We welcomed our baby girl Inara Bethlynn Hart-Cook to the world on March 16th. Her birth was one of the hardest things I have ever done but also the most instinctive and powerful.
In the months leading up to the birth I had been regularly listening to the Calmbirth meditations and using the Calm breathing techniques.
We had been waiting both patiently and impatiently for our little ones belated appearance. I had experienced false/early labour for three days before finally going into active first stage at 41 +1 weeks. I was on the phone to my brother in Canberra having a good laugh at 4pm in the afternoon on the 15th when my contractions that had been irregular surges became powerful and regular.
I fed our horses and moved around as much as I could for the afternoon. Tried to eat some dinner and then hopped in the shower at 7.30pm. The surges were coming about 5 minutes apart by then so I retreated to the dark and quiet of my room and listened to my meditations and find that awesome calm place in my mind. By 8.30pm the surges were about 3 minutes apart, I contacted my midwife Brigid and we both decided that it was time to head to the hospital. We had about an hours drive so we didn't want to leave it too late.
The car drive was a challenge as the discomfort I was feeling was in my bum so sitting in the backseat of the car was not pleasant but again the meditations, breathing and the fact that it was night allowed me to go back to my calm place. It was during the drive that I started to quietly vocalise during surges and that really helped me keep my breath even.
We spent a bit of time when we first got to the hospital hooked up to a monitor to see if I was established and I think they forgot about me. It must've been shift change as the next midwife came in and said you didn't want any of this did you, let's get it off!
I quietly laboured in our room, swaying and rolling on a ball. By 11 my midwife had been called and had arrived, she moved us to birth suite pretty swiftly and I got in the shower which really helped. Dan set up my affirmations on the wall, the battery candles and my music (Sarah Mclachlan) while I got ready for the shower.
Just before midnight I asked to get into the bath and when I got in the relief was lovely, floating in the water. Not long after though I felt I needed some help so started some gas and air.
Around 1am I felt the need to push so Brigid said to gently try and see how it felt. The first time I tried it didn't feel quite right but with the next contraction my body took over and started to push on it's own. Brigid had to turn the gas off eventually though as I was to sleepy to concentrate on the job at hand and once she had I really committed to it and started to push. I've never felt so vulnerable yet so powerful in all my life as I did in those moments of second stage breathing my baby out into the world. I never felt hurried or like I wasn't the one in control. My obstetrician Kirsten, Brigid and my most amazing partner Dan made sure I felt loved and supported through the whole journey.
My darling girl was born at 2.39am into a lovely warm bath and her Daddy's hands en caul it wasn't until he lifted her onto my belly that her waters finally broke and she was born again. Her little eyes looked calmly up at us as we cried and Sarah sang my favourite song Angels as we became a family.
We lingered in the bath allowing the cord to keep pumping her valuable blood to her. After 10 minutes Dan got to cut the cord and we transferred our little love fest to the bed so we could have skin and she could attempt to feed. My third stage was physiological and after a shower we toddled back to our room to languish in the oxytocin and endorphins fog.
I am so proud of the three of us, we had the birth I had dreamed of, so much so that all the midwives kept coming in to comment on how much they loved our birth plan and that Brigid and Kirsten had raved about how beautiful and calm the birth had been and that could we call them for our next one so they could be a part of it.
Thank you again Tracey for enabling us to let go of the fear and let ourselves have a wonderful birth.
Love Kellie, Dan, Levi and Inara