It was a Saturday and I was six days overdue. The phone calls and text messages were rolling in with friends and family ‘just checking in’. Meanwhile, I was waiting patiently, excitedly and with still so many uncertainties of what my journey was going to involve.
I received a phone call at 11:00 AM from my father asking if our baby had arrived yet. Once getting off the phone, I turned to my partner and said I understand the pressure on women when they go over their due date. I became emotional questioning what will I do if I don’t go into labour spontaneously and need to be induced and how my partner and I have had many conversations and visualisations of what we wish for our birth to be like and medical intervention was the last thing we were both wanting.
We sat down together and rediscussed our focus and learning of believing and trusting unless there is a medical concern that may require intervention. We restated ‘trying everything that we do have control over’ in attempt to birth naturally and therefore reminding ourselves that we can then be ok with whatever outcome we end up with Knowing we have done our very best to contribute to a positive birth experience.
I then requested for my partner and I to help with some optimal maternal positioning and also for him to read the fear release script to me while I laid down with my eyes closed. I then sat up and expressed breast milk for 10 minutes & while doing so I felt a jolt in my lower pelvic region. Previously the midwife had told me baby’s hand felt like it was beside his/her face (hence, I did forward leaning inversions that morning).
Braxton hicks began happening regularly, I had a bloody show and within 2 hours I was able to distinguish a change in sensation which I naturally started to breathe through. I said to my partner, this may start and stop so I’ll just sit on the exercise ball bouncing and pivoting my hips in attempt to encourage my surges to continue. My partner decided to prep sandwiches ‘just in case’ and I’m glad he did as my surges increased from 2in 10mins to 3 within 3hours, where I felt I was definitely in my zone. I was managing my labour by being on the toilet and in the shower with my partner placing pressure on my lower back and performing ‘pelvic floor relaxer’ with each surge. My partner was right there by my side and I felt I was able to shut off from everything else and just visulaise baby moving through my pelvis and knowing we will soon meet our baby. I attempted to go to my happy place, however felt the sensations would pull me back and therefore attempted to go there between the surges which enabled me to remain soft and relaxed. I continued to hear Steph’s voice say soft jaw = soft cervix which really helped me to not fight the sensations when I would feel myself automatically attempt to pull away, I was then able to breathe & sink down (jelly) through each surge.
My partner had placed my blindfold on me when arriving to birthsuites and this really was so good to keep me in my zone. I heard many voices but could just be in my space.
We arrived at GCUH and I was listening to my body’s wish to be upright and moving, only to have core staff request to examine me as I was voicing pressure in my bottom. Due to my need to move around, the staff had difficulty hearing bubs heartbeat so requested I got on the bed. I stated in our birth preferences that I did not wish to be examined as I knew baby and I still had to continue on our journey so I wished to ‘just keep on’, however, I was feeling due to difficulty with bubs heart rate, it was best to know my options moving forward eg. Could I get into the birthing pool or otherwise I felt the need for something to help with the changing sensations.
I began using nitrous oxide and struggled to get onto the bed but knew I needed to for the benefit of baby and to reassure all of us Bub was managing well. The midwife examined me and asked if I wish to know (as birth preference was to not be told) at this stage I looked at my partner with uncertainty but knew it was time for some guidance and therefore accepted to know. OMG 8cm… wow, yes I can do this, I’m doing this and I’ve done this and I then felt I couldn’t get off the bed like I was restricted. My MGP midwife walked in and told me the bath was ready, so I knew I had to just get up knowing the water was next.
When I transferred to the bath, via the toilet, I placed my hand down and could feel bubs head and became scared. My partner reminding me not to give up as baby is coming to meet us and be strong for Bub. In the bath I went, swapping and changing positions regularly as I would slip when on knees. I was requesting guidance of what position to get into while I was awaiting the expulsion reflex to kick in and the midwife reassured me that things are progressing as they should and baby is very happy so I continued to use the buoyancy to my advantage and ended up having the natural strong urge to push resulting in the birth I’d wished for. I saw the gender of Bub when placing on my chest however, my one wish was for my partner to announce the gender. I held Bub out and my partner came behind me announcing that we have a baby boy…. So, so special and what an amazing journey.
Thank u so much Steph for helping me get out of my midwife brain and for educating my partner with how he could have such a supportive roll in the birth of our baby boy, Braxton. We are so in love and now after all of the birthing prep, I wished I looked into postpartum- baby’s tired cues/sleep/naps as this certainly was an area I wasn’t prepared for… but we are definitely loving watching Braxton grow n learn so much now… a journey it’s definitely been 😀
Shared with permission – Thank you so much Chantel and Heath ❤️