Chinwag

WinnieWagtail-ChinWag

Chinwag is a laid back conversation that encourages both parents to share their experience, knowledge and memories, empowering both voices. It aims to entertain and give insight for those venturing into parenthood…a little glimpse of what happens once a bub enters the mix. Participation can be anonymous, however we’re partial to a baby pic so you’re also welcome to share as much or as little as you please.

To participate, the event, “Winnie Wagtail’s Chinwag” is on Facebook and has a link to a few quick questions. Articles will be posted to our website as well as under the  ‪#‎wwchinwag‬

Please email us if you have any questions or suggestions for topics at winniewagtail@gmail.com

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 Angela:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

Perineal trauma – it never eventuated despite a 4.5kg baby. I still believe this had to do with no one ever mentioning pushing. Repetitive mastitis – it eventuated despite my second baby being an excellent feeder unlike his older sister. The only time I went to hospital.

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

We planned two home births and had two home births.

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

Loving, kind, supportive, patient. Everything he is outside birth. Second time round, more confident.

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

‘Knowing’. I had this strange connection with my babies, felt like I could communicate with them in utero. My second baby I asked the midwife to ‘hold’ the baby until I was ready for him. It probably was only a couple of seconds difference but the picture in my mind of seeing him at first sight is much clearer (than my first Bub) because of it. There are many, many, many other vivid memories but these affected me greatly.

With hindsight what would you do differently?

Nothing. All my wishes came true. I still daydream about the wonder of birthing my babies even if it was challenging. I understand myself better because of those experiences. I have an inner power which I always knew was there but got to be witness to.

Your best piece of advice? 

That’s hard – advice for what? I think women who haven’t birthed or been around birth would benefit from greater exposure to non-traumatic birth. My sisters were at my births, their first experience of birth, and the one who went on to have babies says she knew she could labour and birth because she saw me do it and it changed her ideas of what birth is.

 

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Katie:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list...

The impending pain!

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

I tried not to have a birth plan as such. I’d never experienced labour before and didn’t really know how I’d handle it. In saying that, I was envisioning a natural water birth (turns out I hated the water!!) and I didn’t want to get an epidural but was open to the idea. I didn’t need it in the end!

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

He was pretty good. Calm, quiet. When I was labouring at home, stomping around the lounge room, he did say ‘this doesn’t seem so bad’. Definitely wanted to throttle him at that point!

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

E entering the world. I had been pushing for over an hour and nothing was happening. The midwife told me to empty my bladder and I very nearly had her on the toilet! Instead I jumped down onto the floor in a weird squat position and out she came with her head and hand at the same time! Thanks to her hand being stuck I also had to have some awkward stitching which is definitely the part that haunts me the most. The last thing you feel like after labour is lying in a super vulnerable position with your feet in stirrups and having two doctors sew up your lady parts!!!

With hindsight what would you do differently?

I don’t think I’d do anything different really. I went in with a pretty open mind. And in the grand scheme of things, it was a pretty good and quick birth.

Your best piece of advice? 

Choose midwife based care if it’s available. The support afterwards is amazing and it’s all free!

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Emilie:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

1st kid- the fact that he somehow had to come out, looking at how big my belly was. The thought of epidural. The unknown of what exactly the pain will be? 2nd kid: how well/quickly I’d recover from csection. whether breastfeeding would work.

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

not really. just wanted a healthy mum and bub at the end of it, with minimal damage. prayed for a quick painless one. Ended up overdue, induced and still had no contractions, so c section…

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

very excited as we were leaving for the hospital. Then bored as we were waiting for something to happen. supportive as we were going to the block and I was crying.

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

between the long wait, tiredness, stress, and drugs, it’s actually all a big blur. I remember feeling like I was very drunk and hi-fiving the staff in the op-block, i remember the pulling and tugging on my tummy, seeing his little face for the first time.

With hindsight what would you do differently?

nothing really. it’s always scary the first time, and i didn’t really have a choice on the ending. Maybe would have skipped the antenatal classes and spent the cash on me!

Your best piece of advice? 

Your body is in charge, not you. Have faith in it and in the people surrounding you: he chose them while your brain was a bit more able to function for a reason. Go with the flow as much as you can as getting stressed/upset about it not going to plan will only make it worse for you.


