Lilly’s birth Story

Donna wanted to share her birth/breastfeeding journey so far in the hope it may inspire other mammas who are struggling…


She writes:

I was 35 weeks and 4 days when my waters unexpectedly broke only a few days after we’d moved into our new house and there was obvious meconium in my waters. By the time we got got in the car to go to the hospital, my contractions were 3 minutes apart. As soon as we got to the Waikato hospital, they took us straight to the delivery suite. A short while into labour, they realised our little girl was also unexpectedly breached (despite being in the correct position only two days earlier) which was a bit of a shock to our midwife.

I really wanted a natural birth with as little intervention and pain relief as possible. With our little lady being early and now breached, a C section was being considered to get her out quickly and safely. Luckily, upon examination I was already fully dilated so it was too late for an emergency C. I got the natural birth I wanted and the specialist team were very supported and respectful of me not wanting pain relief or interventions and my husband was just incredible.

The labour was super quick, from my waters breaking to giving birth was just 3 hours.

When our little lady was born, she weighed 2.4kg. We didn’t get a chance to cut the cord or hear her cry. I didn’t realise at the time that the cord was around her neck and she wasn’t breathing. The surgeon cut the cord and the specialist team took her straight away. It would be a full 2 minutes before they got her breathing.

It wasn’t until 3 hours later that I was able to see and hold her for the 1st time. We started skin to skin straight away and despite missing that 1st hour together when she was born, our connection was instant. We named her Lilly.

I remember going back down to the ward and a lovely nurse helped me to extract colostrum. I was so proud of those 1st few mls that I took it straight to the NICU ward.

Lilly would end up spending 19 days in NICU. She came on leaps and bounds but feeding took a while to establish. I spent the next 4 weeks expressing every 3 hours as well as trying to breastfeed. Which was tricky with a prem as she was always so sleepy and had to be woken for feeds. We also used a shield as she struggled to latch. I remember the days of looking at the clock in NICU hoping she would feed just a couple minutes more.

We continued using a shield for about 4 months and pushed through painfully cracked nipples. We had great support from some amazing lactation consultants in NICU and La Leche League.

5 1/2 months in and I can’t get her off the boob. She now weighs 6.1kg. We feed on demand and she continues to amaze us each day. As tough as it’s been, I am so proud to exclusively breasfeed Lilly and see her grow. But I couldn’t have done it without support.