Your Birth Stories

A collection of raw, real life stories from māmā and birthing people across Aotearoa – New Zealand. By sharing the joys and challenges of birth, we can relate to accounts that are similar to our own and also learn about the different experiences of child birth. This is a safe space to read and share. Whakarongo mai.

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  • All
  • Birth Trauma
  • COVID-19
  • Elective Caesarean
  • Emergency Caesarean
  • Entonox (Gas)
  • Epidural
  • etonox
  • Forceps
  • Hospital Birth
  • Induction
  • Miscarriage
  • Overdue
  • Oxygen
  • Postpartum Haemorrhage
  • Preterm Labour
  • Resuscitation
  • Vaginal Birth
Dramatic, Emotional, and Nothing to Plan
First Name: Tiara
Location: Auckland
Age: 27
Primary Care: Midwife
This was my first child so I had a clear plan of what I hoped to do come birth day. I wanted to labour and birth in the water vaginally at a birthing unit surrounded by loved ones and with many things that would help calm the energy in the room. I had read books on hypnobirthing and practiced meditations and breathing techniques twice a day. My mind was in a good place. I hit the 40 week mark and no sign of labour starting, we were in level 3 of the Covid-19 alert level system which meant I could only have one support person with me on d-day. It also meant at the time we could not have any family come by our home as the borders were shut internationally and into Auckland, unfortunately we do not have any family that live in Auckland with us. My midwife asked me to think about being induced. She offered to do a stretch and sweep which I agreed to in hopes of not having to be induced and then went through with booking an induction for 42+1. My scans were showing that baby was going to be 9 pounds which made me "at risk". This meant I could no longer birth at a birthing centre and would have to birth in hospital (also takes out any chance of labour and birth in the water). It seemed like nothing was going to plan and I had constant issues that would hinder my idea of birth, I started to get anxious. It came to 41+4, I woke up feeling a weird pain like sensation, got up went toilet and went back to bed. Little did I know that would be the last good sleep I'd have in the next 48 hours. I woke up in the morning and started having contractions that were 10 or so minutes apart, nothing to worry about. The further into the day we got, the stronger and closer the contractions got, nothing unbearable. I gathered all my things ready for whenever we needed to get out of the door. 17 hours had passed since that first contraction and I had just started to feel stronger waves of pain, contractions are now 5 minutes apart. 24 hours in- I am tired, I can't sleep and we are still having 5 minute apart contractions. A few more hours passed and the pain is starting to feel unbearable, my partner rings the midwife asking if we could go in to the hospital now, I needed the Entonox asap! We got to the hospital, waited around for my midwife to take us into a birthing room. Cold, was all I could think of it. I lay on the bed and started to use the gas through my contractions, better. My midwife checked my dilation - 3 centimeters. A bit defeated as I hoped to be further along by now. Just after she finished her check, my water broke. WOW, the pain became ten times worse and the gas was doing absolutely nothing for it. An hour passed of this madness and I felt ready to push. My hypnobirthing practices went out the window and I was making noise. I didn't want to birth on my back but there was no way my body was moving anywhere else. So here we are, I'm on my back and I am starting to puuuush. We're 31 hours in from the first contraction with about 5 hours total sleep within that time. I'm doing it but now there are about 5 nurses in the room, one of them is very stern, strict and aggressive. I was getting angry at them. They wouldn't let my partner deliver the baby and instead baby just slid right out and fell on to the bed, they wanted to cut the cord straight away which we had specifically asked to be delayed. They disregarded that and went ahead anyway. I finally got to hold my baby boy in my arms. It felt less then a minute before they took him away, he was stunned and needed to be resuscitated. I was worried and still in pain, my placenta got pulled out of me and I had what felt like 10 examinations down there. I had a slight tear on my labia that needed stitching up but also had a postpartum Hemorrhage. There was a lot of blood. I could see my tiny little human bare on some scales having all his measurements taken, he was breathing and letting out some screams and cries. It felt so long before I was able to hold him again myself. I put him to my breast and he latched. I felt so proud of myself in that moment and regardless of all the drama I had just gone through and the mixed emotions, I felt nothing but love, our son was here and he is healthy.
