This is Hamish’s birth story.
It was only 7 days ago I woke up feeling a little bit funny. Something was just not quite right. I couldn’t feel my baby moving in my stomach. I was 1 day off 39 weeks pregnant and eagerly anticipating the arrival of our little man. I spent the morning eating and drinking trying to get him to move. Rolling side to side and hoping that he would give me an almighty kick. I looked up blogs and saw that your baby moves less in the last few weeks of pregnancy but I just couldn’t shake off that weird feeling something wasn’t right.
It’s 4pm and we are sitting in the birthing suite of the hospital. Jacinta the lovely midwife comes into the room to check on the baby. Then those 5 words that will forever change my life, ‘I can’t find a heartbeat’. Within 20 minutes there is a radiographer called in to do a full ultrasound. After 30 seconds which seemed like an eternity she looks at me and my husband Greg and says ‘I’m sorry guys’. I wail and cry out and just fall into a deep pit of despair. How can this be true? How can my little boy be gone? We had an ultrasound only 4 days earlier and his heart was beating strong? Why us? Why me? How could this even happen?
Another 30 minutes go by and there is a social worker standing next to us, then my doctor and they look at me and say the best thing for you darling is to have the baby naturally. WTF?? Are you F**king kidding me?? I am supposed to give birth to my baby naturally? I can’t even fathom this. They leave us for a while to talk through what is about to happen. My doctor assures me that this is the best thing for my body and future pregnancies. I am completely shattered, heartbroken and I need to make a decision about what we plan to do. They said I could go home for a night or two to think it over. I was already in the hospital, the thought of getting up and going home after being told this news was unthinkable.
Induction begins at 9pm. The midwife comes in and starts the process. It is uncomfortable for a few hours then when I get the second dose of drugs at midnight and the pain becomes more intense. Then finally at about 2am they give me some morphine so I can get about 2 hours sleep. The pains are constant as I am dilating. By 9am the next day they decide another dose is needed. At around 2pm my doctor comes in and breaks my waters. It doesn’t hurt too much but what follows in less than 5 minutes is full on active labour contractions. I am up running around, moving about in anyway I can to deal with the pain. I am feeling every bit of every contraction through my being. I feel out of control but I am trying to breathe and keep it together. My doula and husband are holding my hand, rubbing my back and helping me through each one.
For what feels like an eternity I go through contractions and then the anaesthesiologist arrives. He asks if I want to be told the risks of a epidural. My answer ‘Just give me the epidural, I know the risks, I didn’t plan on having one, calm birth is now out the window, just put the needle in’. He looks at me intently as I go into another painful contraction. I sit up on the bed while I am having contractions 30 seconds on 30 seconds off. I take a few deep breathes and roll my shoulders over. It doesn’t matter what pain I am in I am not going to move a mm, cm or an inch while that needle goes into my spine. 3 minutes later the epidural is administered and it is almost an instant relief.
The next hour is a lot more peaceful. I sit and talk with my lovely Doula and loving husband. I laugh, cry and just try and come to terms with what is about to happen. I can feel the baby getting close to coming out. I know it won’t be long before I am pushing my little angel out. The midwife comes in and checks and she says its time to start pushing. By this time its 4pm and I didn’t know how long the next stage of labour would take. In my head I thought maybe in around 30 minutes I would be meeting my little one.
2 full hours of pushing later and so much pain later I am welcoming my little buddy into the world. The last hour of labour the epidural wore off. It was exactly as it was meant to be. The physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional and mental trauma I was going through. I roared the loudest I have ever in my life and screamed my little one out. He was placed on my chest straight away. I couldn’t help but be overcome by so much love and joy but at the same time there was a deep pit in my gut of sadness. Our little Hamish is absolutely beautiful. He was perfect. The doctor, social worker and midwife look at my husband and I and say it looks like it was the cord. It was wrapped several times tight around his little body and neck. It must of stretched out over time and slowly cut off his nutrients. Other than that our little man was the most healthiest little thing. I looked down at his eyes closed shut just hoping that he would flutter them open. I looked down at my little angel and wept for his life. I am one proud mum and while I don’t know now why little Hamish decided to leave us so soon. I am trying my best to honour him, feel his presence and know he is still here with us in spirit always.
I love you always Hamish Joseph Matthews and I am proud to be your mum. xxx
– Jodie, mother to Hamish