Third trimester and birth

Hello world!

Hello world!

Hello all, Pete here.

Ophelia Wren, 1 minute old

Ophelia Wren, 1 minute old

Karin usually takes care of the blogs as I’m sure you know, but this is a special one which we felt might be better if told from a third party perspective, which in this case is myself.

There’s not a great deal to say about the third trimester that we haven’t already covered in any of these pregnancy blogs, just more like a few additions. Discomfort, lack of sleep, leaky boobs. You all know the score.

What I really want to focus in on is labour and birth. We end up so disconnected from the act of giving birth, I think maybe because there’s seven billion people on this planet. So many people, so many births, how difficult could it be?

But seeing the experience take place first hand, showed me the agony, the anguish, the pain. I couldn’t help but be in reverence of all those women, all the way up both branches of my ancestry, who’d been in the same position my wife was now in, undoubtedly without the advantages of modern medicine, birthing partners, midwives and the myriad medical professionals that all make childbirth what it is today.

All cleaned up!

All cleaned up!

I was absolutely in awe of my wife over the weekend of the 28th of June as she endured a pain that to me is, unknown and unknowable. To say her efforts were Herculean would be the understatement of the century.

As it so happens, Karin laboured for around 36 hours. Progress was slow, and the water birth we had envisioned all those months ago was slipping away.

We were in back labour, and Offie had moved in to a transverse position. The epidural came, and the pain was eased, but then we had tachycardia in both mum and bub. Karin developed a fever, so infection became a concern now, followed by blood in the urine, which confirmed our fears: obstructed. The labour had gone as far as it could, and a C-section was the only option left on the table, especially now we had all the other symptoms to contend with too.

Luckily for us we were in great hands. Every single person at King Edward Hospital was incredible, from top to bottom, and all deserve recognition for not only the amazing work they did for us, but for the work they do, day in, day out, for the women and children of Perth.

By now you will have realised that this was not the birth we had in mind, and it was difficult to take, not only for Karin but for myself as well. It’s important though, to not see the experience as a failure. No woman who gives birth to a child has failed, no matter the method of delivery.

It was important for me to reassure Karin of this. We had to grieve for the birth that we didn’t have, but to also try to work past the disappointment by discussing why the Caesarean was necessary, and most importantly, take in our beautiful baby girl that had finally arrived, happy and healthy.

We finally made it home, 3 days later, emotional and exhausted and I don’t think we’ve ever been happier to be home. Our own bed, Maverick, and our beautiful daughter in our arms! An experience like no other.

Partners. Be there for her. You don’t have to take the pain away, no one can do that. But just be there, give her your hand to squeeze, rub her back, tell her how well she’s doing how, much you love her. It might not feel like it, but just trust that it’s enough.

Women. You’re going to be great, you’re doing great, you did great.

Exhaustion and elation.

Exhaustion and elation.

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