After completing our Calmbirth classes we felt so prepared and empowered to have a beautiful natural birth. We purchased battery powered candles, pure lavender oil, an excercise ball - everything we thought we needed to create a calm environment in the hospital. However because our baby came 5 weeks early we had nothing. Not even a hospital bag prepared.
Ironically, we were on the Gold Coast when my waters broke so we didn't even have our midwife who had followed us during birth in the MGP program at Nambour. All of this to say that we felt like we were so ready for our baby to come where we wanted, in the hospital we wanted with all the things we wanted in the room but everything was completely different when our baby decided to come.
So we were Christmas shopping at the Gold Coast at Robina town center on the 23rd while visiting my family for the night. At 6pm, Sam and I we were walking 2 trolleys full of presents out to the car. As we were walking past Woolworths I suddenly felt like I was peeing and I couldn't stop it so I ran to a bench close by and sat down. I had no idea what was happening. I was squeezing Sam's arm saying "Sam what's going on?!" And my waters just kept coming out, all over the floor around us. People were walking past wondering what was going on!
We called our midwife back in the Sunshine Coast, and Sam explained what was happening and she said to Sam "Ok Sam, it sounds like Sarah's waters have broken so I need you to get her to the hospital. And Sam look Sarah in the eyes and ask her to breath with you and remain calm". So Sam looked at me and told me we were going to the hospital but it's going to be ok and just keep breathing. My brother was shopping with us too so he got some paper towels to lay on the wheelchair that security brought over and to put on my seat in the car.
We first went to the closest hospital at Robina which didn't have a maternity ward so we had to go to the University Hospital in Southport which was another 20 minute drive. At this point I was not experiencing any contractions. I remember not being able to stop shaking in the car, but Sam and I just breathed together as much as possible so I could slow down my heart rate as I could feel myself becoming panicked.
Once we got to Southport hospital and we were in the maternity assessment unit, the midwives put monitoring machines on my tummy to measure our babies heart rate and my contractions. And that's when I felt the first contraction, once we were being assessed. At first all I felt was period cramping pain and I thought "Wow if that was a contraction that was easy!" And then I felt a much more intense cramping feeling, my body seemed to tense up immediately. Sam was right next to me and he looked me in the eyes and breathed with me, held my hand, kissed my lips and when I relaxed my body it actually felt manageable. Because I had the monitoring, I had to stay on my back at this point which was not ideal but I still tried rocking back and forth as much as possible. Then the midwife assessed me, I was already 3-4cm dilated so we walked down to our birthing suit.
Contractions were becoming a lot more intense, they offered me pain relief but we said we wanted to do this naturally as best we could. Once in the birthing suite I put on one of the robes as we had no other clothes to wear. Our midwife we met was actually amazing. We didn't go over our birth plan with her at all, all she knew is we wanted this to be natural and calm and she completely understood and respected our decisions. It was amazing because from all the information we received in Calmbirth classes I thought "how will we remember all of this?! I'll have to make up diagrams so we know how to position during a contraction, how to massage, how to breathe". But in that moment, it was like we just knew all of it. I was breathing with the long deep "oooh" sound during a contraction. Sam was standing with my hands around his neck during a contraction while I moved my hips from side to side. I was leaning over the bed but constantly moving. It was incredible. And Sam was rubbing my back, kissing me, loving me, encouraging me, using beautiful calm language and speaking in a quiet calm voice.
Everything he did kept me focused and in line. I could feel my primal instincts kick in and I just knew what to do all of a sudden. We knew each stage we were in. I got on the bed as contractions got more intense, I vomited a few times, once I missed the back and it got Sam’s feet but he didn't care. We put the back of the bed up so I could lean over it and be on all fours. Our midwife was sitting next to us on her computer barely saying anything, she just kept saying "just listen to your body just trust your body". I felt like I needed to poo and push so she came over and it was go time. I remained on all fours over the back of the bed, a second midwife came in and she also was so nice. Sam continued to be there so I could hold his arm while he kissed my forehead and my lips in between contractions and breathed with me.
I remember feeling that burning sensation and the midwife saying "I can see the head crowning" and I knew from Calmbirth that our babies head was coming out and back in preparing the area stretching it slowly but all of a sudden I felt an overwhelming fear, I wanted out. I started crying saying to Sam "I don't want to do this anymore". I remember he looked at me and smiled remembering that stage where the next step is where we meet our baby soon. And he said to me - "It's all good hunni, we are gonna meet our baby! You can do this, your body is designed for this, you're an amazing woman". And I felt empowered.
I remember a point where the midwife said - "Ok Sarah, in a second I'm gonna ask you not to push, we are just going to breath this baby out ok". When she told me not to push, everything in me wanted to push and Sam said "remember hot chips!" So he breathed with me those short quick breaths until that contraction finished. Suddenly the midwife said "ok on this next push, your going to meet your baby" so I pushed and I felt that relief once she was out.
Sam went down and called out "Sarah it's a girl!" I remained on all fours over the back of the bed and they gave me our baby under me and I turned over onto my back and held her on my chest. It was only 4 hours from my waters breaking at the shops to holding our baby on my chest. And it felt like it went so fast too. We had a completely natural birth with no pain relief and absolutely no tearing. We were blessed. We wanted to do delayed cord clamping but Harper (our new precious baby) had a slight grunt so she needed some oxygen. The paediatric doctors were right there in the room so they took her for only 10minutes and put her back on my chest where her grunt disappeared.
We stayed there on the bed with her on my chest for about half an hour and then they wrapped her up and gave her back with a beanie. Sam held her then. It was so so beautiful and even though nothing about it went to plan to begin with in what we thought we wanted, we wouldn't have had it any other way. We were able to recall what we had learnt, work with what we had and have an amazing beautiful birth with no fears, with all the best hormones and a great support team.
Thankyou so much Tracey for equipping us with everything we needed for a beautiful birth. We will definitely have more babies and I will recommend Calmbirth to everyone I know :)
Sarah & Sam