How to explain just how amazing the whole experience was is an understatement! Birth for me to some extent started on Friday 9th….We had decided to drive to Seymour for Bo to compete in a tree climbing competition. I was nervous as it was a long drive and if I did pop then it would be almost 2 hrs away from the hospital! On the way I felt some strong tightening in my lower tummy which seemed fairly constant and I had a lot of discharge that day. I told Bo I was worried but we got to camp, set up the tent and I went to sleep. I woke up to a beautiful day and felt fine. So we went about the day as normal, I watched Bo climb and ate whatever I wanted. On the way home I was totally exhausted, slept the whole way, barely made it through dinner and had to go to sleep I was so stuffed.
At 12:40am I got up to go to the toilet, when I got back into bed I felt like I had just gone off to sleep when I felt and heard a POP! I rolled out over Nala and ran to the bathroom where my water had definitely popped everywhere! I screamed ‘oh fuck!’ Bo came running in and was like what what…I looked down at the floor and said in almost hysterics and laughter…’I think my water broke!’ He told me well get on the bloody toilet! Hahaha…we both laughed and just looked at each other like now what. I told him we should go back to sleep as to be honest it could take up to 24hrs so may as well sleep. We got back into bed and Bo went straight to sleep….about 20min later surges started. Oh what an experience, they were only in my lower back and at the beginning just felt uncomfortable. By 1:40 I started to realize that I wasn’t able to actually sleep in between the surges and got up to get a heat pack. Breathing through each one, I put on my HypnoBirthing music and started the process of calming myself. I got what I thought was lavender and was inhaling it deeply, thinking at the time…’mmm this smells like really weird lavender oil!’ Only days later did I realize it was Clary Sage. By 3:30am my surges were lasting around a min and happening every 2 min. I thought nothing of it to be honest, just that well I still have a long time to go so just keep breathing. I called my doula Michelle and she suggested I get in the bath. So I woke Bo and told him I called Michelle and the surges were getting closer…in a dreamy state he said ok. I went up to the bathroom filled the bath and got in mean while deeply breathing and inhaling lavender oil (Clary Sage). By 4:30am it was starting to feel very intense and was thinking I’ll go through 2 more surges and call Bo as they were one minute in length and a minute apart. As if on cue Bo walked in…I explained that they were very intense…I think I went through 2 more surges and said call Michelle I wanted her there. I needed to get out of the bath feeling like I needed to poo…then I didn’t want to get back in the bath. I said to Bo to check my purple line, which we had both thought was a funny way to check, at the time he said ‘don’t know cant really see it’, once I again I thought nothing of it as I was aware that I was probably going to go through this for another 20 plus hours. He later told me that the line was all the way to the top but didn’t think it was possible given I’d only been going for a couple of hours and didn’t want to get my hopes up. We went down stairs and I lay down…by 5am the surges were lasting a min and were every 2 ish min…still all the pressure was in my lower back, and it was just that, pressure. It was not overly painful just strong in pressure. When Michelle arrived I looked at Bo and said I feel like I need to push/poo. He got me up and I had a similar moment to when my water broke, felt something move down…When I got to the toilet there was my bloody show all over the floor, Bo with an incredibly worried expression looked to Michelle who seemed almost happy at seeing it. We called my midwife and I could barely have a conversation with her. I can’t even remember what I said. After this we decided it was time to go to the hospital. On the way out the door I distantly remember saying I wanted my shoes…what for I have no idea. Out by the car I had a very strong surge, I was very primal at this stage and pretty sure I woke the whole neighborhood. I lay down on the back seat and waited for the car to move, as we pulled out I realized my husband went down the street with the speed humps, I screamed at him to turn left (another moment that later we would all laugh about)….once we started I felt the urge to push increase, I screamed again at my Bo and said I’m pushing!!! He ran every red light from our house to the hospital….got out of the car and had another surge in the parking lot.
When we got up stairs the midwife asked me to step on the scales, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my weight was so important…I thought I’m comfortable with my size woman leave me alone! I don’t feel like any one really believed how strong my desire was to push. When we got in the room the midwife said ‘ok, ok lets just going to have a quick feel (despite very clearly on my form I had stated NO internal exams), I heard her say ‘oh there’s the head!’ Bo looked at me and said ‘we are going to have a baby soon!’ The joy in his expression was awesome. After that it was all systems go. They got me onto the bed in my chosen position on all fours and the midwife told me to start pushing…so I did! It felt so wrong pushing and then Bo whispered in my ears…’don’t listen to any one put me….breathe…just breathe! After a certain period of time Anathea walked in…my guardian angel I’m sure! She was the midwife who already knew exactly what my plan was and encouraged me to do it. I don’t particularly remember her until she told me to open my eyes and look at her. She explained that I was breathing him down but then releasing which meant he would go back up! She explained I needed to breath and then hold him there, as I did this I screamed ‘is that what you mean?’ She laughed and said yes its perfect!
After a while I could feel my wall of crisis coming up to greet me, I looked at Bo and cried out no I can’t do this…He looked at me and said yes you can, you are already there! After a while I decided to talk with Edmund. I told him look I have one more good go in me and then I’d like you to come into this world! I can’t remember if it was the next surge, it felt like it was, but then the head passed. I would not call it overally painful potentially an 8/10 so totally dealable. I had breathed him down and out and there was only one section where it burnt a little at the top. Once his head was out I could feel him moving inside which was the strangest feeling I think I have ever experienced. After that I breathed deeply a couple more times and out he came. The rush of emotion is hard to explain, it overwhelmed me and all I wanted to do was wrap him and myself up in Bo’s arms and never leave. I pulled him through to me and looked at Bo who was just as amazed as I was that he was out. I cried and kissed Bo and couldn’t believe it our Edmund was here. I looked at him and at Bo and said ‘He isn’t ugly!’ he was beautifully cute!
After a bit, the nurses told me to turn over and I moved onto my back where I placed Edmund onto my chest. I felt uncomfortable all of a sudden and was acutely aware that I needed to get him to self latch. I was insecure that I was doing it wrong and some how needed people’s help. After about 35min Anathea came over and asked if I wanted help I said I did, she tried to force his mouth onto my boob and although he was determined his mouth didn’t seem to be able to take in my nipple. After about 2hrs we gave him a syringe of colostrum which I had expressed before giving birth (so glad I did), I got up and went to the toilet hoping this would help pass the third stage. However, it didn’t seem to be coming easily so unfortunately I needed an injection to move it along. It came out straight away and felt very wrong as it passed through. After it was clear and Edmund’s cord was cut I got up and had a shower. I felt strangely calm and happy. Bo took Edmund with confidence and held him close and with pride. We looked at him and said yep lets call him Edmund. My birth by far has been one of the best achievements of my life and one I am so proud of completing. I successfully did it with no intervention, and breathed him out calmly, no tearing and my support team were well prepared and did an amazing job!