Tag Archives: Birth Story

My Birth Story by Suzette Meade

My first foray into the life changing event of childbirth for our son Liam involved being medically induced at 10 days past EDD (expected due date), being fully juiced up with epidural for the 17 hours of a slow contracting cervix – the pushing part was just 15-20 minutes.

So when it came time to start trying for number two ( 7 months later) we got lucky the first attempt (whoops!). We both were hoping it was a girl cause at 39, I wasn’t keen on trying again. No ultrasound reveals with either pregnancies – we prefer Kinder Surprise.

Not keen on another 42 week pregnancy (especially suffering an immobilizing sciatic nerve issue from 36 weeks – with a non walking 17 month old toddler) I started acupuncture from 37 weeks and taking evening primrose oil capsules (not orally) to soften my cervix.

At my 39 week check up my midwife seeing me hobble in to the office told me she was going to give me a stretch and sweep straight away. Jane didn’t make any promises and in fact informed me she had very short fingers and probably wouldn’t be able to reach that far up my Va-jj. As she removed her lube laced latex hand with a grin on her face she announced she found one of my evening primrose capsules but more importantly she felt the babies head and had stretched me from already being 2cm to 3cm.

3:30am Two days later, I woke (for the 7th time that night) around 3:30am feeling uncomfortable . I made my slow waddle to kitchen to get Panadol and by the time I reached the cupboard the pain stopped, so I turned around to head back to bedroom before it appeared again… hmmm that’s strange I thought. Plonked myself on the sofa in the loungeroom and opened the contractions app I had downloaded months ago and proceeded to time the cramps, by the 4th contraction arriving every 3 minutes I realized this must be it. Killian woke for work at 6am – promptly called the birthing unit to advise of our impending arrival. We woke my mum (who had just arrived 4 days earlier) and Liam and got ready for 10 minute car ride to hospital, as my husband doesn’t have his Drivers License we ALL made the trip in. Mum driving that stop/start way taxi drivers do when you are holding back ten pints after a session, my 6”2 husband in the back seat jammed between the two baby seats. Breaking the tension was our toddler mimicking my escalating moans as I ohhed and ahhed through contractions that were breathtaking now (and I don’t mean in a Cillian Murphys eyes way).

815am – Arrive at the birthing suite
Placed into the observation room while administrative pandemonium ensued about having two separate patient IDs from my maiden name from my sons birth to my Mrs. moniker.
After 25 minutes no staff had come in to introduce themselves and by then contractions were crashing on top of each other, I was pressing that red call button like it was hopefully going to administer epidural relief.

9am – Finally arrival of Lillian the Teaching Midwife (that was her name badge) – she gave me an internal, waters gushed and she calmly announced that I was already 8cm and this baby will be arriving in the next half an hour. I responded with one word “EPIDURAL”. Only to be told there was no time, in fact there were no birthing suites free and I would be giving birth in the observation room where there was in fact not even any gas an air installed- so I guess no point getting that typed birth plan out my midwife forced us to prepare!

Lillian quickly ran off to gather a tray of sterilized goodies and the baby warmer station, and returned with another midwife (in training).

A second internal check and midwife pushed the last 1/2 cm of cervix over babies head and told me to crack on with pushing. To make it all more vivid (sans drugs) Lillian was giving running commentary on what was taking place downstairs so the training midwife would understand the stages of labour….
It was like a verbal mirror for my husband who has been given a ban on looking at the business end. To say it was different after an epidural birth was an understatement, actually feeling this mass opening up the lower end of your body was almost an out of body experience. Certainly wasn’t prepared for that sting of the 36cm diameter head forcing its way out, there was no ladylike heehooheehoo from me, more like “ that’s effing stinging, I am splitting, it feels like you are effing cutting me – can I push that’s killing me.

That final overwhelming release of pressure and gush as a new life emerges from inside you is indescribable. Amongst the rush of arrival and setting up the makeshift birthing suite we managed to instruct the two assisting us with the birth that we wanted Killian to announce the sex of our baby, and as the screaming slippery new person was placed on my chest all warm and musky smelling I turned to Killian and said what did we have? He joyfully replied “ A girl, we have a girl”
An hour and 45 minutes after walking through the automatic doors of the hospital we were holding our new daughter and Liams new sister, Matilda Alice.

Checked and cleared to leave the ward at 4pm that same day. My Mum to nervous driving car with newborn so I drove us home just 6 hours after giving birth – and we stopped via fish n chip shop on the trip home, it was Friday!

Suzette and the beautiful Matilda

Suzette and the beautiful Matilda


My Birth Story: The (Supermarket) Sweep

When your pregnancy runs overdue, a few things go by the wayside. That mani/pedi you paid for and thought would get you through to the labour and beyond chips away. The ‘last clean’ of the house before you’re gone into hospital for a few days becomes a distant memory as everything gets grubby again. The grandparents that have been on high alert for a month to help with your toddler start getting bored and threaten to start booking holidays. All of the precision planning and bouncing around on that fucking fit ball all becomes a bit… pointless.

So at 8 days overdue, I decided to take matters into my own…em…vagina. I was already scheduled in for an appointment with my consultant that I thought I would never be attending in a million years. But as that date drew closer, there I was, still preggo and still waddling up to the maternity hospital to see him yet again. My consultant was one of those older male doctors, somebody’s da, possibly somebody’s granda, so I planned to ask him for a Sweep to get things moving along, and I had no problem with that.

