Birth Story - Jessica and baby Laken
My partner Jessica and I had been wanting to start a family for quite some time but being a same sex couple we faced a few challenges.
We discussed at length the pros and cons of knowing the donor vs him being anonymous; going through a fertility clinic vs trying on our own; how to deal with people's reactions (because as a same sex couple it's not always positive); and a host of other things. I'm sure we covered absolutely every possible scenario known to man!
Eventually we asked a friend of mine if he'd be interested in helping us out. It was a long shot as I didn't know him particularly well, but he was keen to help us start our family (and with subsequent children) whilst not playing a major role in the child's life.
About 6 months later (and after the first use of an OPK rather than just trying to predict ovulation ourselves) we had a positive test result!
The pregnancy had its ups and downs with Jess being quite sick until about 20weeks. That, along with being a first pregnancy and Jess' anxiety made it fairly stressful as we'd worry about every little thing. She was 100% convinced that something would go catastrophically wrong. Spoiler alert: it didn't!
Our baby was due on the 9th of November, Jess' waters broke that night but with no contractions. So we went to the hospital to check on bub. All was fine but would need to be induced within 24hours if labour didn't start before then. This was stretched a bit further as it was late at night. So the next evening she started contracting on her own and during the night the contractions got closer together and more intense. By about 5am on the Sunday we went to the hospital where they decided the contractions weren't quite regular enough to be considered active labour.
We had a pretty nice system going in the birth suite. Jess was on the exercise ball and I was behind her on a stool helping her breathe through contractions and rubbing her back and shoulders when she needed. It worked well for us.
By about 9:30am they gave her the tiniest sniff of syntocinon to regulate contractions, along with some morphine to help her rest a bit between contractions as she hadn't slept pretty much since the Thursday night.
Things moved very quickly from this point. Jess was up and about as much as she could be up until this point but the morphine really knocked her around. By about midday she was fully dilated (much to the midwives surprise) and our baby was super keen to meet us. Once they realised just how quickly this was progressing, the midwives and I helped get Jess in the position she wanted to be in to give birth to our little one: on her knees supporting herself on the head of the bed. I was able to watch our baby come into this world and was the first one to touch and hold him as he was born. It only took three contractions, less than 15minutes and we were holding our beautiful baby. Not even any pushing. Jess just breathed and let her body do what it's designed to do.
We hadn't found out the sex of our baby during the pregnancy because, honestly, our baby's genitals aren't the most important thing about him. We just wanted a happy, healthy baby. Somehow we only had boys names picked out though. I remember as he was being born, the first moment I saw just from his nose to the top of his head, I knew this was Laken. I didn't even know it was a boy yet and we did have a few names we liked. But with only his little eyes and nose out I knew. I caught him as he came into the world and got to tell Jess that we have a son. I remember telling her ' I think this is Laken'.
So our beautiful son was born at 12:29pm on the 11th of November, weighing just 3.090kgs and 48cm long.
While we were enjoying spending our first moments as a new family, Jess was haemorrhaging. The midwives were so amazing and calm throughout. We really didn't know that anything was wrong. Jess lost about 800ml of blood but there was no panic at all.
After the birth, two of the midwives that had been with us for the birth came back at different times to thank us for letting them be part of such a wonderful experience.
It really was amazing. Things didn't go quite to plan but we were very much in control of decision making and our preferences were always a priority. We used The Positive Birth Company Digital Pack and it was invaluable. It provided us with knowledge and tools to be able to stay calm throughout and the confidence to question the suggestions that were made to us to make sure we were making the right decisions for us.
Our son is now almost 8 months old and is thriving. He's absolutely perfect and we couldn't have imagined a more amazing birth experience.
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