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The Surprising Arrival of Baby Elle: My Journey to Motherhood (Pt 2)

Newborn

In my last post, you walked with me through the pregnancy and delivery of my beautiful firstborn son Max. It was my turn to get from behind the lens as a family photographer and become a mother myself. Now let’s talk about my second pregnancy and delivery of my lovely Baby Elle.

The name Baby Elle has stuck even though she is 15 months old. Haha, she will always be my baby!

Once we made the decision it was time for a sibling for Max, we were very lucky to fall pregnant again quickly. I had always said I wanted the kids close in age and the 19-month gap between them is great! Although it’s crazy hectic right now, it already looks like these two are going to be the best of friends.

As with Max, my pregnancy progressed nice and smoothly. I booked into the Women’s again as I had such a fabulous experience previously. No hesitation at all with that!

As I was drawing closer to my arrival of bubs 2 (again didn’t find out what we were having), our old friend COVID-19 reared its plans-crushing head again. Lockdowns upon lockdowns in my hometown Melbourne and Australia in general. I wasn’t even focused on my family photographer career at a time when many grew worried about their jobs. I couldn’t be – the growing hype turned my worry to being in a city hospital.

My main fear was – what if I get COVID? I was already nervous being away from Max even though it was just to have a baby! The “no-visitors” rule made me quite anxious too, as I knew I wanted my parents and family around to help in those first few weeks, whilst I got into the groove of being a mother of two.

We decided I would transfer my birth to Kilmore, a country hospital closer to my parents.

From 32 weeks or so I was a patient there and it was fabulous. We were living at my parents’ place, who helped so much with Max as I was getting a little large and uncomfortable. Jez worked from home and was very busy with his real estate work too. Covid had meant it was private inspections, so showing houses looked a little different, and filled his diary with meetings.

Having my parents lend a hand was truly invaluable.

From around 34 weeks Bubs was breech and measured on the smaller size (even though I felt bigger than with Max). This was realised during an appointment, but just meant a little extra monitoring necessary.

At 37 weeks I remember I woke up feeling a little off that day. It wasn’t anything specific, I just didn’t feel myself. I put it down to bad sleep and my mum being the superstar she is, took Max and let me rest.

By early afternoon I had decided I wasn’t feeling as much movement as usual, so would take a drive to Kilmore after calling to check in. I drove over and they hooked me up and monitored me. Over the course of the hour, they kept checking and asking, “Can you feel that?” All I could feel was my tummy going so hard! My muscles were going crazy! I was in early labour! Since I had gone into labour, it was classed as an emergency C-section. After having a C-section with Max and with Elle being breeched I had already known I would be having one. I was fine with this as I knew what to expect and was familiar with everything. I felt relaxed and so excited!

C Section Breech Baby COVID19 Country Hospital Motherhood Pregnancy Birth Story Melbourne Photographer Madeleine Chiller Elle

I made the phone call to Jez and I remember he was shocked. When Elle decided to get things going, Jez was in the peak of work. It was a Friday and poor Jez gets the call that we will be having this baby tonight, when we’d had a date a week and half later in our heads.

Of course, I hadn’t organised anything. I hadn’t packed a bag, hadn’t washed all my baby clothes – I’d started but wasn’t prepared. Sine we were living with my parents then we didn’t even have half our stuff with us. At this point we only had the one car seat for Max in the car…

Nothing was organised! It felt surreal.

Anyway, I wrote a list of things I needed and where they were, and Jez and mum packed my bag. He gathered everything up for me and Dad drove him over. I am so glad he didn’t drive that twenty mins by himself, as he arrived at the hospital and was just shocked. I could tell he was out of sorts.

C Section Breech Baby COVID19 Country Hospital Motherhood Pregnancy Birth Story Melbourne Photographer Madeleine Chiller Elle

C Section Breech Baby COVID19 Country Hospital Motherhood Pregnancy Birth Story Melbourne Photographer Madeleine Chiller Elle

C Section Breech Baby COVID19 Country Hospital Motherhood Pregnancy Birth Story Melbourne Photographer Madeleine Chiller Elle

Pretty much as soon as he arrived, we went to theatre. Poor Jez was quiet and just hanging in there. Like last time, He wasn’t able to come in until the spinal block had been done. He sat next to me as he had during Max’s delivery, only this time, the anesthesiologist asked, “Do you want to see your baby being born?”

Jez said, “Yes.”

“You don’t have to do that Jez,” I assured immediately after – knowing he would faint!

Time started passing and they said, “You can stand up to see bubs 2 coming out.”

With that Jez had jelly legs and collapsed to the ground.

I could see it happening and just yelled, “He’s fainting, he’s fainting!” Poor Jez.

So Baby Elle’s in the doc’s arms, all the support team on the floor with Jez, and I was just like ummmmmm…?

When we knew Jez was okay all was much more relaxed. The team announced it was a girl and we named her Elle.

A couple of faints later (poor Jez had to have the oxygen mask on and cordial haha), our midwife showed him our daughter, and we all giggled about what happened. We were taken back up to our room and couldn’t stop staring at Baby Elle. She was just so beautiful, and I was chuffed that now I had a boy and a girl! Perfect.

The next day we went back to my parents’ house and I was excited to see Max, and have him meet his little sister. So cute!

***Siblings meet video***

Both my experiences have been incredibly beautiful. Although I didn’t start out thinking a C- section was what I wanted at all, I honestly couldn’t recommend higher! My recovery from each has been amazing and taking that extra time to let your body do what it needs is absolutely fine.

You get very good at rolling to sit and stand up from your bed or adapting to the movements, just make sure you don’t strain.

My scar is a beautiful reminder of these two stories and to be honest, makes us warriors. Our tough scars, being awake for a major operation, going through so many layers, but to be handed the most magical surprise! All totally worth it!

C Section Breech Baby COVID19 Country Hospital Motherhood Pregnancy Birth Story Melbourne Photographer Madeleine Chiller Elle

C Section Breech Baby COVID19 Country Hospital Motherhood Pregnancy Birth Story Melbourne Photographer Madeleine Chiller Elle

C Section Breech Baby COVID19 Country Hospital Motherhood Pregnancy Birth Story Melbourne Photographer Madeleine Chiller Elle

Thanks for reading my birth stories, and if you missed part one, read it here.

Madeleine

Xx

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