to pass out from the pain and breathe – how could I think of anything other than the pain I was in! You’ll never know what to expect the first time nor can anyone really explain it, it’s one of those you have to experience it to believe it moments…..in my opinion – keep an open mind! The clearest memory of giving birth to my first born was pushing, pushing and more pushing!!!!! This left me with the sorest bottom and my pelvic floor muscles were ruined….didn’t help that he was 9 pound 5 at 38 weeks!

I couldn’t sit down properly for days and felt like I had very little control over my bladder. I worked with a physio on building my pelvic floor muscles again but they took months and months to strengthen. I remember doing a body combat class with my sister feeling like I was going to wet myself every time I jumped in the air….not my finest hour lol! Then when I was pregnant with my second baby I thought about labour a lot! You have a better understanding the second time round and my plan was to not push so much but to breathe more! It took me one hour and 15 mins to push my first baby out, so when my second baby came out in 20 mins, I thought for sure that my downstairs would be better off….I was wrong! Again I was left with a terribly sore bottom and the usual poor bladder control and once again I remember doing a lot of pushing to get that baby out!!!! Again giving birth to a 10 pound 2 baby was never going to help the situation:/

When I fell pregnant for the third time, my second child was 2 so a couple of years of healing and my body was back to normal, only for me to go and destroy it again lol! Once again I thought a lot about the labour and had a plan to let my breathing do the work, but it sounds good in theory, putting it into practice is a whole different story! I just kept thinking my second labour was so much quicker than my first this has to be quicker again! It would have been if things went to plan….but they didn’t:( At 37 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with a heart condition. Because of this, I had to be induced and have my labour monitored carefully! The conditions of me having a natural birth and not a c-section, was that I have an epidural and an assisted delivery! I was determined not to have either!

I know most of you would be thinking what a silly choice when my life was potentially at risk! I had faith in my body, who had already birthed two babies, that it wasn’t going to let me down and thank goodness it didn’t! Being induced ruined any plans for the quick labour I envisioned, but once I finally hit established labour things progressed pretty quickly! I was under strict instructions NOT TO PUSH, so of course when I was completely dilated and had the feeling of pressure, what’s the bodies natural reaction….to push! Thankfully I had the most beautiful midwife who took charge of the situation and was very firm with her instructions….”Natalie you are going to have your baby and you are not going to push her out, your breathing is going to do all the work!” It took so much of my energy not to push and so much of my concentration to listen to the breathing cues from my midwife, but I did it! After half an hour of wanting to push until my little poppet was born, I did NOT push her out like I did her brother and sister, I listened to my midwife and used the technique of deep breathing!

I was amazed at how it all panned out and was so grateful that my pelvic floor muscles and bladder control were pretty close to normal. For the first time ever after having a baby, I didn’t even feel like I’d given birth…I was also grateful she was my smallest at 8 pound 13! I knew my body wouldn’t let me down and thankfully neither did my heart! I still remember my midwife and what she said to get me through it…she even had my support people breathing too which encouraged me not to give up! God love them, if only we all knew how silly we looked and sounded lol!

When I started my plan to get fit 8 months after my daughter was born, I was worried how my pelvic floor muscles would go when I ran, but all is great! I’m living proof that a baby can be born through the power of breathing and that we can walk away from giving birth, without having to experience too much difficulty with one of the most delicate parts of a female’s body!

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