Monday, July 23, 2012

Isaac's Birth Story.

While living in Qld we found out that we were expecting our fifth child. We were thrilled! However since our great news wouldn't be great news for everyone we were very selective of who we told about it. We were also unsure at that time if we were going to continue living in Qld, or what we were going to do. Ben was very unhappy in his job, and it was really wearing on him. Prior to working at the College were he was working a disciplinary officer, he was working as chaplain, where he took a real interest in students and was there as a support person. However in this new role he was only there to punish them for wrong behaviour, but when he would listen to the students the question wasn't "why did you do that", but "no wonder you did that, and why didn't you do more?" SO for him, not being able to help these students was really difficult. We also didn't really want to tell too many people about our exciting news until we knew what we were going to do, stay or go. As the pregnancy progressed, I felt the normal- for-me all day sickness. At 4 months pregnant we made the decision that we would move back to Tassie.

However we didn't just want to move back and fall straight in to ordinary life, we wanted a bit of an adventure. We had both lived in Tasmania for 20 odd years, but had never really explored much of it. So we thought "why don't we spend some time doing that?" So at 5 1/2 months pregnant we brought a trailer, packed up our life in QLD, brought a tent and moved back to Tasmania. We were able to leave some of our things with Ben's family while we tented around the state. The big plan was to see as much of it as we could and wanted to. Thw realities of money limitations, and growing belly and the weather meant the journey was not as easy as we thought it would be. So while we had some great adventures and took our children places that they haven't been to before, we didn't go to as many places as we though we would. However it gave us some great stories, and great insight if we ever plan to do anything like that again, which I'm sure we will. Maybe just for the summer holidays.

So during that time the pregnancy progressed as pregnancies do, I got bigger and slower which made putting a tent up and down more tiring. So we decided to settle back in Launceston. The mission to find a house was on! While waiting for a house we put our tent up in a nearby caravan park were we lived for about three weeks. At 34 weeks pregnant we finally found a house to move into, and we were donated some furniture. At this time we decided that we really needed to tell our families that we were expecting number 5, or baby would tell them with his arival. ;0)

We also had some friends that were moving from NZ two weeks later and needed a place to stay while they go settled and found a house, so we offered our house. The last 4 weeks of the pregnancy went by in a full house and I got slower and slower, and bigger and bigger. I had been testing my blood sugar off and on, and I knew that I had gestational diabetes. I mentioned to my husband several times that I was having a elephant, this was the first pregancy that I really looked pregnant. At 36weeks I had my first real antenatal visit at the LGH, they ordered a scan to check on baby, and booked me in for my birth. I had my scan that 39 weeks where baby was thought to be around 8lbs, so were happy for the pregnancy to continue naturally. At 40 weeks the doctor decided to preform a sweep of the cervix to try and get things going. Which at the time I was really happy with, because of the way baby was sitting and pressing on my stomach and my poor gag reflex that I have during pregnancy; I was often vomiting. One evening I even started vomiting in my sleep and woke to almost breathing it in. I had to throw myself out of the bed and on to the floor, on my hands and knees to avoid it. So felling tired, very sore, vomiting lots, and generally over it I was more than happy for the end to be near.

Well the sweep worked! That night I had very light contractions ten minutes a part, so continued doing what needed to be done, dinner and getting children ready for bed and so on. After they were in bed I rested on the floor watching tv. Once I was lying down they stopped and didn't start again. So I end up going off to bed, and had a pretty good sleep until about 5.30 the next morning when I awoke with contractions. I knew this was it. We woke the our house guests to drove us into the hospital.

Once in the hospital the labour progress pretty quickly. I was put on the bed and had a monitor attached to check the contractions and the baby. Within 40 mins I had a pushing sensation so I went with it. At this point my waters hadn't broken and the midwife decided to check me, well she wasn't really prepared for what happened next, thankfully for her she managed to get her apron and glasses on before my waters burst all over her. After that the push sensation eased off a bit.

The pain of the contractions eased also, and I continued labouring for a while. Then soon after the pushing sensation came again and started pushing, I pushed and pushed, and brought his head down the birth canal, but then my contractions stopped, and the birthing team were yelling at me to keep pushing but there was nothing to push with, I just wanted to move into a different position, but I couldn't communicate with them very well, and they just kept telling me to "push". After this, one of the midwives pushed the emergency button, and within seconds the room was full of nurses. They layed my bed down pulled my legs in the air,(the McRoberts Maneuver) and one midwife pushed her hand inside while another pulled on the babies head, to get his shoulder unstuck. Once the shoulder was unstuck from my pelvis Isaac was born in seconds.

I remember the moment he came out, I had my eyes closed and they took him away to check him out, one of the midwives said "WOW that is a big baby". I remember thinking they said that will my 8lb babies, he can't be that big. However once the doctor had finished checking him over she then explained to me that Isaac had shoulder dystosia and had no movement in his right arm and we wouldn't know if he will ever get it back. After that they passed him to me and my husband, and we actually saw how big he was. 12pounds 2 oz. 5.4Kgs!. Yes he was a big boy!. He was so fat his face was squashed and looked like the sumo, and he did look asian. Ben even turned to me and asked, are you sure his mine? Half joking I'm sure.

Over the next week Isaac was in the NICU were I learnt to care for him, feeding him one side normal and the other side football style, because he didn't like any pressure on his arm, doing his phsyio, and helping manage his pain from the shoulder. He couldn't be dressed in his clothes properly because putting his arm through the cloths caused unneccessary pain, so didn't bother. I think he also got used to me holding him and would get upset if anyone else did. Which was a little sad for Ben and friends but his pain levels were the most important thing.

Thankfully after 16 weeks he began getting sensation and movement back in his arm, and by 4-5 months you wouldn't have guessed that he had suffered from a birth injury.

All things being said and done; even with the intervention, Isaac was my easiest birth, being born at 7am in the morning, 1 1/2 hours after being woken by contractions. 1 hour after arriving at the hospital. He is now three years old and a very robust, loving, strong little boy. :0)


  1. Wow! 12 pounds! I'm glad the feeling came back in his arm. What causes the dystosia?

  2. The cause was the combination of his shoulder being stuck under my pelvic bone and the midwives pulling on him to get him out. In a home birth or birth centre birth the first response would have been to get me to move or round on to all fours, which according to Ina May Gaskin is the most effective way, and release the shoulder in majority of cases. However in the medical professional world this technique is not even taught.