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[Briony's Labour, and Aliana's Birth]

This BabyBlog is about our daughter, Aliana Ivy Hymers, born 26/10/12.

This BabyBlog attempts to describe everything right from the beginning of Briony's pregnancy, through to Aliana's birth and coming home.

[Briony's Labour]

Briony's Labour of Aliana is somewhat surprising, as it was both exactly what we wanted and also exactly what we didn't expect to happen!

In the Pregnancy section of this blog, my last entry was on Tuesday 23rd October. I'd written about being two days until Briony gets the gels ready to be induced. It's fair to say that we expected Aliana's birth to be very similar to Majandra's - being that we'd turn up, get the gels, get the waters broken, and struggle through a long labour.

What actually happened was quite different!

[Thursday, 2012-10-25]

We arrived at Flinders Hospital and made our way to the Birthing and Assessment Suite. We were shown into Room 8 where the lovely midwife took Briony's blood pressure and a urine sample, then hooked Briony up to the foetal monitor for 20 minutes. The foetal heart rate was around 144bpm. During this time Briony was causing spikes on the machine which are generally attributed to either real contractions or Braxton-Hicks contractions.

After the foetal monitor was finished, the midwife performed a vaginal examination, something that I can't imagine being particularly pleasant. The good news, however, was that Briony was already 2cm dilated and there was no need for any gels. The midwife sent us home for the night.

My parents arrived at home. They were to stay the night, as the plan was that we would return to the hospital around 07:30 and my parents were going to look after Majandra for the day. We had a chat and a coffee, and Briony had an early night.

I went to bed, sleeping on the floor in the lounge

[Friday, 2012-10-26]

I was just starting to doze off, when I heard Briony yelling out to me. I went into the bedroom and Briony had leaked some fluid on the floor which we assumed were her waters. She'd actually been leaking all day, and what came out just past midnight was probably only one quarter of a cup worth - not the mad gush we'd expected.

00:30 to 02:10
It's funny writing about this now, as the two-hour block seems like it was a lot shorter than two hours

Following Briony's waters breaking, she began having contractions. At first they weren't all that strong and we thought this was going to go on all night. Briony was worried that contractions mean no sleep, and no sleep will mean a very difficult and challenging labour.

During this two-hour session, Briony's contractions quickly escalated in intensity and we got the TENS Machine out. Briony wasn't enjoying things too much at all. The contractions were 4-8 minutes apart. We called the hospital and they said to come in when the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart.

Briony's pain was getting worse and worse, so we rang the hospital and informed them we were coming in. When Briony stood up it was quite uncomfortable for her, and the thought of walking down the stairs to the car wasn't exciting her too much. We waited until one contraction had passed and we went straight down the stairs in one shot. My parents were staying overnight to look after Majandra, and we quickly left the house without even announcing our departure!

[Aliana's Birth]

On the way to Flinders Hospital we stopped on the side of the road several times while Briony had a contraction. The drive wasn't a long one, but all the bumps of the road made Briony quite uncomfortable.

We were in the car and literally one block away from the hospital when we had to stop for a contraction. Once that contraction was done Briony exclaimed "I think I need to push" and then she started making straining noises. This means the baby was coming!!

We arrived at the hospital emergency department at 02:50. I grabbed a wheelchair for Briony, took her inside and explained what was happening and that we need to get to the Birthing & Assessment suites quickly!

The nurse on duty came with us to show us the way, and we literally ran.

Once within the birthing suite, we quickly got Briony's clothes off and even though she was quite uncomfortable we got her up onto the bed in the "all fours" position. Briony was pushing constantly, she was very hot, and commenting about a lot of pressure down below.

Briony kept pushing, and about all I could do was apply cold, wet towels to her face and back as she was really quite hot. We could see a massive bulge in Briony's bum, like there was a tennis ball stuck in there!

The midwife assiting us noticed Briony's previous episiotomy, which is a cut downstairs which assists in difficult deliveries. She commented that Briony wasn't stretching nicely and a tear was possible. The midwife told Briony she was going to do another cut, and of course unlike Majandra's birth there was no time for anaesthesic - Briony's bum just got snipped with scissors.

