| "Birth is not only about making babies. Its about making mothers - strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength."
Barbara Katz Rothman
Ten Years Earlier....
Freyas birth was 10years ago when I was 20. I remember feeling uneducated and scared going into her birth. I knew I didn’t want an epidural but that’s where my decisions stopped. It was a fast birth 4 hours from waking at 4am to delivering at 8.16am. It felt clinical. I birthed on my back on the bed, with lights on and people telling me when to push.
My beautiful baby girl arrived 9lb and perfectly healthy, what more could I want hey! But I felt like I was in shock and very scared of her. I found it hard to bond and breastfeed. While she is a very independent assertive little girl, and her personality has been the same since the get go, I wish I was more educated back then!
Fast forward 10 years and I have met the love of my life. We found out we were expecting a baby way soon then I would have expected in our new relationship but we were very excited!
I knew I wanted a water birth this time round. I decided to go with the MGP program for the continuity of care and It was a wonderful decision! They gave me the pamphlet for the HypnoBirthing class. I had never heard of it before but one word stood out to me, ‘positive’.
The class was wonderful from the get go. So many mind blowing moments, so much to learn and a wonderful new friend made.
My mood became low toward the end of my pregnancy. Even though we shouldn’t (but I didn’t know this from the beginning, I was focusing on my March 18th due date! First I was like common Full moon baby being on the 9th! Came and went! Then it was Friday 13th, (13 being my fav number!) came and went. Closer and closer to my due date and nothing. Every day my daughter would get mad at me when I was at home after school or in the morning when she woke up! “Why are you still pregnant!!” With a grumpy tone isn’t the nicest! I knew she was just excited but it didn’t help me beginning to feel really low! That and the “look at the size of you” “any feelings yet? Any little ningles” the comments would drive me insane! I tried acupuncture, walking, sex, clary sage oil, stretch and sweep at 39.6 (3cm dilated and nearly fully effaced) and then 40+2 and I believe it was my mood (and the anxiety of the current state of the world) stopping me from relaxing and allowing baby to come. 40+3 and I had a terrible day. So low and over it! I sent my daughter to my mums for a sleepover cause I felt bad then I was so moody and snappy! I went to bed early and scrolled and read some positive script on Instagram.
Up and down all night as usual. No Feeling anything was different.
4am (same as Freya) woke to a little feeling. Like BH but more feeling associated. This happened every 10 mins and after the 3rd I got up to pee and it was a bit bloody and mucky down there (same as Freya!). Very calmly woke up my partner (I didn’t want fussing or over excitement so the calm tone was set and also just in case it was nothing) and said I think it was happening. We started timing and every surge was closer together, longer and more intense. Knowing how quickly Freyas labour progressed I text my midwife at 5.20am who agreed to get to the hospital.
While at home the surges were fine and bareable. I showered, dressed, bounced on my ball and held my little clary sage bottle in my hand to smell. I told myself baby was coming and how excited I was to meet him, that this can’t be stronger then me cause it is me.
We were ready to go, I stopped on the driveway and learnt against the car in the moonlight as a surge passed and just took a moment to be grateful and thankful. As we drive in it was very peaceful. The car really isnt the most comfortable place during surges but I leant back and had the window open and breathed in my oil and it was all just very calm. I told my partner how excited I was and how much I loved him.
Arrived at the hospital and made the long walk through emergency up the corridor, past the horses, into the lift stopping when I needed too and breathing deep. I felt in control. Everything was okay even though it had really ramped up by then surges every 3 mins or so.
As we entered maternity at 6.15am a midwife greeted us, I was mid surge and I could hear Jake and her in the far distance taking to each other. I breathed through until I came back down and said “okay I’m good let’s go” and the midwife laughed and said I just love that return. Our midwife Jo arrived and they began very quietly setting up our pool and running the bath just incase. They has dimmed the lights and turned on the candles and Jake did the diffuser. I remember feeling very very hot and Jake just had cold flannels as I lent against him when I needed too. I could really feel the pushing/moving down sensation now. The bath was ready so we walked across and I hoped in. Such an instant relaxing feeling. Another surge, lots of pressure and my waters broke in the water. I poo’ed, a lot I think! I laughed through it and apologized to Jake and the midwife and we all laughed. My pool was ready so I tried to get up to go back to the room but another surge came so I dipped back down and let it pass.
They walked me back into the room and I hopped into my pool which was nice and comfy. I had lots of anxiety leading up to birthing about kneeling or being on all fours as I have a bad knee and had had an operation on it not even a year before. I had expressed my concerns to Jake leading up about hurting it in
Labour unintentionally and to remind me to not be on it too long and he gentle reminded me about that. For me kneeling didn’t feel right I wanted to be emerged in the water so I leaning back and on the side.
I could feel babies head about to crown and I told the midwife who checked and confirmed. I breathed my baby every bit of love and excitement I could!! I kept my hand down there and felt baby crown and my body stretching and doing what it needed too. (I was asked if I wanted to feel/look with Freya but it scared me and I regret it). I can’t explain in words how encouraging feeling babies head was. It was amazing!!! I felt calm and relaxed and never like I couldn’t do it. I told myself over and over again that “this can’t beat me because it is me” and “closer to baby closer to baby” and wow how powerful it felt to have control. I could feel my perineum slowly stretching and the burn was a good burn cause it was my body working. Eventually it was numb and I couldn’t feel it at all. Babies head emerged and I looked at my midwife who was holding a mirror for us to watch and said “I’m so excited!!” One more push and my big beautiful baby was here on my chest safe and earthside. Everything else just Melted away... 7.02am, 3 hours of labour.
We stayed in the water about 45mins until the pressure in my back from my placenta was beginning to bother me a bit. Babies cord was white so Jake cut it and I hoped out so they could give me the injection.
I didn’t end up having it as the placenta came out on it’s own the midwife kept it aside cause I wanted to see it.
Jo checked me over, no tearing just a graze and that was that. She said to me “I don’t think anyone’s ever looked at me and said “I’m so excited” while babies head was coming out!!
She showed me the placenta and all the parts and how it’s all worked which was amazing and encourage anyone to do it too! How amazing we grown that to grow a baby!!
Baby was weighed and measured and checked by Dr and he was all perfect. 9lb 11 oz, 36cm head circumference and 55cm long. My little chunk!
We did skin to skin, baby fed, I showered and I was ready to go home! They let me leave at 11am we went home to start our new chapter!
Ladies, you got this! My biggest things were,
-Tell the people around you that this is what your learning and what you want your birth to be like.
-Talk to your partner and tell them every little concern or thought you have.
-the positive birth affirmations are the bomb. Read them, love them, repeat them. You are in control!
-trust yourself, your body and your baby. Don’t listen to other people’s junk.
-try and stay positive. I got so low at the end but I was able to keep bringing myself back after having a good cry cause I just wanted baby here! The little script on Instagram really helped the night before! I’ll try add it.
-while this was my second birth it had been a long time between! From 20 years old to 30years old it did feel like the first time all over again. I have been blessed with 2 fast births and uncomplicated labour’s so I can only go on my own experience but I really believe that having a positive mind could get anyone through anything. You are so powerful if you let yourself be.