How one mum knew to give nature a nudge
Michyla, Ricki and baby Alivyah
Pregnancy was a challenge. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness) from pretty much day dot until 26 - 36 weeks with all three of our children. I’m also high risk, due to a bleeding condition (Von Willebrands disease – which means I don’t clot very easily). Medical professionals advised me to give birth in hospital. With my first two children, labour was quick. Our firstborn was posterior and my active labour was only 90 minutes, from 3cm dilated to our son being placed in my arms. With our second son, I went from my first contraction to having my baby within one hour and 15 minutes. After our second child we decided to move into a new house. On a good run we are a 45 minutes drive away from the hospital. Because of the distance the decision was made to induce me two weeks early. Little did we know how lucky we were to have made this choice. I was anxious about the process with this labour, knowing we had an induction date, but it was reassuring to know what we could plan in advance, such as childcare. When we got to the hospital, I was attached to the machines for baseline monitoring. My midwife noted that there were some slight contractions showing on the machine, and if I wanted to, we could go home and let labour happen naturally. I said, “No, tomorrow just seems too late.” They broke my waters at 1:30pm, and that’s when we discovered that our baby had already pooped (meconium) whilst in the womb. With this development, I was moved to a labour and delivery suite and attached to the monitors for constant monitoring. My contractions kicked in a couple of hours later and at 4pm my amazing midwife Liz sat with me to feel my contractions. After 30 - 45 minutes she determined that my contractions weren’t as effective as she wanted them to be due to possible complications that can arise from meconium being present in my amniotic fluid. As she left the room, I knew in my heart something wasn’t right. When Liz returned with a doctor, in full theatre scrubs, my heart dropped, and
I started to mentally brace myself for what I was sure to come: a C-section. To my relief, this was not the case. Instead, they started me on an IV drip to get things moving faster. At 5pm my line was inserted, and the real fun began. Between my husband Ricki, midwife, student midwife and sons, I was well looked after. My back was rubbed, cold flannels were placed on my forehead, water was topped up to maintain my fluids. Due to my condition an epidural was out of the question, so I had gas and air. I squeezed my husband’s hand to get through the pain as I was pumped full of hormones. At 7pm, with both of my boys hugging my arm, I felt things were about to peak, so I prepared for the final stages of labour. Over the course of 15 minutes my baby crowned five times, which wasn’t pleasant and after five hours of labour (twice as long as both the boys labours combined), this tiny, beautiful pink ball of perfection was placed in my arms to remind me that the pain was all worth it. Welcome, my little Alivyah. After Alivyah was born, they discovered that my placenta had been calcifying. If we had waited another day, and let my labour establish naturally, we could have had a very different outcome. It’s scary to think that there were no signs anything was wrong, and if it wasn’t for the fact I had some sort of instinct to have my baby that day, we could have lost her before we got to know her. It was amazing having our sons at the birth. They were a good distraction and now love knowing they were a part of the birth of their new little sister. A little girl was such a blessing, the icing on the cake for my husband and I. Now I can unpack the bags full of girls’ clothes from the back of my wardrobe that my husband Ricki didn’t know about. Little Alivyah is the final piece to the puzzle we never knew was missing, and now our family really is complete.
Left: Michyla and husband Ricki cradle little Alivyah. Below: Michyla’s third labour proved to be a lengthy process compared to their first two boys.
treasures.co.nz Big brothers Stevyn, 6; and Michael, 3, show mum how it’s done