I actually started to write Archie’s birth story during labour! I wrote down all the main points so I wouldn’t forget it. God, my organisational skills, even shocks me at times! 😜 Before I begin I want to say, my birth was magical and truly another life changing, beautiful experience.
I had a planned induction at 39 weeks. My OB decided to induce me for a few reasons. My placenta stopped working at around 37 weeks (I later found out it was gritty and calcified which means it was old and stopped working. Every woman is different and their placenta only has a certain ‘life span’ usually 40-41 weeks, my OB doesn’t like to go beyond 40 weeks due to this reason. Mine just stops at the 37 week mark) and because Hunter was small, we thought the same may have been with Archie. Also he had been engaged for 3 weeks and pushing on my pelvis and causing inflammation in my back, if we kept it any longer, I would have had permanent back and pelvis problems. And lastly because we live about 40-60mins away from the hospital and I progressed really quickly with Hunter, he was concerned I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time.
We arrived at the hospital at 730am. I was so excited that we got Trish, the beautiful midwife who came at the end of Hunter’s birth but also was my friend’s midwife a few weeks prior. Trish is an angel. She reminded me so much of my mum. She noticed I had my mum's rosary beads on my tummy and then in my hands as I pushed and my dad’s scapula around my neck. She said she had the same and we prayed together. It was a beautiful moment and made me feel like mum was there with me. I was so excited to finally meet our baby boy. Everything was beyond organised, Adam was bright eyed and bushy tailed (as he is a morning person - so glad I didn’t go into labour after 730pm as he is out like a tonne of bricks).
8am they administered the drip (nothing in it yet, just getting me all hooked up). They checked me and I was 4cm dilated, 2cm effaced, soft cervix. I was ready and had been for 3 weeks (pre labouring for 3 weeks - I was ready for him to be out)!
830am they administered the epidural. I had the epidural with Hunter when I was about 7cm dilated. I had fully experienced all the joys 😉 of labour by then so I definately wanted that epidural. Plus because they were anticipating me to go very quickly and inductions are a lot more painful, I was not taking the risk. So my lovely OB administers the epi before even giving any induction or breaking my waters. God love him!
Once I had it (some anaesthetist as I had with Hunter), my blood pressure dropped dramatically. This happened with Hunter too but not as bad. Room spinning, nearly fainted and wanted to vomit. So before they could proceed they had to wait till my blood pressure rose a bit more. Meanwhile I am snapchatting and doing dance battles 😜 (see video below).
10am the midwife broke my waters (at this stage I couldn’t feel a thing because the epi had definately started to work).
11am they started the pitocin which is the drug they use to induce you (which is given via the drip). I had a lovely student midwife with us Maddie. I was picking her brains about all things labour. I loved it and so did she! I asked her what is the quickest someone has gone when the pitocin has been administered (as in how long till they are fully dilated). She said 57mins.
11.10am my contractions started. I was a lot more aware this time, even though I couldn’t feel anything, I knew what to look out for. Pressure. But no pain.
11.30am I was fully dilated! Yep, I made hospital history! Quickest to get fully dilated. Plus they start the drip on the lowest dose at 40ml (240ml being the highest which speeds it all along). I never got past 40ml! So lucky I had this induction.
We had to wait for my OB to come and check in. Always amazes me how they come at the last minute. Because I only did a few pushes with Hunter, we all assumed, he would be out well and truly before midday!
12noon OB came and he said all is good, and said he would be back soon, just had to check on another patient.
Adam and I did our prayer together, like we did the same time with Hunter. It is one of my favourite memories of my whole labour.
12.15pm I started to push with Trish and Maddie. As I was pushing, not much was happening. Trish kept saying, are you sure, the baby is small? I really don’t think he is. She felt my tummy and kept saying I think he is big. I kept saying oh no no, he is little (I just have put on a lot of weight 😉😂). But she was sure he was big. After about 30 minutes of pushing she called my OB who came. Such a calm, friendly doctor, he was, as we all were, thought he would of been out my now. I continued to push for 2 hours (they don’t let you push any longer than 2 hours due to possible haemorrhaging). I wasn’t worried because I knew I was in good hands, literally. I really wanted to pull my baby out, so I kept my hands out, my OB kept laughing saying ‘what are you doing Jo, are you trying to catch a football’ 😂! I just wanted him out! It was only the last 5 minutes I started to cry and worry. Why wasn’t he out yet? What was wrong. He was semi inclined, shit! But at the last minute Adam gets the video out, one last push, my OB giggles and says ‘he is a chubba’ haha. We got it all in the video (good work Ads).
