I'll start where with it all began, with the documentary, 'The business of being born'. After watching this I knew home birth was for me, it made me excited to feel and experience birth, loads of people thought I was crazy and definitely tried to warn me of the 'pain' of child birth leading up to it, it was definitely a mixed response from friends and family.
I knew I could do it, and I knew It would be amazing.... Despite comments like.... 'I just hope you don't set your expectations to high and fail'.... Comments like this, especially after calmbirth, were unfortunately very common, I gave up trying to convince people that it was natural and I could handle it and just chose to share my thoughts, fears and excitement at home in a safe environment. My partner was ALWAYS on board, especially from the moment we walked into the hospital and looked at one another and said 'can't we just have it at home'. To us and our morals and values it was a no brainer... Hospital to us was what home birth was too many, uncomfortable and just not right. (Unless of course medical was necessary of course).
THE LEAD UP
It was that STUPIDLY HUMID day in February, I'm talking that little cluster of days where nothing moved, still, standstill, disgusting!... But this was the day things started to truly move along for our birth…
My waters broke on the Tuesday morning at 5am, my husband went to work and I was feeling excited about this (especially since I had so much pressure between my legs the few days leading up to this, like a bowling ball was between my legs). We decided to send Az (my husband) to work as we didn't see the point in us sitting around together 'waiting' for the birth, when in reality it could be 5mins or 5 days away... Aaron text me continuously 'are you having contractions yet' at this point I had the slight period pain type sensations every 20mins and just had no idea what labour actually was so didn't really know how to reply... 'Maybe'... 'Possibly'.... I think so, either way my responses were not alarming.
By far, my safest zone and biggest rock during pregnancy was my partner. He allowed me to express my excitement without judgement and by accepting that no matter what the outcome it was going to be safe and for our highest good. I believe having Deyna (our midwife) by our side was absolutely priceless, it allowed us as a partnership (all 3 family members) to stay safe and trust the process. Answers were never black and white with Deyna which allowed us the expectation and reality that no two births would be alike, therefore there was safety and assurance in the Unknown. My biggest lesson during the whole experience was to LET GO, this was super present in pregnancy and in other aspects in my life leading up to the birth, therefore when it came time to birth/my waters breaking I felt very secure and calm.
We called Deyna and she came for a check up at our house, everything was finally happening, as in 37 weeks and water breaking happening…. we received the information that it SHOULD progress to labour within 3-5hours...So we went about the day, expecting to have a birth date of 2.2.16, I went along to a 2:45pm acupuncture slot annnnnnnd.................we waited......we waited.......we waited....nada....zip....nothing….IT.WAS.NOT.HAPPENING.TONIGHT….this was STRESSFUL….
We knew we had a timeline now, due to the fact that we were having it at home, this was so frustrating to have come this far without anything going wrong at all and have the potential that hospital and it's legalities (which were the safest options though) could potentially put us on that hospital bed for labour... We had 24hours to labour before the first check in at the hospita! (We had a 72hour window to birth at home due to infection... The clock was on)
That night by 9pm my body felt GREAT... and not in a good way, I felt nothing, no pain, no discomfort, nothing.... I was NOT in labour.... Boo!!!! I tried soooo hard that night to let go and get some sleep, my mind was wild, 3am yoga on the floor finally allowed me SOME shut eye...
Wednesday morning, 3.2.16, 5:30am and our midwife called to check in, we were off to hospital for a 7am check up... I was stressed on the inside but calm and accepting at the same time that if we had to go to hospital then so be it.. We trusted all the decision by our midwife so it was kind of easy to go with the flow. Everything got checked at the hospital and as per usual it was all legit, a ok, in perfect working order...
So we left the hospital on a mission, no more stupid humid days were going to stop the labour, we went and got ourselves into another acupuncture appointment, loaded up with some homeopathy, clary sage, dates, raspberry leaf tea & NO MORE CLOCK WATCHING.... We grabbed some breaki, went for a good walk on the beach (as uncomfy as it was) got the needles and drove home... By this time I had slight contractions 10mins apart but knew I still wasn't in real labour...
We went home, I went to bed after having a quick shower, massaging the boobs with clary sage, a few dates and a cup of tea.. My plan was to go for a very large walk after I woke because I was HAVING THIS BABY TODAY...AT MY HOUSE.... THE WAY I HAD VISUALISED IT FOR OVER 2 YEARS!
