I don’t often talk about my births… but I read this the other week and while at my Chiropractor this morning having my pelvis realigned, I kinda thought I might like to put in my two bobs worth.
Big Baby Article – Huffington Post: Australia
What is classified as a big baby for one, perhaps isn’t for another; it might be fucking gigantic, or even just average for some and then for a few with WonderVagina superhero blood running through her veins, it’s small. According to the article published in the Huffington Post, it appears that the accepted large baby cut off is 8lb 13 oz and, that a great chunk of expecting mums are being told that there baby is ‘bigger than average’, in turn this is increasing the number of scheduled C-section births and other intervening methods.
While I was carrying Mitch, I put on 22 kgs… Yeah a crap load because the first trimester I spent in bed after ‘losing’ an incredible amount of blood at 5 weeks gestation and we were told we had lost him… Turns out, they thought he may have been a twin. Our strong not so little man survived and 8 months later, he arrived at 11.55pm after an epic 25 hour labour weighing in at 9lb 6oz, screaming and hungry. Nothing much has changed. I gave birth naturally after enduring an epidural, (not fucking fun) mainly so I could get a couple of hours beauty sleep before I started pushing. Do you think he was big? I did then, still kinda do now, little did I know the worst was yet to come.
Twenty two months later, following a gel cervix ripening, mmm mmm, a shot of pethidine in the ass and my waters broken with the stick-fork-thing, pacing roughly 6km around the birthing suite for 9 1/2 hours in silence, I began what involved having a baby shoved back into my uterus because an elbow and forearm presented first. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t rock, I couldn’t lay down and I couldn’t kneel and I couldn’t talk. I was what you would call very, VERY un-fucking-comfortable. A few hard pushes and I gave birth to an unconscious, bruised and blue Colby. He was 10lb 7oz, just shy of 5 kilograms and I only gained 11 kgs for the entire pregnancy. I was completely oblivious that it took him three minutes to breathe his first breath, as I was taking my first full-lung breaths in 5 months myself, while sighing “thank fuck for that!” He pinked up real quick and went straight on the boob.
I for one, was told on both occasions I was ‘further along than you think’, as my baby was always measuring bigger than it should. I was asked multiple times “are you sure your dates are right?” I was absolutely certain of my dates and I could tell you exactly where and when I fell pregnant, “would you like the details?” always raised some eyebrows while the OB, GP or sonographer sat back in their seat.
At the 25 week scan for Colby, the sonographer told me that I was measuring five full weeks bigger than I should be. Mentally I was doing the math in my head… geez, this kid is going to be big. I knew it, and I warned my OB that if I went any more than 3 days over my due date, I would sue him. Colby was due on the 3rd, and was born on the 6th. Clearly he listened…
At no point did I consider a C-section because I wasn’t sure I could endure that kind of pain, nor did I consider one to save the aesthetics or elasticity of my vagina, or for that matter the strength of my pelvic floor. It was never in my mind or a consideration that I perhaps couldn’t get this baby through my pelvis, or that I might damage the ligaments or tendons? None of this mattered to me. There were no thoughts of the convenience of choosing a date, or date that was symbolic. Each to their own clearly, but in my eyes, a C-section would be for us, the result of an emergency. If something went wrong, then Ben would make that call. Mitch was a big enough baby in my eyes until Colby was born, roughly the size of a three month old infant at birth. His birth was the worst of the two and it was a mutual decision between myself and Ben not to have anymore babies after Colby was born. I knew my limits and that my body couldn’t do that kind of birth again, so that was my call. A C-section was never considered to enable us to add to the family numbers.
I have never forgotten the pain of child birth, they say you do, but that’s a fucking lie. It hurts like nothing else. (Except push ups and burpies, I fucking hate them!) It’s something similar to a really huge Chinese burn on your vagina wall and cervix. Add to that the contractions that are similar to the worst cramp in your hamstring times by 100, that grabs across ya guts and back, taking your breath away. Repeat that again, and again, and again… until you guessed it, the baby comes out. Oh and then there’s the placenta delivery, which has it’s own set of pains and sensations while your uterus goes from being a watermelon sized sac, back to the size of a cantaloupe.
Birth and birthing is very different for every infant, for every woman, in every way. No two are alike as a general rule and what works for me, might not work for you, hence why I tend not to get involved in kid/baby talk because “every-fucking-body knows it better, or did it wiser”… Shut up! Zip – Unless I ask, or you ask me directly, I don’t start. Having said that, I have been witness to three amazing beautiful births and if I might be so bold to say, I am relied on for an honest opinion and support with solid advice. There’s no beating around the birthing bush in my vocabulary, if you ask a question, you’ll get a frank, direct answer and it will not be sugar coated.
So, getting back to the article; increased C-section and intervention correlating with mothers being told their babies are ‘big’… it’s a personal choice. For me; I was told they were big too; the fact that I do my pelvic floor exercises every time I wash my hands is a reminder of the ‘hard work’ my lady parts have endured. Every time I visit the chiropractor because my pelvis has popped out, I think of Colby and the pain associated with his birth. It’s all quite refreshing…yes? But, I’d do it all again. Being told my babies were big, didn’t in the slightest, have an affect on how I was going to birth and in a way I am so glad I endured the pain. Love my boys like nothing else.
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!