My partner, Karl, and I decided we wanted to have a baby, we felt ready in all aspects of life and we had done the things that were important to us before starting a family together (purchasing a house, being financially comfortable, having a “plan”). So, when I fell pregnant, it wasn’t a surprise, we had actually been waiting for months to get that positive test result.
We were SO happy and becoming a mum will always be my proudest achievement, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t come with a whole bunch of hard stuff too.
In fact, falling pregnant and becoming a mum was the biggest adjustment and challenge I have ever had to face.
Suddenly I was worried about things I had never thought of before. My mental health declined rapidly. My relationships changed. The way I ran business changed. I let myself go (physically and mentally). My life had completely changed. It was the most beautiful change I have ever had happen, but I am still adjusting now and my son is 20 months old.
♡ My pregnancy
It took us 9 months to fall pregnant.
I found out I was pregnant in January 2018. I told Karl I was pregnant with a card that said “Who’s a dad? You a dad” which had a pregnancy test wrapped up inside. We were so happy and excited.
I didn’t experience any morning sickness – thankfully. Although I felt exhausted from quite early in the pregnancy, everything really drained me and if I wasn’t working (I had my full-time job sales job), then I was sleeping.
I also had quite bad cramps. Nothing caused them (or I never found out what they were from) but they lasted my whole pregnancy.
When Ezra started to take over my body from getting so big, my back really flared up (from a previous back injury in a car accident). I would have to use a heat pack 24/7, I would sit in boiling hot showers and would cry from the pain. It was horrible.
Alongside my physical struggles, I had a lot of mental struggles too.
A few months into my pregnancy, my mental health declined. Thinking back now, it actually happened so quickly. I started to dread every day, I didn’t want to leave bed, I just didn’t want to do anything at all. I was assigned a specific midwife to attend all appointments, check-in with me regularly and I also began seeing my counsellor again.
I noticed that a lot of the relationships around me changed. I had become distant from friends. I had a lot of problems with people at work. In my eyes at the time, everything I knew had changed and I felt so lonely.
I was diagnosed with severe depression, severe stress and extremely severe anxiety.
If somebody wanted me to rate how much I enjoyed my pregnancy out of 10, it would be 1. I absolutely hated the way pregnancy made me feel, physically and mentally.
Though, as all mothers would say, I would definitely do it again for my son.
♡ My labour
I’ll try to keep this short otherwise we would be here forever.
As I mentioned above, my back pain was horrible when I was pregnant. I struggled to do anything without pain. I would get out of bed at 4 am so I could have a hot shower to try and relieve the pain.
At my 38-week check-up, I cried to the midwife about how hard it was and how I honestly could not go another second being pregnant and that I needed her help before I honestly lost it.
She did a stretch and sweep and booked me in for an induction the following week. She didn’t provide me with any information on how it worked or what I needed to do or even bring on the day. She actually didn’t even tell me she was doing the stretch and sweep until it was done and I was bleeding.
The stretch and sweep did nothing, so I tried all of the usual tricks (spicy food, walking, stairs, sex). Nothing worked but I was booked the following week for the induction, so I managed to keep myself calm until then.
The following Monday, I went into the hospital to begin the induction. I went alone because I assumed, they would do something and I could go home and wait it out. But nope, I actually had to stay the night but it would take a while to “work” so I didn’t really need anybody there to support me at that moment – as per the midwife’s words.
I called my Mum to come (Karl was at work) and the midwives got started with a balloon induction. I was told it would be painless and quite quick and easy.
IT WAS LIES. It was the worst pain I had EVER felt in my life. I couldn’t breathe. I was crying. I was screaming. The midwives told me to stick it out and I would be ok. But it was horrible.
My Mum eventually got there and could see how much pain I was in and I begged her to help me convince them to do something for me because I couldn’t breathe. They had ignored my requests of help but when my Mum demanded their help, they let some water out of the balloons which made it a lot more bearable for me.