Ben:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…
something going really wrong, especially in the pushing room or the op block, cause you’re just a passenger.
Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)
no. no.
Funniest moment was when….
there wasn’t a funny moment
What was your greatest strength throughout labour and birth?
being a really good passenger. staying calm throughout. staying un-phased by the whole thing.
What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?
the size of william’s mouth. watching him turn from blue to white like a hypercolor T-shirt. hearing them cry for the first time.
With hindsight what would you do differently?
eat more before the birth. tell them to keep the curtain down and not to spill iodine on the floor.

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@justbeusphotography
M:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

Not know what it would be like, especially regarding pain

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

our plan was to go with the flow and do what felt right at the time but we had been to classes & learned about drugs available so the plan was to decide what to use according to pain levels. We stuck to this, went with gas and then asked for epidural; however, ended up being an emergency c-section.

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

Very supportive!

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

The whole experience, it’s amazing to have been through

With hindsight what would you do differently?

Nothing, our daughter was born healthy and I am also doing well so we have had a great experience

Your best piece of advice? 

Do what’s best for you at the time (and with advice of your doctor & midwife)

A:

What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

The health of my child – I was worried as I have Type 1 Diabetes and there is a chance, even though it is small, that baby may have be born with it

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

Yes we did – and yes we did, although baby was directing the ‘birth plan’ by about halfway

Funniest moment was when….

Wouldn’t use the word funny – joyous and amazing would be a more appropriate description of the event – totally joyful

What was your greatest strength throughout labour and birth?

Seeing my wife keeping it together

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

Seeing and holding my baby for the first time

With hindsight what would you do differently?

Try harder to get on the gas in the birthing suites – they guard that nos like its gold. Wife enjoyed it though

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Eve:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

The Unknown and the pain. I was so sick heading in to labour I wasn’t sure how my body was going to cope with more stress. It turns out it couldn’t.

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

I didn’t have a birth plan except to have a healthy baby. I’d researched all sorts of pain/coping mechanisms but when it came down to it I wanted pain relief. I didn’t feel in control at all but at the end of the day I got my healthy baby so I guess it went to plan.

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

He tried his best. We were both so out of our depth but he was so loving and supportive. Great at timing contractions!

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

When they called an emergency and about 15 people were in the room within 30 seconds. It only took 10 minutes from making the call to c-section to having Maggie. I also remember waking up from my general and asking if I’d had my baby, when they said yes a little girl I said no I think I had a boy!

With hindsight what would you do differently?

Take more control and ask more questions. Push the people around me for Answers and not let myself get overwhelmed.

Your best piece of advice? 

Even without a birth plan I was disappointed when things didn’t go how I thought they should – I couldn’t imagine this disappointment if you had a super set idea of how you wanted it to happen.

Adam
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…
Complications
Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)
Yes and no
Funniest moment was when….
I told Eve I wasn’t feeling well and she was almost dying
What was your greatest strength throughout labour and birth?
Caring too much
What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?
I remember everything very vividly, from the labour starting to meeting Maggie

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Abbey:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…
Having to actually push a child out and the pain I may feel

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

Not really. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do and that I didn’t want to take any drugs if possible but I was happy to go with the flow.

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

As supportive as he could be. 🙂

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

The urge to push and not knowing where!!

With hindsight what would you do differently?

Probably have my bags packed and ready to go!

Your best piece of advice? 

Just go with the flow and don’t stress about having a strict plan to follow. Also don’t push when you are told not to!!

Harry:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…
Worrying about Abbey and how she would go. Making sure she could handle it.
Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)
To go with what Abbey wanted me to do but mainly not get in the way.
Funniest moment was when….
When we had to ask the doctor to lift the baby up after a few minutes of holding the baby to check whether it was a boy or girl.
What was your greatest strength throughout labour and birth?
The wallabies V all blacks was on tv in the birthing suite
What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?
Abbey yelling from the toilet for me to get a nurse
With hindsight what would you do differently?
Have the bags packed and ready to go!

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Image via @the_birth_centre

Aysha:

What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

Dying

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

Yes we had a birth plan for both births and stuck to both.

