Over the past week I’ve been wrestling the battle between sleeping and writing. And today I give in to the urge to write!
We welcomed Aston Sharisa Pilling on Monday 14th March 2016 at 7.56am. She weighed 3.345kg (7.3lb) and measured 49cm long. She is our perfect little girl.
She was due March 7th but just like her dad, she made us wait! I’ve had a ton of people tell me how much they couldn’t wait to hear about my labour and I’m fortunate to say that I survived it and, you’ll hate me for this, it was probably a good labour, as good as labours can be. Please don’t hate me! I don’t control my labour or how my body handles it. Oh, also before I start, can I just say that it is my own personal opinion that you can’t bring on your own labour. All those things that people tell you to do to help baby come doesn’t even work. Baby will come in their own time; when they’re ready. I didn’t even bother to try anything that anyone told me to do haha. I did go for one semi-long walk but I knew it wouldn’t work. And people will tell you to exercise and prepare your body for a marathon. Seriously, I was probably the most unfit pregnant woman ever and my labour was fine and my body was kind to me. Of course, this is all my own personal opinion based on my own experience.
Okie doke, now to the stuff you really came here for.
On Sunday night around 11.30pm I started to get some lower back pain, similar to period cramps. They were coming every 15-20 minutes and I wasn’t sure if they meant anything. They got stronger throughout the night and I kept getting out of bed to walk them off. Around 2am I woke Bryton up because they got stronger and the back pain crept around to the front and I knew it was a sign of early labour. These contractions came every 10 or so minutes and I couldn’t really sleep in between them. I had my birth sheet out with all the signs of early and established labour to help me tell the difference between them and know when it would be right to call the midwife. If I’m being completely honest, the pain wasn’t as bad as I had expected. I mean, it was sore, don’t get me wrong! But it was bearable. I walked around our small living room during contractions because it helped a lot. I drank a lot of water and sucked on barley sugars. The pain in my back wouldn’t go away but Bryton massaged it to relieve the pain a little.
I knew that my midwife had a busy weekend with a few births already so I didn’t want to bother her by calling early hours in the morning. I checked my labour sheet to get a sense of where I was in my labour and by 5am still didn’t feel like I was in established labour. The contractions weren’t as intense as I anticipated so I didn’t think I was nearly close enough. At 5.45am we called the midwife and asked for her to come and do a check up so we had a better idea of where we were at. By this time I thought for sure I’d be going through this for the rest of the day. The contractions were more intense and lasted a lot longer – maybe 1-2 minutes long and they were coming a lot more frequently. Pacing the room wasn’t helping and neither were Bryton’s back rubs. I also started moaning which is totally the most unattractive sound ever. Our midwife arrived just after 6.30am and I had a couple of contractions when she arrived. She noticed how intense they were and then checked my cervix – weirdest feeling ever!! Like, I didn’t know anything could go that far inside of you hahaha. TMI sorry. I watched her face as she checked and her expressions were worrying me. I thought “oh no, I’m not even dilated. It’s gonna be a long day”
Our original plans were to go to Parnell Birth Care and have a water birth. Well after she checked me she told me my cervix was really thin, I was fully dilated, and the baby was coming. There was no time to go to Birth Care and we had to hurry to the hospital.
Around 7.15am I arrived at North Shore Hospital. Thankfully it is only 5 minutes from my house. I couldn’t sit down for very long because the pain in my back was so strong. So sitting in the car for 5 minutes was torture. I wobbled my way up to the birthing suite. I was so annoyed because when I got in the elevator 2 other doctors got in and then we stopped on the 1st floor for more people to get in and I was just like “um, get the hell out of here, I’m having a baby.” Of course I only thought that and I acted very polite as I fought off the pain of yet another contraction. I got to the birthing suite and my midwife had the pool filled up for me. I jumped straight in and what absolute relief!!! The warm water was so good on my back!! Bryton made it up in the next 5 minutes and the contractions kept coming. I also had this urge to push and it totally felt like I needed to do a poo. Haha. It was the same feeling I’d been getting at home before we called the midwife. I told her what I was feeling and she said it’s the baby ready to come out. “But what if I push and it’s not a baby?” Hahaha.
At this point in my story can I just say how AMAZING my midwife is? Right throughout my pregnancy she has been laid back, sensitive, considerate, and understanding. She listened to what I wanted and gave me advice without being pushy. She was 100% aware of my needs and made sure I got what was best for me and baby. She made me feel comfortable even if I pushed and it wasn’t a baby that came out haha. To my relief it was a baby and ONLY a baby that came out!
So at the next contraction, which was so much easier to handle in the water, I started to push. WOWWWWWWWZERS. It felt like the biggest and hardest poo I’ve ever had to do hahaha. I didn’t think I could push that hard. I remember looking at the clock and it was 7.30am. Now, pushing out a baby is so much easier than dealing with the contractions! In my opinion anyway. I’d rather push out a baby than have contractions but you can’t really have one without the other. It was more pressure than pain. I kept pushing with every contraction and I could feel the head crowning. Every time I could feel a contraction coming on I thought “okay, this time the head will come out”. I ended up thinking that about 3 times before it actually did. Most of the head had crowned and then I felt a small stinging pain which freaked me out a little. Now that I think about it, I THINK that’s the ring of fire people talk about. But again it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I expected a full burning sensation. But it was just a bit of a sting that lasted all of 2 seconds. I felt a “pop” and my midwife told me that was my waters breaking. She kept telling me to go with the feelings and don’t fight the urge to push. So I did just that. I got control of my breathing and every time I felt the need to push, I’d do it. And just like that the head popped out. ALMOST complete relief. I pushed again and her shoulders popped out and the rest of her body pretty much slid out. The midwives caught her and put her straight on my chest. It was 7.56am.
