Lorelei's Birth StoryApr 05, 2022
Gestational Diabetes, swooping magpies, and an induction: Lorelei's pregnancy and birth had a little bit of drama!
She shares her story here with us...
What was your pregnancy like?
I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD) at 17 weeks.
This meant testing blood glucose levels four times a day and a strict low carb, low sugar diet, so missing out on binge eating my favourite junk foods like my pregnant friends.
My GD was well managed with diet, but about halfway through my pregnancy I had to inject myself with insulin before bed, to keep my fasting levels under control.
I felt very frustrated by this and had to go to a lot more appointments.
At about seven months I was out for my walk and was swooped by a magpie, tripped, and fell on the concrete!
Luckily, someone stopped and called me an ambulance as my phone had been completely smashed to smithereens. Went to hospital to see my little girl was happily chewing her foot and no damage was done to me or her, just left with an exciting story to tell her later.
Please tell us about the birth...
I was induced at 38 weeks due to the GD, despite the size of my baby being very normal.
Foley balloon was inserted the night before induction.
* A foley balloon is a catheter-like device, used to try and ripen the cervix, and induce labour.
The following day, I was hooked up to the hormone drip, and had an internal monitor for my baby’s heart rate, because the one around my belly was not picking her up.
Membranes were broken even after my waters broke on their own. I had an epidural that didn’t quite work, I had no feeling in my legs, but I could feel my contractions which were 30 seconds apart, lasting a minute and a half.
I was nauseous and delirious from pain and the gas, attempted to push three times, but my baby was too high up.
So, it was off to theatre.
They tried forceps first, then it all ended with an emergency C-Section.
What are some positives of your caesarian birth experience?
It was mostly a blur, but I remember despite being completely out of it, the team explaining every step they took to me. The doctor even laughed at my tummy tuck joke as she was slicing me open! The incision is impressively neat and healing nicely!
What was surprising about your C-section birth?
I guess the whole thing was surprising!
I didn’t expect my birth to result in a C-Section. I also didn’t expect a certain midwife to tell me before I was wheeled in that if they had to save one of us from dying it would be my baby and not me (so encouraging).
I also had no idea how painful it would feel afterwards and how you feel like you’ve been cut in half but now have a tiny human to look after!
How did you manage with your physical recovery in those early days?
My partner was lucky enough to have school holidays (a teacher) after his paternal leave, so he was very helpful in those early weeks at home. Due to difficulties with breastfeeding, we were bottle/formula feeding from the beginning, which meant I had more of a chance to rest properly.
I started by doing gentle walking when I felt up to it, then when I hit the six weeks mark, I saw a pregnancy and pelvic floor Physio and started weekly Pilates with their go ahead.
I’m 4 months postpartum and still do not feel exactly myself but I can feel my muscles slowly getting stronger.
What tips or advice would you give to your pre-C-section self?
- Be very clear to your medical team that you want skin to skin contact with your baby right away; I believe this triggered my difficulties with breastfeeding.
- Cut yourself slack, stop staring at your stomach and criticising your physical appearance. You just had major surgery and your body has done a lot of amazing work!
- Talk with other mothers before your birth. Listen to as many stories as you feel comfortable with, because I found that to be so helpful in the lead up to my induction. And, talk after! Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Thanks so very much to Lorelei for sharing her beautiful birth story. I hope you found it enlightening to read!
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