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

Amazing, supportive, prepared

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

My last birth was 3 months ago, I made it to the birth centre and went straight into the birth pool. It was this time that I remember most clearly. Noa’s head had been birthed and all I had to do was push out the rest of his body. I remember saying loadly ‘I love this baby so much!’ And with the next surge his body was born. My partner scooped him up and we just held him together. It was pure magic.

With hindsight what would you do differently?

Very little. I guess I could have had a home birth but my midwife wouldn’t allow it due to a heart condition. I think the 10min car ride to the birth centre was the worst part of labour.

Your best piece of advice? 

Preparation. Read books, do prenatal yoga, see an acupuncturist at 36 weeks, see a natropath throughout, relax, form a close relationship with your midwife, go to a pregnancy support group. Take responsibility and educate yourself and your partner.

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Justine:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…
Labour process

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

Had a birth plan of minimal pain relief with strong pain relief injections and gas and air asked for changes to it and midwives were hesitant to implement any changes regardless of repeated requests. Participated in saliene injection study for pain relief in lumbar region- way too painful.

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

Not that helpful, a bit scared.

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

Crowning and the splitting sensation, bellowing when that happened. And when our baby was born looking down and seeing this tiny little thing covered in vernix and just scooping her up in my arms and shouting at Shane, my sister and the midwife “Jesus Christ ! I just had a baby! Oh my god!”

With hindsight what would you do differently?

Read more about the labour process and really try to learn what to expect physically and pain wise and research the midwives and hospital practises for birthing women prior to agreeing to a birthing location. I was really under- emotionally prepared from the birth and I experienced some shock and post trauma thinking back to my birthing memories particularly in the first year.

Your best piece of advice? 

Read as much as possible, watch birthing documentaries, trust your instincts if you are concerned about your baby and always speak up if you are uncomfortable or need something as this is your birthing experience.

stefealesuma

Steffie:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

Tearing!!! Absolutely the feeling of tearing while the baby’s head came out was my biggest fear.

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

Yes, quite a specific one. Ended up going for the epidural, quite happily!

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

Very helpful and supportive. Knew when to leave me alone and when to be more hands on.

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

Thinking after 20 hours of intense early labour that I would be at least 7cm dilated and finding out I was only ONE! (One less than I had been previously measured the day before) This was both a heartbreaking and hilarious moment for us.

With hindsight what would you do differently?

I would be more mentally prepared with how long early labour can last for. I expected 20 hours at most for the first part and it ended up being 29 hours. A total of 36 hours from the start of painful contractions until I had my baby.

Your best piece of advice? 

Expect and prepare yourself for the pain and watch some births so you know what you’re in for. Do hypnobirthing!

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Sarah:

What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

My main fear was of the unknown. I had no idea what my labour and birth experience would be like or how it would all play out. I was living half way across the world from my family and friends which is always difficult but especially so when having my first child. I was fortunate to deliver in one of the best hospitals in New York under the care of amazing doctors and midwives so that was something that definitely eased my concerns leading up to the birth.

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

I had a birth plan but it all went out the window before I even went into labour. Absolutely nothing went according to plan. I was induced a week early and my labour lasted over 35 hours. Several complications later and we were very grateful to have our little baby arrive safely. It was the most exhausting, stressful and hardest few days of my life but it was all so worth it the moment I saw his little face.

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

Rob was amazing throughout everything. I know he was terrified but he played it very cool! He ended up being the first one to hold Theo and the huge smile on his face said it all.

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

My most vivid memory is of the moment that someone in the delivery room called out “it’s a boy!” and a few minutes later I heard his teeny little cry. It was crazy and surreal and very special.

With hindsight what would you do differently?

With hindsight I would have been easier on myself and not so disappointed that I didn’t experience my ideal birth situation. Things happen during pregnancy and labour that are out of your control and it doesn’t make you any less of a person or a mother if you end up being induced, having pain medication or needing a cesarean.

Your best piece of advice? 

My best piece of advice is to know that anything can happen and there is no way of predicting how easy or difficult your birthing experience will be. Don’t expect everything to go according to your birth plan, keep an open mind and just think of the beautiful little bub that you are going to have in your arms at the end of it all!

