I started contracting at midnight on a Friday night and gave birth at 2.27am on Sunday morning. I was in labour for 27 hours, had not slept for 48 hours, so by the time I had my baby I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.
My birth was hard, as they all are of course, but after labouring for around 17 hours, nothing had changed (I remained 4cm dilated). The maternity team realised my son's head was stuck and I had to have an epidural, eventually I gave birth to my son after 1.5 hours of pushing, and ended up having a second-degree tear.
As I said, I was exhausted. I gave birth at 2:27am and was told straight away that as soon as I had urinated, I needed to leave hospital and drive 40 minutes north to the Warkworth Birthing Centre.
I knew ahead of giving birth that I would be going to the Birthing Centre, but had no idea I would be forced to leave at 5am, still bleeding and unable to walk. It was extremely stressful, I wasn’t even offered breakfast and I was so tired and sore yet had to help my mum, because my husband was overseas at the time, navigate her way on unfamiliar roads to Warkworth.
I thought I could've at least stayed until 9 or 10am, had some breakfast and maybe a small nap before I had to go. I am sure having some time to rest before leaving would have minimised the risk of me getting postnatal depression, which I did end up getting and ruined the first three months of my time as a mother with my son, Bede. I'll never get those precious months back, and it saddens me that I was so down and without joy, I couldn't enjoy my boy for a long time.
It was a truly horrible birth experience, and a horrible situation at the hospital. I have never been more drained in my life, physically, emotionally and mentally and the treatment I received triggered severe anxiety which led to postnatal depression.
Fast forward 19 months and I am back at North Shore Hospital to give birth to my second child. This time the midwife assured me I would have two nights at the hospital and it was a much, much better experience and exactly how all births should be.
It was my choice that I only ended staying one night as I was fine and wanted to go home. But knowing that I could stay longer if I wished was a huge help mentally. Once I gave birth, this time at 2:24pm after an 11hour labour and no epidural, I was simply wheeled to my room and put straight back to bed where I was able to form a loving, nurturing attachment with my boy.
This is how it should be for all mothers.