My birth story is a little bit different from others to come out of the Launceston Birth Centre. I wasn’t really interested in a home birth. Not sure why but for the first time I thought the hospital would be the best option for me. I really wanted to have a strong support person who KNEW what was going on during the whole labour and birth process. My husband Ben was fantastic but, as this was our first child he didn’t have a clue what to expect! My friends who have had countless home births suggested I call one of the LBC midwives to be my support person in the hospital. That was a fantastic idea! And the start of a great friendship too!
My labour was really ‘great’. I had no pre-conceived ideas about what was going to happen, just that I could do it. One of my main thoughts was “My body was made to have a baby, I can do it!” my other thought that I kept in the forefront of my mind throughout labour was from my close friend Cherie who said “think of the contractions as a wave, as you go up the face of the wave the contraction begins and just when you think you can’t take it anymore you’ve hit the crest of the wave and the contraction subsides, you did it.”
I was having some back pain at the movies on the Tuesday and just thought that I’d overdone it the day before, after all I still had 7 days till I was due! That night I had the ‘show’ around 11 pm, unsure if this was ‘it’ I didn’t say anything to Ben and just went off to bed. At around 3 am I woke with period-like pains and then I started to think, hey I think it’s really happening now. So I got up and did some internet surfing all the while being very quiet so I wouldn’t wake anyone! I did go back to bed and at 6am Ben woke up to get ready for work, I don’t remember what I said to him but I know he said, “Are you sure Ren, you know when you really want something to happen….” When I assured him that I was sure it was happening he said “woohoo I don’t have to go to work!” Men hey!
I decided to do the right thing and I got up and packed my hospital bag and the baby’s bag. Yes I’d been slack and putting it off for weeks, I wasn’t sure what to take with me, now that seemed of little importance, anything would do, I was gonna have a baby!
The contractions started about 5-6 mins apart until lunchtime and then went to 3 mins apart by 3 pm. I had called my midwife and she arrived at our place at 12 and we had a nice time just chatting and sitting around outside, it was a beautiful sunny day. I took some photos of everyone else lounging around! I would stop with each contraction and deal with it then back to whatever I was doing. I do remember saying to her “I thought it was going to be much harder.” She knew this was only the beginning. We headed for the hospital just after three and had the examination and then was led to the labour ward. I had wonderful hospital midwives too. By 5 o’clock I said that I would like to have this baby before it got dark, by 8 it was dark and there was still no baby. I had used the shower and gas for pain relief and was now heading for the bath. Ah bliss! I spent 3 hours in there and I’m sure I was a wrinkled prune by the end. The gas made me feel a little bit delusional but I think we all had ‘fun.’ Then the pushing began. Now that was hard but not unbearable, I think my exhaustion was making it a little bit harder. It all happened very quickly once his little head popped out and I remember saying “I can’t believe I did it!” Our little boy Austin arrived at 12.41 am on 24th November 2005, weighing 7 lbs 8 ox, 53 cms long and the cutest little thing I’d ever seen. I’m not sure where the energy came from but I felt on top of the world.
Thanks to God, Ben, our LBC midwife, Cherie and the hospital midwives. I had a fantastic birth experience and am happy to say that yes, I would go back for seconds!