Eden’s Birth Story
A bit about my story first. My son, born January 2007, was an elective c-section as I didn’t believe that I could give birth naturally. When he was 4 months old, I realised what a huge mistake I had made, and that my next birth would be a natural birth. I fell pregnant when he was 9 months old, went to 42 weeks with my first daughter, and unfortunately had another c-section because of cord dysfunction and the placenta was failing. I was determined to have my VBA2C however. I fell pregnant when she was 7 months old. I had my support team lined up, my fabulous OB, my totally amazing birth attendant, Deb, and my husband, Craig was right behind me with his support. Then we had the opportunity to move to Tasmania when I was 28 weeks pregnant, so I lost my support, however, got accepted into the birth centre in Launceston.
I had been having prelabour signs for a few days, and I didn’t really think anything was going to happen – what was taking so long?? – and why was I overdue AGAIN!!. I had been inserting EPO capsules since 36 weeks, and taking homeopathic remedies as well to help my cervix soften.
9 DAYS OVER. My midwife came to see me and told me to start shakin my booty – apparently new research that indicates that it is better than sex for starting things off. So I had a few shakes of the tail feather, and got a weird pain sensation in my bladder – every time I would shake I would get this. I’d had it before on and off but wasn’t sure what it was – baby headbutting bladder?? Who knows!
11 DAYS OVER. Went to see an osteo and she did some myo-something on my belly to release the muscles around the baby. She booked me in for another appointment on the Monday – when I would be exactly 42 weeks again.
That night – admitted at bed time that I was freaked out about going into labour, and maybe that was attributing to me not going into labour. Sent a text to Deb, and bawled solid for about an hour. Craig tried to comfort me, however our son chose that exact moment to have his own little emotional breakdown and just screamed and screamed in our bed – wouldn’t settle until he went out on the couch and spent the night out there (first time ever!).
I woke up around 5am and had a few of those weird bladder pains again, thought nothing of it, even though my belly was tightening. Had them pretty sporadically through the morning, and sent messages to Deb and my midwife.
By 8.40am my bladder pains were 14 minutes apart. Sent a text message to Jean saying that I didn’t know if they were anything, lasting 30-45 seconds, so yeah, dunno if that meant anything.
By 9.00am – bladder pains were 7 – 14 minutes apart, very irregular, not in that much pain.
At midday my midwife called me – my “bladder pains” were between 6 and 7 minutes apart, more consistent. I told her that we had been keeping track of them on the computer. I had been texting Deb and speaking to her on the phone, and took her advice and had a little walk. So that made things a little bit more regular I think. I took a warm bath to see what would happen – it was heaven, just chilled out for a bit, until the pains got a little bit more ouchy. Still thought it was prelabour though.1.28pm I sent my midwife another message. Pains are 5 minutes apart, very ouchy. I told her that I thought I was still in prelabour, had no discharge, no show – nothing!! Just felt like peeing after every pain but that was all. At this point we headed in to the birth centre. My midwife checked me out, heart rate was good, baby was engaged (finally) so I headed straight to the bath. Was lovely!! Craig was helping with pressure points to my shoulders for each contraction, which was fantastic for early labour – didn’t really help later on. I was still convinced I was in prelabour though, and thinking “omg, if this is prelabour and I feel that I can’t handle it – how the heck am I gonna handle the real thing?”
3.30 I felt like I needed to go to the toilet, so I got out of the bath, and did my business. Jean said it was an excellent sign of descent. My back started to really REALLY hurt. Craig was rubbing my back with each contraction.
I started to feel out of control, my contractions seemed right on top of each other, and I couldn’t recover in between. Craig was trying to get me to breathe properly, but I couldn’t do anything but hiss through the contractions. This wasn’t my plan on how to deal with the contractions, but my fear took over – what if I ruptured! My team just kept reassuring me that I was doing it, I can do it – be strong.
