From living upside down for a month, handstands in the swimming pool, a bag of peas on my belly whilst laying upside down and husband talking through a toilet roll to my hooha; I tried everything the experts and Google suggested to turn my Breech baby upside down......to my biggest fear turn reality, Cesarean without the usual drugs as I am allergic to everything!.... QUEUE Panadol and Nurofen! This is my journey from Baby B to Miss Avi!
From the beginning.....
I had just taken a close friend out to lunch to one of my fav healthy cafes to return home and half hour later I was rushing to the toilet been sick. Seeing my kale salad and green smoothie in the bowl I thought could I be.... I raced upstairs and did a pregnancy test. I had gotten so used to doing them as hubby and I had been trying for almost two years, that I peed on the stick and put it in the bin and walked away. I got downstairs when I realized I had forgotten to look at the result, been so used to seeing a negative result it was a force of habit to simply discard them. Back upstairs I'm now rummaging through the bin in search of my pee stick whilst still feeling queasy (not my finest moment!). When I pulled the stick out of the bin and saw two lines I knew what it meant but I read and reread the packet and insisted on testing again...and again! 3 positives tests and well I was over the moon, I couldn't wait to tell hubby however I wanted to do it in a memorable way, now 4.30 on a Friday Avro I raced to the shops and grabbed a few supplies...
Matt called me and said he had arranged for us to go to a friend’s house for a couple of drinks and that he would be home early (this was the first time he had come home early or organized something like this!). I went to a friends and said I didn't feel like drinking, thankfully this was not uncommon so neither of them questioned me, my goodness it was hard to keep a secret that night! I barely slept that night woke up super early and snuck out of the room to pack my car full of cushions, and picnic things. I then left a bunch or notes with clues, which led him to find me and our fur baby Indi at the top of point Cartwright for picnic bfast. Indi was wearing a bandana that said 'I'm going to be a big sister', Matt didn't notice this until later, and he noticed the giant present box first... I passed him a box that was filled with layers and each layer had clues, which led to love notes and finally the last box said roses are red, Violets are blue..... inside me beats two hearts for you (inside the box were my 3 pee sticks and some baby clothes). We cried had our beautiful moment and kept our little secret to ourselves for a while.
Unfortunately I suffered from all day nausea throughout my entire pregnancy. This vomiting led to a muscle spasm in my back which in the first trimester dislodged two ribs the first time and four the second. In the second trimester it was 3 ribs and the day before giving birth my ribs delightfully decided to give my grief one last time! Each time felt like a knife stabbing me in the back, with what felt like only 1/3 lung capacity I waddled myself off to the physio for them to extremely painfully manipulate them back into place, strap me up and send me on my way, felt so good to be able to breathe again afterwards, however the pain lingered for at least a month each time.
Not wanting to loose my capacity to do what I love, I decided I wanted to setup my own commercial level studio at home so I had the capacity to work once our little bundle of joy arrived. This meant for me working longer hours then ever before, thankfully while I was been active, which was the most part of my job my nausea was at bay, it was when I stopped to do paperwork I felt worse (then again paperwork makes everyone sick!). The tying of my shoelaces became my least favorite activity of the day, followed closely by going the toilet fifty million times haha!
On two separate occasions early on in my pregnancy I learnt the repercussions and saw the effects sheer emotional stress on the body and what that can result in, twice I nearly lost bub, the blessing we had been trying for over 2 years for. After the second scare I decided I was in a place where peace, love, kindness and positivity were my focus and negativity simply ceases to exist. Once distancing myself from that I had a wonderful pregnancy surrounded by the most amazing supportive, loving people I could of ever asked for. Although sick I continued to train 5 days a week with my own sessions, taking Pilates and boot camp classes up until the week before I gave birth at 37 1/2weeks.
