My pregnancy with Macey was not exactly smooth sailing. Before falling pregnant with her, I had a miscarriage and then throughout the course of the pregnancy we had a lot of hiccups along the way.
At our 20 week scan the ultrasound technician told us there were cysts on her brain - these were insignificant and usually go away on their own but after spending the last 20 weeks worrying about having another miscarriage, this was something else for us to worry about!
We then had a growth scan at about 32 weeks (routine for me as I don't usually get very big) and to follow up on the cysts. The great news was the cysts had disappeared but Macey's stomach was measuring extremely small - in the 3rd percentile - and there was also a small amount of fluid on her brain. This alone wasn't a problem as it was still in the normal range, just at the higher end, but paired with the small stomach measurement was enough to have us referred to Waikato Hospital for twice weekly monitoring and fortnightly growth scans as well as a follow up scan in Auckland to check her brain. So obviously this put us into a bit of a spin! The following few weeks were full of hospital appointments and scans which all showed that baby was small but was still growing and that was positive.
The Auckland scan however was a nightmare. The doctor told us there were 2 structures in her brain that they couldn't see due to the position of the baby and how late in the pregnancy it was, so they may or may not have been there. She followed that up with some pretty grim outcomes if they were in fact missing. She then went out of the room, leaving us with that news, to double check the growth and came back to tell us she could actually see the most serious structure which was a huge relief but also had caused us huge distress in the 10 minutes since she had dropped that bombshell on us! There was still one structure they couldn't see, the corpus callosum. If it was there, we were ok, if it wasn't there, there was still a chance everything would be ok. But the other outcomes were pretty scary. We were given the option of having an amniocentesis done or waiting until the baby was born and having an MRI.
We opted to wait and see and as Macey kept growing but was still on the small side, we were booked in for induction at 39 weeks. After a very straightforward pregnancy and birth with Sadie, it was very strange to go through all of this and then be given a date to turn up at the hospital on!
The morning of Saturday 17th August rolled around and after leaving Sadie with my Mum, Josh & I headed up to the hospital. We had bags packed full of things to do as everything I had read and been told indicated that it could be a lengthy process!
Once we got settled in and I had all my checks and the nurse inserted the cervadil at 10.30am which would stay in for 24 hours. Then Josh and I just hung out! We played a couple of games, went for a walk and just chilled out which was pretty nice! I was being monitored every 6 hours to make sure baby was happy, but other than that we were pretty much free to do whatever. Around 2pm I started having tightenings - definitely nothing major but just enough to make me feel like things were starting to happen. We kept walking around (mostly because we were bored!) and tried to watch a movie but I was not super comfortable at this point so we kind of chopped and changed between things.
About 10.30pm I went to the bathroom and the cervadil fell out (it was supposed to stay in for 24 hours). We called the nurse who came and checked me and as I was already a couple of centimeters dilated she said that she would leave it out and call the delivery suite to say I was ready to come down and have my waters broken. We were told this would just be whenever they were ready for us, so to try and get some sleep. We settled down even though I was definitely not feeling that comfortable, turned off the lights and about 20 minutes later the nurse came back to say they were ready for us!
Around midnight we were taken down to the delivery suite and met the hospital midwife who would be taking care of us. She did all the checks, got me hooked up to the monitors and at around 1am she broke my waters. This was such a strange feeling as my waters never really broke with Sadie - this time I certainly knew about it!
After breaking my waters the midwife said they would give my body an hour or so to get into established labour and if that didn't happen they would start the drugs to kick start it at that point. Well my body didn't need telling twice and got straight to work with strong contractions starting to hit immediately! Within the hour I was well into established labour, so the midwife just let me do my thing which was very limited as I was hooked up to monitors so couldn't get off the bed. It was super frustrating as I was very mobile and in the shower for Sadie's birth which I loved - I did not like being on a bed at all!
My contractions were so full on right from the start and with almost no break in between that I opted to use the gas. Initially I didn't think it was that great but the distraction of it was enough to take the edge off.
Around 2.15am the hospital midwife called my midwife to come, as she could see that things were progressing fairly quickly. The only problem with this, was that each time I had a contraction, Macey's heartrate dropped. They weren't really sure what was causing this, so the doctor who was on that night kept popping in to check on me, just in case we were going to need to go in for a c-section. As it turned out, it was just because she was moving down so quickly but there was no way of knowing that at the time!
At this point I was in a lot of pain and was a little bit worried about the heartrate dropping, which was not a great combination! The midwives encouraged me to change positions and lie on my side which wasn't that great either and then eventually I was allowed off the bed to go to the bathroom. I was on my way back when suddenly I felt like I needed to push. I got up onto the bed on my hands and knees and tried to get comfortable - impossible! The gas took a bit of a hammering at this point! The hospital midwife suggested she might check me to see where I was at, but I was pretty confident that it wasn't necessary - this baby was on the way! My midwife was absolutely wonderful and just let me do what I needed to do without having to be checked which was great.
After a couple of massive contractions and a few long draws on the gas I started feeling pretty dizzy, so stopped the gas and immediately started pushing. And less than 10 minutes later, at 3.05am on Sunday 18th August, we had our second sweet baby girl!!
Macey was passed straight up to me and we were able to have some great skin to skin time while I birthed the placenta. And Macey's umbilical cord was one of the longest my midwife had seen! Macey passed her checks with flying colours and latched on for a feed almost immediately which was great.
Everything was going great, so my midwife went home about 4am and then at 5am I ended up having a post partum hemorrhage which was pretty unpleasant. I had to have an oxytocin infusion and a catheter put in which was the worst part of the entire birth process.
At 7am once things settled down, we were transferred up to the maternity ward. Macey was 6lb 2oz and below the 10th percentile which meant she needed to have her blood sugars checked every 3 hours until she had 3 good tests in a row. She also had to be checked over by the pediatrician before she was allowed out and I needed to get my catheter taken out. Luckily Macey's tests were all fine, I was cleared and at 2pm we were allowed to leave. Right before we left, Macey had a choking episode - she brought up a lot of mucus that needed to be suctioned out. She was fine but it was super scary - especially as we were both absolutely exhausted after being up all night and stuck in the ward in a shared room for the last 7 hours.
We were finally able to leave and head to the birthing centre for a couple of nights. I was still feeling very overwhelmed after the whole ordeal but the second we walked through the door to River Ridge I breathed a huge sigh of relief. We had our baby (who by all accounts looked absolutely perfect) and we were out of hospital and at the amazing baby hotel for a couple of days to just hang out with our new baby!
Mum bought Sadie in to meet her new baby sister and it was pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life. Such a special meeting! We bought a present to give to Sadie from the baby which was a doll for her to take care of and she absolutely loved her!
After 2 nights at the birthing centre we headed home to settle in to life as a family of 4!