Jump to content
Our beautiful birth
26 replies to this topic
Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:55 PM
Many of you have been such a huge part of my journey so I wanted to share to story of our Baby Boy's birth with you all. It's a long story, but it was a flipping long labour so there is plenty to share.
If the read is to long scroll for cute photos at end
As the due date was approaching I felt incredibly ready, I was excited for labour and the birth and I dreamed every day of the moment I would first cast eyes on my baby boy. Being a logical and research based person early on in our journey I had realised that a natural drug free birth represented the experience I wanted. Aside from the comfort in knowing that a drug free birth meant the highest likelihood of a healthy baby, I also wanted to take back some ownership of my body. The process of falling pregnant was gruelling and involved a high degree of medical intervention, I was seeing a Fertility specialist, Endocrinologist and Fertility Naturopath simultaneously following a strict schedule of medications (up to 25 pills a day), a strict diet and numerous lifestyle changes. Having lost 3 babies before I had lost faith in my body to be able to create a life and found trying again to be an anxious and painful time.
At 27 weeks we attended a Calmbirth Course and everything just clicked with us. I found the science behind how your hormones and muscles work to be fascinating and left with the confidence that my body was able to have this baby. DH now felt far more involved in the process as we were going to have this baby as a team and he would need to provide support, guidance and coaching through every moment.
As my pregnancy progressed I reread the course notes and practiced ‘Calm breathing’ but worried that I wasn’t practicing enough as I would doze off or get distracted. I wrote dot points for DH to look at when I was in labour that would act as our toolbag of methods and ideas to keep things on track, this included affirmations and visualisation ideas, alternatives to pain medications and our preferences. My IPhone was ready with 3 separate labour playlists, As I love music and find it a stress relief I was sure this would be a huge focus for me.
I tend to be the type of person that likes to be in total control, everything organised. Uncertainty or lack of control can cause anxiety for me- So It was going to be a very new experience surrendering myself to the process of labour.
Given we wanted a drug free birth we wanted to avoid the potential of induction. At 39+2 I had a stretch and sweep performed by my OBGYN after he confirmed my cervix was 1cm dilated and soft, followed by 2 acupuncture appointments. This encouraged the muscus plug to begin to come away. On the following few nights I would wake with contractions that would become regular and begin to come closer, then after a few hours they would slow and cease.
On Saturday morning (39+6) I experienced some bleeding so called the maternity ward and they asked me to come in for some testing. The midwife got a faint positive for it being amniotic fluid but my OBGYN decided it was most likely a false positive and asked me to head home and wait for labour to begin.
That evening at around 7pm contractions began again (after expressing some colostrum), I snuggled up to DH watching a movie and closed my eyes to breathe through each contraction. At about 11pm DH suggested a walk to help encourage things along and so we went for a walk around the block, pausing for each contraction. We then hopped into bed to rest and I tried to get 7 or 8 minutes rest between each contraction. After 1.5 hours they became too intense to stay in bed through and I hopped into the shower. I swayed my hips from side to side breathing deeply through each contraction, after a few hours they shortened to 6 minutes apart, then 4, then 3. During this time I would visualise the baby moving down and myself opening for him, I repeated the word “open” over and over as contractions eased off. I also visualised my uterus drawing upward to move the baby down. I caught myself tensing a number of times and reminded myself to go limp and to not fight the pain or tense around it. I would feel an immediate reduction in pain as i would release the tension.
After an hour of contractions at 3 minutes apart I woke DH and he checked in with the labour ward to let them know how we were progressing. They advised since we didn’t require pain relief to keep going for a few hours at home then come on in. shortly after the contractions slowed back to over 10 minutes apart and I hopped back into bed to rest up, getting another hour or 2 of broken sleep between the surges.
I had read that some people feel contractions as intense pressure rather than ‘pain’, for me in was certainly both but the pain felt productive and important, rather than an indicator of a problem. If I were to rate the insensity of the pain I’d say it was already at a level I had never before experienced, but I felt calm, confident and the sense my baby was on his way.
As day broke on Sunday morning (Our babies due date) the contractions were still between 8-10minutes apart and weren’t loosing intensity. I alternated between sitting up on the lounge, on the fit ball and rocking my hips leaning against the buffet table. Eventually the only way I could breathe through the contractions was to hang off DHs shoulders hugging him and swaying through the surge. He would breath into my ear to help calm me. We played acoustic music and he made me light snacks.