You know in the movies when a woman gives birth and once the baby is out it seems like they are no longer in pain? That’s EXACTLY what it felt like. Like total and absolute relief.
And overwhelming love.
Like, I literally cannot believe how much I loved the kid as soon as I saw her. Do you know how big of a deal that is!?
I held her in my arms while she cried her sweet cry and looked around the room. I stared at her in disbelief that not only did I do it, but she was all mine! Gosh, just remembering it is getting me teary! This little girl was completely dependent on me. She was fresh from her life in heaven and I was holding her in my arms. And I didn’t even care that I was sitting in a pool of blood and weird stuff.
Bryton cut her cord and had skin-to-skin with her while I yet had more to push out. This time it wasn’t so bad. Pushing out the placenta was a piece of cake after the mission of pushing out a human. After that I walked across the hallway to another birthing room where I could lay down. I breastfed our baby girl for the first time and she knew exactly what to do – thank goodness because I literally had no idea.
Because my labour was so quick we didn’t have time to tell our families I was in labour. We wanted to have our sister-in-law come and take photos during the birth but there was no time for that either. I got to the hospital and had baby within 45 minutes of being there. So I called my family to tell them the news. Mum answered the phone and said “well it doesn’t sound like anything is happening” haha. She’d been so disappointed because she’d been calling me everyday for a week to see if I was going into labour. I told her I was holding my baby and she didn’t believe me. But to my rescue, my baby cried again and proved that I was indeed holding my baby girl. Mum freaked and my sister freaked. My dad called me back maybe an hour later (he was out when I called) and I told him and he didn’t believe me. And when he finally did, he freaked. We called Bryton’s family and they were so happy.
Bryton had skin-to-skin with baby while I got stitched up. Yet more pain. How much pain does a woman need to experience yo! After that was done I got to have a shower. Holy heck I could barely stand haha. My back was so sore and my big belly was gone so I couldn’t stand straight. I had to bend over and it took me about 10 hours to walk from the bed to the shower (exaggeration). My belly was now a flop the hung from my midsection. It was the weirdest thing ever.
After the mission that was cleaning myself, we went to the maternity ward and got settled in our room. I stared at and cuddled my little girl. I couldn’t believe she was here!
We couldn’t decide on her name straight away. It was so hard because it’s so definite. The kid was going to be stuck with this name forever! And she didn’t have her looks so how could we tell what would suit her!?
It wasn’t until the next day before we left the hospital that we decided.
Aston Sharisa Pilling.
Aston was a name that we both liked. It wasn’t common but also wasn’t unique enough to be weird. It was the perfect name for a little girl with sass and attitude.
Sharisa is my mum’s name. She’s very important to me. I want my daughter to be strong like her Nana. It’s also an important family name. It came from my mum’s aunty who wanted to get pregnant but never could. She was the oldest daughter in my grandfather’s family. She wanted to name her daughter Sharisa, but she never got pregnant. So when my Koro had my mum – who is also the oldest child in the family – he wanted to call his daughter Sharisa. When I was born – the oldest daughter and grandchild in the family – my mum wanted me to have a name from her side. So she gave me Sharisa as my middle name. I always knew that I would give my first daughter the same middle name. Aston is our oldest child. She is also my parents’ first grandchild and the first great-grandchild in my family. So it was obvious and appropriate for her to carry the same name.
This post has just gone on forever! Haha. But I did want to write it all down, if not for your curiosity, then for my own record and Aston’s information. I’ve been so blessed with a sweet baby girl who has made everything easy for me. Yes, I complained about my pregnancy, which wasn’t all that bad, just uncomfortable. But it could have been much much worse. My labour wasn’t a horror story. 6 hours of active labour isn’t bad at all. The reason I didn’t call the midwife earlier than we did was because I was waiting for the pain to get worse. But it didn’t. Turns out I either have a high pain threshold or my labour was easier than most. And not being able to be in the comfort of a birth centre was fine by me if it meant only 26 minutes of pushing.
Also, I’ve recovered well. My back pain lasted a couple of days but now I’m almost completely back to normal. I attribute that to getting out and about and keeping active. I’ve made sure to try to get back to normal as quick as possible because there’s no real reason for me to lie around. And I really think my body has recovered quickly because of it. I have had no pains (except for a bit of stinging when I pee) and all the discomfort from pregnancy has disappeared.
Even now our little girl is making things easy. She feeds perfectly so I haven’t had any problems or pains with that. She cries only when she’s hungry. She sleeps well and only wakes to be fed. And she is just super gorgeous.
I’m so in love with my little Aston. Words can’t explain the feelings of being a new mother. Only mothers will know how it feels. I can’t believe how much I care for and love this little creature. It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt in this entire world and I’m saying my prayers of gratitude for it!
Aston, you are more precious than I ever expected and I love you more than anything in this entire world (as well as your handsome dad). You are our perfect little girl and ultimate blessing.
Love your mummy