Second Time And My Last Journey To Pregnancy
First Name: Jeverlyn
Location: Auckland
Age: 29
Primary Care: Midwife
8 years ago,I had my first pregnancy back in my home country and the experience all through out my first journey is far way different the second time around. During my first, I was able to work from the day I discovered that I am carrying a life inside of me until the day I let her out to see the outside world, I had an emergency cesarean section at that time and support from my family and relatives are overflowing. As for my second, it's only me and my husband (our first daughter is back in our home country) miles away from our family, the whole duration of my second pregnancy gave me a hard time from experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive nausea and vomiting) to having Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction which lead me in having difficulty of moving around and wouldn't be able to walk sometimes because of pain. My midwife advised me to have an early maternity leave which I did because I am really struggling to do my job as a caregiver in a retirement village. It's a difficult decision as that will leave my husband to work alone but we can't do anything about it as I am in and out of the hospital already and can barely walk sometimes. I was referred to an OB and decided to have an elective CS and Tubal Ligation considering my history and this pregnancy. I've always want to experience a natural birth but I don't want to take the risk as well. I had lots of worries while waiting for the day that I will deliver our baby, it's just me and my husband this time and the pandemic is making it harder for us already. The day came to welcome our baby, I feel nervous and excited at the same time, it's like I am giving birth for the first time again, hubby was just beside me with his full support, he is very excited as well because he is allowed to go inside at the theater and will be the one to cut baby's cord which he didn't experience with our first child. I am really thankful for all the staff and to all who are involved in delivering my little one safely, despite my worries, fears and some negativities that I heard, it was totally a great experience for me and our baby. It would be my last experience of giving birth as I had my tubes cut already and I am really happy that I had an amazing last journey towards it, indeed, an unforgettable one as I was not alone on that operating table but my other half was there as well to witness everything and that he was a part of it. Looking back, I can say that it is all worth it, all the sacrifices made, yes, it's only natural to have qualms and worries but when you are on that situation already, you wouldn't believe it but you can surpass all the struggles you are faced with and you will look back and will say "Yes, I did it". It's only me and my husband and yes, we did it. For now I am a full time mom with our second baby having and enjoying the chance to witness all of her milestones which we didn't experience with our first child. Being a mother is a tough job but it is a rewarding one, the joy you feel when your baby looks at you and gives you a warm smile that will make your heart flutter and melts all your worries is already enough to keep you going. You are your baby's world of comfort and love and that is a fulfilling experience as a mother knowing that your little one relies on you for everything. Thank you mom for everything, now I've got to experience it as well on my own.
A positive birth story
First Name: Steph
Location: Tauranga
Age: 30
Primary Care: Midwife
My waters broke at 1pm, almost on the dot, on my husbands birthday. I was sitting on a stool to rearrange the contents of our freezer, when I stood up and *pop*! Thank goodness I was at home and on hard flooring. Every time I moved more water was released, so I sat still, called my husband who was thankfully working nearby, and waited for him to come home and bring me a stash of towels. I called my midwife to let her know, and as there were no contractions or other signs of labour progressing, I stayed at home, and my husband went back to work. I called my parents, who were in Auckland, and they jumped in the car to come down. It was Friday afternoon after all, such good timing! I don't really remember much else happening until around 7pm when I was on the phone to my midwife. I hadn't felt the baby move in a while, and while I wasn't feeling alarmed about it, we decided it was best to head to the hospital to check that baby was still fine. No birthday dinner for my husband this year! At the hospital, the monitors showed lots of movement, and my husband could feel it, but I just couldn't. We stayed at the hospital under the instruction of the Obstetrician, and contractions picked up around 9.30pm. I started recording them on an app on my phone. I must have transitioned in to active labour around 10.30-11pm as that's when I stopped recording, and around when we moved to the delivery suite. None of the medical staff had expected my birth to move that quickly, even though we'd told them that my family history is of quick births. I was a first time birther, so medically, there was no real precedent to go by. Turns out, I was just like the rest of my family, and baby was born vaginally, with no complications, no time for pain relief (except for an offering of the gas, which I did not enjoy), at 27minutes past midnight on the 29th Feb 🙂
Completely unexpected!