Within a few hours, the balloons fell out, I had contractions and was 7cm dilated. I was told that he would be born that night, we were just waiting for a bed to become available in the delivery rooms. The midwife checked and could feel Ezra’s head ready to come out. She made a comment about how much hair he had on his head.
I had my dinner, was given some pain killers and tried to rest. I tried to sleep but the contractions kept waking me.
The next morning, I was told there were still no beds but it wouldn’t be much longer. Karl and Mum came to the hospital and we did laps of stairs, walked around and spent hours trying to get Ezra to break my waters naturally.
When we got back to the ward, I was told there would be no bed today and I could either stay the night in the ward (with all of the other mums and their newborn babies) or go home to the comfort of my bed and come in tomorrow morning when I woke up. Just a reminder that I was having contractions and was 7cm dilated at this point.
I was so upset, confused, exhausted and in pain so I just wanted to be in my own bed. I went home and struggled through the night.
The next morning, I called and asked if we could go in and I was told no.
I called again that afternoon and was told no but definitely the next morning.
I called the next morning (now Thursday) and was told no.
On the Thursday afternoon, I couldn’t feel Ezra moving. I went into the hospital and they found I was severely hungry and dehydrated; which I can’t say I was surprised. I was on my fourth day of labour and the hospital didn’t care about my pain. They just started my labour and sent me home.
I had a beautiful student midwife who I cried too. I begged for her to help and do something and she did. She made complaints, spoke to higher members of the hospital and my student midwife actually cared about me and listened to me. She managed to get me a delivery suite that night. I had to go home and eat dinner and go back in after a few hours.
I went in at 7 pm on Thursday night and the first thing I did was ask for an epidural (I had been feeling contractions for four days now, all I wanted was drugs). They really tried to talk me out of it but eventually agreed.
The first dose only worked on half of my body. It took another two doses to completely work.
When it was time to start pushing, Ezra’s heart rate dropped and I had to have an episiotomy to get him out quickly. It only took four pushes for him to be born because he had been ready for three days before they “let” me give birth.
Ezra was born happily and healthily on the Friday morning.
To recap, they begun my induction on the Monday, they sent me home and I was finally able to give birth on the Friday after Ezra stopped moving and the student midwife made complaints.
So, as you now know, my pregnancy and labour were not fun at all. My labour itself was traumatic. It took me a long time to put it into words like this and I don’t think I have fully accepted what happened and why I was treated that way.
This is something I am personally trying to understand and accept, BUT they gave me my perfect little boy and if I had to do it all over again, you can bet your life that I would.
Here is a short letter I wrote to Ezra when he was born.
Ezra William Houston
Today, on the 14th of September, 2018, our whole life changed.
My pregnancy felt like it went on forever, we were both so excited to meet you and you are absolutely perfect, just like we knew you would be. Your chubby little cheeks, pouting lips, little fingers and toes and beautiful eyes, everything about you is perfect. You are so tiny but so full of love.
From the moment you were put onto my chest, I felt the love that other mums always speak of. You looked up to me and lifted your tiny little hand to touch my skin and that’s when I was born again, my life purpose became so clear. Everything is different now and I’m so excited for our life as a family.
No matter what happens in the future, you will always be my first-born son, my littlest love and my best friend. You are the amazing gift that made me a mother and you will always hold a special spot in my heart.
I promise to always support you, encourage you, inspire you and love you. It doesn’t matter what you do or say, I will always be there for you.
I am so excited to watch you grow into a little boy and then a man. I am equally excited to be right there beside you, every step of the way.
You are the meaning of my life and the truest love I have ever known,
I love you so much already,
I hope you've enjoyed my story of Ezra's life so far and you can continue reading about his first year of life here.
Counsellor + Wellness & Mental Health Coach
Hi, I'm Shorina and I'm an Australian Counsellor + Wellness & Mental Health Coach. I'm here to support you to redefine your relationship to self and life! I incorporate a mind, body and soul wellness approach to my work with a focus on healing and mindfulness ♡