A Sweep, in case you are wondering, requires your participating ‘sweeper’ to stick a couple of fingers up your hoo ha, to give the neck of the cervix a good ole stretch so that it might help the process of labour along. My maternity hospital didn’t exactly offer that as an option, so you have to request it. So yes, essentially…you’re begging someone to finger you.

When I arrived at the hospital, armed with this plan, I discovered to my horror that my old fogey consultant was on holidays, and was replaced by a 30-something handsome doc from Limerick. OF COURSE HE WAS. I was fucking mortified and nearly didn’t ask him for the Sweep for fear of actually enjoying it. (In the end, it’s actually more like getting fingered for the first time by some 17 year old who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Say, behind a tree in the woods… but perhaps I’ve said too much).

Anyway, my awkward first date had a positive outcome. I started feeling a few pains as early as going home in the car that afternoon.  At 1am I woke up with one big intense pain, and we called granny around to stay over with Jacob so that we could go to the hospital. One of the cautions the doctor had given me with the Sweep was to watch out for bleeding that was continuing 12-15 hours after the fact, and I was. I also hadn’t felt the baby move for a little while so called the hospital who advised we come straight in. Needless to say, I was crying and worried that I shouldn’t have had the Sweep at all, and that something was wrong.

But as Ass Monkey sped onto the north quays after the O2, and I remarked how beautiful & calm the city is at night, I felt the baby move for the first time since I’d woken up at 1am. There were a few more tears of relief then that everything was going to be ok. (On enquiry at the hospital, I am told that the ‘show’ I had been waiting for can sometimes separate, so you can pass either blood or mucus separately, and not just together. Great to know after the fact… ahem)

Got to the hospital for around 2.30am and was admitted straight away. We were brought to a labour room and met Sheeba, the coolest Indian woman and midwife in the world. Ass Monkey gently let her know that his life wouldn’t be worth living if I didn’t get the epidural, so she booked it in straight away (he’s clearly too handsome to lose so young ;o) ). We were all in good spirits and had a little stroll up and down the corridors to keep things moving before The Drug Man would be allowed to see me (I was only just beginning to dilate – and you can’t get the epidural until you’re at least 1cm dilated) . The dude in question actually passed us by on the corridors as I was strolling around, and Sheeba pointed him out.

‘Where is he going?!’ I asked, alarmed. ‘Don’t let him leave the hospital!’

Sheeba laughed. ‘The deal is – if you can catch him, you can have the epidural’.

Brilliant. Can you imagine twenty or so heavily pregnant women in a race around a maternity hospital to score their painkillers? I SO CAN.

Once I was properly dilated, things started to move pretty quickly. I’m not entirely sure of the time frame but we could be talking 4am-4.30. My contractions were now coming every 2-3 mins and were getting really intense. As I am a complete wuss when it comes to pain, I started having a meltdown. I wanted Ass Monkey to hold my hand, then I wanted him to leave me alone, then I started crying, then I started wailing ‘Help me… Please help me….’ (Yes, seriously).

The Drugs DO Work

The Drugs DO Work

The Drug Man arrived – thank fuck – and Ass Monkey literally had to hold me steady while I sat on the side of the bed and endured the contractions. I don’t know how he did it because I was totally freaking out. And obviously, you really don’t want to move an inch when someone is trying to get a needle into your back.  It’s SO worth it though. My contraction pains got less and less difficult to deal with over the next half an hour until I stopped feeling them at all.

And then I had a snooze. Yes, seriously ;o)

We all kept chatting and Sheeba monitored me over the next couple of hours until the baby was ready to make an appearance. This waiting time can be a little bit frustrating as you feel like you’re ready and you’re so dying to meet the little person. I kept asking ‘When are we doing this? Now? Half an hour? When?’ And Sheeba just smiled & told me she’d examine me in another while….

7am was Go Time. Ass Monkey was instructed to grab one leg, Sheeba had the other and she gave me my instructions.

‘One big deep breath, then push, push, push, down into your bum. You ready?’

I was. I was so ready.

‘Ok Sharyn – take a deep breath (I did), and…’

The door to our room opened and a voice called out over the screen between it and my bed.

‘Sheeba do you have a spare set of keys?!’

Our Sheeba looked amused. ‘Em no I don’t!’ she replied.

‘I don’t either!’, I chipped in.

‘Yeah, me either’, Ass Monkey threw in his two cents. ‘We’re a little busy here!’

The three of us went into meltdown and couldn’t stop laughing. The timing couldn’t have been any better because we relaxed entirely.

‘Ok, no laughing’ Sheeba tried to get us all back in the game. (It took another minute or two). ‘Take a deep breath, and…push’

The little baby’s head was visible (to them anyway) after two pushes, completely out at 3 (‘I can see black hair! – Ass Monkey. ‘I keep calling her a she, I don’t know why’ – Sheeba), and the body was out on 4 pushes plus a few of those little short breaths they tell you about in antenatal class.

Each of us looked down immediately to see what little present we had been given – a girl! A GIRL!! Wait, a girl? How do we have a girl? We only picked out a boy name and Jacob thinks he’s getting a little brother and – OH MY GOD WE HAVE A GIRL!!!

When I say we cried, we really cried. I’m still crying a little bit every day. The joy, the euphoria. A gorgeous little baby girl xxx

A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

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