4.00 – got a bit of a grip on myself, and started working with gravity to help the baby get out, I was convinced bubs was stuck in my back because of all the back pain (plus I have a dodgy sway back) so I was hanging off Craig’s neck and doing semi squats during the contractions. I bit him on the arm during one contraction as it was sooo painful. My midwife made a note in my birth notes that Craig and I worked great together. He was pretty awesome.
4.45 – pain had gotten worse, I really couldn’t do it. My fear took over for a few minutes and I was screaming through them. I was trying to use screaming as a distraction from my pain, and it did help – thankfully my contractions were still short in length, so a real long LOUD scream took it past the highest pain level and then I was ok. I started stamping my feet whilst on the toilet and saying “I stamp my feet, and feel no pain” (thanks Juju) which worked, and then it stopped working, and then I started counting with my stamping, each contraction was lasting a minute now. I had a massive pain and started singing a tribal type thing, which made all of us crack up at the end of the contraction. Craig had tears in his eyes from laughing at me so hard.
5.30 – on knees hanging onto Craig’s pants. Tried to bite him on the belly but he backed away. Felt a sensation to push but didn’t want to – wanted to fight against my body because I didn’t feel it was time to push. Could not hold back pushing and my second midwife was reassuring me to push if my body wanted to. I still tried to fight against it, convinced my body was wrong and that it wasn’t time to push. In my mind, I was still only 7-8cm and I was going to do some serious damage. I told them that it was coming out my “wee wee”, the stinging there was incredible.
6.10 – I stood up mid contraction and said “oooh this feels different” inserted a finger and I could feel a head. Wow! My pushing was doing something.
6.15 – The birth of our baby’s head. 5 minutes later the shoulders and body born in a rush – tried to breathe the shoulder out, but my body just gave a massive push and out it came. I was so overwhelmed by the fact that it was all over, I started crying hysterically, Craig was bawling as well and telling me he was so proud of me, we had another little girl.
I spent the rest of the night saying “I can’t believe I did it, I can’t believe I did it”.
Santi’s Birth Story
I had pre-labour signs for a few weeks leading up to the birth, nothing to get too excited about, just random contractions here and there. I knew I would go overdue – had hoped that I wouldn’t but ofcourse – I did. I got to 10 days over and started to get pretty emotional about why my body was keeping my baby in there and after a friend had just had a stillbirth, I wanted my baby out so I could make sure she was ok. I ended up venting on facebook to a few special people about being overdue and that my body sucks (why can’t I go into labour?!!) and spent much of Friday in bed crying about it all. Mum told me that I needed to get out and get some fresh air, so she put the kids to bed on Friday night for us and Craig and I went for a long walk. About 3kms – up and down a hill. We spent a lot of time looking at the stars and just chilling out and then came back home, had a few pistachios with my mum and went to bed. I felt really sick when I went to bed and made Craig stroke my hair until I fell asleep. This was around midnight.
I woke up having a contraction – very mild, and nothing to get excited about, but it was one. This was at 5am. I got up and went to the toilet, then crawled back into bed. Had a few more mild ones – could barely feel them.
At 6.40 I sent my midwife a text message which said “hmm don’t get too excited, but we might be having a baby today, hope you are free”. She replied that yes she was free and that it was great! I told her that the pains were 10 minutes apart, lasting for about 20-30 seconds, so nothing too serious. I was still in bed, with Eden and Craig (who were sleeping) so just chilling. Up at 7.00 and went into mum to tell her what was going on. She jumped out of bed, and started getting breakfast for everyone, and tried to make me eat a piece of toast. I then walked around the house a bit until I got a text from my friend Kate – she had just given birth to her baby boy – a successful VBAC! I was so excited and sent her a text back congratulating her and telling her that I was also having contractions, so we might actually have our babies on the same day – like we had joked all along from the time we announced our pregnancies together – we were both due on the same day too!!!
I continued to walk around the house, contractions were still about 6 minutes apart, not lasting very long, and not very intense. I thought that we should get into town pretty early though as my midwife had warned me that things could get serious very quickly and since I live 30 minutes away from the birth centre probably best to get there early. I figured that if everything slowed down I would hang out at my friend’s house for a while. So at 9am (after a very blissful shower) we left home.
