My Birth Story
The big day had finally come....
Contractions started in the early evening on Monday the 4th of September, seeing as we had never done this before we were nervous, and excited and had no idea what to expect (even though we did go to an antenatal class). By about 1:30 am, and after a few hours of timing contractions on an app I’d downloaded I decided it was time to call Karen (our midwife) my contractions were between 6 and 8 minutes apart, and then some were between 3 and 4 minutes apart lasting over a minute long.
I cried on the phone to Karen because I felt bad waking her up in the middle of the night. She agreed that her and Bianca (our doula) would meet us at Genesis birthing centre. My fiancè started to pack the car, we had so many things, a bag for our new baby, my bag, bags of snacks, bags of towels for the birth, my Pilates ball... the car was full.
We arrived at Genesis at about 2:30am, were given the rosemary room... I was then examined and told that this was “false labour.”
Karen gave me a pethadene injection and told us to try and get some rest as this was my body preparing for real labour. She said the pethadene would make me sleep. It didn’t, I still felt every contraction.
We got up early on Tuesday morning and were sent home... I switched off my phone for most of the day and continued to have mild contractions. We spent the day snoozing, snacking and watching tv.
Contractions became more intense from around 9pm, I was in and out of a hot bath to try and ease the pain. Ron (my fiancé) and I both felt nervous because we didn’t know if this was now the real thing or not. Ron had downloaded a new app to time contractions (thank goodness for technology) and sat with me timing each one when I gave him the signal that one was coming along, this lasted a few hours... I sent Ron to sleep in the spare room so that he could get some rest.
I kept on timing the contractions, they were sore, more sore if I was lying down... they were getting more intense as each one came on. The app kept telling me to get to the hospital or call an ambulance, but I still wasn’t sure if this was any different from the night before, then my mucus plug started to come out and I was so relieved. It was the sign I needed to know that this was actually the real thing. At about 1:30am I went to wake Ron up and he called Karen, she told us to give it half an hour and call her again...
By 2:30am we were on our way back to Genesis, contractions were so sore I couldn’t be in the moving car and be having a contraction so we had to stop the car twice on the way there.
We arrived at Genesis at 3am.
I remember it clearly, we parked and walked to the entrance, I remember the glass doors sliding open and seeing Bianca our doula. This time we were given the room next door to the room we were in the night before, Calendula.
Karen, our midwife, examined me, and we were put on the machine for the stress test. I was only about 3cm dilated... contractions were close together and getting more intense. I couldn’t be lying down or standing up straight during one. Bianca told us we needed to walk, as we walked out of our room another one came on. I leaned on Ron, and Bianca massaged into my hips and guided us to breathe properly.
She made me walk up and down the stairs, swing my hips, taking two stairs at a time. We did one round of that and then walked down the passage again, I suddenly had an urge to vomit and vomited in the dustbin of the rosemary room.
We walked a little bit more and talked about going for a walk outside, but were waiting for the sun to come up... That walk didn’t happen, I bounced on the ball while your Ron and Bianca set up the birthing pool. Karen did another exam and found that our baby girl wasn't in the right position, my babies head was pushing up against my spine, so they took me through to the operating theatre so that they could use the narrow bed. I lay on the bed with my legs and belly hanging off the side, they wiggled me around like that on both sides then took us back to our room where Bianca did something called rebozo, which is another technique to spin babies in the womb. I got onto the bed on all fours, Bianca stood over me with a big scarf held over my belly which she pulled up and almost hung me from and swung me from side to side. It was such a wonderful feeling and took so much pressure off my back. It worked, my baby had moved and turned into a more comfortable birthing position.
I got into the water at around 6:30am. Karen kept checking our babies heart rate, Ron kept filling the pool with hot water from the urn. My cirvex hadn’t thinned enough so Karen gave me a Buscopan injection to help relax and thin my cirvex. It worked and I dilated quite quickly from there. I suddenly felt too hot in the water so got out and had another strong contraction, I wee'd on the floor (Karen thought that this was actually my water breaking) We lay on the bed for another stress test, and another internal exam. I have to say that of my whole labouring process, having an internal exam and a contraction at the same time was the absolute worst part. As Karen did the internal my water broke. I got back into the water... being in the water took so much pressure off my body and contractions felt much less intense. I was tired, and on all fours in the water, I kept dropping my face into the water, Ron kept holding it up and comforting me the entire time.
