Motivational speaker, athlete and new mum of one, Turia Pitt, recently opened up about how she doesn’t want to forget any of the precious moments she’s experiencing with her baby boy, Hakavai. Two months on from the birth, she’s decided to reveal all the details about his entry into the world.
40 weeks and counting
“This is the story of Hakavai’s birthday,” begins Turia in her email newsletter on Thursday which is addressed to her many followers.
The humanitarian and best-selling author said she has received many requests to share details about the birth of her new son, and now luckily for us she has!
Turia tells how she had reached the 40 week mark in her pregnancy but nothing was happening so she decided to kick things up a notch.
“At 40 weeks and one day, I thought ‘Okay mate, it’s time for you to come out and meet the world’. So, I swam a kilometre, went for a bush walk and went four wheel driving … on a very bumpy road. Nada,” she recounts.
The next day she saw a chiropractor, acupuncturist, swam another kilometre and made eggplant parmigiana (which the internet apparently swears is the best labour inducing food out there) – but still nothing.
“It’s not glamorous”
But after a fit of the giggles later in the day, there was finally a sign that Hak (as she affectionately calls him) was ready to make his way out.
“Later, Mum and I were being silly on the couch, Michael was rolling his eyes at our shenanigans and out of nowhere, I did a massive fart and broke out in uncontrollable hysterical laughter. My waters broke too,” she says.
“What’s that they say about childbirth? Oh yeah, it’s not glamorous! Panicked, and excited and confused, I stopped laughing and said ‘Um, I think my water’s have broke!'”
Labour or weak bladder?
Turia recalls that her mum was frantic wanting to call an ambulance and the hospital immediately, while calm Michael initially wanted to check that his lady love hadn’t actually wet herself instead in all the hilarity!
As it turns out, it wasn’t a false alarm and her waters had definitely broken. After a quick shower Turia and Michael jumped in the car and made their way to the hospital, which was two hours away.
“The drive to the hospital was uneventful, I put on my Calmbirth meditation tracks, and despite water leaking out of me at what seemed like a torrid rate, I remained calm and positive,” says Turia. “I had minor contractions starting, and was able to just breathe through them.”
Once settled at the hospital, Turia had a canular inserted as she says it is actually quite tricky to locate a vein underneath her scars. Then after a check from the obstetrician they were left with the midwife to wait out and work through the beginnings of labour.
“We put some music on, got out the fitball, and then at around 10pm, things started to get pretty hectic and intense! The labour pains built in intensity, and just as I thought there was no way I’d get through the contraction, the wave would pass and I’d feel, no shit, completely normal!” says the surprised mum.
“They never tell you this about labour but you actually get a bit of ‘downtime’ where you’re not in pain and you can talk rationally between contractions.”
All work and no action
Turia laboured all through the night, frequently calling the midwife about her desire to push, but was told she wasn’t ready. She recalls the pain got more intense and constant, and in the morning after nine hours of contractions her doctor told her that she was still only 3cm dilated.
The doctor gave Turia the option to keep labouring but warned her it could possible result in a c-section once she reached a point of exhaustion. Or she could have an epidural to help her sleep and then a faster delivery. Turia decided it was time to speed things up.
“I opted for the epidural (which was bloody amazing! I didn’t even feel it go in!) and it took around 30 mins to work. I started to feel pretty sleepy and managed to fall asleep for 3 hours. My obstetrician woke me up, and said ‘You’re 10cms dilated girlie, it’s time for you to start doing some work’. And then he laughed and said ‘It’s called labour for a reason!’.
Time to push
Turia was still able to feel each contraction which she said helped with her labour. A well-positioned mirror meant she got to see her son’s “masses of black hair” before the doctors decided they needed to do an episiotomy (small cut) to make it easier for him to come out.
“But, still no Hakavai,” recalls Turia, prompting her doctor to organise a vacuum.
After an initial false start, Turia and Michael’s baby boy slid right out and they heard their son’s cry for the first time.
“He was covered in blood, vernix and other unidentified bodily substances. His head was misshapen from the vacuum,” she says.
“But … My son! He was perfect to me.”
“It was just me and you”
Hakavai was placed on Turia’s chest, Michael cut the umbilical cord and the new mum then started breastfeeding half an hour later. Not long after this the bonding process truly began.
“Then everyone left. And it was just me and you. Mother and son. I love you Hakavai.”
We love your birth story Turia! And congratulations once again on the arrival of little Hakavai.