The Changing Birth Stories Of My 3 Babies
Are you preparing to give birth, or looking back on the arrival of your baby? Mother of three Triona Driscoll gives an honest account of her birth experiences.
My first baby was so well planned out. We married in May and started trying to conceive the following September. By March, I got my positive pregnancy test. I had been disappointed it took so long, but in hindsight it wasn’t that long at all!
I had the usual complaints – heartburn, swollen feet, nausea for the first trimester and exhaustion by the last. I stopped working on 26th of October and on the night of 31st of October, Halloween, I was up and down handing out treats at the door to the neighbours’ kids. I thought all the movement was making me uncomfortable, but it turned out that Diarmaid was on his way.
At 3am on the morning of the 1st of November, my husband drove us into Holles Street where they told me I wasn’t in labour. This was a horrible thing to hear when you’re timing your contractions! I was kept in Unit 3 in Holles Street until about 5pm that evening, because we lived too far from the hospital to be allowed home.
Nearly 24 hours later at 2.07am on the 2nd of November, Diarmaid arrived, all 8lb 13oz of him. I was exhausted beyond belief and by the time I got back to the ward it was almost breakfast time.
My family and in-laws all came in the evening of the 2nd to visit. I was tired but I was so proud. I also remember wearing a brand new pair of pyjamas, dark in colour to be safe! The next night was very challenging. I hadn’t slept since the 30th of October and the nurses were keen for me to ‘room-in’ with my baby. Diarmaid was crying and I didn’t know what to do. They came to me a few times to help me start breastfeeding and then to help me wind him. I went home on the 3rd of November and got my first sleep since my baby had arrived, four hours between feeds, while my husband looked after Diarmaid.
My experience with my daughter’s birth was so different. We started trying for another baby after Diarmaid turned one and after three months, we conceived. This time, I felt so much more confident and happy. I had borderline over-active thyroid so had to attend a special clinic in Holles Street. On week 12, I had our first scan and from there on in my health wasn’t great. Other non-pregnancy related health issues meant I was high risk and was monitored carefully for the rest of the pregnancy. From that point, I was signed off work up to my maternity leave dates.
Caoimhe was an easy delivery and I put her early arrival at 37 weeks down to all the running around I did with Diarmaid. She arrived just after dinnertime on the 11th of August and when we went back to the ward, we both slept for four hours. I had insurance to cover me in a semi-private ward, but as they had no availability, I was given a private room instead!
The feeding was more work this time, as I now had to time it around the medication I was on for my other health problems, but it all worked out well and I continued to breastfeed her for 16 months.
Surprise: Number three
On my last baby, I was five weeks pregnant or so when I finally did a pregnancy test. Having organised myself for the first two, his surprise arrival came as a bit of a shock. Feilim was planned for sure, but not for another year or so. At week 20, I had my scan and they hovered the scanning wand around Feilim’s brain for longer than normal. They told me that he had bubbles on his brain – cysts. He would need to be monitored to see if they would resolve themselves, but if they stayed it could be an issue.
Dr. Google showed me that it could be nothing or it could be a syndrome that meant my baby may not live. It was seven weeks from that scan date before I was told the cysts were gone, but it wasn’t until I gave birth that they confirmed that he was okay. All 9lb 14oz of him! Two more ounces and I would have been tested for pregnancy diabetes, I was told. After two early arrivals I was surprised that his due date came and went and he arrived three days late.
My babies are now seven, five and three. I am 90% sure that that is my lot. I think!
Do you have a birth story you’d like to share? It might even be chosen to appear in the next issue of Easy Parenting magazine! Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org