Around lunch time we decided to do some laps of the backyard to help things along as the contractions were not getting closer together. I was feeling exhausted after the short and broken 7 minute sleeps the night before. After 20 minutes of light walking the contractions began to ramp up. As the pain would shoot down my legs and make them turn to jello and give way I would hang off DH as a dead weight. Once inside I sat with my legs crossed up on the lounge and closed my eyes breathing deeply with each surge. After an hour or so I opened my eyes and had DH start to time them and he confirmed they were all around 4 minutes apart. They began to become more difficult and the pain in my back significantly intensified. Although the contractions were timing regularly the intensity was still varied, but the pain was several levels beyond anything I had ever experienced or imagined. This lead me to believe things were on the move, so after some time of this I decided we should head into the hospital. I felt I’d made some great progress over the past 19 or so hours.
On the drive in I listened to a calmbirth CD and found every bump and divit In the road to send a sharp pain through the centre of the current contraction. I was still able to speak normally between surges. We made our way to the labour ward, with 5 contractions between our car spot and the ward (each we needed to stop and I swayed from DHs shoulders). We arrived at 3pm Sunday.
I was certain on arrival that I would be at least 4cms dialated, so when the midwife told me I was only 1.5cms and not in “active” labour I was crushed (I had been 1cm at the OBGYN appointment 5 days previous). There was an immediate shift in my attitude. I felt like all the pain had provided no progress and began to doubt if my body could progress and if I could handle the journey ahead given it had barely begun. Can I stay up a second night without sleep and still be able to birth the baby? This self doubt introduced fear which broke my focus and calm. Within an instant the pain became unmanageable and I felt like it was stacking up ontop of me. Until that moment I was confident and calm, now it was all to much and the pain was excruciating. The midwife also confirmed the baby was posterior, meaning that the labour was more painful in my back and would be slower. DH set me up in the shower with a shower nozzle on my belly and another on my back, and spent 2 hours calming me down to try and get me back to the calm I had maintained. He reminded me over and over that I could do this drug free, but that whatever I wanted he would support me in.
He google searched on his phone ‘turning posterior baby naturally’ and found some techniques, he spoke with the midwife to check they were safe and got the go ahead. He talked me through the positions and held me, lifted my belly, positioned me in the shower etc.
We left the hospital at 5pm on Sunday, still 1.5cms. The midwife told me they would be intervening had I not wanted a drug free birth at this stage as I was not progressing at all. She also said it’s entirely possible that I would continue not to progress but it was safe to go home and try. The midwife didn’t show any positivity that I would progress.
Given the shift in my positivity and confidence, the contractions remained far more difficult at home and I was upset and scared that I would be so exhausted that I would not be able to push when the time came. I did however notice the pressure had moved from being in my back towards my front.
This time is a bit of a blurr, but I remember using the bath for some time and DH spending the night encouraging me with loving and positive words. Although it didn’t totally calm me it did help. As I’d lost my confidence I began to consider if drugs would need to be used and I asked DH to go through the negatives of epidurals with me. At 2am I told him I wanted to go back in and use Gas. He asked me 6 or so times if I was sure I wanted to head back in. I was sure.
On arrival at the hospital at 3am I could barely walk as the contractions were so close together, it took us 20 minutes to travel the 80m to the emergency doors then a nurse popped me in a wheelchair and zoomed me upstairs.
I asked for an internal immediately hoping that I had progressed more than 1.5cm even 2cm would have been something. On examination the midwife reported I was 5cms and that the baby had turned and was now anterior. That was music to my ears! A massive smile came across my face and I repeated over and over to DH ‘we can do this, we are having this baby, we can do this!’ there was now another shift in my attitude and I felt the pain change back to a manageable, calm and productive sensation. My breathing improved and I felt 100% focused. It didn’t occur to me to ask for the gas, I didn’t need any relief as I was doing just fine.