At 30 weeks my ob. told me Baby B was still around the wrong way, she wasn’t too concerned at this stage just mentioned I could try a few things however she would likely flip on her own. Not wanting anything but a natural water drug free birth and the thought of having a C-sect scaring the heck out of me I decided to get onto this pronto! I hadn’t taken anytime off, so when my car needed servicing usually I would get a hire care and come back to work, I decided to take myself to the beach. I lay in the sun, I prayed, I believed and I spoke to my baby girl asking her to turn. Later on that afternoon when I was home and on the phone to Matt I said oh my goodness I feel sick you should see my stomach, she is pulling the funniest of shapes! Now I wasn’t a medical professional of any description, however that was new, my tummy looked different and for me who was continually hungry I couldn’t eat anything for almost 6hours. I had a midwife appointment 2 weeks alter and they confirmed she had flipped and was engaged, so I started on my raspberry leaf tea, Medrol dates and primrose oil caps in prep for my dream birth. 2 weeks later (2 days before my ob. appoint) I felt a change in my tummy again and said to Matt I think she has moved back. This devastating news was delivered to me at 35weeks Baby B was still breech, she had done a turn back around to her comfy spot. I had a deadline to flip this baby because there was no way in hell I was letting them slice me open, so begins the almost month of living upside down…
Daily I would do handstands in the swimming pool, lay upside down for an hour a day, do yoga inversions, acupuncture, burn moxa sticks on my little toes (odd but I was down for anything) osteopath, baths, cold peas on the top of my tummy and a heat pack on the bottom and upside down, at one stage I even had my husband talking to bub through a toilet roll to get her to move! I prayed I talked to her constantly and I believed she would move for mummy, I mean I had eaten everything right, nourished her lil body and loved it from day one all she needed to do was a half somersault! It came to 37weeks Baby B had decided she liked been close to my heart, I had tried everything except an ECV where you are admitted to hospital for them to manually flip your baby. In my last ditch effort we scheduled this for the next day, I turned up, undressed got on a table they strapped me in and tilted it on an upside-down angle, strapped a monitor on me and cords and wires everywhere to monitor bub. Now as this procedure is incredibly painful, more often then not mum becomes distressed and as a result bub and then its an emergency caesarian to deliver right there. With the theatre prepped and ready for me I knew what I had to do, channel my inner warrior and stay as calm as I possibly could. Normally they do one, max two attempts as bub is usually upset by that stage and mum has well and truly met her pain limit. After both attempts they checked bub and were amazed there was not one spike in her heart rate or any sign of stress. I used the techniques I had used in my calm birth course, focusing on my breathing, staying in my calm content state despite it been the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. Determined this was going to work, with the obstetrician complaining of a dislocated thumb from pushing so hard after two attempts, I pleaded for one final try, against their wishes they gave us a break then tried one final time; alas, it was not meant to be!
So commenced my week of intensive ‘turn the baby’ maneuvers, where I swear I spent more time upside down then the right way up! I prayed, I spoke to Baby B continually and I truly believed in a miracle…. I went to my checkup with the Ob on Monday at 9.30am, she confirmed my worst nightmare, I would need to have a Caesarian and it needed to happen right away as bubs head was well and truly squished. Putting my fears aside and wanting the safest thing for Bub to arrive in our arms we were scheduled in for 6am op the next morning.
I drove home from the hospital sobbing uncontrollably, got home and in bed, hugged my fur baby Indi and rubbed my Belly wanting her to do a last min shuffle and it all be called off. An hour later Matt arrived home with flowers and a care package and told me he had taken the rest of the day off, we were going to the beach, relaxing, out for lunch and making the most of it. I had a flood of support by the way of calls, messages, flowers, unexpected gifts and I can not begin to explain just how much these people and simple loving gestures meant to me. It gave me the lift, the strength, and power to accept this is my journey and no matter what I am surrounded by love and amazing people, I can get through anything. We spent our last evening together eating dinner at Point Cartwright under the stars and Full moon, it was just perfect. Then as I was getting in bed last time with baby B inside, my ribs slipped and dislodged one final time…. winning! Because I was so heavily pregnant, I couldn’t not find one position that didn’t cause me immense pain, I walked and sat for short periods all night reheating my heat pack until I saw the sun start to come up, yep not one wink of shut eye for me! Wanting to start the day with a beautiful memory we went back to point Cartwright and watched the sunrise then headed to hospital.
We went to ‘check in’ to our room and joked about asking for a room upgrade, despite the sleepless night and my breathing only at half capacity because my rib was causing so much pain we were so excited finally we were going to meet our little girl.
They came and did blood tests, told us to change into our scrubs and gown and then I was wheeled off into the pre theatre room where I was transferred to a bed.
When I found out I had to have a C-section I called Tracey Browne from 'Postive Beginnings' who we did the calm birth course with and asked for a few tips and to talk me through. She suggested wearing peppermint essential oils, however as we were told to wash and wash and re wash some more with this surgical scrub there was no chance of us wearing the oil. Matt however smuggled it in his scrubs just incase. It was at this point I started to get scared and anxious, without me saying a word Matt oils out the contraband and puts the oil on his wrist and he gives me his hand which I pull up to my nose, still wet the oil then burns the tip of my nose and we both burst out laughing! Every part of my body did not want to do this op, I looked into Matts eyes and he knew just what to say, ‘just breathe’, that was all I needed to hear. I started my calm birth meditation, closed my eyes and took myself to the Maldives in my mind. I focused on my breath as they put my cannula in, visualized finally holding our Baby B and the fear and anxiety quickly subsided. They wheeled me to the pre op room where we discussed in-depth my allergies to all pain killers, they had a few discussions about what to do, I wasn’t able to have a regular epidural and spinal block which gives 24hrs of pain relief, instead they came up with a mild cocktail that gave them a 60min timeframe before the feeling came back to me. I kept my eyes closed, gripped Matt’s hands as the 8 needles went in, focusing on breath and staying in the Maldives in my mind. They then did the icepack test where they hold it on parts of your body to determine numbness, much to their dismay I could still feel everything…another discussion went by and then came up with something else that would have very short term pain relief, with that I finally passed the ice pack test ands they started to wheel me into theatre. I quickly asked if we could play our birth list, they said sure you have 8 minutes until she’s born (so odd!) what song did we want to queue fir her to be born to? Been rather bad with song titles and only had a natural labor birth song list prepared with everything on it from funny songs to Beyoncé to as matt calls them my ‘nigga beats’…I said look I have no idea I am going to have to out it on random shuffle and hope she doesn’t arrive to ‘Rack Rack City Bit*!’
