Tag Archives: Induced

The day my perspective changed – Part 2

Second time around, induced labour was no better. Just as painful as the first time and, I’m told, more intense than a natural labour. I’ll spare you the gory details and just say that it was quicker than the first, I used the gas only and the midwives were angels.

After 7 1/2 hours of labour, three pushes and a lot of profanities my angel made his way into the world. After a little whimper and a little bit of stimulation Mr Giggles had arrived. We had waited for this moment for 9 months. We were relieved, we were worn out, we were ecstatic, we were in love.

Minutes old

I remember now, having the slightest suspicion that something was wrong while we were having “skin to skin” time immediately after he was born. I was attempting to breast feed and he just wouldn’t “latch on”. I ignored my suspicion and just put it down to the fact that we both had to learn how to do it.


It wasn’t until later that night when his baby check was being performed that the Midwife found it. I had just had my shower and was getting back into bed when she said “He’s got a Cleft Palate. Did you know?”.

My entire world went into a spin. As a nurse, I had the knowledge behind me to understand the potential effects of this condition on my little baby. More importantly, I too had been born with a Cleft Palate. I knew from personal experience what lay ahead of us. For my darling newborn son, for his older brother and for us, his parents.

A Cleft Palate occurs at around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy when the roof of the babies mouth is starting to fuse together and can involve the gum line or lip. It can also encompass all three; Lip, Gum and Palate. There are different reasons why Cleft lips and Palates form but unfortunately we haven’t been able to find the reason why Mr Giggles developed one. Despite the fact that not a lot is known about why, it’s one of the most common birth defects around with 1 in 700 babies born with some form of cleft.


Image Source

As I began to process this new information, I was reliving my childhood. Days spent at the kids hospital attending Cleft Clinic appointments, yearly photos to track my progress, speech pathology appointments, multiple sets of Grommets and 11 years of Orthodontic work. Not to mention the surgeries to repair the defect. Was this what was ahead of us?

In that instant, as the realisation began to set in, I was devastated. I was angry. I was grieving. I grieved for the loss of my “perfect baby”. I was devastated as I began to realise that I was not going to be able to breast feed my baby. I had put in so much preparation to make it work this time around and I was angry. I wanted to know why it had to be him, why it had to be us.

But I had to be strong. There was a 2 year old toddler at home that was depending on me to make him feel good about his little brother. I had a husband who was looking at me to take the lead on this one and I had to be a Mum to this gorgeous little baby who knew no different than what he was born into. He didn’t know that not being able to suck wasn’t normal. He didn’t know that being syringe fed mummy’s colostrum wasn’t normal. He didn’t know what was ahead of him.


All the doctors and nurses were amazing. We were referred to the Cleft clinic at Westmead Children’s Hospital. The Cleft Palate Nurse based at the clinic rang us the day after he was born, just to touch base. We would have an appointment when he was 2 weeks old. It seems like we were seen by every person in the hospital. There were visits by the Neonatologist, the Speech Therapist, his Plastic Surgeon, a Lactation Specialist… Our heads were spinning. Not only did we have to learn how to use the special bottles but there was all the follow up appointments we had to keep track of.



We were discharged home after 4 days with a handful of appointments, referrals and feeding equipment. Those first few weeks were tiring, to say the least. Mr Giggles was so slow to feed and putting on weight, we were taking about an hour to get 60 mL into him and he was burning up the calories before he could even absorb them.


Our first clinic appointment was full on. There were different people to go and see and lots of waiting around. We met with his plastic surgeon, the same surgeon who had repaired my Cleft Palate 28 years prior, who advised us that unlike other Cleft Palate babies, Mr Giggles would have to wait until he was 15 months old before he could have his palate repaired. They are generally repaired around 9-10 months. But because his Cleft was so extensive we would have to wait until he was a little bit bigger. The Cleft Nurse is a wealth of knowledge and provides us with a lot of support and refers us to a support service.

Mr Giggles’ first 6 weeks of life seemed to be filled with screaming and micro-naps. All he seemed to do was cry, I couldn’t put him down. He lived in the papoose, every time I laid him down he would just cry. As I hadn’t been able to produce much milk, we had moved to formula very early on and it seemed we swapped formulas every couple of days. Until finally, we found one that worked. The effect was almost instantaneous. He was finally sleeping! Sure he was a “windy” baby but my eldest had also suffered with wind, so we knew how to cope.

Eight months on and we are going well. Mr Giggles is meeting all his milestones and some, earlier than his brother did. All those feeding issues we had in the early days seem to have disappeared and he is now thriving. He was seen by an Opthamologist, Audiologist, Cardiologist and ENT specialist in the early days and given the all clear so far. He might need surgery to insert a set of Grommets later but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. So far we’ve only had 2 ear infections and hopefully there won’t be any more.

It would have been very easy for me to wallow in self pity, but with all that has been thrown at us, it’s only made us stronger. Yes, Mr Giggles has a Cleft Palate but YES it can be fixed. There are so many other families out there that aren’t as lucky as us. We already had 1 gorgeous boy at home waiting for us, we were so lucky that Mr Giggles’ condition wasn’t any worse.