I woke at around 3pm and THIS WAS IT.... I was in labour, not 'I had to question it labour… but REAL labour' REJOICE, HALLELUJAH.... Y.A.Y!!!!
These were finally, REAL contractions, so I showered and observed them to check I was right this time, don't get me wrong, it was significantly STRONG and FIERCE, but I observed and breathed as low as I could through them... At this point they were approx 4-6mins apart so I put off calling Deyna. Within 20mins of that first one I called her, they were coming on with more power and intensity, I called to pre warn her so she knew it would happen soon, within another 10mins she got another call, it was ON, I WAS IN LABOUR! My husband was massaging me with some oils our customer had given us by chance that day and it was the phone call, where I couldn't speak (only moaning in thew background) that we all knew this was going to happen....
Aaron left me upstairs while he set up the pool.... I didn't want him leaving me, but I just kept saying to myself, he will be back here soon, breathe…
FINALLY, Deyna (my midwife) arrived at around 5pm. I managed to venture downstairs…. slowly... Very slowly, I saw our living room transformed into a sea of towels and large pool filling with warm water, my contractions were so powerful and I just kept begging for the OK to get in the pool (I knew it would calm the pain) the contractions were fierce, I asked for water injections and after being asked if I had back pain to reply with a 'no' I was told it wouldn't do anything, so I just said 'fine' rolled my eyes and went without.... FINALLY.... THE WATER WAS BETWEEN 34-38degrees.... I got into that water so fast, it felt amazing.... And that's where I stayed.... Ha for ages... It felt way too good, with each contraction I felt like a toad in a pond, being gawked at my 3 people on the outside world, they were just observing, talking me down from each contraction and re-iterating that 'I was already doing it' because after each contraction I had something to say! Hahahaha
My words spoke…. 'I can't do this', 'take me to the hospital', 'cut it out already', 'I'm going to die', 'take the pain away', 'someone help me', but my mind was so happy it was at home… doing it… the way we planned…. with every contraction I was told to breathe, I made the breathes low and long and at some stages it was wild, I swear some Aztec took over my shaking body and was possessing me, those were the ones I realised it was no longer me that was controlling this.... Between my two midwives and my amazing husband they help ground me after each contraction, my internal thoughts were grateful I was at home, but every word from my Mouth was a bargain to escape.... Hindsight is great, we laugh about it now!
At 8:15pm the first SHUTTER PUSH happened, 'What the f$)k was that' Omg.... It just pushed itself down! This was it, these pushes were different now, they were uncontrollable, they hurt more but felt great, I knew I had to be patient here so I just waited for the next one, they kept coming but it didn't feel fast. I started to physically feel the head coming out, it was motivating. The midwives helped me while I used the mirror to gauge the process, it was VERY motivating to see what was happening, as the head came back and forth I asked my midwives If it was 'ok to push now' the reply was 'if it feels right, do what your body needs' I was ready to finish it up now, so i started to push. My midwives described the sensations I would feel as they happened, they were right, every time, between that knowledge and Calmbirth, I was prepared and never worried about the process.
My childs head was a little async and slightly posterior (not that we knew until after) so Deyna coached me into creating Figure 8s with my hips 'I don't want to…. but I WILL' I responded (moving hurts but it sure helps the process happen faster), it was by far the most painful thing I've ever done in my life, but it worked, and he came out at 9pm, turned his head and shot out to get caught by my husband… tears started and Aaron looked at me, i felt my little boys balls and was so excited to have a SON… THOR THEODORE CRAIG was born 3.2.16 9pm
The pain to me was about my relationship with it more than anything, at no point did I genuinely think I was in danger or couldn't get through it, my mind knew it would pass and I had instructions through each breathe to breathe, go low and that I was 'doing it'
All of the above was created using Calmbirth. Calmbirth showed us education around what would happen with me, my body, my son and my interaction with my husband (before, during and after birth), I knew the phases that were coming up and the lead up to the birth was made quite chilled out because we knew what would happen before it happened, we also knew the basics of option B should our options beyond a natural home birth need to be broadened. Between Calmbirth and our midwives we were A OK with any potential outcome.
Birth (to me) was about surrendering and allowing a natural process to take place (sometimes this can also mean intervention). I absolutely LOVED the education process in birthing and think everyone has the right to choose whatever they want for birth. All mothers, births and parents out there should be praised as they are heroes! Thank you to everyone in my pregnancy and birthing process, without all of you we would never have enjoyed the experience as much as we did!!!