For as long as she can remember, Grapeviner Mum Lilly from our Autumn 2022 Baby Group has always dreamt of being a young mum. So after meeting her boyfriend, Lachey, at 18 years old, she was thrilled to find out he also wanted kids at a young age.
The Queensland couple moved in together after just two weeks of dating and began trying for their first baby three years later.
“I fell pregnant after three months of trying, just after my 21st birthday and we were over the moon excited!” Lilly shares with Mum’s Grapevine.
“The pregnancy was AWFUL! Boy was I not expecting how hard it would be, I had the usual morning sickness but I have a phobia of vomiting so I wouldn’t let myself which ended in me always feeling sick. Week 9, all my symptoms went away and I was petrified when I found a speck of blood in my underwear, with my crippling anxiety I thought the worst and immediately called in for a scan.
“Luckily everything was okay from there and until around 21 weeks pregnant was great! I was loving life, constantly crying tears of happiness and my biggest concern was counting down the days to meet our little boy.”
As Lilly’s pregnancy progressed, she developed pelvic girdle pain, making walking around extremely difficult. To make matters worse, Lachey then contracted Covid-19 when she was 38 weeks pregnant.
“We immediately isolated once he got the positive test but unfortunately it was too late and at 39 weeks pregnant I tested positive myself. I was DEVASTATED, to say the least.
“In the last week, I was in and out of hospital five times with decreased fetal movement, breathing issues and some personal issues when I became very itchy and swollen. When the tests came back positive for cholestasis they told me I had to be induced immediately for the safety of my baby.
“This was immensely hard for me to hear because the last thing I ever wanted was to be induced.”
With the support of her mum, who is also a midwife, Lilly went home and did everything she could to try and kick off labour naturally.
But by morning, nothing had changed and at 7 a.m., she went in to begin the induction.
Induction of labour
“I was checked the day before and was told by a midwife that I was already 2cm dilated so ‘if we went straight in with the big guns with the cooks catheter’ it would be a quick and easy induction.”
“At around 9 a.m., after still deciding whether or not to do it, even though my gut told me not to, I trusted the medical professionals who all gathered in the room and told me I had to do this for my baby’s life to be okay.
“They inserted the balloon and god it was so painful. They said they put two balloons in both at full capacity and were surprised I could take it. They told me they would see me back in the birth suite in 12 hours where they would take the balloon out and break my waters.”
After an uncomfortably long wait and several delays getting into the birth suite, Lilly was finally examined and told her cervix hadn’t dilated enough, despite the use of the balloons.
“She said I was still 2.5 cm. I knew my body had done something but because they took so long it was too late. That entire day was all for nothing, I could’ve been at home doing this myself.
“After sitting there feeling numb and defeated for a while, they then suggested I had six hours of the gel to try and get my cervix to open back up. I had a reaction to it once inserted and started crying because it burnt so badly. My reaction to it gradually got worse and it was to the point where I was in the bathroom but couldn’t use my legs because of how faint I was, so my mum had to hold me up and help take me back to the bed. I was so sick but unfortunately, there was nothing they could do to get it out as it was just gel, so I had to wait out the six hours for them to check if I did anything. Much to my disgust…it didn’t.”
Lilly’s induction experience soon became even more disheartening when doctors could no longer feel where her baby’s head was positioned and found her cervix was still very far back (posterior).
‘I remember screaming for the epidural’
The decision was then made to go ahead and break her waters immediately to help move labour along.
“I started regular contractions within an hour and then laboured myself for the next 12 hours with a little help from the gas (which I later found out I was doing wrong the entire time so it actually wasn’t doing much).
“This experience was quite something. It was the only time during my entire labour that I felt like I was doing something normal.
“Lachey held me while I breathed through every single contraction for 13 hours, I was solely focused on him the entire time and nothing else. Although this was the most pain I had ever been in, it was the only time during all this awfulness that I felt like I was actually having a baby so it was quite empowering to know my body was doing it. But god that man got me through it, truly I have never felt more love than I did for Lachey during this birth and I owe him everything. The shower was great! I wish I could’ve laboured in the bath but they didn’t let me so standing upright in the hot shower with one shower-head on my back and one shower-head on my belly, swaying back and forth with my hands around Lachey’s neck was where I stayed for a couple hours. This was the only sense of pain relief I was able to get and the burning JUST took the edge off.
“At the 12-13 hour mark, Mum swapped with Lachey so he could sleep for an hour and she took me into the shower to do the same but by this point, it was truly too unbearable and I remember screaming for the epidural or for them to kill me! Thankfully, the anaesthetist came only 20 minutes later.”
Lilly’s emergency C-section
Unfortunately, the epidural didn’t work the first time and Lilly was left in agony for several hours before another anaesthetist was able to try inserting it again.
“The anaesthetist finally got it and it actually worked. I passed out asleep from uttermost exhaustion and got 2 hours of rest. I woke up to the midwife and my mum staring at the contractions on the monitor. She said she didn’t want to wake me but that they were so big and close together and when they’re like that then Bub’s head is usually right there and at 10cm dilated, so I should be meeting him very, very soon. I was so happy to be so close to meeting my son.
“She then did my final examination to see if I was at 10cm and could start pushing. I saw her face drop and to my absolute disgust I was still only just under 3cm and now Bub’s head was deflexed. The midwife nearly cried telling me. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was completely and utterly defeated and just sat there numb thinking this whole thing could’ve been avoided if I trusted my gut and denied the induction. This was the lowest point. They told me I needed a c-section so I agreed in defeat. I later learnt it was classified as an emergency c-section because it had been too long since the drip started and too long since my waters had broken, so my risk of bleeding out was quite high.”
A happy ever after
While Lilly was disappointed her birth didn’t go to plan, she’s thankful her baby boy – named Kaida Rain – was born healthy.
“He tripled his birth weight by 9 weeks old and we have nearly hit 16 months of exclusively breastfeeding as he was never able to take a bottle. He’s a shocking sleeper waking 10+ times a night still but it’s all worth it!”
We wish Lilly, Lachey and Kaida Rain all the best as he enters the troublesome toddler years!
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More birth stories from our Grapeviners
- Birth Story: ‘We struggled with infertility’
- Birth Story: ‘I developed a life-threatening pregnancy complication’
- Birth Story: Surprise twins at age 40
About to (or just had) a baby?
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