Although I had been very active, using gravity to help progress the labour, I was now physically exhausted and had trouble keeping focus on my breathing if I was moving. I asked DH to sit me upright on the bed, he raised the bed up, covered my legs with a sheet, positioned a pillow behind me and helped me to move into a position that looked comfortable. With each surge I would close my eyes and breath deeply and calmly. As it would build to an intense and surreal level I would say phrases to myself like ‘its natural and normal, the baby is just moving down, my body is just getting closer’ and as I would feel the intensity ease off ‘the wave is going, it will be finished soon, that’s one less contraction, you can do this’. Each contraction would start with a deep intense pressure in my bottom, a sharper pain in my lower stomache, then surges of pain that would radiate outward as the pain died down. I would sometimes notice myself tensing up as the contraction intensified. I would then go limp and I would feel an immediate improvement in the Pain level. I also tried to turn my hands so my palms were upwards to avoid digging into the bed, which worked very well.
DH was incredible during this time. In every contraction gap (if I was lucky enough to have one) he would offer water or ice to chew on, electrolytes, lollies, cold face washers, blankets etc. he was very responsive and intune with my ques as I often would only communicate with single words like ‘cold’ meaning I needed a cold face washer dabbed over my face or ‘up’ meaning please pull the sheets over my shoulders (only to have me throw them off with the heat of the next contraction). He had set himself up on an armchair within 2m of my bed and with each request he would shoot out of it and literally run whatever I needed to me, knowing the time between contractions was short. He figured out quickly that I needed every ounce of focus I had in the contraction, so his words of encouragement instead came in the gaps where he would say phrases like ‘you are amazing’ over and over and would talk me through some visualisations of the baby moving down. Being such a litteral person he knew metaphoric visualisations like flowers and beach waves would not work for me. When he felt I needed it he would kiss me up and down my arm and on my face telling me how much he loved me. This would make me smile and giggle.
Despite having planned to ask for gas, I didn’t actually feel I needed it and I mentally thought I would be likely to ask for it during transition but that point of ‘needing it’ never came. Part of me felt that if I decided I couldn’t handle it, and if gas didn’t provide relief then were to from there?
The midwife did another check – 7/8 cms. Woo hoo! She said ‘looks like you are having a breakfast baby’ This show was on the road and I felt totally confident in getting to the finish line. Shortly after this point unbeknowns to me DH took a photo mid contraction, I look like I’m in a peaceful sleep.
Transition was as expected, more intense with less breaks, if any, between contractions. I breathed slower and deeper and surrendered myself to each surge. I was incredibly hot so DH kept those cold face washers coming and affectionately dabbed my face and chest with them whenever I needed telling me how wonderful I am and how much he loved me.
At shift changed we got a new midwife with a birth centre background who was brilliant. She came to do a check and told me ‘you are an amazing strong woman’, ‘you are going to breath this baby down’, ‘your baby is perfect’ and ‘you are doing beautifully’.
About an hour later I was mid contraction then felt a forceful sudden tensing of my uterus and I yelled at DH ‘ I just pushed!’. It was completely non deliberate and uncontrollable. I also felt my waters begin the trickle down my leg. I asked DH to call the midwife who returned with her encouraging words and she reassured me that everything was perfect. I was now 9.5cms. she offered to break my waters, I felt it was the right time but wasn’t 100% sure. I asked DH to decide and he felt it was time. The waters were broken and were nice and clear. It was uncomfortable sitting still for the minute or so so DH held my hand and breathed deeply with me.
I went to the toilet then returned to the bed, this time on my knees. DH came to my side and said ‘We are having a baby!’ and began to choke up. I was in a state of disbelief and said ‘I don’t believe you’.
Quickly each contraction brought 3 strong sudden involuntary pushes and the midwife talked me through these and how to sustain them rather than pull away from them. She popped out of the room momentarily and when she returned she was surprised to be able to see the top of a head during each push, she raced to the phone to ask the OBGYN to rush. She asked me to slow down the pushing but I had no control, she stayed calm and said ‘that’s okay Darling’.
DH stayed close to my head and as I bared down he would breath loudly and deeply,***** which I imitated. This was great as it avoided me holding my breath or getting puffed out. I would also grunt and and deeply moan. The feeling of stretching hurt, and I told everyone so with a swear word or 2. But again, I felt like I could manage it and didn’t feel I needed any pain medication for it. If someone had passed me the gas I would have pushed it away.