Arrived at the birth centre at 9.30. Told my midwife that I had had 3 contractions in the car, but they were super easy to breathe through, and I wasn’t in very much pain, and that I felt really silly for coming in.
Then the contractions started coming 2-3 minutes apart and quickly intensified. I was handling them pretty easily, rocking back and forth on the four poster bed and doing my squats to bring the baby down (her head was still floating high and very mobile at this stage). The male midwife arrived at 10am.
By 10.15 I was on the toilet because I felt a lot of pressure on my bowel and did my business.
10.30 – I moved back to the bedroom and was kneeling by the bed. I was breathing through my contractions, and starting to moan through them as well. I would have a really super intense one which took my breath away, so I would be swearing once it had gone. Things like “Now that wasn’t very effing nice, that was bloody painful.. geeeez!!” I was much less frightened through these contractions though, I kept reminding myself to breathe, that I can do it, this was a normal pain etc – everything that I had been studying during pregnancy was coming back to me. I let out a big moan at one point and Craig told me to do it louder – he could sense that I was about to lose it – and I got louder. I remember saying “gee that really does work” – to get myself back under control and focused. I was using chinese stress balls as well and distracting myself with their chiming and rolling them around in my hand.
10.45 – Contractions still every 2-3 minutes, getting stronger. I was squatting by the bed again, using the end post as support. Craig was rubbing my back with each contraction and also had his hand against my pubic bone – which was awesome. I pushed against his hand to relieve some of the pressure that I felt there. I had an intense contraction and asked (jokingly) if we could go to the hospital. They asked what for – I said a c-section and laughed.
11.00 – I moved back to the toilet. Had a few intense contractions and couldn’t decide whether I wanted to stand up and move or sit down and try to focus, so I did a funny stand up/sit down routine for about 20 seconds. Baby was going crazy inside, and it felt so bloody strange to feel her going off like a frog in a sock and know that she would be out soon. I used my stress balls against the bathroom tiles for a few contractions, and swore through one of them repeatedly which ended up sounding like I was quacking like a duck – they didn’t even know I was swearing, they thought I was quacking!!!! I turned around to my midwife afterwards and said “I so totally sounded like a duck then!” to which she agreed. I changed position a few times, trying different things. At one stage I was rocking back and forth on my hands and knees, and rolling the chinese balls in one hand, holding my midwife’s super cold hand with my other hand and Craig was rubbing my back. It was an awesome technique to get me through it.
11.35 – I felt the urge to push. So I tried to push a little with the contraction but couldn’t really feel anything, it felt very different to pushing Eden out. I found out later that she wasn’t in a very good position. At 11.40 I had a show, and kept pushing with each contraction. I just didn’t think I would ever get her out, she just wasn’t moving. I tried pushing kneeling on the floor. I tried pushing with one knee up and one knee on the floor like how I birthed Eden – no good. I tried pushing whilst squatting and leaning against Craig. Still nothing. I remarked that this baby must have the biggest head in the world, I just couldn’t budge it. I began to doubt myself, and told my midwives off cos they told me it was easier to push out a baby the second time round, and this was much, MUCH harder.
11.45 – I was still pushing with no signs of getting her out, so they suggested I move into the bedroom and get ANGRY. So I was kneeling by the bed, with my fists holding the sheets and screaming into the bed whilst pushing with everything I had. I was angry and swearing and screaming – all whilst trying to get this thing out of me. She felt so big!! (err no, not big, just bad position!)
Finally at 12.02, I got her head out. My midwife told me to breathe during the contraction because baby needed to turn her head before her shoulders came out. I had great difficulty doing this, everything was telling me to push, and I couldn’t help it. So I pushed. She flew out and I don’t think anyone was ready to catch her (poor thing!) I couldn’t believe that I had finally got her out, it was so hard and I really thought I would be going to the hospital to get her cut out of me. I sat back and cried, I just amazed myself with what I did. I was much more proud of myself this time round, even though it was my second VBAC.