This dynamic young go-getter recently had her first baby. Caitie was 21 when she found out she was pregnant, and had to withstand all the predictable comments about her age and impending motherhood. She took it all in her stride and gave birth to the beautiful Mack at the end of 2018. Here, Caitie gives a great description of her experience and birth story!
Finding out I was going to be a mum was the most incredible, fulfilling and wonderful moment of my life. Telling the people around me, on the other hand, was so disheartening, it’s hard to put into words. Being freshly 21 in a relatively new relationship, I copped a lot of “wow you’re gonna regret that” or “I guess you two are stuck with each other now”, or “what are you gonna do when he decides to leave you”, which is not exactly what you want to hear when you’ve been fortunate enough to conceive a little love bug with the love of your life.
I was lucky though, I have a partner who has stuck by me through EVERY hormone induced tantrum, every not so great day, when I accidentally threw up on myself in the car several times, and even when I stank for no apparent reason, no matter what I did, throughout my entire pregnancy!
So it was Sunday afternoon, I’d been in the early stages of labour for a few days but was constantly being told by the older know-it-all relatives that what I was feeling wasn’t real and if it was going to start it wouldn’t stop. Keeping in mind I was 41 weeks pregnant, the next day and my father-in-law was getting on a plane to go back to the other side of Australia in less than 24hrs, I was freaking out! I’d gone for a big walk and then convinced myself my son was not moving the way he should (I can’t actually remember whether there were issues or not) but following this, my partner in crime and I headed off to the local public hospital to see my midwife. We began getting monitored for reduced movement, where my midwife confirmed I was definitely dilating and my son was in fact moving. Due to my gestation, the report of “reduced movement” and the fact that I was so obviously not coping mentally with being that pregnant, when the OB came in to check up on me I was offered an induction for the following morning. This meant no going home, and relying on my partner to pick up my many hospital bags as I couldn’t decide what to bring and what not to bring! At 7pm the OB inserted a cervidil (as part of the induction process) and told me to expect to feel slightly uncomfortable but nothing unmanageable. That I would still be able to go to sleep with a pill... BOY were they wrong! From about an hour in I started having regular, unpleasant contractions. I would have coped fine with this, but my partner had decided to fall asleep (guess it makes sense now, but at the time I wanted to murder him). At 3am I started to get quite emotional and called my mum to join me in the labour suite. She read my contraction chart and encouraged me, seeing that I’d barely gotten a break since the cervidil was put in. I used some gas on the lowest setting to cope with the pain. At 6.37am I was greeted by the lovely woman who broke my waters and I felt so much better once this was done. I personally didn’t find the process painful at all as I was already a good few cm dilated and had gone through a few stretch and sweeps before this. After this, it was ON. I had the drip put on and very quickly taken back off. I went into this whole process wanting a very natural, pain relief free birth. Immediately after my waters were broken I wanted everything and anything to relieve the pain that had hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was so lucky to have a midwife who educated me on my options and informed me on sterile water injections, morphine, anything besides an epidural so I could continue being mobile. I also used a hot shower to manage a lot of my pain. Nothing really worked, until I had the morphine. It clouded and calmed my mind so I was able to go within myself and really out in some hard work, and I certainly did just that. In a 45 minute period where my mum stepped out to go do whatever she had to do, I went from 2-3cm dilated to 8cm. My partner called her frantically asking her to come back because he was scared she’d miss it and she didn’t believe him. Once she was back she was so shocked that I could’ve achieved so much in such a short amount of time, in my first labouring experience! My son became stressed at a few different points of my labour because I didn’t realise then when I wanted to push I was allowed to just go for it, so they put a monitor on his head early on in the process. Once my student midwife noticed that I was trying to hold back my urge to push she notified my midwife, who was like “okay, lay down, let’s see what’s happening” quickly followed by “oh my goodness your baby is ready to meet you!” I was so tired by this point, about 5 hours into active labour, legs up and pushing. And pushing. And pushing.... but I just wasn’t giving it enough gumption and I think my midwife could tell that. My son had been “crowning” for about half an hour and was becoming more and more stressed by the minute. At this point they bought in the table that had all the things necessary for an episiotomy. My mum started crying and yelling at me to push (UM EXCUSE ME I’M NOW PAIN RELIEF FREE I SHOULD BE THE ONE CRYING, NOT YOU MUM!) anyway, my midwife asked me to give it one more good go or else they would have to do an episiotomy and I replied “okay I’ll try” and with that I gave it one last good go and pushed him out in one go, so fast my midwife had to catch him! Just like that my baby was born, out on my chest where he belonged all along!
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