What You Didn't See During Akaysha's Birth On 'One Born Every Minute'
Akaysha Weatherall wasn't able to have the VBAC she so desperately wanted after complications became present during her labour with baby Heath.
When meconium was discovered after the 28-year-old took a trip to the bathroom, meaning that her baby had done a poo inside the womb, with potential to cause health problems if ingested, the birth became more complicated.
Getting Heath out both quickly and safety became a priority, presenting the mum from Annangrove with a choice between having medication to increase her contractions or having another caesarean to get her baby out.
The VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) also had further risks, doubling the chances of a uterine scar rupture following Akaysha's first caesarean and possibly leading to a situation where the baby may end up in the abdominal cavity, with her obstetrician stating it is: "One of the scariest things we have to deal with."
But what we didn't see were the other factors that played a part in Akaysha's labour that made the way forward an even more difficult decision, such as the umbilical chord wrapping around Heath's neck twice.
"Little did we know the chord was around his neck twice, he was literally bungee jumping in and out of my cervix. So there was a reason behind it," Akaysha told 10 daily.
With all factors considered, the choice was made for Akaysha to go ahead and have a caesarean to make sure Heath was born safely.
"I did end up going with it, guided by the midwife, she was amazing. I had the gas as well but it really only does so much. After 19 hours I felt like I was done, stop the pain," she said.
Akaysha said that after an extended labour, coming to the point where she needed to have a caesarean was the hardest part for her.
"You’ve literally just spent 19 hours trying to get this baby out and then it’s like, okay, a caesarean. After the caesarean you then have this little person you’ve got to take care of," she said.
You’re tired, you’re exhausted, you’re drained and not only that, you have the father of the child who is drained and exhausted, he’s been there the whole time.
When Akaysha caesarean was finally completed, lying there without hearing Heath's cry as a result of everything they had been through caused her great concern.
"That’s the worst because you know we’ve been told he had the chord around his neck, we need to get him out and his heart rate had dropped so low and you can’t hear a scream. It’s the most horrible and daunting experience," she told 10 daily.
"You’re drugged up, you’ve got things coming out of everywhere and you just don’t hear that cry. You know that he’s here but you don’t hear that cry, it is the most… that two seconds feels like two minutes."
Akaysha said while Grant was trying his hardest to reassure her and let her know that everything was fine, all she could focus on was waiting for the cry.
"But then you hear him cry and poor Grant, he just breaks down because he was just trying to keep me uplifted. Then he was able to break because he didn’t know if it was going to be fine, he was just trying to be a supportive husband," Akaysha told 10 daily.
Akaysha said one of her biggest requests was to have skin to skin time with Heath immediately after his birth, something she didn't get to do with Ray, while Grant also wanted to cut the umbilical chord.
"As a first time mum, I didn’t even know that was something that I was allowed to do. But going through it with the midwives and the obstetrician I was able to then accept that’s what I wanted and they made it happen," she said.
Grant explained that seeing your baby for the first time is the closest you will every come to love at first sight, with Akaysha adding that seeing your baby after nine months of them in your belly is 'the weirdest feeling'.
"This little thing has caused you agony but you just love this little thing so much. You think, how could such a small person cause so much pelvis pain and back pain? I couldn’t sleep," she said.
Then all of that goes away when you see him and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I love him, I love him! I don’t even know you but I love you!’ It’s so cool.
When Akaysha and Grant eventually went home with Heath, while she recovered well physically with her caesarean scar healing perfectly, she felt guilty for so desperately wanting to have a VBAC.
"It was harder emotionally, I’m not going to sugar coat it because I had done the acupuncture, I had taken all the vitamins, I was bouncing on my ball everyday and I’d really just done my research this time into how I could have a vaginal birth," she said.
"I suffered with a lot of guilt from feeling like I put Heath through so much so I could have this vaginal birth so I could pick up Ray and play with him. I suffered a lot of guilt over the fact I jeopardised Heath’s life for Ray (even though I know that’s not the case.)"
Akaysha said this feeling sat with her for about three weeks and that she struggled with her mental health following Heath's birth as she put so much pressure on herself to have a VBAC.
"It was something I had to come to terms with. You've got to remember that emergencies happen and that's something we can't foresee, you don't know that that's going to happen," she said.
"But you need to remember there's always ways your midwives and obstetrician can accommodate for you and make sure you have the best birth experience."
One Born Every Minute Australia Airs On Tuesdays at 8.30pm, Only On 10 And WIN Network.
Featured image: Network 10