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The Birth of Benji

I was 42 weeks and 1 day when I had my beautiful baby boy Benjamin Louis through water, at home.

I wanted to have a natural water home birth with no pain medication.

And we had everything we needed to make this happen, including having our team of private midwives and doing Hypnobirthing with Jess (at 39 weeks pregnant!!);

however I was still pregnant with no signs of labour at 41 and a half weeks, and I worried that things wouldn't happen. This is when I decided to get a check up and CTG scan at the hospital to ensure all was well.

We arrived at the hospital for our appointment at 41 weeks and 6 days (Monday) for our check up. The doctor assessed me and requested to check my cervical dilation, if any; reluctantly and nervously I allowed the doctor to perform the VE and I remembered to remain calm and breath through it. The doctor was surprised to find I was already 4cm dilated and they wanted to immediately take me in for an induction. I declined, and was nervous when the doctor then brought in two other doctors to tell me I had to do this and left me little choice to decide for myself. I was extremely nervous and shaking but thankfully my husband was with me and told them we would look into an induction after we get our CTG scan. #advocate #birthpartnerrole

Now in the maternity assessment bay, I got all the equipment hooked up to me and we could see active contractions on the CTG; which was strange as I couldn’t feel a single one of them. I remained hooked up to the machine for around 2 hours and we could see the contractions increasing in intensity and frequency.

Another doctor came to us and requested we move to induction immediately; making me nervous again, so I let my birth partner do the talking for me. He told the doctor that we only came in because we saw no signs of labour, but we can now see that I am 4cm dilated and have active contractions and that we would rather head home and stick to our birth plan.

We did however agree to have an induction appointment booked for after 42 weeks, in two days time, just in case labour did not continue.

We asked to have the induction on 42 weeks and 1 day (Wednesday) in the afternoon.

We finally left and began driving home and I felt relief finally leaving the hospital.

That night we got everything ready for the home water birth, filled up the birthing pool, got the water heater in the pool to maintain temperature and prepared the room for the birth. The next morning I got a call from the hospital stating to come in that afternoon for an induction, which I declined as that is not what I agreed to last night. I told them I would come in tomorrow night as we agreed upon. We spent the day preparing everything and then packing our bags in case our baby didn’t come by the next day. That evening we received a text confirmation of our induction appointment at the hospital which read 6 AM tomorrow... we didn’t bother disputing it and decided to get an early night sleep instead.

At around 1:20am I woke up to intense cramps/ surges that would come and go very frequently. I went to the toilet thinking it was my stomach but soon realised this was the real deal. I jokingly said to my husband “thunderbirds are go!". I got my husband to get me a heat wheat pack for me and set up my phone on my affirmation videos. After he called the midwife to let her know that we were labouring and asked her to come over.

After the phone call my husband put two kettles on in the bathroom to heat up the pool. He alternated between holding my hands through surges and topping the pool up with boiled water. When Meg, our midwife, finally arrived she took over from my husband topping up the pool. My husband, Alex, stayed with me for about another half an hour before taking me to the birthing pool, first helping me in and then setting my laptop up in the baby cot and changing from the affirmation videos to a soothing ocean soundtrack.

I remained in the motions of the surges in the pool until it came time to bear down, around 5:30am. Meg called our other midwife Mae't over for assistance, which she arrived around 6am. Mae't helped me through the process, especially when she held my hips during large pushes. It was an intense process, where I slept between surges to recover my energy. Finally our baby came out at 8:21am, Wednesday 2nd September.

Our baby came out in one big push and covered in the amniotic sac (En Caul). I pulled out our baby and put a towel over them. Our baby had fluid in their nose and mouth, so my husband had to put his mouth over all of it and suck it all out, because I was too tired and weak to lift our baby high enough to do it myself. After my hubby gave our baby the kiss of life, I checked and he was a BOY! Our beautiful baby was a boy! We both cried so hard, we were over the moon.

I sat in the pool for another 20 minutes and cleaned our son up. I had no more surges so it came time to get out and as soon as I stood up straight, the placenta dropped straight out and went SPLAT like a steak on a BBQ, hahaha, that was the joke I made at the time.

I laid down with our boy on our bed and Mae't helped him latch on for the first time, at 10:55am. After some time the umbilical cord was dried out and hardened; so my husband got the cotton thread, tied it off and cut the cord. Meg now measured our baby. 34cm head circumference, 50.5cm length, 3060 grams/ 6lb 11.9oz.

42weeks 1day gestation

7 and 1/2 hour labour, 2 hours pushing

and we named him Benjamin Louis (Pronounced Lewis).

Our midwife Meg then checked me for any perineal tears. Unfortunately, among a few minor grazes that would heal on their own, there was a labial tear which needed stitches. Our midwives weren’t confident for this kind of labial repair and the midwife they usually have for suturing wasn’t contactable, so we called up the hospital for us to come in for stitches.

We got in the car, my husband drove with me in the back with Benjamin in his car seat. When we got to the hospital, I got my husband to put the carrier wrap on and got Benjamin wrapped up against his chest. My husband also carried our bag and held my hand supporting me when walking to the hospital.

We signed in, saw the reception desk and were shown to our hospital room where we waited for the next 30 minutes for the doctor. We took this time to call family and tell them the exciting news! The doctors came in and gave me 14 stitches.

After we finished up, we got in the car, went home, put Benji in his swaddle, put him in his baby bed and got some well deserved rest.


Midwives: Meg and Mae't It Takes A Village Midwifery

Photo and Video shared with birthing person's permission. Not to be shared except for personal use.

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