Reposting this for Tracey (:
My baby boy was born on Wednesday 28/12/11 at 10.10am , weighing 7lb 2oz. He is my second baby , my little girl was born in March 2010.
I was 9 days over my EDD. I woke up at about 8am and said to my partner ‘Im going to be pregnant forever!’ as it felt like every night passing was another one with no labour starting!! Little did i know 2 hours later my boy would be in my arms!!
I went downstairs to make a brew and some strong Braxton Hicks then turned into some mild contractions; they were so gentle i thought they would go away again but i looked at the clock and timed 4 of them, 3 mins apart; i went back upstairs and told my partner, reassuring him that he didnt need to call the doula, or the midwives, or fill the pool, and i would just go for a shower and see how i got on. By the time i got into the shower i realised i should phone the doula, which i did myself and then handed the phone to my partner as another contraction came!
By the time i got out of the shower i was having to hold on to the door handles and sway my hips, as my partner hurried to get our little girl up and called family to take her round to his Mum’s. By the time i got to the bedroom i was having to hold on to the windowsill and bed , lower to the ground. I became really hot, felt sick, threw off my dressing gown and wished i had prepared some more floor coverings for the bedroom suddenly as i realised this was where i was going to be labouring! My partner came up from sorting out our little girl and making phonecalls to the doula and midwives, and i held on to his shoulders, and asked for my ball and some towels. from this point i had about twenty minutes of intense labour where i dont remember having any thoughts , i think i just went inside myself and breathed my way through the contractions. Shortly after this i had intense pressure in my lower back, and then very soon i could feel things were changing- a sense of calm came over me and the energy changed ; contractions seemed spaced out a little, and i knew that this was transition. My partner told me the midwives were on their way but i knew the baby was coming as i began to feel an incredible force bearing down to bring my baby out. I knew i didnt have to do anything, to breathe and allow my body to lead me, I remembered Ina May Gaskin’s ‘raspberry lips’ which i had been looking at on Youtube the night before, and just did this as the contractions came on. I told my partner to ring 999, and i heard him say ‘My wife’s in labour- St Marys- but we’re having a home birth’ i said to him ‘tell them you need instructions’; then i felt a bulging , like a soft baloon, coming out of me, and he said ‘i can see the head! But theres a sac covering it- its bulging out of her- i dont know what it is’; i heard the operator say ‘ if you can see the head tell me’ and ‘if your wife feels like pushing tell me’; i knew that it was closer than they thought. Then she said ‘tell her to lie on her back’ , which i did, worrying that this ‘sac’ might be the placenta blocking the baby’s exit and fleetingly wondering how the hell they would get me into hospital for an emergency section….!! I quickly realised i couldnt stand to be on my back and shouted that i was turning back over, held onto the bed post again on all fours, and then i felt the famous ‘ring of fire’ and with a slow, beautiful and powerful force, felt my baby’s head being born. my partner told the operator ‘his head’s out!’ and what i couldnt see was, his head was still inside his amniotic sac, my partner described it as strecthed like cling film over his face! Then the operator said ( which i could see the irony of at the time and makes me giggle) ‘tell your wife to keep pushing’!!! I knew i didnt have to do anything, and waited for a beautiful peaceful pause before the next contraction brought the baby’s body out and i shouted ‘YES!” his daddy caught him and saw that he needed to unhook the cord from around his neck; the operator told him to rub baby’s mouth and nose, and rub him quickly with a towel. I turned around to see the thick rope of the umbilical cord curling up to my beautiful boy!! Then there was a knock on the door and thinking it must be the ambulance my partner passed the baby through my legs and ran to unlock it, then ran back up to see me holding my slippery baby, still kneeling in the same spot. It turned out to be my partner’s brother and neice at the door and they came in and looked after our little girl, who had been downstairs playing all this time, fully hearing what was going on but staying calm!!! The ambulance came a couple of minutes later, and the 2 lady paramedics were gentle and lovely; they knew about mine and baby’s haemophilia status and we were debating about how the cord bloods were going to be collected by the midwives and what they were going to give me for the 3rd stage injection; however, i got both my natural 3rd stage and my precious cord bloods going to the baby as by the time they decided to clamp and cut the cord, it was a good few minutes later. When the midwife got there she had a look and told me the placenta was ready to come out, i pushed gently and there it was! 10 mins after the birth. She managed to get the cord bloods which had to be taken to St Marys urgently.
The background to all of that was that i had had a late amnio to detrmine whether the baby had haemophilia, which came back positive ( i am a carrier of mild haemophilia with low levels myself but mine normalise in pregnancy; i have a 50:50 chance of having an affected boy). Despite being advised to have a hospital birth i had insisted i felt a home birth was safer for me, (and how right i was!) , and my consultant had been very supportive of my choice once she realised i was serious about it. I had strict time limits laid out on how long my second stage could be as the concern was that any trauma to the babys head could cause a bleed. my first baby’s birth had involved a difficult second stage, she came out OP and had become distressed and had some swelling of the head; so of course my fears were of the same thing happening but with worse consequences , especially as the midwives kept telling me that this baby was either OP or ‘spine to the right’.
My doula had done some rebozo on me the week before and im sure that , as well as the daily yoga, yoga and birth prep classes with Sarah Hague, acupuncture from Balwant Kaur, chiropractic from Sally Scott, natal hypnotherapy,etc!!…. helped the baby to turn into a tip top position when it mattered!
What i find most amazing is that he was born ‘in the caul’ which i considered rare and special anyway, but for a baby with haemophilia, its like being born with a giant duvet wrapped round the head!! How perfect!!
PS our doula got there just before the midwife; her face when she saw the baby was a picture!!
Reflecting on which of the many things i had read about and practiced helped me get through labour so easily this time, its really hard to pin down. I did use the
‘ooohaaah’ exhale that we had practiced at pregnancy yoga, all through the first stage, and i used golden thread breath, as described by Uma Dinsmore- Tuli, during the strong afterpains that i got when first feeding him. Other than those and ‘raspberry lips’ , i think it was a combination of the yoga positions i had been practicing which really helped me tune in to the right muscles and think about the physiology of birth as well as chilling me out and giving me inner strength. I had also been using acupressure for late pregnancy and bringing on labour, as taught by Debra Betts ; passed on to me by Balwant my acupuncturist. i was actually doing some strong acupressure to a point on my hand shortly before contractions began, and the previous day my partner had done some really strong acupressure on various points too. (he had come along to see my acupuncturist and learn this from her).
To summarise i can honestly say I enjoyed my 1 hour and 7 minutes!!!, I would say it was an ecstatic birth, and not at all an experience of pain. I would love my story to inspire all Mums to be that birth can be beautiful, quick, gentle, powerful and amazing; second timers with how much easier it can be; and to encourage peoples’confidence in their own body ( and their partners ability to deliver the baby if neccessary!!)
I am now settling in to being a Mum of 2, and with my partner starting a new job working away from home alot it has had its tough moments already. My little boy is gorgeous, and a pretty happy chap after his gentle entry into this world! I’m looking forward to getting back to yoga again , and have had to go easy on myself and remind myself that i may be feeling well, but i have still just given birth! More than ever i feel that yoga is what can tie together and underpin my life as a Mum, and i cant wait to get back to teaching, this time with a very current connection to the Mums in the class as i will be teaching with my baby!
See you soon out in the big wide world! x