On Friday 20 October 2017 at 2.17pm our perfectly perfect baby boy Archie Charles Adam Zammit was born. A chunky 3.8kg and 49cm. Our piece of Heaven. I laboured for 2.5hours and had a third degree tear.
Like Hunter, he didn’t cry or make a sound, so after I had pulled him onto my chest, Trish took him to the side table with the lights on him. He began to cry! Oh to hear that sound, knowing they can breathe Earthside, is like someone handed me a trillion dollars. Everyone just kept saying, he is such a big boy! And he was! A kilogram heavier than his older bro! They put him back on me and my heart was completely full. I fell deeply in love with him. We looked deep into each other’s eyes, this little boy is very special, he has an old soul. As I look deep into his eyes, I see his grandmother. I cuddle him and it is as if she is cuddling me back. He is unbelievably calm and gentle.
When I had Hunter, Mum came back to me. I felt her presence. I feel as though she walks next to Hunter every day, with her hand on his shoulder. I know he knows her and sees her. With Archie, it was and still is different, I don’t feel her presence but when I look at him or cuddle him, I see and feel her. How lucky they both are.
Hubby and I decided on the name Archie very early on in my pregnancy. We never wanted to name our baby before meeting him but we just couldn’t stop calling him Archie. He was our little Archie, like he had always been a part of us. Archie because it means truly brave which is something he got from his Grandmother. His middle names are after my Uncle Charlie (Archie’s great uncle) who is our angel on Earth and Adam after his Daddy and my brother.
Archie fed like a champ and already started to gaze into my eyes. I was noticing differences straight away between my beautiful little boys and I loved that. After skin on skin, Hubby showered me and we headed back to the maternity ward where Hunter was there to meet his little brother. This was something I had looked forward to for 9months. Hunter just was giving kisses and saying bubba bubba bubba. (See video below). We felt like we were a family of four always and nothing was ever different.
I had another beautiful labour experience. But postpartum was different. I experienced extremely painful after birth pains. For about 1.5weeks I had intense cramping (30 seconds apart contractions). I remember the first time I had felt it. I was in the nursery feeding Archie for the first time, and all of a sudden I got this extreme intense pain in my abnormal (like someone was squeezing it and wouldn’t let go). I just started crying in pain. The midwives explained this as after birth pain. Oh shit! As I fed Archie it was like I was in active labour. I never experienced this at all with Hunter. Apparently the more children you have the more painful it gets. But not all woman get it. It was intense pain to say the least. Plus you can’t have any pain relief other than some panadol.
I also had a third degree tear which was very painful and I found sitting extremely uncomfortable. I started to feed standing up! I thought to myself, how was I ever going to sit again. All I wanted to do was lay on my back after being on my side for 9 months. That wasn’t happening anytime soon. I tore because Archie was so big. Saying all this, the after birth pains started to ease and only occur when I breastfed (it is a good sign because it means your uterus is going back to normal). This lasted for about 1.5-2 weeks postpartum. The pain from the tear only lasted about a week.
We stayed three nights and went home Monday morning. Archie was thriving and so was I. We couldn’t wait to get home to Hunter and make memories together.
The events that followed after Hunter’s birth were so dramatic, I am so grateful nothing like that happened with Archie. Transition from one baby to two babies, has been a lot easier than it was with Hunter as a newborn. Archie is very easy + calm, and I am so much more healthier. But I did experience the baby blues. Which I never did with Hunter so it really hit me, pretty hard. I was actually quite shocked. We did think it may have been PND (post natal depression) but it wasn’t, just the blues which lasted for 3-4 weeks. I am going to write a separate post on this as I think it is really important to highlight the emotional changes you can go through postpartum. But for now, the memory of Archie’s birth story, is a magical + beautiful one. How blessed are we to have had such successful labours and now two beautiful and healthy baby boys.