Birth Story: An ANZAC Day Birth

Posted in Birth Stories.

Emily holding baby Charli's ultrasound photo

After a smooth first pregnancy, Emily was surprised that her second motherhood journey wouldn’t be so smooth. Experiencing a miscarriage and preeclampsia for the first time, this road to becoming a mother of two was going to be tough.

Alongside her husband James, Emily overcame her challenges and welcomed her second child into the world on ANZAC day. She shared her very special story.

A rocky road to Conception

High school sweethearts who have been together for 12 years and married for the past four, Emily and James had no trouble falling pregnant with their son who was born in June 2020. And so they were anticipating the road to conception to be similar for their second pregnancy. They soon discovered that just because something was easy the first time doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy the next. Emily managed to conceive but heartbreakingly it ended in a miscarriage in early 2022.

Determined to have a second child, they kept on trying to conceive. Finally, after six more months of trying, Emily was able to fall pregnant again in July 2022.

Discovering the gender

Emily pregnant and posing on beach

Emily’s pregnancy was not without its complications, plagued with nausea in the early days and the uncomfortable feeling of growing quicker than in her first pregnancy. Emily would find in late pregnancy that she had also developed preeclampsia.

Emily and James decided to have non-invasive prenatal testing, abbreviated to NIPT, done to test for any genetic abnormalities. They also chose to use this to find out the gender of their unborn baby. Emily and James were absolutely over the moon to discover that they would be having a little girl this time and would have their little pigeon pair. They decided early on that they would name their daughter Charlotte and use the nickname, Charlie.

A scary diagnosis

Emily, James and son Elliot in maternity shoot

Emily’s third trimester brought along with it the diagnosis of preeclampsia, a new scary experience for Emily that she hadn’t encountered during her first pregnancy. Emily was admitted to the hospital on two separate occasions and the decision was made to bring her C-section date forward for an earlier delivery. The date chosen was April 25th, a day which is also known as ANZAC Day.

“Once the decision to bring the date forward was made, my husband and I were relatively calm because we knew we were in good hands and this decision was best for our baby and me. Also, we were quite excited that our daughter’s birthday would fall on a public holiday each year!”

‘So excited to meet our baby’

Baby Charlotte born via c-section

The date arrived, Emily and James were both excited and nervous about what was to follow.

“On the morning of the 25th, we woke around 6am and began the process of preparing for my C-section. I remember my husband’s breakfast selections coming in and I was pretty disappointed that I was already fasting for surgery! Despite this, I was excited to finally be delivering our baby that day and hopefully feeling a lot better as I understood that many of my preeclampsia symptoms would dissipate once I’d delivered.

“Even though I had already gone through an emergency caesarean before with my son in 2020 and was feeling more in control as this was a planned C-section, I was still nervous being wheeled into theatre and having the anesthetist administer the medication to numb the lower half of my body and prepare me for birth. I remember being quite shaky through the process however my surgical team was really kind and warmed me with heated blankets and held my hand while everything was completed.”

James was reunited with Emily in the theatre and the C-section was underway.

‘I felt quite a bit of pulling’

Dad James cutting the cord

“There was quite a bit of scar tissue to get through from my first caesarean which wasn’t expected, so I felt quite a bit more pulling this time around, and the surgery was longer than the first time around. It was all worthwhile when they lowered the curtains and we saw and heard, Charlotte, coming into the world for the first time.”

Mum Emily holding newborn Charlotte

“After delivery my husband went off to cut the cord with our pediatrician and then I was able to get some skin to skin time with Charlie in the recovery room. Overall I found my planned C-section and this birth experience to be positive, perhaps a little different to what I expected or had initially conceived, but so gratifying and worthwhile in the end.”

Baby Charlotte announcement to world

As they celebrated the arrival of their daughter on ANZAC Day, Emily and James felt a deep sense of pride and remembered the sacrifices made by our ANZAC‘s that led them to this future.

They knew that they had been blessed with a precious gift, and they were filled with excitement and anticipation for the adventures that lay ahead as a family of four.

Got your own birth story you’re itching to tell? We’re always on the lookout for new stories to feature. Submit your birth story.

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