For my first pregnancy I was a first time mother, not given any option, just a number at the hospital. I knew that I wanted a natural as possible birth but that’s where it ended! Nobody mentioned independent midwives, delayed cord clamping, physiological birth of the placenta, encapsulation, birth photography, home birth, hypnobirth, nothing, they just got me in and out at each antenatal appointment as fast as possible and I went on my way. When I went into labour I had no clue that’s what was happening, I screamed, I moaned, stamped my feet, I lost all control of myself and I was a mess! I didn’t make the delivery suite with that birth, I screamed and pushed out a 7lb baby in under 2 hours and so much damage was done, before I knew it the cord was cut, I was jabbed in the leg with something I wasn’t aware of, I was stitched up and sent on my way! All in all it wasn’t an experience I really wanted to go through again anytime soon!
Fast forward 3 years, my husband had been begging me for another baby but after my first experience I wasn’t keen! Eventually we made a deal, we would try for another baby as long as we did things MY way, the way I truly wanted to birth! He agreed and by the next month I was pregnant. By 7 weeks along I had found the IM group that I wanted, began sorting out my dream homebirth and started researching the most natural pregnancy, birth and post natal information I could get! One of my midwives that would be attending my birth just so happened to be a Hypnobirth trainer and at about 34 weeks I began classes. I kept up a healthy diet, while working full time and meditating and training myself to get into a state of hypnosis at any chance I had (while chasing a child around as well!)
I had regular midwife appointments throughout my pregnancy and learnt so much each time. I made sure that everybody around me knew what I wanted, I had a wonderful blessingway surrounded by loved ones and we set up my birth space beautifully, I was ready to birth my baby and after months of training and positive affirmations I felt that I was ready for what was to come!
After my first fast birth everyone was on stand by for when it began. My husband had been working away and I just kept telling baby to stay put until daddy got home because although I’m sure your big sister would be an amazing birth partner I would just really like daddy home first! My husband made it home and then 3 days later my mum arrived, we walked and walked for the next couple of days but baby seemed to comfortable where it was. At about 2am one Saturday morning I started getting very irregular surges, I got up and breathed through them and decided that I was in a comfortable enough state to get some sleep, so I did. When I woke up they had fizzled off. I got up and began my day getting breakfast for my little one and then went for a walk with mum, I was very frustrated when I got home and had only had 1 surge for my entire walk! I had a nap with a couple of surges in between and at about 2pm I sent my midwife a text explaining that I was having surges although very irregular and not excruciatingly painful like I remember, I told her not to rush as I was afraid it would just fizzle again. Within half an hour I text her again saying “they are regular and getting fast, very quick” so she called in the team and they all arrived around 4pm, it seemed like they may have been fizzling away again so she told me to take my husband and got sit on my exercise ball in the shower with the lights off, so I did and all of a sudden surges were real and it was go time! At this stage my mum took my little girl for a drive in the car as she was getting distressed because I couldn’t pick her up, one of the very few times I spoke I said “my poor baby, my poor poor baby” as I heard her crying.
Although I had prepared a birth music CD I enjoyed listening to Surge of the Sea and decided to just have that playing on repeat. I breathed through each contraction in the most amazing state of calm, I didn’t speak, I didn’t scream, things that I wanted to say just didn’t come out of my mouth it was just a surreal feeling! I got out of the shower and sat in the birth pool for a while but my waters still hadn’t broken and there was so much pressure that my midwife thought that maybe sitting on the toilet may help get them moving. I sat on the toilet and felt so completely relaxed (it was the most comfortable I had been) that I was eating watermelon through my contractions, on the toilet, not my finest moment! After my waters still hadn’t broken I went and sat on my hands and knees on my bed and started affirmations and trying to visualise my waters breaking but no matter how hard I visualised they didn’t break. I heard someone in my birth team suggest that maybe my waters wouldn’t break and the thought of birthing a baby en caul made me a little bit excited and I couldn’t wait to see if I could do it!
Although my midwives and I had discussed no vaginal examinations, I felt that I personally needed to know where I was at and asked to have one, low and behold I was 10cm! It was time to move to the birth pool. I got in and someone held a big canvas of an open rose in front of me as I laboured, I remember vividly the droplets of water on it’s petals and I focused so hard on visualising my cervix open like that rose. Everybody on my birth team were reading my affirmations that I had hanging in my birth space, the one I remember telling myself over and over was “my surges are not stronger then I am, because my surges ARE me!”
It was time to push, but unlike with my first birth I surrendered my birth over to my body and my baby and just let them do what they had to do. I was in such an incredibly calm state while pushing that I wanted to tell my husband what a great job he was doing, he really was amazing at keeping me calm but nothing came out of my mouth, I couldn’t speak! I remember my team all getting excited and saying things like “I’m so excited I’ve never delivered a baby in it’s caul” these comments made me even more excited. The pain was there but it didn’t hurt me. When the baby started crowning, my mum walked in and held my hand, alongside my beautiful supportive husband, I remember thinking to myself “Chinese burn, Chinese burn is AWESOME, I’m close, Chinese burn is so so good!” I can’t believe how happy, excited and glad I was to be feeling that sensation! He crowned for so long that the midwives couldn’t believe that more head kept coming, afterwards we realised why his head looked so big! After his head came out he remained still completely in his caul, everybody was excited because they could see his hair floating around in the sack, I looked in the mirror and it was the most incredible sight!! As he spun himself to get his shoulders out I remember saying “I can feel the kid moving in me!” I was so incredibly in tune with my body that I could feel every little movement! Next contraction he came out and I spun around to pick him up. Draped in his caul I pulled the most divine little 10lb 9oz baby boy out of the water and was shocked when I felt testicles on my arm!!
We got out of the pool and right then my little miss came out of her bedroom and had woken up to a brand new baby brother and 13 minutes later I physiologically birthed my placenta and we burnt the cord, a new family of 4. He latched straight on the breast and hasn’t stopped eating since. He is the coolest and calmest little dude I’ve ever met and in sure it has to do with his incredibly calm birthing journey earth side! I had my placenta encapsulated and with in a few days I didn’t even feel like I had had a baby at all!
My pregnancy, birthing and post partum journey has been so unbelievably amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!