DH looked at the baby crowning and told me ‘he has brown hair!’ then things felt real, this baby was real and he would be here soon! I reached down and felt his wrinkly head.
The OBGYN entered and took over from the midwife, I tried to pant and push less forcefully with his instruction but this was not entirely possible.
The OBGYN had DH put on gloves and told him once the head was out DH could take over and catch the baby as per our wishes. With the next push I felt the entire baby slide out in one go and suddenly appear between my legs underneath me. I screamed “oh my god. It’s a baby!’ feeling genuinely shocked by this discovery and scooped him up in my arms crying “oh my god oh my god oh my god’. That moment was the most magical moment of my life. The love and amazement that was surging through me was indescribable, I have never felt such a high in my life and doubt any drug could provide it. I cried and cried with happiness. Little DS was pink, bright eyed, screaming and perfect. He was born at 9:25am on Nov 5th 2012. His Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes were both 9. he weighed 3kgs and 49cms long (which we found out hours later)
DH helped me flip over and had a warm blanket ready to cover us as I placed DS between my breasts with his head up high. His neck was strong and he was bobbing his head up and down. The midwife administered the syntocin injection into my leg and the Vit K for the baby. The OBGYN informed me I had a tear, but I could not have cared less and felt no pain to indicate it- my entire body just felt like it was floating. Once the cord had stopped pulsating the OBGYN clamped it and DH cut it, my placenta glided out shortly after with an effortless little push.
I used calm breathing again as they used a local anaesthetic for the tear before stitching. The local didn’t work correctly so the breathing was great for those initial stiches that I 100% felt. Meanwhile our alert baby boy was bobbing his head up and down on my chest and began to shuffle himself towards my breast. He knew exactly where he was going and didn’t need my help getting there. Once he found my nipple he would lick, latch and let go over and over. After trying for a while I switch to a sideways laying position and DS was able to latch and feed.
After completing the feed we cuddled in bed for some time. DH spoke as DS gazed at him appearing to recognise his voice.
I decided it was time to have a shower so we could settle into our room in the maternity ward. I passed DS to DH who was shirtless and ready, DS melted in his arms. The midwife helped me to the shower. When my legs hit the ground I was surprised to realise how sprightly and lightweight I felt. I could have run a marathon! This adrenaline continued until I finally let myself sleep at 1am the following morning, I could barely sit still all day long and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. That adrenaline and oxytocin surge had me on a massive ‘love high’.
DS has done brilliantly from his first moment. He feeds like a little champ and managed to gain weight well, he left the hospital already heavier than his birth weight and jumped from the 18th to almost the 60th percentile by week 10.
Now at week 11, I still feel overwhelmed by love and still loving being his mum.
Thankyou to all the amazing EB women who answered my questions calmed my anxieties and gave me hope.
2 days old- making lots of funny faces after a feed
10 days old
1 month old
2 months old
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:13 PM
Did you end up going with the MW name you were considering? Lovely birth congrats
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:23 PM
What a perfect birth story!
Can we know his name? He is a cutie
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:28 PM
What a wonderful story and your baby boy is just adorable
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:34 PM
Congratulations OP. What an amazing experience. Your DS is gorgeous.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:35 PM
Oh wow, you did amazingly well for a first birth and for such a long labour. Inspirational!
And bub is gorgeous too
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:41 PM
I just cried while reading your story. It was beautiful Congratulations on the arrival of your little boy.
We did the Calm Birth course in the weekend, so I found your story really helpful. Your DH sounds like he did an amazing job supporting you. Well done to both of you for your stamina and belief.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:43 PM
Oh my what a beautiful birth story, thank you so much for sharing. I'm 8 weeks pregnant with my first and terrified already, reading that made me feel strangely empowered and at peace with it all.
Congratulations! Your little boy is just gorgeous.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:49 PM
I'm so so glad to read this OP, I've been a reader for years and you were always one I was hoping would have their baby dream come true. Congratulations, he is just perfect!
Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:55 PM
Sorry but I'm not sharing the name, I've unfortunately had some concerning behaviour on EB in the past so feel its best to keep identifying info private. It wasn't the MW name we were tossing up though.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:02 PM
Congratulations Spring Chickadee!
