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Embracing the Journey: Breanna’s Birth Story

cake maternity

By Cake Maternity

Jul 20, 2023

As a brand that embraces all of the ups and downs of motherhood, we’re honoured to share Breanna’s birth story with her second child, Mackenna. With every pregnancy and birth, unique experiences unfold, and Breanna’s story is a testament to the power of informed decision-making.

Amidst the joy of Mackenna’s arrival, Breanna’s strength was tested, and she demonstrated her resilience through unexpected complications. Yet, through it all, the warmth and love from her loved ones, combined with the dedication of her medical team, prevailed.

Stay tuned as we continue to share Breanna’s inspiring birth story, celebrating the triumphs, the challenges, and the enduring love that marks the beginning of a lifelong bond between mother and child.

When I gave birth to my son Lincoln in 2022, I had a beautiful labouring and vaginal birthing experience with no intervention. Everybody says your second birth runs more smoothly, but this wasn’t the case for me.

At 12pm on Tuesday 23rd of June 2023 myself, my partner Connor and my older sister Jess arrived at Nepean Private Hospital where I was getting induced with Cervidil tape. I had been 2cm dilated for two weeks with baby engaged and was 41+2 gestation.

couple on hospital bed and chair

The tape was put in around 1:30pm and they had sent me to the maternity ward. By 5pm I was having constant contractions and was sent back to labour and delivery. My obstetrician was called to come check me and I was 4cm dilated, so she removed the tape in hopes that the contractions would space out. We were all still hoping that the labour would progress. The contractions took a good 2-3 hours to calm down, but thankfully I had my Elle Tens Machine helping me along the way.

I hopped in the bath which really helped with the pain and that is where I spent most of the time. At about 11pm I got out of the bath to go to the toilet and felt something come out of me, it was a huge red glob. We called the midwife, and she said my waters had broken. This was such a good sign that labour was progressing.

I got back in the bath after this until I felt that I was transitioning. There were no longer breaks in between contractions and I felt a lot of pressure down below. The midwife did a vaginal check, and I was 8cm at 1am so she called the obstetrician. My regular obstetrician, who was with me for both of my pregnancies, had covid but her colleague stepped in for her.

pregnant labouring in bathtub

Unfortunately Mackenna was still sitting too high in my pelvis so they did an ultrasound and found she was also posterior, so my doctor instructed me to labour longer on all fours to try and rotate her hoping that she would move down.

At 3am I was checked again because I felt like I needed to push. The doctor checked me and I was 9cm dilated, but baby was still too high. At this point the doctor felt a sack of waters that hadn’t ruptured like the midwife had said, so she broke my waters and suggested pain relief so that I could relax to try to help baby move down. I opted for morphine as it wasn’t long lasting, and I could still feel everything. Unfortunately, this didn’t work again Mackenna was in the wrong position being posterior.

pregnant woman labouring on all fours

My cervix became very swollen after the morphine because I was so dilated and baby was putting so much pressure on it, so the doctor suggested an epidural to try to give me more time to progress and let baby come down lower.

After an hour all options were exhausted. The epidural didn’t help with Mackenna’s positioning or relieve the swelling of my cervix, so the doctor told me that I needed to have a cesarean as mine and baby’s heart rates were dropping and there had been no progress for a few hours.

I cried and cried and cried when she said this. I said “no” more times than I’ve ever said it in my life. Having a 13-month-old at home who’s still very dependent on me, I was terrified of not being able to pick him up and do all of the other things that toddlers need. I asked the doctor to call my usual obstetrician  so that I could get a second opinion and she 100% agreed that we needed to proceed with the c-section.

The doctor checked me once I was on the table again because she knew how much I didn’t want to have a c-section. She knew how distressed I was, but she spent time with me and went over every other option multiple times. Connor, my sister and I used the BRAIN questioning techniques we learnt in our hypnobirthing classes prior to consenting to anything.

breanna with oxygen mask

I am so grateful that myself and my birth partners were well educated with every option prior to me going into labour and I had a very detailed birth preference list outlining what would happen in every scenario.

The epidural helped with contractions in my stomach, but I could still feel the pressure to push in my vagina and bum and I had a pain in my left hip and leg with each contraction which was unbearable. The midwife attempted to put in a catheter but after two failed attempts she got the doctor to do it.

Next I headed to theatre. I opted out of having a gown put on as I was wearing the Biscotti Bra from Cake Maternity which has press studs all down the front of it for easy skin to skin with baby. Once I was in theatre, they gave me the maximum epidural top up that I could have. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and I had to end up having a spinal.

breanna seeing mackenna for first time

Once the spinal had kicked in, they started the procedure. I was in and out of consciousness, but I was so lucky to have Connor by my side. It felt like a few minutes, and they dropped down the sheet so that I could see the gender of our baby. It took a second, but Connor and I were thrilled to have a baby girl. The doctor delayed cord clamping as per our request and then Mackenna was placed on my chest.

couple with their newborn baby

While she was on my chest I started losing a lot of blood, my blood pressure and oxygen levels dropped and feeling came back in my abdomen. I asked Connor to take our baby and the doctor decided that I needed to be put under general anaesthesia.

Connor headed up to our room with Mackenna and my sister where he did an hour of skin to skin as per my request. My sister got photos of this for me, and I cried so much when I saw them. They are so precious to me.

father and baby skin to skin

I woke up in recovery just over an hour later and they immediately wheeled me back to my room where I met my sister, Connor, and our baby girl. Mackenna was immediately put onto my chest where I got to look at her little face properly for the first time and start breastfeeding.

This labour was so different from my first. I went into labour naturally and was in early labour for 3 days and had Lincoln at 37+2. There were no interventions and recovery was very fast as I only had two first degree tears.

I absolutely loved labouring this second time around. It was 13 hours of absolute bliss until we realised that Mackenna was stuck. I was so glad that my body had the chance to naturally produce oxytocin and other endorphins though.

I am so grateful that we have the medical care that we do, otherwise mine and Mackenna’s lives would have been in danger. I also love that I felt heard by my doctors and that they gave me as long as they could to labour naturally.

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