Birth Story: ‘I drove myself to the hospital in labour’

Posted in Birth Stories.

Brooke in hospital cuddling her baby

After being on birth control for eight years, Brooke and her husband decided the time was right to start trying for baby.

Much to their surprise, they immediately fell pregnant. A member of the Mum’s Grapevine Winter 2023 Due Date Group, Brooke shares her amazing birth story of baby Koa, who was born prematurely after she suddenly went into labour while at work.

“I had been on the Depo Provera injection for 8 years and we weren’t expecting much to happen, we were told it would take 18 months at a minimum, and I fell pregnant the week I didn’t get my shot.

“This was my first pregnancy. I spewed a few times in the back sink at work, and as the placenta was sitting at the front I looked quite big but it was all belly. I certainly had a glow, but I worked every single day standing up so was tired.”

Signs of premature labour

Then at exactly 34 weeks to the day, Brooke began to experience the first signs and symptoms of labour – though she didn’t realise that was what was happening at the time!

Brooke and her husband have a baby announcement party

“I was at work (as a hairdresser). I had done one set of curls, put one colour on and just applied a second. Felt some intense back pain and reduced movements from bub.

“I decided to contact my boss who told me she couldn’t get there right away, so I continued with my clients. I was texting hubby a little bit nervous, he suggested I get the apprentice to time the contractions, which there were none and my water hadn’t broken either.

“When my boss finally arrived at about 12:30pm, I drove myself straight to the hospital while on a call with Debbie (my midwife) the entire time. On my way there, I actually called the birthing suite who advised me to come in and get checked but said it just sounded like a UTI.

“Once I got there, and they hooked me up and told me I was definitely contracting, hubby then arrived. The plan was to hydrate and then administer the steroids for his lungs as I believe that he was dehydrated and bub’s heart rate would then come down. I then got moved into the birthing suite where they checked my cervix, and I was 6cm dilated. Bub’s heart rate still wasn’t coming down, so my waters got manually broken. I laboured pain-free for about an hour.”

‘I gave birth on the operating table’

Despite trying to kickstart labour along and decrease the pressure on her baby’s heart, doctors soon decided the safest option was for her to give birth via unplanned caesarean.

“They advised I was having a c-section at 2:30pm, I asked what the time was and it was 2.15pm. I was prepped and wheeled into the theatre, had the epidural and they decided to check me one more time which resulted in them screaming to get my husband and to start pushing! Mind you I couldn’t feel anything as I’d had the spinal tap, so they helped bub out with forceps. I had him at 3.07pm on the operating table.

“He wasn’t breathing very well and was in severe distress so he got taken straight to special care. I got to meet Koa an hour later after I had been to recovery (mind you I didn’t have a c section, just birthed naturally in theatre). Bub then spent the night in special care and was transported to John Hunter NICU the next day, he was on CPAP so I didn’t get to see his face properly for about 5 days.

“I asked to be discharged at night and we went and stayed at a hotel near the hospital. We ended up spending two weeks in NICU and then got transported back to Maitland Hospital and spent two weeks in special care.”

Brooke, her husband and baby in hospital after giving birth

Brooke cradles her baby in special care.

Baby Koa asleep on a blanket

‘Each day is a blessing’

Baby Koa is now five months old and growing a little bit bigger everyday.

“He weighed 2.7kgs at birth which dropped significantly due to it all being water weight from the fluid they pumped me full of. He dropped the next day to 1.9kg.

“He is still in the 0 percentile for absolutely everything. Only just hit 4.5kg. Each day is a blessing but mentally I don’t think we have really processed everything that happened as it was all so quick, then straight into NICU which was a whole different mental ballgame.

“Imagine leaving the hospital every day with baby blues but no baby.”

Koa aged 4 months old

Wow, what a whirlwind birth! We hope Brooke, her husband and Koa are now settling into being a new family of three.

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More birth stories from our Grapeviner mums…

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