22nd June 2017
Off to KEMH today again, for another check up, ECG/ultrasound to make sure baby is still cephalic and monitor heart rate etc because fluid is a bit low and I’m over 40 weeks now so you know, panic panic.
I’m bummed because even though Bub has turned from breech to cephalic I still can’t have a homebirth, due to low fluid, I’m actually devastated, not just bummed. I am going to have to move on from this feeling otherwise Bub is not going to come EVER and I am NOT being induced. Sex it is haha.
I am home, and I feel deflated, Bub is fine, moving beautifully, heart rate is great yet I’m not only being pushed by the hospital for an induction, but now also my “stand in” community midwife …………my usual CMP is off duty at the moment. I’ve spoken to CMP and have been swayed to have a stretch and sweep, I’m ok with this. If it gets things going then WINNING.
Stretch and sweep done.
Been crying to Aidan because I feel like it’s been a repeat of my first birth, I’ve had to fight the system AGAIN. He suggested to look into private midwife who would be willing to let us have the home birth. (Did I hear right?) This from the guy who was a big fat NO to a homebirth at the beginning of the pregnancy? I got in contact with my doula friend, who got in contact with her private midwife and we got things going.
Sigh of relief. The private midwife told me she would be happy to take me onboard but if I went into labour tonight she wouldn’t be able to, we organised to have a one on one in the morning.
Having chatted to Aidan and the midwife I feel relaxed again, I feel like I can breath again, and have gained the attitude of what will be will be again.
7pm – Low and behold……………….I’ve lost my mucous plug, and not just a small amount – all of it. I know it’s not necessary going to be “IT” but I kind of know it is. Mary has been tucked into bed already so let’s see what happens.
I’ve had some cramping, but I’ve had “some” cramping for the last week. Wait, wait, there is some more cramping………….and more……….I’m bouncing away on my birthing ball while watching a movie in the theatre room with Aidan……..I decide to time things just to get an idea………..11 minutes, 8 minutes, 8 minutes, 7 minutes.
Yep I’m pretty sure this is it. I call my midwife and tell her what’s up, she advises to get to hospital……….I call Carla and Mum and let them know not to rush but things are happening. (Carla is my sister and my birthing partner, Mum is my amazing Mum who will chill at home and watch Mary)
ENJOYING THE CALM BUILD UP
I have decided to migrate to our living area where I was meant to birth, and put my hypnobirthing and relaxation tracks on with all the candles lit. My surges were coming in every 5 minutes and lasting about a minute.
After a while of getting myself in my zone, and accepting this was it – I call Aidan in to the living area and asked him to switch off the TV and be present. I wasn’t ready to go to hospital yet, I just wanted to feel safe and comfortable in my own home for a while longer.
Carla and Mum arrived – it’s 9:00pm, I’ve had 1 or 2 surges while they were here, 1 was a pretty intense one which makes me think we need to get going. It’s now that I tell Aidan he needs to call Cat the “birth photographer”, Aidan didn’t know I had organised her………….he couldn’t argue with me now, I was in labour (plan worked) hahahaha.
Cat did my maternity/family photo shoot and they are amazing, she is amazing. So we let Cat know and got in the car for the daunting 40 minute drive to Subiaco.
MAKING OUR WAY TO HOSPITAL
Half way to KEMH and Aidan is speeding like a crazy man hahaha I think he is petrified I am going to have this baby in his beloved Nissan Patrol. He has been timing my contractions and tells me I’m having them every 2 minutes. I had actually zoned out listening to my hypnobirthing tracks.
It’s nearly 10PM and we have arrived at KEMH. Malita (CMP- another new face and I didn’t have the pushy one) and Cat are in the labour suite waiting for us. We get in and Carla sets up my diffuser, and puts my relaxation music on. The surges are all in my belly, intense squeezes. I can’t help but reminisce about the intense back and hip labour feels when I was having Mary a short 20 months earlier.
Malita comes over and advises due to low fluid they wanted to do monitoring, I declined and said I’m ok with intermittent Doppler checks if necessary. I also declined any internal examinations, or the canular. We promptly handed over my birth plan.
I asked whether I can labour in the birth pool. Before they gave me the go ahead they wanted to check to be sure Bub is still cephalic and hasn’t turned back to breech , if Bub is still head down all is good for me to labour in the pool.
Bub is head down so off to the pool. I’m advised I can’t actually birth in the pool so once things step up they will get me out and we will go back to the labour ward.
