Harriet’s Birth Story


Harriet’s labour was actually the most daunting for me. This seemed to surprise everyone because I’ve already had 3 previous labours that had been quick and relatively easy. However after having 2 labours be 1.5hours from start to finish I was genuinely nervous id give birth at home. I know that a lot of women do this however this utterly terrified me.


Harriet’s pregnancy was rather stressful for me emotionally also. We were told my husband would deployed overseas for his work and would miss the birth and then we were told that we would have to relocate to Perth in early January and if we didn’t he would have to leave the Army and hence be unemployed whilst we have a newborn and 3 other children to feed. However I was actually ok with this all however I terrified that no one would be home with me when it all started. Furthermore I started to get anxious that something would go wrong given how lucky we have been to have had 3 healthy pregnancies and babies. The doctors booked in an induction at 38weeks to help prevent this. However I always had a suspicion that she wouldn’t make 37weeks let alone 38. I guess my poor body was over carrying babies. Well my brain certainly was.


I’ve been lucky and have reality easy pregnancies and all were virtually the same. I just got things earlier and earlier. Blood noses, broken capillaries, congestion and extreme heartburn joined me nice and early. It was fun. Oh and lets not even go there about the constipation. My poor arse is probably the most relieved part of me to never have a baby again. I figure it will be my roids and I against the world from now on.


The biggest difference with Harriet was the insomnia. Holy shit it nearly killed me. Id be awake from around 1am-5am. I’ve never felt more awake in my life than during the times. I’d actually wake Dan to discuss these random ideas id have because I was so bored. On that note we probably should have got Apple TV…hmmm hindsight you beautiful thing. I told the doctors I needed this baby out at 37 weeks because I actually could not care for my other children on no sleep. They said they would discuss it at our next appointment following her last growth scan at 36 weeks and 3 days.


With all of my pregnancies I have had regular growth scans. Both boys were growth restriction and required 39 weeks and 38 weeks then me to be induced. Both required episiotomies. With Margot I was booked in for an elective C-Section at 39 weeks. She came on her own at 37 weeks. There was no way I would be cut again. I still haven’t recovered from them. However Margot came out before I could get to theatre. She only tore me slightly so I was happy for a natural birth for Harriet. Both girls never were growth restricted but small for gestational age but they didn’t want them to drop in growth or they’d induce straight away.




Any who Dan never ended up getting deployed which made me more relaxed however the day after Noahs 4th birthday I had lost my plug. I quickly called Dan to come back home (he had just left for work). Nothing happened so by 10am I said for Dan to go to work. I spoke to my midwife and she asked about movements, which I had noticed slowed down. We met at Flinders Hospital around 3pm just to get checked and everything appeared fine but bub was having a lazy day. I knew that id probably go soon though because I had lower back pain at Noah’s party, which reminded me of Margot’s revolting posterior labour.


Why do girls hate me….??


I got home and everything was fine. Put the kids to bed and went to bed to watch a doco actually. I do love a good doco. Any who around 10pm I started to get cramping’s. I called the hospital that advised to come in. I quickly called my sister around and let Shona (the birth photographer)  know what was happening. We arrived at hospital around 10.30 pm and having mild contractions (I don’t know how far apart I never timed them). They got the doctor to assess me because I was only 36weeks and 3 days. My waters broke when they started the examination. I was quickly given antibiotics. They said given my history this baby would be out very quickly. She had other plans.


Nothing progressed. I walked around, bounced, squatted, laughed, and had cups of tea. Nothing. They said they’ll break my waters (turns out the other fluid was only the first layer) and that will get it done. Nope, nothing but me leaking gunk everywhere. I asked for the drip to hurry it along. They finally gave it to me around 4am. Again nothing happened except excruciating pain in my bum and lower back. Yay, another very posterior baby.




Danni, my student midwife, and Daniel took turns pressing on my lower back to get me through contractions, which actually work amazingly! However Harriet wasn’t recovering following contractions and I could tell they were not happy. They said I would roughly have about an hour to give birth otherwise I will require a section. The midwife thought id have to be close and said she will deliver the baby before she finished her shift. She checked me at around 7am and I was only 4cm. That actually defeated me and I was a tired I’ve never felt before. I knew that it would probably end up with having a section so I asked for an epidural. I needed to sleep. I had no drugs prior to this point but I just wanted to be numb. The nurse handover happened at the same time. The anaesthetist was actually really attractive. Not ideal when you’re looking terrible, oh and giving birth. Again I’m getting side-tracked….




The epidural didn’t work immediately and it was something to do with the attachments. Anyone who has decided to have an epidural for it not to work is the most defeating feeling in the world. They eventually got it to work however I could still feel everything. They said they only gave me the mild does. This actually annoyed me. You certainly cannot sleep through contractions. After they’d just finished the epidural I got stabbing pains in my stomach that we worse than any contractions. Turns out I had a full bladder from my fluid drip. The nurse wouldn’t let me walk to the toilet and had to give me a beautiful glamorous catheter. Once that pain had subsided I told her I needed to push and that the baby was coming! Again Harriet tore me in apparently “weird” places however only 1st degree. She was born in 9mins.




I didn’t even shit myself. That’s a first for me. The roids had my back for once.


Harriet was handed to me and we thought she was a boy for a few seconds. When we checked and saw another perfect daughter we both cried. It was 9.22am.




My Gran had predicted she would be a girl 2 days before she passed away. She was extremely close to not only me but also my children. Her passing 5 weeks before I had Harriet was certainly upsetting. Harriet was also born on my grandpa’s birthday. My grandpa suddenly passed away 7days later. Safe to say 2016 was an interesting year for my family.




Harriet’s labour was my longest and certainly least painful and yet most emotional. It is recorded as 5.5hours. She was born 8 mins before I was meant to have her growth scan and doctors appointment to discuss bringing her induction date forward. Harriet weighed 2.5kg and was perfect with an absolute shitload of hair. She was taken to the neonatal unit to check her over and again came back with the all clear. Over the following few days she would be back and forth due to keeping warm. However she fed amazingly and has been my least painful to feed out of all of them. She still continued to lose weight so I had to stay in hospital for nearly 5 days until they were happy she was gaining weight. She got down to 2.2kg but this was only 8% of her body weight however the doctors didn’t like little babies losing that much so we would top her up with formula for the first few days. She quickly started regaining weight. She also was becoming more and more yellow. Again I expected jaundice. All of ours had been readmitted due to jaundice. This also happened with Harriet a week later.


Since bringing her home she has fit in amazingly. It is like she has always been here.


Now to start planning baby #5. Jokes the snip is well and truly done.





All pics have been taken by Shona Henderson. She is beyond amazing. Check out her out at @shonahendersonphoto and http://www.shona.com.au


I will post our family/newborn pics in my next blog. They are beyond perfection.



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