Briony let out a scream and her arms were trembling, obviously in a lot of pain, and it almost made me cry.

With a final push, a baby girl was born. Briony was in the all fours position which was exactly how she wanted to give birth, she'd had no drugs or pain relief which is exacly how she wanted it.

The baby was passed in between Briony's legs so she could see. The baby was covered in a lot of vermix, more than I remember Majandra having. The baby also had lots of hair, and it's dark hair!

I cut the cord, the baby was breathing and crying, everything sounded just perfect.

The placenta was delivered, after which Briony was placed onto her back. The midwife handed the baby to Briony for some skin to skin contact. The midwife organised some pain killers for Briony, and a Vitamin K injection. The midwife asked what the baby's name would be, to which Briony responded it would be Aliana.

Aliana was still skin to skin with Briony, crying, and we noticed the cry was a lot louder than Majandra's tiny voice at birth. Aliana appeared to be searching for the nipple so Briony assisted. Aliana found the nipple and took her first tiny suck.

Aliana was sucking her own finger ...

Aliana was back on the nipple for a slightly better suck. We're not sure if she actually got anything but she was certainly making all the right moves.

A doctor came in to stich Briony up. He and the midwife got Briony's legs up in holsters so the world could see, and I noticed the tear was quite nasty. The doctor called his senior doctor for a second opinion and once they were in agreeance they proceeded to stitch Briony up. This took around 45 minutes and used a big stitching needle, and a massive anaesthetic needle that you'd think was for cattle or something!

Once Briony's stitches were done, the same doctor did all the routine tests on Aliana including fingers, toes, hips, eyes etc. All was diagnosed as being normal.

We left the Birthing & Assessment suite, and headed to our room at Maternity Ward 4C. By the time we arrived Aliana was fast asleep. I don't remember exactly what happened from here, I think we both just passed out in bed. Briony had of course had a massive effort to deliver Aliana so quickly, but regardless of that we were both tired as it was almost 6am and we'd not actually had any sleep overnight.

There were a few interruptions while we were in bed. This included the person emptying the bins and the breakfast person. They were all fairly discreet thankfully. We got up around 0900, and we both agree that we got around 2 hours sleep. The next few hours was spent just hanging around while Aliana slept, we just sat around and attempted to use the Internet which has shocking coverage in this building.

Aliana woke up, it was 6 hours since her last feed. Briony tried to breast feed her but she wasn't attaching properly and this was causing Briony a fair bit of discomfort. Briony expressed a bit, just a bit of colostrum. While she was doing that, the midwife and I changed Aliana's nappy ... it was a sticky black meconium poo. We dressed Aliana in a little suit, size 00000.

My parents came to the hospital with Majandra. This was to be the first time they would see Aliana. We wanted Majandra to see her first, and to get a little bit of alone time. My parents waited in the lounge while we introduced Majandra to Aliana who was sleeping at the time.

There was a little stool there which allowed Majandra to stand up and see Aliana. Majandra was touching hher and patting her, and saying things like baby, touch, eyes, nose, hair, touch!

Mum and I went to get some dinner, which we brought back to the room. Majandra ate some of my pasta, making a mess on the bed sheets I'm afraid!

Monique the awesome midwife came to help Briony to hand express some more colostrum/milk with a small syringe and tube. Then the 'finger feed' was to put a finger into Aliana's mouth to get her sucking, then poke the very thin tube into the corner of her mouth and inject the colostrum/milk.

Monique helped us lots of times during our stay. She was really fantastic and so freaky that she has a son with the same name as me!

After the feed we changed another sticky black nappy.

Bed time

[Saturday, 2012-10-27]

We woke up to Aliana crying, wanting a feed. She wasn't "due" a feed until around 3am, but she was hungry now! Briony gave Aliana a breast feed which was sort of OK. Aliana was quite rough with the feeding and Briony's nipples were starting to really hurt. We got back into bed at 01:30. There was a duck outside making a really aggressive quack. It sounded angry.

