Hayley

Well, that was fun.

I think it’s time to talk about baby Hayley’s birth story, now that I’ve had time to sufficiently recover from the trauma of childbirth.

It’s always surreal once it happens. Leading up to the due date, I spend all this time waiting for labor to happen, like “Is it now??“, “How about now?“, “The pain is getting worse, it must be time!” and after a while, you just give up, like “This baby is never coming out and I’ll be the only woman ever lived to be pregnant forever” and you try to go about your day not thinking about how your uterus feels like it’s going to explode.

Until it happens. And then everything starts happening all at the same time.

11 June (Sat)

7.45 am

It’s far too early for me to wake up on a Saturday morning (hahahaha those days seem like such a long time ago) but I’m up with a start because my stomach hurts. It’s been hurting for several days now so I’m not entirely alarmed. I also discovered that I might have wet the bed. UGH I’m too young to have to deal with incontinence on top of an exploding uterus.

I get up to go to the bathroom and just as I step in, more water is spilling out involuntarily. It takes me a while before I realise this is my water bag breaking. Phew, not incontinence then. This is the first time I’m experiencing this in all 5 pregnancies.

I do the first thing I always do when I’m about to go into labor – wash my hair.

Rule #1 of labor: When one is about to give birth, one must do it with shampoo commercial kind of hair.

8am

I wake the husband, get the kids changed and drop them off at my mom’s house before heading into the hospital.

Do we have time??” the husband asks with a great deal of concern. “Please don’t give birth in the car.

Don’t worry, won’t be so zhun one. We got time.

I get a very severe round of contractions while we’re on the TPE and more water is flowing out onto my pants. Suddenly, I’m not so calm anymore.

BABE, I THINK YOU NEED TO DRIVE A LOT FASTER THAN THIS IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DELIVER THIS BABY IN THE CAR.

I’m sitting there in a pool of my amniotic fluid and all I can think of is “Keep the baby in, keep the baby in…don’t let it drop out.

9.2oam

We finally make it down to Thomson Medical and the contractions are coming in every 5 minutes. I stumble my way to the labor ward trying to look inconspicuous as I’m dripping a trail of amniotic fluid in my wake. Nurses are coming in asking me to sign forms and checking my cervix and putting me on a drip. I hate IV drips, it hurts and makes my hand feel like a useless stump.

Would you like your epidural now?” one nurse asks.

YES! I thought you’d never ask. The answer is YES.

10am

The anaesthesiologist comes in looking all chirpy and happy.

Hi I’ll be administering your epidural. Do you have any questions before we begin?

Yeah, is there anyway to make this painless?

She laughs.

Okay don’t answer that. I’ve done this enough times to know it hurts like hell before it gets better. Hang on, let me take a moment to get my zen on before we do this.

She makes me curl up real tight and just then, I get another wave of contractions.

This is nonsense. Just do it now. I’m dying here.

Chirpy doctor asks me about my other kids to take my mind off the pain. She doesn’t believe I have 5 kids and I’m like “yeah, most days I don’t believe it either.

Sure enough, it hurts like crazy but then it’s over pretty quick and all I feel is numb. I thank the nice doctor for a job well done because with glorious epidural in my bloodstream, I’ve now become a civilised human being again.

11.30am

It’s been 2 hours but the labor isn’t progressing quite as well as it should. The cervix is still stuck at 3cm. My OBGYN comes in to say hi and he’s equally chirpy.

We’ll let your body take it’s time and see how things go in a few hours. There’s no need to risk any induction at this point. Just sit tight and I’ll be back to check on you.

Yes, sir!

I’m feeling pretty good at this point. As good as one can feel when one is in labor without any pain. I think I might just nap for a bit.

5pm

It’s been many hours and my cervix is still at 4.5cm. I think the extra 0.5cm is just the nurse trying to make me feel better about the progress. My OBGYN comes back looking slightly more concerned and he tells the nurse to start me on oxytocin to induce labor.

I think it’s time to help you along a little. We’ll do this nice and slow to make sure the baby doesn’t go into distress.

All this talk about uterine rupture and emergency c-sections have gotten me a little worried but my OBGYN has delivered the last 3 babies naturally so I’m doing whatever he says.

5.40pm

There’s no pain but I feel like something is falling out so I call for the nurse. She does another check and the cervix is now 8cm. Wow, that escalated quickly. Oxytocin for the win!

6.15pm

SOMETHING IS DEFINITELY FALLING OUT and I feel like I need to push it out. The nurse tells me it’s 10cm now and I should totally not push until the doctor arrives.

I’m like “It’s involuntary!! It feels like this baby is going to fall out whether I push or not. You should like stand there to catch the baby if it happens.”