I continued my calm breathing as I felt the unusual sensations of tugs and pulls, looking into my husband’s eyes and feeling his kisses on my cheek reassured me. It was a true blessing she was actually born to the song we played just before walking down the aisle, ‘A Thousand Years’ by Gabrielle Aplin. The surgeon said this is the most appropriate birth song, to which I glanced into Matt’s eyes and we both burst out crying with anticipation and happiness. They lowered the sheet and reaching towards us with her arms out in front was our beautiful baby girl, Aviana Hope Butler.
Thankfully I found an amazing obstetrician Kylie Isaacs who granted my every wish on my birth plan allowed us to do delayed cord clamping, so bubs could get every last bit of nutrients. Matt got up to cut the cord, nervously he had three attempts to chop through what he later described calamari tubing, and admitted he was so concerned about mucking it up haha! They took bub straight to the table for a quick checkup with the pediatrician as she had swallowed some fluids then straight onto me for direct skin to skin. In that moment that perfect moment our eyes met she laid on my chest and immediately found her way to my nipple and started feeding, it was the strangest and most magical moment I have had. They came and placed a beanie on her head and a blanket over the both of us to keep warm, she continued to feed as they stitched me back up.
Aviana Hope Butler, our perfect little bundle of love continued to feed for over an hour, whilst I was wheeled into recovery and then back into our room. They left us to be alone with bubs and it was wonderful as much as it was a little concerning as neither Matt or I had any clue of what we were doing! We lapped up our perfect little girl, so thankful to God for blessing us with the most amazing creation and delivering her to us safely.
By the 90min mark I started to have feeling come back into my body, pretty soon I could feel everything and my goodness it was a new level of pain I didn’t even know existed. As I am allergic to everything I was offered panadol and nurofen suppository hmmmm yep panadol doesn’t even take the edge off a headache yet post major surgery it somehow was my only option and I became accustomed to counting down the minutes until I was allowed my next ‘hit’! 24hrs later they removed my catheter, which I was momentarily relived, then I discovered I would have to stand up to go to the toilet…. My first experience saw me faint (I’ve never fainted in my life) I vomited, sweated and hit the deck, woke up to a sea of nurses over me on my bed again. This was a new level of pain altogether, body shut down pain! In an odd way I was wishing for the catheter back in; this led me to cease taking in fluids as I did not want to get up to go to the bathroom, anything to avoid standing! This didn’t last long, after the advice of one of my good friends I requested a nurophen suppository, this was the first form of pain relief that seemed to do something, my other option was a needle directly into the stomach that provided 90mins of relief, which I did a few times when I was again reaching pain overload! Day three I ventured to the corridor, still in pain I blacked out later in the shower. Fast forward to day 5, they were sending us home with this delightful beautiful little girl, a doggy bag of pills for my butt and a big smile at the front gate! We arrived home and I was determined to walk to the park at the end of our street, this saw me take almost 25mins to shuffle, which is usually a 60 sec walk! Determined from day one to start rehab I slowly but surely adjusted to moving, no sleep and constantly googling things like are sponatious hiccups normal?
Ahh the lessons I have learnt, week one saw me feeding bubs with no nappy on, yes this turned out as you would expect, me stuck in the recliner covered in wee, poo and vomit and no capacity to sit up myself or get out of the chair. I sat and waited for matt to come home from the yard who after taking over an hour and a half I was rescued by my 8 month old pregnant friend who struggled through out fits of laughter to get me up! I also made the choice to have Placenta Encapsulation, which I wholeheartedly recommend. Placenta Vitality gave me energy to see each day out, I didn’t have one moment of the ‘Baby blues’, I truly believe it helped my hormones balance out whilst giving bubs and myself all the added nutrients that we needed. I know its seems hmmmm distasteful to say the least however I would do it again in heartbeat.
Needless to say I seem to have a little more idea of what is going on and wouldn’t change a thing, what a journey from Baby B to Avi it has been.
Aviana Hope, you are so Brave, you are so strong, you are kind, you are thoughtful, you are loving, you are loved, you are smart, and you are perfect just the way you are for who you are- This is my daily mantra to Aviana, every nap/bedtime, the girls are the single greatest blessings in my life and I am so grateful always.
Thank you for reading my journey,
LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE,
Zemma aka Miss Z Xx