Personal Tags: Babies in Arms Birth Story Series
My birth experience was amazing. The 8 weeks leading up to the birth had been really stressful, with a car accident, work complications and I also managed to fall and inflict nasty sprains to both my ankles to top it off. As a result I was really anxious about the birth ahead and even though I listened diligently to my Calmbirth CD’s every day I wasn’t entirely convinced I could cope through it. I made a list of birth preferences with our doula and my Group Practice midwife to help me focus, and I was determined that unless it was medically necessary, that I would avoid an epidural and an induction, both of which I’d had with my two previous births. The morning before my due date my midwife gave me a sweep, after which I had a foot reflexology massage and I went home and rubbed Clary Sage oil on my belly.
By 2pm that day I was in established, but very manageable labour, and continued about the rest of my day doing school pick-up, cooking dinner and getting our two boys ready for bed. Just before 11pm I thought perhaps it would be an idea to finish packing my labour/hospital bag. My waters broke with a little trickle at 11.15pm and my husband decided he would to go to bed as we could be in for a long night…this was not going to be so!
At 11.30pm something crazy happened inside me and with a very loud and painful pop it felt as if my belly had exploded, this time my waters broke again with a gush and incredibly intense and very painful contractions started immediately. I was on the phone to the delivery suite at the time and I could barely speak during a contraction, so they advised me that coming in was a better idea than waiting at home which I was trying to negotiate with them.
After my mum arrived to stay with our sleeping boys, we made our way to the hospital, closely followed by our doula. The intensity of the contractions was almost unbearable and with only 10-20 seconds break between them, sitting in the car was impossible and much to my husband’s dismay I tried to stand for the journey! I was trying so hard to focus on my breathing but it was so painfully uncomfortable I was finding this really hard.
At 12.30am we arrived at the hospital and had to be let in by a security guard who looked very worried that I was going to have the baby right there in the lift! My midwife was waiting for us in delivery and suggested she run the bath, which she did. Soon after our doula arrived and between all three of them they somehow managed to help me, sprained ankles, intense, very close contractions and all, into the bath. I wondered to myself how was I ever going to get out of it. Well I didn’t have to!
Right when I needed to, I managed to call on all my Calmbirth practice and was able to focus purely on the surges. My husband was gently talking me through my visualisations of waves lapping on the beach in Fiji, (where we’d been for our last holiday a couple of months prior) and I had with me a little blue pebble, given to me as a reminder of courage and determination and a photo I’d taken of it on a beach in Fiji. I kept reminding myself of what the pebble represented…to find that courage and determination, which when I did, somehow gave me extra strength when I thought I couldn’t keep going. The labour was really painful, mostly in the front lower half of my belly, but lying belly down in the incredibly soothing warm water somehow I managed to positively channel the pain by visualising my uterus contracting and like the waves in Fiji, gently working to move our little boy into the world. I was stunned at how vocal I was, making long, low, gutteral, animalistic sounds during each contraction, but they somehow just came out, I was quite surprised about them but I couldn’t stop them from happening, so I stopped trying to do so.
Our doula was putting a cold washer on the back of my neck in between contractions which felt fantastic. I think it refreshed me to be able to focus and breathe through the next contraction.
I reached the transition stage and didn’t believe I could go on any longer at which point my midwife suggested to reach down to feel our baby’s head. After this I summoned from somewhere renewed determination and focus to get this baby out safe and well and with a few almighty pushes, at 1.29am on 17th October 2012, right on the day he was due, I delivered our little boy (who was also positioned in a tricky transverse position), so perfectly into that warm bath, and lifted him up onto my chest. No induction, no epidural, not even a Panadol!
We waited until the cord stopped pulsing before it was cut and I then delivered the placenta naturally, without any intervention. All the while cherishing every precious first moment of our beautiful little baby’s life. I then spent the most wonderful first hour (or so) cuddling our littlest boy and giving him his first feed before he was taken to have his newborn checks done.
I had the most amazing, deeply special and very positive birth experience. After the previous two leaving a lot to be desired, I feel a wonderful sense of achievement and strength, almost like I could conquer the world! I had terrible Post Natal Depression with my first two boys but I truly feel that starting on this journey again with such an amazing birth experience that I am travelling on a new road that quite possibly won’t lead me to that hollow, dark place again. With three beautiful boys and a ‘cherry-on-top’ labour our family is now complete.