First Name: Genevieve
Location: Auckland Hospital
Age: 35
Primary Care: Obstetrician
Having been present and a support person for both of my twin sisters 2 births, I guess I just naturally expected to follow suit. My Mother, like both my sisters had delivered vaginally for all of us and so whilst I was well versed in what a c-section was and would mean, I didn't think to much about having to have one myself! My son TJ was tracking to have quite a large head, and given my small frame I went into be induced at 38 weeks, to allow me to have a better chance of a successful vaginal delivery. I was induced at around 7pm on a Friday night and after what seemed like a very very long night of no sleep and early labouring I was surprised to learn that I was only 2-3 cm dilated by 10am the next morning. I was told that given his positioning it was looking like I was in for a very long labour and they recommended an epidural and some rest so that I could reserve all my energy for 'a mammoth effort' I remember them telling me. I will be honest and the rest of the day is very hazy and hard to piece together, but by late afternoon Saturday nothing much had progressed and they were starting to show some slight concern. I was also experiencing break through nerve pain and sciatic pain down my legs so with every contraction I was running my legs (as if I was running lying down - from the epidural) and my body was starting to really fatigue. By very late afternoon my Obstetrician quietly gave me the option of a C-section as I would really need to conserve my energy to push his head out given his position - but I really wanted to try for a vaginal delivery and knew that if I didn't persevere , I would feel disappointed. But by early evening when I was FINALLY fully dilated , baby started to show signs of distress and there was a meconium show. It became obvious even with 2 pushes that baby wasn't moving down at all - and they thought his head was positioned sideways and was starting to swell from the pressure. At this point it really was time for an emergency C-section BUT an emergency c-section was rushed in before me and given it was a busy Saturday night I then had to wait. This was a bit worrying as I now had a high temperature and meconium was still presenting and baby was distressed, but nothing could be done. Once in theatre later that night they realised that his head was lodged in my pelvis and they had to call a second Obstetrician to come and assist and push him up through my vagina as my Obstetrician pulled him out of my stomach. By this stage, given my high temperature and the temperature of my tissue ( it was now almost 9pm) it caused an internal rip through my uterus into my vagina, which in combination with anaesthesia / spinal tap etc caused my body to react and I started vomiting with tachycardia. I have little memory of the rest of my time in theatre other as it took a while for the team to get on top of things and I was in theatre for almost 3 hours! But finally in the recovery room I was able to see and hold my son and he latched perfectly and had a nice big drink! Apart from being very very dozy he was a happy and hungry wee boy! The emergency C-section was completely unexpected, as were the additional complications, and I will admit, the recovery took a lot longer than I had thought. BUT! I was, and still am in awe of my body and its amazing ability to endure, heal and recover. I had to have an elective C-section for my daughter and recovery was so easy and am on track for another for my third little boy on the way 🙂
Waters broke no labor induction 37 weeks
First Name: Natalie
Location: Hamilton
Age: 34
Primary Care: Midwife
37 week 4 days pregnant. 1st April 2017. My waters broke. 9am Typical date... baby number 3 went to full term with previous two boys. Went to birthing unit confirmed yes they had broken. Advised to go home as labor had not commenced at all. Told to go for a nice walk yea with leaking waters, not nice. Checked in with midwife at 6pm still no niggles so booked for induction at middle more hospital that night. Checked in at 8.30pm. Got comfortable waited and waited. Finally at 3am I got the gel insert. Still nothing just a little cramps. Started the Syntoycin drip at 5.00am after still no contractions. 5.25am contractions starts. He was born at 5.50am very quick by hospital staff not mw as she didn't make it on time. 6 pounds after giving birth to 8.8 and 8.12 pounds boys. Thanks for reading all the best!