We woke Aliana for a feed. The feeding was really hurting Briony. We were both very tired still. Aliana was 1 day and 3 hours old.

Briony's breakfast arrived. She ate that quickly and we went back to bed. But then a new person came into our room every 20 minutes. A random doctor came in, a midwife came in with ice for Briony's sore bum, and the cleaner came in to empty the bin. The visitors stopped at 08:30.

We got up, showered, and bought some nipple cream from the volunteer gift shop trolley which was doing the rounds selling newspapers and the like. That was good as it avoided me having to go to the shop (not that it's very far!).

I'd run off to the shop to get some coffee, and of course Aliana woke up while I was out. This meant Briony with her sore bum had to struggle out of bed to attend to Aliana. Aliana fed on both sides, which was still hurting Briony. We took a bunch of photos, after which Aliana filled her nappy up.

Aliana went back to bed, after which we made a cup of tea (coffee for me of course).

Oowan and Fiona paid us a visit, and sat in the room for us for a while. Aliana's birth was just in time as only a few days later Oowan flew overseas on an 8 month stretch with the army.

My parents with Majandra turned up a little bit afterwards, then they all went to get some dinner. I was supposed to join them however Aliana was feeding so I stayed with Briony to help. My parents plus Oowan, Fiona and Majandra came back after dinner and they were kind enough to bring me a souvlaki. Briony had a whinge that it would have garlic and make my breath smell, but I was starving so I just scoffed it.

We went to bed, but couldn't sleep as there was a man in the room next to us who was talking really loudly on the phone, in a foreign language. And when I say talking loudly, I mean loudly. Drainer.

We woke to the sound of Aliana demanding for a feed. Due to the noise from next door we weren't sleeping anyway, so we got up, changed a sticky black meconium nappy and attempted a breast feed. Aliana latched straight on, making breathing and swallowing noises. This time the feed was much better and was still hurting Briony a bit but not as much as previously.

The feed was finished, and the midwife came in to check heart rate, breathing and temperature. No problems here so we went to bed. After only 5 minutes in bed we were up again as Aliana was demanding more food. We gave her some more and were all back in bed at 00:20.

[Sunday, 2012-10-28]

Aliana woke us, crying. We got up, changed her nappy and have a breast feed. She only took one side. Back to bed at 02:25.

Up for another feed. This time the midwife came in and did a heel prick test to get some blood. That always makes the baby scream! We did the feed, and a nappy, and back to bed at 07:00.

The midwife came to take Aliana for a weight measurement. All babies lose weight after birth, Aliana had dropped 255g which is an 8.4% weight loss. It's no dramas unless they lose more then 10%.

A nurse came to take Aliana for some observations. This was done just down the hallway a bit. She checked Aliana's hips, ears, eyes, mouth and a general head to toe. All OK!

We were back in our room now, and Aliana wanted another feed. She fed quite well with strong and constant sucking and every now and then she'd do these 5 huge power sucks. Of course little did we know that she was slowly destroying Briony's nipples, but at least she was feeding!

We were to be heading home shortly, so I grabbed some bags and took them to the car. On the way back I was pleasantly surprised that Theo's Coffee Bar was open! I couldn't help but get a large coffee!

While I was gone from the room, a doctor came to check Briony's stitches, apparently everything is OK.

When I returned to the room, it was time for us to go home. I quickly downed as much of the coffee as I could handle, Briony and I ate our mufins and we packed up ready to go.

We said a final thankyou to the midwives, paid for my linen rental, made a donation to the ward and headed off home.

We arrived home to a warm welcome. My parents were looking after Majandra and they'd been sitting on the lounge when they saw our car drive along the main road. Mum, Dad and Majandra went to the balcony and waved hello as we arrived. That was nice.

We grabbed our things from the car and headed upstairs. The first thing we did was sit Majandra down and let her have a hold of Aliana. Majandra was really good and knew it was her sister. She just wanted to look and touch the baby.

Majandra was quite good, and quite gentle with Aliana. We got a few photos of course!

And that finishes my story of Aliana's Birth! Next : Nothing, this is the end!
or, back to Aliana Index

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