Karen went to lie down for a while, thinking we still had a while to go... I started to have an urge to push, they called it a premature urge. We learned this “ha choo “ breathing technique in the antenatal class we did with Bianca, and I was so convinced I would not do it during birth... I felt embarrassed! Well, this breathing technique was the only thing that helped with that urge to push. Bianca went to call Karen who told her to call her if I had another urge which I did. Karen came back and it all started to go fast from there... I moved from being on all fours to holding onto the side of the pool in almost a squat position. Karen gave me the go ahead to start going with my body and the urges to push.
I kept pushing, she kept telling me it was getting close... I didn’t believe her! It felt like I’d been doing this for so long, and I had some thoughts that I wasn’t able to actually do it on my own, I told my fiancé that I didn't think that I could carry on. I was feeling what I’d read so much about which was described as the ring of fire. It was sore, so sore. Then Karen told me to feel our babies head. It was incredible, I felt the top of her tiny head and felt her hair. I looked up at Ron and said “she has so much hair”. Karen said I only had a few more pushes to go. I was screaming through each push. Karen told me to rather use my voice to do deep pushes and said I was going to make my throat sore if I kept screaming. So I pushed, a few big pushes and then her head was out, she then told me to hold back a bit but before she finished that sentence our baby girl was out. I can’t find the words to explain how I felt at that moment, I pulled her up out of the water and onto my chest where I held her so tight and so close. I looked up at your Ron and said “we did it, look what we did..." Ron had played the most beautiful music throughout our birth, and at the moment our baby girl was born one of my favourite songs Gracious by Ben Howard was playing...
It was like time stood still for a few minutes.
Her skin felt so smooth against mine, her hair felt like silk in the water. All the pain and exhaustion was replaced with complete elation. I had never felt anything that gave me such complete and pure happiness. Aurora stayed on my chest in the water for about 10 minutes, Ron came to me and said that my mom was outside, I told him to get her to come in. She had been outside our room for most of the pushing part of the labour... it was really special for us to have her there with us. Being the mother to a girl is quite amazing, I read somewhere that when you are born you already carry the egg that will become your child. So 33 years ago when my mother had me, I already held the egg that would become my baby, and holding her in my arms, she already holds the egg that will become her child. The interconnection is incredible, it means that when I was pregnant three generations were embodied in one. Now out of the womb, three generations sat staring at each other. Then Rons mom arrived, and came in to see our baby, we were still in the water. Having both of our moms meet our baby when she was still so brand new was something extremely special and I feel absolutely blessed to have had a smooth labour and delivery so that they could be there. A time that I will treasure, I felt so proud and beamed as I showed my baby off to them. Karen then took Aurora and put her onto her dads chest on the bed, while I got out of the pool and went to lie on the bed next to them to deliver the placenta. Karen called in another nurse to look at your placenta as it was apparently quite small, the placenta is an incredible thing, it’s what kept my baby growing in my tummy for all those weeks. Having Aurora and my partner next to me while delivering the organ that gave my baby life was sacred. Aurora was then put back onto my chest, while Karen did my stitches, I had what she called mild second degree tears. She gave me a local anaesthetic, but i still felt every stitch... I think having my baby on my chest distracted me fro
m the pain. Aurora crawled around and found my left boob where she breastfed for the first time. All of this was just the most beautiful time... Our baby was not taken from us at all from the minute she was born. She was weighed and measured in front of us. She stayed with her dad while Bianca, our doula helped me to shower, not once was she out of our sight from the moment she arrived earth side. I was pregnant for 40 weeks and 9 days, and couldn’t wait to meet our baby, I never anticipated what it would actually feel like. I felt so proud of my body for what it had been through, I felt the most overwhelming connection to my fiance... seeing him become a dad made me fall in love a million times over, but mostly I felt absolutely in love with our brand new baby girl. I don’t have words to describe it, and it’s quite strange that you could love someone you’ve never met so incredibly much, but from the minute I met her I felt like I knew her, I recognised her like I’d known her all my life... I never knew it was possible to love anyone this much! #birth #thebirthfreedommovement #empoweredbirthproject #unmedicatedbirth #doula #midwife