A Positive Birth Story
First Name: Steph
Location: Tauranga
Age: 30
Primary Care: Midwife
My waters broke at 1pm, almost on the dot, on my husbands birthday. I was sitting on a stool to rearrange the contents of our freezer, when I stood up and *pop*! Thank goodness I was at home and on hard flooring. Every time I moved more water was released, so I sat still, called my husband who was thankfully working nearby, and waited for him to come home and bring me a stash of towels. I called my midwife to let her know, and as there were no contractions or other signs of labour progressing, I stayed at home, and my husband went back to work. I called my parents, who were in Auckland, and they jumped in the car to come down. It was Friday afternoon after all, such good timing! I don't really remember much else happening until around 7pm when I was on the phone to my midwife. I hadn't felt the baby move in a while, and while I wasn't feeling alarmed about it, we decided it was best to head to the hospital to check that baby was still fine. No birthday dinner for my husband this year! At the hospital, the monitors showed lots of movement, and my husband could feel it, but I just couldn't. We stayed at the hospital under the instruction of the Obstetrician, and contractions picked up around 9.30pm. I started recording them on an app on my phone. I must have transitioned in to active labour around 10.30-11pm as that's when I stopped recording, and around when we moved to the delivery suite. None of the medical staff had expected my birth to move that quickly, even though we'd told them that my family history is of quick births. I was a first time birther, so medically, there was no real precedent to go by. Turns out, I was just like the rest of my family, and baby was born vaginally, with no complications, no time for pain relief (except for an offering of the gas, which I did not enjoy), at 27minutes past midnight on the 29th Feb 🙂
Second Time And My Last Journey To Pregnancy
First Name: Jeverlyn
Location: Auckland
Age: 29
Primary Care: Midwife
8 years ago,I had my first pregnancy back in my home country and the experience all through out my first journey is far way different the second time around. During my first, I was able to work from the day I discovered that I am carrying a life inside of me until the day I let her out to see the outside world, I had an emergency cesarean section at that time and support from my family and relatives are overflowing. As for my second, it's only me and my husband (our first daughter is back in our home country) miles away from our family, the whole duration of my second pregnancy gave me a hard time from experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive nausea and vomiting) to having Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction which lead me in having difficulty of moving around and wouldn't be able to walk sometimes because of pain. My midwife advised me to have an early maternity leave which I did because I am really struggling to do my job as a caregiver in a retirement village. It's a difficult decision as that will leave my husband to work alone but we can't do anything about it as I am in and out of the hospital already and can barely walk sometimes. I was referred to an OB and decided to have an elective CS and Tubal Ligation considering my history and this pregnancy. I've always want to experience a natural birth but I don't want to take the risk as well. I had lots of worries while waiting for the day that I will deliver our baby, it's just me and my husband this time and the pandemic is making it harder for us already. The day came to welcome our baby, I feel nervous and excited at the same time, it's like I am giving birth for the first time again, hubby was just beside me with his full support, he is very excited as well because he is allowed to go inside at the theater and will be the one to cut baby's cord which he didn't experienced with our first child. I am really thankful for all the staffs and to all who are involved in delivering my little one safely, despite of my worries, fears and some negativities that I heard, it was totally a great experience for me and our baby. It would be my last experience of giving birth as I had my tubes cut already and I am really happy that I had an amazing last journey towards it, indeed, an unforgettable one as I was not alone on that operating table but my other half was there as well to witness everything and that he was a part of it. Looking back, I can say that it is all worth it, all the sacrifices made, yes, it's only natural to have qualms and worries but when you are on that situation already, you wouldn't believe it but you can surpass all the struggles you are faced with and you will look back and will say "Yes, I did it". It's only me and my husband and yes, we did it. For now I am a full time mom with our second baby having and enjoying the chance to witness all of her milestones which we didn't experience with our first child. Being a mother is a tough job but it is a rewarding one, the joy you feel when your baby looks at you and gives you a warm smile that will make your heart flutter and melts all your worries is already enough to keep you going. You are your baby's world of comfort and love and that is a fulfilling experience as a mother knowing that your little one relies on you for everything. Thank you mom for everything, now I've got to experience it as well on my own.
Dramatic, Emotional, and Nothing to Plan
First Name: Tiara
Location: Auckland
Age: 27
Primary Care: Midwife
