Planned home birth – second baby.
When I got pregnant with our little girl Alex, our son Zac was six years old.
I had a wonderful pregnancy… except for the usual heartburn, back ache and so on. I discussed with my partner Paul whether we’d find out if ‘it’ was a boy or a girl; he wanted to but I didn’t. So we decided that at our scan if we could see, we would. As it was, our baby’s legs were crossed, so I was happy with that!
I went over due date, which was December 1st. I was having some Braxton Hicks contractions. They were threatening to induce me if I hadn’t gone into labour by December 11th. I tried everything natural to get things started – romping under the bedclothes, weeding, mowing the lawn, ferociously scrubbing the porch, disgusting tasting herbal remedies! I was so keen to have a natural home birth. I had made the birth mat early on, convinced that I would be early… don’t ask me why! I left work two weeks before my due date. I had organised my support people. All was sorted. Only baby wasn’t ready!
Then I woke one night in the early hours unable to sleep. I was feeling like maybe this time it might be for real. I started getting the lounge ready, the music, my lava lamp - setting the scene! I ate some jelly, for energy, sat back and read my book… nothing happened. Feeling disappointed I made myself go back to bed.
Woke an hour later (3am) to this weird feeling, a kind of pop (which was more of a feeling than a sound!) and my waters gushing out. We had just bought a new bed, so luckily I had left my sarong on and managed to catch all but a drop! Waddled to the toilet with pad & clean undies… woke Paul and called my support person. The support person we had organised for our son Zac was living with us so that was sorted, and we’d decided not to wake him (unless he woke up with all the noise) until through most of the rough stuff.
The contractions started slowly and were easy to cruise through. I rang our midwife to let her know things had started and she said to ring her back when I wanted her there. My friend Sam arrived and we all rested in the lounge with the music playing.
Contractions started getting harder, more painful. We got out the acupressure combs out and I found them awesome during the contractions. I was so hot and needed Sam to keep cold flannels on my forehead – they were a godsend! I just rested between contractions. I didn’t really talk to the others, all my energy was drawn inwards. I felt like I needed to poo, and made it to the toilet but nothing happened.
Then I rang our midwife to tell her we needed her. The contractions were really full on, lasting longer with less down time in between. I stayed in the same position pretty much the whole time – kneeling in front of an armchair, leaning forward onto it, with Paul and Sam on either side of me supporting and encouraging me.
Our son Zac woke up around 7am, he came in for a while, but found it a bit full on I think! His support person took him into her room for books & videos, so we knew he was well looked after. I had the urge to push which freaked Paul out as our midwife wasn’t there yet. He rang her again and she was on her way.
Things then really sped up. Contractions intensified, I was starting to really want to push and was finding it hard not to. I was just hanging in there for the midwife. She finally arrived and could see at once where I was at!
She suggested I take my undies off and get into a better birthing position. She helped turn me around to squat, my back supported by the chair and somehow got birth mat under me. I wanted Paul and Sam to be on either side of me supporting my arms and so I could squeeze the heck out of their hands. I needed to push, and she gave me the go ahead and it would’ve been tough if she hadn’t! This time the bearing down feeling was totally consuming and couldn’t be ignored. It was the most awesomely powerful feeling I’ve ever had. It comes from deep within and totally takes control.
A few mammoth contractions and pushes, then the head was crowning. At around this stage Zac came back into the lounge. One more mighty push and out came the head, our midwife turned the shoulders slightly, a couple more pushes and out came the body. Then I got to rest. About 15 minutes later the placenta was coming, so the midwife got Paul and Zac to gather around and watch… I’ll never forget their faces! They were so grossed out. Maybe because it wasn’t a baby, it was something they’d never seen before.
The baby was being quickly checked over – only then did I think to ask what “it” was. Being told I had a baby girl was just awesome! And that she was healthy, with everything in the right place. I was so tired I had to lie down on my side and our little daughter was bundled up and snuggled into my arms. Paul and Zac came and lay with us, which was just bliss! We had our first attempt at breastfeeding, but she wasn’t really hungry.
So she was born at 7.42 am on Sunday December 10th. After a rather speedy 4¾ hour labour. She went unnamed for a week until Paul decided to name her Alex. It was a wonderful labour and birth and I am so thankful that my support people were so awesome! I am also eternally grateful that I got to have the special home birth that we had planned for.