The Birth of Everett
On Thursday the 17th of March I was 40weeks + 4days pregnant and had a midwife appointment. She said baby wasn't fully engaged yet so I could probably expect another week or so. I was fully prepared to go to 42 weeks, so I had no expectations. Later that evening I had really light period type cramping. One of our dogs, Hazel, was sick so I didn't really think much of it as we were fussing over her.
At around 2:30am I woke to the cramping becoming stronger and noticeably coming, rising and falling. Surges! Still very light though, so I messaged my best friend telling her I was in early labour and tried to go back to sleep. I was too excited to sleep and they progressively got stronger and closer together. At around 5am I wasn't comfortable laying down anymore. I stood beside the bed, swaying as each one came and went. Mark woke up at around 5:30 and asked me what I was doing and I said 'we might have a baby today'.
Mark ran me a bath at around 6am and started to get the birth space ready. I told Mark not to fill the pool up yet as I didn't want to waste hot water and was expecting my labour to go on for hours. I messaged my midwife and photographer to let them know I was in early labour.
I only lasted in the bath about half an hour and was too uncomfortable so got out and went back to bed. Then to the shower, then back to bed, just breathing and watching my incredible uterus tightening through each surge as they increased in intensity. I was tossing around on the bed trying to get comfortable when I so vividly remember thinking in my head 'oh my god, I can't do this. I can't do this' and had the feeling of needing to cry. I said out loud to Mark 'no way, this can't be transition already!'. It was only 7:30am.
Something changed. I immediately felt the need to go to the toilet. When I got there my body started bearing down. I yelled out to Mark 'call Trish, I think I'm pushing!' He called her and she was already attending another birth so she had our back up midwife call us back. I spoke to her and explain that the surges felt different. Rather than it feeling like tightening across my stomach, it now felt like an uncontrollable downwards push. It was amazing. I couldn't talk while my body was bearing down. These unfamiliar primal moans were so naturally leaving my mouth. Alex, the backup midwife, told me to get off the toilet and that she was on her way.
Mark was amazing. He was filling up the pool, had my Hypnobirthing music on, had candles burning, getting my space ready how we had planned. He was preparing for our midwives to not make it in time as they were nearly an hour away and it was peak hour. I came out of the room and told him to turn everything off. Poor guy.
In the moment I wanted silence and darkness.
My body bore down. It bought me to my knees on the loungeroom floor. Finally the pool was full. I got in and instantly felt relaxed. Like I was home. I closed my eyes and relaxed my jaw. I was in the zone. I was ready to meet my son.
I remember breathing and moaning through these powerful surges and once they would finish I would say 'wow'. They felt incredible. I was in total awe of my amazing body and baby working together.
At some point my 2 midwives and photographer arrived almost unnoticed by me. Mark's presence kept me feeling safe and supported. He was feeding me coconut water and honey. While in the pool I was getting cramps in my thighs and calves. The cramps kept bringing me out of my labour land. They were so painful. My beautiful midwives tried massaging them out as best they could.
They had me try a few different birthing positions to get comfortable and to try get baby to move further down my birth canal. Alex palpated my belly and said he felt posterior. She suggested we tried to go sit on the toilet. I begrudgingly got out of the pool with Mark's help. I had 2 surges on my way there which I instinctively dropped to the ground on my knees. I could feel baby's head right there. He was close.
I sat on the toilet and had two of the most fierce surges. I couldn't explain what they felt like if I tried. On the third, I could feel baby's head crowning. I rose up and stood while his head came out. He was facing the inside of my left thigh. Alex told me to put my foot up on the toilet seat. On the next surge the rest of his body came out stopping at my thighs. In that instant I had this feeling of both invincibility and clarity. I felt calm and everything looked clear.
Like I was born a new woman in that moment. A mother. So fierce. So powerful.
Mark received him. He had his umbilical cord around his neck 3 times and wrapped around his body too. Mark passed him under my leg, that was still up on the toilet, to Trish who was behind me. She unwrapped him and passed him back to through my leg to Mark. Mark bought him up and gave him to me. He let out these tiny little grunts. We blew on his face and I turned him over to help him clear his airways. He let out the most beautiful cry I've ever heard.
Our son was here.
~Everett~ 'brave; strong as a wild boar'
He entered the world with so much force, he bought his placenta with him too. We went to the couch and had uninterrupted skin on skin. My midwives made me toast, cleaned up the birth space and emptied the pool.
Being in our own home made me feel so relaxed. Knowing we didn't have to go anywhere or see anyone. I don't feel like I did anything the whole labour and birth, just moved in to different positions. My body and my baby did all the work. I knew what they had to do and had so much trust in them. I was just there for the most wild ride of my life. I'm so proud of them both. I can't wait to do it again.
Incredible mama Adelle