I have followed your story since you first posted on EB and caused controversy with your 'young mum' post. I am very happy to read your pregnancy went well and you had the birth you prepared so hard for. You were so strong and your husband was so supportive, I am sure that experience brought you both closer than ever. Your son's birth reminded me very much of my DD's birth. It was also long and exhausting but we had the same triumphant experience as you. Nothing beats that after birth high!
Enjoy your beautiful boy, he has wise eyes. xx
Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:06 PM
That is a gorgeous birth story and your little man is adorable
Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:14 PM
Thank you for sharing your gorgeous story. Love that photo of the two of you, so beautiful. Congratulations to you and your DH.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:17 PM
Loved reading your birth story, thanks for sharing. Congrats OP.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:32 PM
Wonderful! Thank you. And congratulations! You did it and he is gorgeous !
Edited by gemgirl, 23 January 2013 - 08:33 PM.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:36 PM
What an inspiring birth story, I'm so glad you got the drug free, natural labour you wanted.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:36 PM
Beautiful story, I was very touched. Thank you so much for sharing your special moment with us. You have such a beautiful little man.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:58 PM
Such a beautiful birth story. Thank you so much for sharing.
We are also planning an all natural, drug-free birth and found some great tips in reading your experience.
Thank you for sharing and what a gorgeous little man!
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!
Sometimes the greatest baby name ideas come from the most unexpected places, as these EB members show.
While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?
Controlled-crying techniques may help some babies sleep through the night, but for many exhausted new parents, it's just a recipe for more tears all round.
As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.
Aussie actress Emily Symons has announced she is pregnant with her first baby.
A little girl will grow up without her father after the fit and healthy 34-year-old passed away while doing something he had practised his whole life.
You could be doing yourself a disservice by encouraging your toddler to have an afternoon nap, according to new research.
We've compiled a guide to some of the most popular presents for newborns and new mums, and for christenings and naming days.
Actress Jaime King is pregnant with her second child, giving 16-month-old James a sibling.
The Abbott government should extend funding to nannies, and direct childcare payments to low and middle income families, a landmark study on childcare has found.
As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?
Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.
Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.
In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.
The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.
A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.
A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.
Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.
A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.
Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.
Top 5 Articles
A Sydney mother who suffered brain damage when she was hit by a car while pushing her newborn baby in a pram has reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the driver's insurance company.
A culturally sensitive midwifery service has gained the trust and respect of Aboriginal women.
Most mums-to-be plan to take things easy and perhaps have a little break from work as the birth of their baby draws near. Not Kate McCartney.
Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.
Last week an un-retouched photo of model Cindy Crawford surfaced, showing the 48-year-old mother-of -two posing in underwear.
Thought your toddler could not love pancakes any more than they already do? How about if the breakfast treat came in the shape of every two-year-old's favourite cartoon character?
I thought I was never going to be able to have a successful pregnancy. I decided that I wasn't going to form an emotional attachment with this baby.
February 18 marks the start of one of the most prolific annual baby competitions in Australia: the Bonds Baby Search. And this year is going to be more special than ever.
This is not something that people like to talk about, but Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their pages after they die.
Mother of four Marie Holmes was financially struggling after quitting her jobs at Walmart and McDonald's in order to care for her children.
A first-time mother whose daughter died hours after her frightening birth insists she was never told of the risks of being obese and pregnant.
She has labelled parents who do not vaccinate their children "misinformed imbeciles" - and for that, she makes no apologies.
Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.
I never thought I’d say this, but for a brief moment last week, Kim Kardashian and I had something in common: both our kids had public tantrums.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal condition, affecting roughly one in 12 Australian women.
If doing it on your back is out, what's the best position for labour and birth?
With Valentine's Day coming up, Nat Gilbert could be forgiven for thinking her husband might be planning a surprise for her.
We usually only hear the success stories: tales of the two-year-old who’s talking, running and completely toilet trained. But other stories need to be told too.
Sarah Kiss has a word of advice for proud mums and dads who are keen to enter their babies in this year's Bonds Baby Search Competition - just have fun.
If your family needs to go to sleep school, go with them. You are part of that family and you are part of the solution.
A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.
Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.
Win a KitchenAid Mixer
To celebrate, and to thank our amazing fans, we?re giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.