When you were in my puku I started to worry about your birth experience being like Joshy’s was, and I wanted to avoid as much intervention as I possibly could. I had read books about natural birth and hypnobirthing and had sessions with a hypnotherapist. When it got close to the time, there were concerns about your size, there was referrals and scans and talk of induction so I went and had some acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments.
It was early in the evening on the 23/5 and I woke to go to the toilet and as I was sitting there I felt a weird pop of pressure deep in my pelvis, this was the first sign to me that my labour was beginning. I had been feeling tightenings for days but was incredibly heavy and over it by about four weeks before my due date so didn’t really pay attention to that. A few hours later I was uncomfortable and in pain and bouncing up and down on a swiss ball in the lounge. The power was out and there was a crazy storm raging on outside, I listened to my hypnobirthing audios but wasn’t able to centre myself very effectively.
My contractions became really close together and incredibly painful albeit in short sharp bursts so at about 1am on 24/5 we decided to meet the midwife at the hospital to get checked out. When she got there and examined me she told me that I was only about 2cm dilated and to go back home. I was devastated (and let out a few expletives) as I felt like the contractions where pretty intense even at that stage. The midwife didn’t specifically point it out but you had returned to a posterior position at this point. As we all expected, returning home a few hours later, my labour really slowed down and I even managed to get some sleep as I listened to meditation tapes.
In the morning I hung out and played with your big brother for a bit and then he and your Nanna went out for a while. I was really conscious of the fact that they would only be out for a short time and it was really stalling the process so when they returned a few hours later we got Josh’s packed bag and sent him over to Jacqui’s to spend the night. Once that happened I then spent a long time trying to relax, talking to you in my belly, in and out of the bath (making dad run endless pots of boiling water to keep it hot enough as I used all the hot water on early on!) even trying to watch tv episodes, talking and pacing with dad around the house. I remember saying to you, “need to be in the right position to make this work for us bubba”, you were shifting and spinning around with every contraction I had but fighting it all the way. It was so violent and jerky that Dad could not only feel it but see it as well and it was a very strange feeling when you finally did turn and “pop” into place and it all of a sudden felt like there was less resistance.
My labour was properly established at about 8pm on the 24/5 with contractions pretty close together and intense but I didn’t want to go to the hospital until I knew it was really close and they wouldn’t send me home again – I was worried it would halt labour. We ate some food in between contractions, I couldn’t get comfortable very easily and we had the lounge in all kinds of configurations with a mattress, swiss ball, pillows and bean bag. We ate powerade ice blocks we had made in the days prior and joked around, we both got into laughing fits as we joked around and after that my contractions were even closer.
Dad finally convinced me that we should go to the hospital at about 11pm, the drive there felt like it too forever, I had headphones in with a meditation track playing and my eyes firmly closed, on my knees trying not to focus on all the bumps! Every time I opened my eyes and recognised the surroundings I felt instantly disappointed we were not closer! There were roadworks and the motorway was closed so we had to go through lots of detours and take the back way.
We got to the hospital the second time, fortunately this time they had hot water again which they didn’t the first time around, and almost as soon as we got into the room I got straight into the shower. Dad had to keep restarting my hypnobirthing track which had totally got into his head and he could hear it even when it wasn’t playing! My midwife needing me to sit still on the bed to examine me felt like torture, she kept trying to wait for better moments or make me more comfortable but nothing helped! I was 8-9cm dilated when we got there, my midwife got the nurse to put in an iv line as there was concern about post partum haemorrhage which I had with Joshy’s birth. That part was probably the worst part, not that the line itself particularly hurts but that i had to sit still enough for her to try and find the right place to do it (my veins are a pain for needles I am often told) and then get the line in and taped etc.
As soon as I could move and walk around again I felt more comfortable, I started to go through some self doubt that I wasn’t doing enough or I was meant to be doing more and your dad just lovingly reassured me that I was doing great, it was more obvious to him than to me at the time that I was probably just going through that transition period. I decided I wanted to try some gas and air and was back in the shower when the midwife brought it in. Dad turned up my hypnobirthing track and got my essential oils and I was leaning over the swiss ball on my knees under the shower water in the bathroom. I got really centred at this point and was doing lots of visualisations and lost myself in a trance like state. Time lost all meaning to me but Dad tells me it was about half an hour later that I suddenly said, “I can feel something coming!”
I had my hands there to catch what i thought was you but it didn’t feel quite right, it was soft and squishy! I had a moment of panic and the midwife rushed over and said “oh its the water sack! I better call another midwife”. As they both came running over, you slipped right out onto the bathroom floor! As my midwife picked you up and passed you to me, you climbed right up me and onto my shoulder-you were so strong, even before you were born, I could feel it in my puku! I had a shot to pass the placenta quickly and it all happened so fast, Dad cut your umbilical cord kneeling on the bathroom floor! You were born at 1.50am on the 25th of May, 2015-your due date.
You latched on almost immediately and we sat on the hospital bed for an hour and a half or more before anyone weighed you or cleaned you or anything and I felt amazing. My body showed no signs of damage, I hadn’t lost any blood like everyone was worried I would and I didn’t need any stitches, it was completely different to how I felt last time I gave birth! They brought me some tea and toast while you were feeding and I had a shower while you were weighed and measured and Dad dressed you for the very first time.
I was on a high, I felt strong and powerful and all the midwives and nurses were telling me how well I did. You were obviously big and strong and healthy and I was so proud of both of us and elated that the way I had visualised birth had eventuated for us. My midwife was concerned that my blood pressure was a bit high, but I was so stoked and pumped that I wasn’t at all surprised. From the start we had asked for an early discharge (we just wanted to take you home, i wouldn’t have gone to the hospital at all had it not been for concern that I might haemorrhage) and Dad and i were ready to leave when the midwife said that law states we are meant to stay 5 hours post birth, after some querying the head nurse told us we couldn’t be held there against our will so we discharged ourselves and were home again well before sunrise for cuddles and some sleep before we picked up your big brother later in the day.
Your birth was magical and powerful and special (as all births are but you were almost born in caul, that is super rare and special!) and beyond what i expected from the experience. I really trusted in my body and the process and kept thinking about the cows on the farm we get our milk from who had just calved and how they wouldn’t question their bodies ability to calf; they would just got with it, “ride the waves” I am so very grateful for our smooth, safe and beautiful experience that was your entrance to the world munchkin!
Love ya to the furthest quasar and back, Mum x