THE LABOUR DANCE
The walk to the pool room wasn’t too bad, I can’t remember whether I had a surge/contraction or not. But god I remember the sheer relief that washed over my body when I lay in the water and my body was weightless – such a relief. The warm water hugging every inch of my body, and my belly floating, it was bliss. My first surge in the bath felt incredible, I could move freely yet every movement I made, the warm water moved with me and gently washed over my belly and back and nearly massaged me.
It felt like things were slowing down in the bath and I was able to catch my breath and relax………I could breath. I had fleeting moments where I was wondering when the next surge would come and why was it taking so long. But then it would come in all its mighty glory. I couldn’t help but move with it, it’s nearly like a dance……….I sway with the intensity, the only way I am able to get relief is move with it and breath through it. And just as quickly as it rises, it falls again, moments to enjoy the calm and just breath.
I distinctly remember one very intense contraction my sister rubbed her hands and then pushed her palms close to my face so I could take a breath in, and it was such a good breath of wild orange essential oil, the smell made me smile and it gave me my energy back, it was amazing how potent that smell in that moment was, it was just what I needed.
Things were getting more intense, I could hear myself groaning, swearing every now and then, loosing myself to the moment. I was a lot more vocal with this labour, a lot more primal.
Malita asked how I was feeling as she had noticed things were ramping up and we may need to move back to the room. I agreed.
Took me a while to get the strength to stand up. And once I did I had probably the most intense surge yet………..this baby was well and truely coming, shit was getting real……….we were going to meet you soon little buddy. Once I was able to walk again we started the journey back to the labour ward, got 3/4 there and I was hit with another intense surge and I was swaying and moaning, I could hear myself as if I was having an outer body experience and in my mind I was like “whoa lady, reign it in a little, you sound like you are having an orgasm”!
THE FINAL STRETCH
We got into the room and I needed the toilet, god I hope I don’t have this baby on the toilet was the first thing that came to mind. BAM another intense surge while being all warrior woman on the toilet – I managed to get off the toilet and was trying to navigate my way into a comfortable position.
They were putting a mattress on the floor for me. In that moment I remembered I laboured a lot on my side with Mary so thought I’d get on the bed and try that………..worst idea ever. BAM another massive surge, baby was making his way down quickly and this position was NOT working for me. I wanted to get out of this position so much but wasn’t able to as I was mid surge and had to somehow labour through it. I’m sure I looked quite possessed in this moment, probably the only time I felt like I wasn’t able to breath through the surge and I was just trying to get through it so I could move into the next position.
As soon as I could I moved, we brought the bed head up so I could lean on it and I was kneeling. This was it, this baby was coming. Next surge I just felt bub drop down, my body took over and I grunted and pushed, stopped………and again, my body took the lead and it pushed.
I could feel myself stretching……….crowing……….it was a welcoming sting……….I knew that meant babies head was there, so I put my hand down to feel, it was………I could feel babies head……….and everything was still……….nothing was happening, just stretching, why wasn’t I pushing?
Why had it stopped…………and then there it was – the last almighty surge, and I swear I would’ve dropped HIM had Malita not guided him out. He came out so quickly and so wrinkly. It was a BOY. A beautiful healthy boy – Malakai Oneill. I knew in my heart all along you were a boy. So nice to meet you my little man.
Malakai was born at 00:44am on the 23rd June 2017, 3.05kg’s and soooooo wrinkly he was like a little sharpey puppy!
We settled in for some beautiful uninterrupted skin on skin and I breathed through some more surges while we had our first breastfeed – I wanted to have a natural third stage (birthing the placenta) which seemed to take forever. I was half an hour in when I was ready to give up. I had my baby now, and I didn’t want to keep having these surges. I asked for the injection to get the placenta out, when Carla looked at me funny and said, “Jack you’ve been riding it out for half an hour already, just get up and move and it will probably come out”.
Someone else suggested to sit on the toilet. So I got up and squatted on the bed while Aidan had his first cuddle – and for those few moments, all 3 of us were connected.
This still wasn’t getting the placenta out, so off to the toilet we trotted and 1 surge later I birthed the placenta. Such a satisfying feeling.
Now it was time to rest and enjoy newborn cuddles with my boy Malakai.
We got home before Mary woke up and suddenly became a family of 4! My heart is soooooo full!
My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula who is inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.
“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”
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