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Steph:
What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

For both births, my greatest fear was that something would happen to my babies during labour and delivery. I was ofcourse nervous about the pain, but I felt this was something within my control, whereas the welfare of my babies was (relatively) not. I went into both births feeling very determined and focussed, yet extremely vulnerable.

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

I didn’t have a strict birth plan with either baby, other than wanting to try and get through without too much (medicated) pain relief if I could manage it (I’ve never taken well to anesthetics or drugs, and l really hated the idea of potentially being sick in amongst everything else going on!!). In both births, I used the bath, breathing, distraction techniques (bizarrely I pounded my hands together VERY HARD during contractions in my 2nd birth – what the!?!) and a tens machine. I just tried as best as possible to remind myself that what was happening was natural, not to be scared and that I should surrender into what body needed to do – having said that, I’ve been extremely lucky to have uncomplicated labours and births, so that mindset is much easier to muster in that context! I went overdue with both babies and ended up being induced for my first, and while this was not something I wanted in an ideal world, it was completely fine and I’m pleased I ended up doing it (ie trust your doctors and midwives!)

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

I had my husband and mum at both births and I truly believe this dream team is what got me through drug free. Jules was great an encouraging me and doing ‘things’ ie timing contractions, operating the tens machine, accidentally pressing the emergency button and causing mass hysteria as 50 doctors and nurses burst into the room un-necessarily… While mum gave me the unwavering motivation and knowing support that only another woman who has given birth can give. They worked really well together and meant I always had a fresh and energetic partner to hold my hand.

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

With my first birth, I will never forget when they put my baby boy in my arms and he immediately locked eyes with me. That image is seared deep within my mind. In my second birth, two memories stand out 1) our car not starting and then having to catch a taxi as I was having contractions 2-3 mins apart. It was a hilarious, yet hair raising moment when I had to tell the taxi driver ‘Hi there. Mater Hospital please. I’m in labour’ as Jules was hysterically putting our bags in the boot and pretending he was cool. 2) The elation in my doctors voice when she yelled out ‘it’s a girl, Steph!!’ After I had been completely convinced all pregnancy I was having a boy. Magic.

With hindsight what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t do anything differently as both births have been life-making experiences for me. I guess the only thing would be that I THOUGHT that second time around, I knew more what I was doing and that my labour would be a lot quicker – not so. It was a very different experience to my first, and a long arse day to boot (first contraction at around 5am and I had my baby at 11pm that night) so it probably wouldn’t have been so exhausting if I’d not gone in with the idea that I would cough and the baby would be out.

Your best piece of advice? 

It’s a very personal thing (which I get!), but I found having a 2nd support person in my mum was invaluable. Daddies/Husbands should absolutely be part of it, but there is something very instinctual, empowering and comforting about having female support.

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Sandra:

What scared you the most about birth? This answer may change with each child – feel free to list…

I wasn’t too concerned about the pain, but rather more scared about something going wrong with bubba. I was a little scared about recovering after the birth and needing too many stiches. Ouch!

Did you both have a birth plan – and did you stick to it? (e.g. did you both go into birth with an idea of pain relief options, with a dream scenario birth?)

Our only birth plan was that we didn’t want a birth plan! We wanted to be as relaxed as possible and open to whatever was required to ensure a safe delivery.

How would you describe your partner during labour and birth?

Very calm and quiet which is unlike him! There were a few moments when I looked over at him and he looked a little bewildered by everything happening around us.

What is your most vivid memory during labour and/or birth?

The mid-wife saying ‘when I hit this emergency button, expect 20 people to come running, but don’t panic, we’ve got this under control’ And of course getting to see my little baby boy and getting to give him a cuddle for the first time.

With hindsight what would you do differently?

Be less afraid of admitting how much pain I was in following the first dose of induction gel. I was in labour straight away which is rare but because I kept quiet about how much pain I was in, I didn’t have any pain relief or support for quite a long, painful while.

Your best piece of advice? 

Research as much as possible beforehand on best positions for labour. I spent way too much time lying flat on my back which I now know is the worst position to be in. Be strong and assertive and make sure your partner knows how best they can help with support/massage etc.

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