6.20pm

My OBGYN is back again and he starts suiting up in protective gear. Should have made the husband wear his Breaking Bad hazmat suit.

I’m going to need you to push when I count to 3 ok.

I’m completely numb from waist down but amazingly, I’m still able to push. Push, stop, rest, push again. In about 4 rounds, baby Hayley’s out and the feeling is indescribably satisfying. If you’ve never given birth, I highly recommend it just for that feeling of having your baby pop out. Damn shiok.

It’s time for the husband to do his job and cut the umbilical cord.

Then they put baby Hayley on my chest and suddenly, the whole day of labor was worth it. No, the whole 9 months of pregnancy was worth it.

She’s so beautiful,” the husband says. I couldn’t agree more.

After that, it was a matter of getting the placenta out and making sure everything is ok. Apparently it was such a success I din’t even need stitches and I was out of the hospital the next morning.

***

TL;DR: I went into labor and came home with this baby.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Hayley

Baby days

It’s been 10 days with baby Hayley this girl is the sweetest little lamb.

Look at this face. I can’t even.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

But woah, having a newborn is hard. I’ve done this 5 times and it’s still as hard as ever. And having a newborn with 4 other kids, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s really, really hard.

For now though, the hardest part is the sleep deprivation.

//Day 1 back home, you’re like, “It’s ok, we can do this!!

At 8pm, you start the bedtime routine – bath, songs, cuddles, feed, and you allow yourself to hope that maybe tonight you’ll get to sleep in 2 hour stretches. I don’t ask for much, just 3 x 2 hour stretches in a night and I’d consider it a huge win.

The baby dozes off at 9-ish, so I tuck her into her cot all nice and cosy before tucking myself into bed all nice and cosy. The bed feels deliciously comfy and it takes me all of 2 minutes to fall asleep. 5 minutes in, baby Hayley starts making little whimpers, just enough to make it clear that she’s not enjoying her sleep as much as I’m enjoying mine.

Maybe its nothing. Please, please go back to bed,” my semi-conscious brain says.

Okay, it’s now a full on cry. I get out of my comfy bed to burp the baby. 20 minutes later, no burp and she’s fallen asleep again so I put her down and crawl back into bed. This time, I know better than to fall asleep so quickly. Sure enough, several minutes in, the crying starts again. Check diaper, swaddle, burp, nurse, burp some more. I don’t know what’s causing the fussing so I try everything. This goes on for another 4-5 rounds.

By now it’s about 11pm and after putting her back to bed, I know better than to get back into bed because it’s so much harder to haul myself back out again. It’s easier to end the torture and make myself fully awake so I can commit to this without feeling quite as miserable or grouchy. So I’m sitting next to her cot ready to pick her up again but after 10 minutes, nothing. It looks like she’s finally out and I get back into bed to force my fully awake brain to shut off and go to sleep.

At this point, insomnia kicks in and I’m trying desperately to fall asleep, knowing that each minute I lie here awake is a minute of sleep I’m missing out on. But the anxiety makes it worse so I spend 20 minutes tossing and turning until I finally fall asleep. I get like 40 minutes of shut eye before I hear the next cry and it’s back to the burp/feed/fuss routine again for the rest of the night.

//Day 2 and 3, you’ve still got enough reserves to keep going on sheer mental strength alone but after a week of this, you just feel like you want to give up on life.

***

But then I get to hold this gorgeous baby and feel her baby weight on my chest as she sleeps and inhale that soft baby scent and look at her try so hard to open those sleepy baby eyes and I think that I’d be happy to do this a thousand times over no matter how hard it gets or how exhausted my brain tells me I am.

hayley theo

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Hayley

Hello Hayley :)

We finally got to meet baby Hayley and she’s perfect.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

The kids are all so thrilled to have a new baby. Truett is all big brother, running to check on her at every sound she makes. Finn says baby girls are nice to kiss because she “smells like roses“. And Theo is fascinated to see a baby smaller than he is. He’ll shove random toys at her, and even gave her his favourite blanket for several minutes before deciding that it was too much of a sacrifice.

But I think the one kid who’s most thrilled is Kirsten, who finally has a baby sister joining her in the girl’s team. She’s been asking to hold her and kiss her and she just stands next to the cot whispering lullabies to her baby all day.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

It’s starting to sink in that we now have 5 kids and I’m mildly terrified at the thought of having to be responsible for all 5 of these tiny humans. FIVE!! BABIES!!??? This is so insane.

We’re gonna take a couple of days/weeks/months to get into our groove, but for now, we’re just really grateful to have baby Hayley in the family.