Updated: Aug 31, 2020
After almost a month of Braxton hicks on and off, the day had finally come.
2nd JUNE 2019
I set off on a walk to try and encourage this little man to make a move and get this show on the road! I did both hill and curb walks, something my midwives had said was worth a try. With my headphones in listening to the song ‘Wild Son’ on repeat – no idea at the time we we’re having a boy! – I walked up and down a hill not far from home, right on the curb, rocking that belly side to side.
Scot and I were sitting on the couch eating dinner when I started timing the small surges I had been feeling since I got home from my walk. Something felt different about these ones, I really felt like tonight was the night, but with so many false starts in the last month, I tried hard to settle the excitement.
Our last bump pic, I knew it was go time.
Scot headed off to sleep while I sat on my birth ball, headphones in. I tried so hard to rest and take it easy – an incredibly hard task when the excitement is growing, your mind is racing and you’re just SO ready to meet your little person! I listened to my hypnobirthing tracks and reminded myself there was a long road ahead.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Things had picked up a notch. The surges were still coming regularly and ranging 3-7minutes apart, but the intensity had pick up a bit. I called the midwives to let them know what was going on and how I was feeling. They suggested I get in the shower to help calm my nerves - I was nervous about being at home. The moment I knew this was all happening, my mind had decided that the hospital was my safe place. I got in the shower for a little while but returned to the birth ball and my music pretty quickly as I had practised this so often throughout the pregnancy, it felt calming and familiar.
3rd JUNE 2019
We were still sitting around the same range of intensity; I couldn’t lie down and rest during the surges, so I stayed on my birth ball and tried hard to focus and calm my mind. Eventually I called the midwives again and told them I wanted to come in to be checked – I was just feeling too anxious to stay home.
We’re at the hospital and I instantly feel at ease. Our first midwife came in to check how we’re going. I let her know I didn't want to know how far along I was at any stage during the birth.
I knew my anxiety was always based around the fixation of time. Not knowing what stage I was at meant I could focus on what was actually important. Ya and our zone.
I'm pretty sure I was 1-2cm dilated and fully effaced.
Not far along enough to be on the ward yet, they wanted to send us home. Given how relaxed I got once we arrived at the hospital, I knew I didn’t want to leave. I had a very strong urge to stay. Our midwife was amazing and fought to get us our bed on the maternity ward – those poor new parents listening to me in the hours to come! I’m so sorry!!
We set out the birth affirmation cards, headphones in and into the zone I went.
Still on the maternity ward, I moved to the shower. Nichole, my sister, was in there with me, running hot water over my back while I used my voice to follow my surges. This was one of the many birth skills I practised while pregnant. ‘Ahhhh's’ that were soft or loud dependant on the strength and power of the surge.
“Match the pain.”
Somewhere along the way I'd been told our little man was sitting posterior. With what I'd learnt through my training, I knew I had to lean forward during our surges to help him move.
As the surges grew in power, I stood up and started patting and then stomping my feet in pattern – 1, 2. 1, 2. 1, 2.
Scot soon took over in the bathroom with me while the midwives on the maternity ward contacted the delivery suite again, deciding it was time I headed back over.
Getting out of my zone to do the walk back to the delivery suite was intensely difficult. I felt completely delirious! Cracking nonsense jokes and leaning against Scot awkwardly as though I was drunk. I wanted to cry - I may even have cried! This moment made me realise just how important it was to look inward and find that birthing zone with my body again.
And I did.
After a few more hours in the shower, I opted for some morphine. I was starting to feel tired and knew I could only get morphine if I wasn't yet close to transition. When the midwife said yes, I knew I still had some time to go yet and the morphine would give me a chance to recoup my energy and push through.
After having my cervix checked, the midwife spoke to me about breaking my waters. I remember being quite fearful of this, as I knew it would likely increase my surges in both power and pain. After taking the time to talk me through it all and answer all my questions, I decided to go ahead with it and got myself prepared.
We pulled out the birth folder I'd brought along - I'm a planner, what can I say?! - and we went over all the possible tools I could use to tackle the next leg of our birth.
We put the hypnobirthing tracks on and I looked inward to my body and my baby.
"I was prepared. I was powerful. I was ready."
On my birth ball.
Our surges power had intensified greatly.
I spent a long while in this position, gripping the bed and my juggling balls as the surges kicked in, pushing back against my support team and the heat pack on my back. Pressure and heat on my hips is all I wanted!
There was a towel on the ground by my feet. I remember starring at the circle pattern on it and internally repeating 'open, open, open' to myself.
Our surges were on top of one another. As one surge finished, the next began.
I remember feeling completely content with the pain, but my energy levels were dropping and with that my mind was beginning to slip.
"I was surrounded by love and support, but I felt all alone in that moment."
I turned to Scot and told him I needed the epidural. I didn't care how far along I was, I needed it right then in order to save my mind.
Can confirm I did not feel a single thing when it came to having the epidural put in, but Scot can no longer look at needles the same way!
All the pain in my back was gone and I could suddenly feel the surges in my stomach - pain free - which was pretty cool.
I got to sit back and be told all about the labour we'd just had and I felt in total awe of us. The empowerment and pure beauty I felt for my body in those moments was beyond anything I'd ever experienced before.
4th JUNE 2019
It was time to meet you.
My memory is murky as I truly thought I was in the pushing stage for all of 20minutes, but I was told it was actually just over 2 hours!
I let the epidural wear off a little, as I was worried about not feeling anything at all for the moment of birth.
I felt it all.
One thing I had trained my mind to understand was that the pain I would feel during birth was my body and baby working together, going through the motions. I talked myself through all of those stages of labour, so I could understand that even though I could physically feel what was happening, I knew that's what the pain represented.
As for the pushing stage. I clearly skipped over the 'you feel everything that is happening' section!
My gorgeous midwife had to talk me through it when I first realised I could feel HIM. My baby, I could feel him!
You were here. We did it.
You came out screaming at the top of your lungs and my heart dropped.
PUSH! I couldn't help it, I needed you out and with me.
What felt like one single push later, you were here and on my chest.
And the first thing you held, was our dear boy, Diesel.
That's how I'd explain our birth.
A vigorously empowering experience to no comparison.
"Birth. What an insanely beautiful event."