38 weeks 6 days in One week 1 day out
Alexis Rose Hawley
Born June 27th 4:24pm 7.67 pounds
Today marks the original due date for our little girl Lexie. Instead we have had this wonderful little human in our lives for a week. No amount of information and advice had truly prepared me for the amount of love I would feel for her. It is simply indescribable.
The following content is going to get pretty savage and delve into the reality of what I went through to bring Lexie into the world.
The last weeks of my pregnancy got the best of me. I was truly and utterly exhausted. Training took a back burner from 35 weeks onwards. I continued to train right up to 37 weeks, averaging two sessions towards the end. Load took a massive drop and I trained when I felt like and what was comfortable for me. Towards the end I was deadlifting around 60kg for reps and squatting 40kg. I was very lucky and and did not get any pain until the last few days of my pregnancy. The foundation strength I had from years of powerlifting was a huge factor in how my pregnancy rolled out. The last two weeks were a slog. As Lexie got bigger and continued to stay ferociously active, my belly felt like it was going to explode and my ribs were taking a beating.
Towards the start of Week 38 my little raging baby slowed down. Going to the hospital for monitoring over two days, Dr’s decided it was time to get her out and the process began. I was scared and frightened and kept asking them if they were sure and if we should just wait. Knowing how much her movement had decreased the process of induction started on Monday night and my waters were broken Tuesday morning 1030am. Lying in the room by myself on the Monday night, I could hear women in rooms around me screaming in pain. I cried that night, alone by myself wishing my husband was there. It was a truly horrible feeling not knowing what was coming and if my baby girl was ok.
And this is where things get real! WARNING NUMBER TWO
10 minutes after hormones had started, things got moving pretty quickly.
Within two hours the pain went from a 5 to 8 With the gas in my hand, all I was focussing on was four big breathes that fit into each contraction.
Then things started to get particularly hairy. As my midwife went on lunch and left me for half an hour I was at 2cm. When she came back, I had gone to 7cm dilated and I couldn’t even talk to you in coherent language patterns. The contractions were so hard and so fast that I began to freak out a little. In a state where I was over contracting with no release between each, the midwife reduced my hormones but we were in too deep! My husband describes the scene as follows;
“You were like a demon growling”
I wasn’t yelling or screaming. I was very much internalising the pain and I remember going into an almost trance like state to try and deal with what was going on. I remember wriggling around and telling my husband off because he was telling me how to breathe. Standard Ro.
Around 2pm I believe, I asked for an epidural. Over an hour later relief finally came as the sweet sweet epidural magic did its thing. I came back to life and could now converse in more than demonic growls and rolling eyes.
Not feeling the contractions now, I remember saying to the midwife how hungry I was. Again. Standard Ro.
As I lay there thanking whatever higher power is above us, contractions were continuing hard and frequently.
In the last hour of labour, baby girl was beginning to get distressed. My husband and I could see people coming in and out with no real idea of what was about to go down. With Lexie’s heart rate too high, machines were beeping and Dr’s were coming in. In the last 15 minutes I dilated from 7-10cm and it was time to get her out. I was shaking uncontrollably all over. With three Dr’s and four midwifes in the room, within the space of 10 minutes the Senior Dr was suiting up. With Lexie in the wrong position, the Dr had to turn her first and then pull her out. Shaking and speechless, I didn’t have the capacity or the words to ask or understand what was going on. Delivered using forceps, the vision of the Dr turning her inside me and pulling her out has been likened to that of tossing a salad. Add an episiotomy to the mix and you have for one swift delivery. As I lay there, trying to collect my thoughts I could see my belly deflating before my eyes. The past 9 months was now behind me just like that. Majority of my belly and her home had just disappeared. In 10 minutes, just like that, my life had changed forever.
As my new daughter was handed to me I couldn’t speak. I was in shock about what had just gone down. I just stared at her thinking to myself “What the hell just happened” I knew that the Dr’s did everything they needed to do in that moment in time to get her out safely but still felt flabbergasted at the events that had just unfolded. Not knowing anything and not having any say on what was happening to me was an experience that had never happened to me before. Watching my husbands face who was as scared and nervous as I was and not getting any information as to what was going on was absolutely terrifying.
As Lexie was in my arms, the staff cleaned up and eventually left us to make some sense.
The instant feeling of connection was not there for me. Instead this was filled with questions and concerns. As I cradled my new daughter all I wanted to do was hug my husband and go home. I wanted out of this hospital now.
Over the next few hours midwifes came and went, showing me bits and pieces about feeding her and wrapping her. At 930pm my husband had to leave. I was devastated and will never forget how horrible it felt to be alone that night with a new baby that I had no idea what to do with.
A night where she didn’t sleep but instead fed like a champion I counted down the hours until my husband could come back. I didn’t sleep much and didn’t get much help or support that night. I remember literally counting down each hour wishing time would go faster so that he would arrive. This was the scariest night of my life and one that I don’t think I will ever forget.
As I got some sleep the next day and began to unravel the events the love for Alexis came hard and fast. I did it. I had given birth to her and we had made her.
She was ours.
Each hour the love tripled. I literally became obsessed with her overnight.
The relief of being sent home with our new little mini me was intertwined with immense pain. Into Day 3, having endured cluster feeding for the last 24 hours, she was feeding almost hour on the hour. I had been sitting down for so long not really paying attention to what was going on with my body, all my attention on Lexie. Checking in with the midwife the next day, my stitches had ripped from the constant sitting and excruciating pain returned. From here, the next 3 days were a battle of trying to feed Lexie and not being able to sit down. I literally couldn’t sit on my backside for three days. I think my upper body strength for enduring the constant holding of Lexie. Day 5 I had the worst bicep muscle fatigue ever! Powerlifting- no worries! Holding a newborn baby for 3 days, shoot me down I couldn’t bend my arms.
One week in, I look at her and can’t stop smiling. When she is asleep I want her to wake up. When she is awake we chat to each other. I don’t want the nights to come because the days are going way too fast and that means another day has passed by and I want to savour ever minute.
From an extremely active baby in the womb, Alexis is an alert little mini me that likes to eat.
She is a guzzler and constantly gives herself the hiccups.
She will stay up for 2-3 hours looking around and sleep for 3-6 hours at a time.
She has so many sassy expressions and will frown at you frequently.
She has already been to her second home at Barbell Babes Brigade HQ.
Sleeping through Eminem and The Spice Girls, this kid seriously gets it.
I have my life, I love my life and Lexie is fitting in so well.
My world has completely changed but it also hasn’t. My work is important to me. My passion for what I do is something that drives me daily.
My heart is fuller than ever and I have Lexie to thank for that.
Welcome to the world Alexis.
We can’t get enough of you.
Your Mum x