This was my first child so I had a clear plan of what I hoped to do come birth day. I wanted to labour and birth in the water vaginally at a birthing unit surrounded by loved ones and with many things that would help calm the energy in the room. I had read books on hypnobirthing and practiced meditations and breathing techniques twice a day. My mind was in a good place. I hit the 40 week mark and no sign of labour starting, we were in level 3 of the Covid-19 alert level system which meant I could only have one support person with me on d-day. It also meant at the time we could not have any family come by our home as the borders were shut internationally and into Auckland, unfortunately we do not have any family that live in Auckland with us. My midwife asked me to think about being induced. She offered to do a stretch and sweep which I agreed to in hopes of not having to be induced and then went through with booking an induction for 42+1. My scans were showing that baby was going to be 9 pounds which made me "at risk". This meant I could no longer birth at a birthing centre and would have to birth in hospital (also takes out any chance of labour and birth in the water). It seemed like nothing was going to plan and I had constant issues that would hinder my idea of birth, I started to get anxious. It came to 41+4, I woke up feeling a weird pain like sensation, got up went toilet and went back to bed. Little did I know that would be the last good sleep I'd have in the next 48 hours. I woke up in the morning and started having contractions that were 10 or so minutes apart, nothing to worry about. The further into the day we got, the stronger and closer the contractions got, nothing unbearable. I gathered all my things ready for whenever we needed to get out of the door. 17 hours had passed since that first contraction and I had just started to feel stronger waves of pain, contractions are now 5 minutes apart. 24 hours in- I am tired, I can't sleep and we are still having 5 minute apart contractions. A few more hours passed and the pain is starting to feel unbearable, my partner rings the midwife asking if we could go in to the hospital now, I needed the Entonox asap! We got to the hospital, waited around for my midwife to take us into a birthing room. Cold, was all I could think of it. I lay on the bed and started to use the gas through my contractions, better. My midwife checked my dilation - 3 centimeters. A bit defeated as I hoped to be further along by now. Just after she finished her check, my water broke. WOW, the pain became ten times worse and the gas was doing absolutely nothing for it. An hour passed of this madness and I felt ready to push. My hypnobirthing practices went out the window and I was making noise. I didn't want to birth on my back but there was no way my body was moving anywhere else. So here we are, I'm on my back and I am starting to puuuush. We're 31 hours in from the first contraction with about 5 hours total sleep within that time. I'm doing it but now there are about 5 nurses in the room, one of them is very stern, strict and aggressive. I was getting angry at them. They wouldn't let my partner deliver the baby and instead baby just slid right out and fell on to the bed, they wanted to cut the cord straight away which we had specifically asked to be delayed. They disregarded that and went ahead anyway. I finally got to hold my baby boy in my arms. It felt less then a minute before they took him away, he was stunned and needed to be resuscitated. I was worried and still in pain, my placenta got pulled out of me and I had what felt like 10 examinations down there. I had a slight tear on my labia that needed stitching up but also had a postpartum Hemorrhage. There was a lot of blood. I could see my tiny little human bare on some scales having all his measurements taken, he was breathing and letting out some screams and cries. It felt so long before I was able to hold him again myself. I put him to my breast and he latched. I felt so proud of myself in that moment and regardless of all the drama I had just gone through and the mixed emotions, I felt nothing but love, our son was here and he is healthy.
Birth Plan: Get Her Here Safely
First Name: Nicola
Location: Auckland
Age: 39
Primary Care: Obstetrician
After a rough pregnancy that followed on from a miscarriage in 2020, my main goal was simple - get my precious girl earthside happy and healthy. I was under the guidance of my amazingly matter-of-fact OB who I had so much respect for and was induced at 39w 5d at his recommendation. My husband is 6’4” and I’m tiny - and all the ultrasounds indicated that bubs had inherited mg husband’s build so I was pretty nervous (to say the least) about the birth! 24 hours after being induced, and despite regular strong contractions that I couldn’t feel because I had received an early epidural, my OB said we could keep trying and potentially be sitting around waiting for another 24 hours or we could go into theatre and whip the baby out via c-section. We chose the c-section option (again, all we really wanted was our girl to arrive safe and sound). I didn’t really have any idea what to expect in surgery but woah, it was intense!! The realisation that I was about to meet my so-longed for baby mixed with the nerves of my first ever surgery, combined with the news that Auckland Hospital NICU was in lockdown because of Covid, plus the cocktail of drugs that was being pumped into me all combined to be a pretty crazy hour and a half of my life! That first cry from Lola was a sound I will never forget. I couldn’t believe she was here and she was real! My husband got the first cuddles with our daughter while I struggled with horrific nausea (not the easiest while lying on your back, arms out, and a mask on). I finally got my first cuddles once we were in recovery and it was so magical. The hours following Lola’s birth were pretty wild too - my husband being sent home from the hospital while I was still being stitched up, a midwife looking after me who had only been on the job a few weeks and then there was that first time walking that anyone who has had a c-section will know about. The surgeons also found a complication with my heart while I was in surgery - a branch block on the left side of my heart. It wasn’t major, but did need further investigation so we were in Auckland Hospital a couple of extra days, followed by Birthcare for 3 nights. Lola’s grandparents patiently waited until she was 6 days old to be able to meet her at home - Covid restrictions prevented these meetings happening earlier. My daughter’s birth was very much a medical procedure involving surgery, induction and epidurals - but it was still beautiful and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Lola is now 7 months old and I often think about her entrance into the world and it makes me feel so happy and so grateful to the talented people at Auckland Hospital for getting this precious girl safely into our arms.
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