Meeting Lennon

On Monday 17/10/22 I was 41 + 4 weeks and was required to go have a check-up at the hospital to ensure all was tracking along well. My dates were a bit all over the place, and we had been given a total of 5 due dates. Myself and the baby were both tracking along normally, and we were able to go home. I had one of my final exams in the late afternoon. Whilst sitting for the exam, the baby's movements felt a lot more intense than normal but nothing concerning. Jarrod was seeing his brother and a few mates on this particular night as my exam was over 3 hours, and I wouldn't be done until later in the evening. I finished up my exam, had a late dinner and chilled on the couch. I was chatting to my midwife around 8pm as she was planning to check in on me Thursday after a follow-up scan. I joked with her and said I think this baby will come soon. I started to experience tightening around 9:50pm and decided to tell Jazz, "I think something is happening, but don't rush home and don't get super excited as it could be a false alarm" of course, Jazz rushed home very excited and eager to meet our baby. At around 1:50-2am I woke up as the tightenings were much stronger and I was experiencing around 3 surges in a 10-minute period. At this point, I knew I wasn't close to having a baby, but as the period-like cramps were quite strong, I decided to lay in our lounge room where I could get into a more comfortable position. I managed maybe a total of 2 hours sleep, and Jazz got up around 6:30am. I decided to notify my midwife Lisa about what was happening. She said to keep her updated but to expect the surges to fade throughout the day. Lisa came over to check on the baby and me around 8:30-9pm on Tuesday night and let me know that this could go on for quite some time and to try to rest. Not long after Lisa left, my surges were much more consistent. She said the baby was engaged, and it wouldn't be much longer until we met our baby. 

Taking Lisa's advice Jarrod and I tried to get some rest. The surges continued to increase and became more consistent, and I was having between 4 surges in 10 minutes. Jarrod got the tens machine out, and we tried to use that as a way to help me through the surges. I tried to rest in bed, but lying on my side felt very uncomfortable. The only position I felt comfortable in throughout my surges was standing. I told Jarrod to rest, but he wouldn't, as he wanted to be with me. At this stage, it was probably around 11pm. I continued using the tens machine but didn't find it to be useful for me. The surges came through very strong, and I knew at this point that my body and Lennon were taking over. It's a strange feeling as you don't have control over your body and just have to ride it out. Throughout this period, I showered and bathed. At around 2-3am, Jarrod gave Lisa a call, and she suggested I do some floor exercises and breathing techniques alongside Jarrod. The hours continued to pass, and I knew I only had one job: to focus on just relaxing and letting things happen. You have this image in your head of how you think things will play out or how you might be throughout this journey, but you very quickly realise there is only so much you can control. I imagined I would be a silent birther, but I soon realised that wasn't the case, and I couldn't control the sounds I was expressing. All I could focus on was getting through each surge, knowing it meant I was one step closer to meeting our baby. Our birth area was well and truly set up 2 weeks prior. Fairy lights were on, and the birth pool was ready for filling. Time passed by so fast, and before we knew it, it was Wednesday. The sun was rising, and light would be upon us very soon. 

At around 5:30am, Jarrod called Lisa. The surges were much more advanced, and I felt like I wanted to push. Lisa suggested that I hop into the birth pool. Lisa arrived at 6:30am and said I was in transition/active labour. She quickly noticed the pool was a little warm, so we cooled it down and started to put cold ice on my forehead. Nicky wasn't far behind her, and when she arrived, Lisa said she could get some coffee. A few weeks prior, I decided that I wanted my mum and mother-in-law to be present. But in the moment, I requested that Lisa and Nicky ask them to wait until just before the baby came. I was concerned about mum seeing me being more vocal than I expected. I know she panics when she thinks I'm uncomfortable or experiencing any discomfort. Little did I know mum, dad, and my brother had been doing stop-ins, and Nicky was keeping them outside. She said that she would call when I was closer to delivering the baby. I remember being very exhausted due to my lack of sleep over the previous two nights, and at this moment, I felt as though maybe I couldn't do this. Jarrod and Lisa both continued to reassure me. I had been so relaxed before labour. No worry or fear. I knew it would be how it was meant to be, but I will openly admit I underestimated birth and how mentally and physically involved it is. It's a marathon, and you need to fully let go and completely trust that the baby and your body know what it is meant to do. Not long after Lisa arrived, I had moments of self-doubt, but thankfully, I had the guidance of a brilliant support team, Jarrod being my absolute rock and Lisa and Nicky guiding me through each surge. I remember moments before a surge hit, I would look for Lisa in the room and lock eyes with her. She was my safety net, my constant reminder and reassurance that all was fine. I needed to get out of my head and allow myself to let it all take over. My body and Lennon knew what to do, and I had to surrender to it all. 