And that’s when my perspective changed.



The day my perspective changed- Part 1

It was a pregnancy similar to the first.

Boobs so sore that it brought tears to my eyes just laying down. Horrible “all day” sickness and the instant aversion to coffee and cigarettes. My two favourite things. Gone for the next 9 months. I knew even before the test came back positive. Those two little pink lines only cemented it in my brain. Now to break it to Handy Hubby. We hadn’t been trying, but we also hadn’t been safe. He wasn’t ecstatic and let’s face it, neither was I. I told him to get over it and get used to the idea, because in 9 months we would have another baby in the house.


We headed off to our dating Ultrasound and there it was. The tiniest little Smudge. Almost a peanut but not quite. More like a cashew. Yolk sac and strong heartbeat insitu. I cried. Relieved. Handy Hubby who had been fidgeting the whole time, relaxed. There was just one and it had a strong heartbeat. Back to the GP for a referral to an ante natal clinic and then I was off.

I booked in to the hospitals ante natal clinic and I had my first appointment at 16 weeks. I was given some pamphlets to read through, signed a consent form for the baby to have its first vaccinations of Vitamin K and Hepatitis B and a request form for my Morphology scan at 18-22 weeks. I’d booked in for my morphology ultrasound and Handy Hubby organised the day off work.

I was 19 weeks on the dot. I waddled to the scan, trying not to pee myself. Handy Hubby followed and giggled at my predicament. Why they make 18-22 week pregnant women drink a litre of water before-hand I don’t know. It’s a cruel and unusual punishment. We were excited, finally we would get to see our little Smudge. And there it was. 10 fingers, 10 toes, good size, all the essentials where they were supposed to be and a little tiny PENIS. We were having another boy! I was excited! Mainly because I wouldn’t have to go shopping for baby clothes again. That shits expensive! Handy Hubby was happy, although I could see the disappointment in his eyes. He’d wanted a little girl. The radiographer suggested we try for a little girl next time round and I just smiled. Inside I was screaming “FUCK NO!”



You see, I appreciate that pregnancy is amazing and wonderful. Your growing another person. I get it. But the world is a much happier place when Nursey Mum is not pregnant. My body and pregnancy just don’t agree. I’d had a problematic pregnancy with Hurricane Boy and this one wasn’t shaping up to be any better.

I was admitted with premature labour when I was 27 weeks. I was sitting at work, it was 3 am and we were quiet and my Braxton-Hicks contractions were becoming regular and painful. I apologised to my boss and told her what was happening. She sent me upstairs to the Birthing suite and told me to call her when I knew what was going on. I was admitted, given medication to stop the labour, steroids to boost the baby’s lungs and told to rest. I spent 4 days in hospital and ordered not to go back to work. I was officially on maternity leave.

I then failed my glucose test and was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. Could this pregnancy get any better??!! I had an education session and would have to check my blood sugar four times a day until i delivered. I managed to keep my blood sugars under reasonable control, and was progressing well. I had made it to 36 weeks and looked like an elephant. I was swollen, uncomfortable and was just plain over it. I made my next appointment for 38 weeks and secretly wished that I wouldn’t need it.

36 weeks!

June 13 was the night of the NRL State of Origin. I was sitting at home, Hurricane boy was playing with his trains and we were waiting for Handy Hubby to get home. We would order take away and sit and watch the football. And then I felt it, a trickle almost. My water had broke, I was 37 weeks and 6 days. In my head I was doing my happy dance. It was the beginning of the end! I rang my mum, she would stay with Hurricane Boy while we headed off to the hospital. I rang the hospital to let them know I was coming in and then I finished packing my bag. I knew Handy Hubby was on his way home. I’d surprise him when he got in.

He walked in the front door and saw me packing. He shook his head, stamped his feet, cried no and refused to take me to hospital. It was the State of Origin night. I was doing this deliberately and I didn’t want him to watch the game. I assured him that I was just as upset as he was about potentially missing the game, but he had no choice in the matter. We were going to hospital.

It was a false alarm. Whoops! We headed home. Handy hubby was happy, I was deflated. I tried to bribe the midwives to let me stay, induce me. Perform a stretch and sweep. Anything to get this baby out! They just laughed, suggested some “mammory massage” and sent us on our way.

Five o’clock in the morning. The 14th of June 2012. I woke up, saturated. And no it wasn’t wee. This time, there was no false alarm. Handy Hubby refused to take me to hospital, again. I called my mum back and rang the hospital. Again. We headed in, bag packed. Handy hubby was trying to convince me that he could leave me at the hospital while he went off and did a little bit of last minute shopping for the baby. I appreciated the sentiment but, No. We saw the doctor, he confirmed that yes, my water had broken and that we could either go home and come back tomorrow for an induction or we could start it today. We stayed. No way was I leaving the hospital without a baby this time…

Just chillaxin’

Stay Tuned for part 2!

Nursey Mum