By 11:18am on Wednesday 19th, I was fully dilated, and my membranes had ruptured. This felt almost like a pop-like feeling. At 11:46am, I started to push. I remember this feeling of relief when I hit this stage. Lisa asked me to reach in and feel for her head when I was pushing so I could guide myself through each push. At this point, Jarrod needed to go to the toilet, and I very quickly said no. Lisa quickly told Nicky to call the Mums as she was concerned they may miss the birth as baby Lennon was almost here. Mum and Kris arrived, and things slowed down. We thought maybe their arrival had slowed things down, so we changed locations and had me move between the bathroom, toilet and the bedroom. We tried standing, squatting, on all fours, and me lying down doing a sit-up position tugging on a towel with Nicky and Lisa holding onto the other end. I remember giving each push all I had, but it felt like nothing was happening, and I couldn't describe what I felt. Between each surge or push, I would micro-nap as I was so exhausted. I felt so hot, and being in a small bedroom in a confined space, we asked both Mums to sit in the lounge. Lisa helped me express my bladder, and at this point realised Lennon's hand had slipped forward and was causing resistance. Lennon's heart rate was getting low, but we knew it wasn't anything serious as when I was on my side, it would stabilise, and all was fine. Lisa asked me to consent to an episiotomy as we were past 1pm, and I had been pushing for almost 2 hours. I was so exhausted, and we needed Lennon out. Thankfully Lisa was able to hold little Lennon's hand back, and I was able to push her out without needing the episiotomy 😅 and she was born at 1:50pm. That little hand extended my pushing time, but time was a blur. Whilst on my bed on all fours, Lennon was born. I had automatic relief the moment she was out. Very quickly, Lennon let out a very big cry, and I had her between my legs. At this stage, I was almost in disbelief that she was finally here. We didn't know her gender at this stage, and for a moment, I stared down at her in total shock. I quickly grabbed her and held her in my arms. Jarrod was still sitting in front of me, and Lisa was holding me up as I was a little wobbly after the biggest workout of my life and two days of no sleep prior. We invited both Mums into the bedroom. Jarrod checked to see if Lennon was a boy or a girl, and we quickly learnt that my intuition was right and she was a baby girl. 

Lennon had her first feed and spent the next few hours on me and then Jarrod got to hold and cuddle her. Not long after, I moved back to the birth pool, where Lisa helped me birth the placenta. I did honestly believe I would birth in the pool, but in the moment of it, you'll birth anywhere that works, and nothing else matters. Lennon was birthed in our bedroom with our cat Rocky on the bed, there was a moment where he head-butted me, and I almost kicked him as I was so hot, thankfully I didn't 😅. I always imagined my baby would come in the middle of the night, so I was shocked to see the sun come up and to have her in the middle of the day. Some family members popped in to meet Lennon, and then Jarrod and I got out of the birth pool and snuggled her in bed. Jarrod burnt the umbilical cord. We realised her cord wasn't in the centre of the placenta and could have been causing some tension which may have been why some positions made her heart rate drop slightly. Jarrod and I were absolutely smitten, all cuddled up in bed together. It's so hard to describe how you feel, but immediately you feel a love like nothing you've felt before. We could hardly take our eyes off her as we were automatically so protective and obsessed at the same time. Both Nicky and Lisa cleaned the house and cooked us a meal. I couldn't have asked for a better birth team, they were so comforting from the very first meeting, and I knew immediately I was in excellent hands.

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