Updated: Jun 5
Our birthing journey began on Friday morning, unbeknownst to me at the time. As I stood up from a late brekkie of eggs and Vegemite on toast, I felt a trickle of water run into my undies. I didn’t think much of it at the time and went about my day as normal, chatting to friends about what I’d experienced and joking that my waters had broken. One friend being a midwife recommended I go to the hospital to check if it actually was my waters breaking, a simple observation and swab test. I decided to wait until the morning and see if anything transpired over night, but nothing. Most women who experience a pre-labour release of membrane at term will go into spontaneous labour within 24 hours. Apparently not me!
On Saturday morning I felt a similar trickling feeling when I got out of bed, so I phoned the midwives at the hospital and they wanted to get me in for the test, just to be sure, so off I went. The test was similar to a pap smear and came back positive as being amniotic fluid. They also noticed my uterus was regularly tightening - I thought this was just my baby stretching inside my belly. So my waters had released…. well that was uneventful!
We made a plan to come back in the morning to check on bub’s heart rate, and an induction was booked in for 6am Monday morning. This was something I really didn't want. My dream birth vision was a smooth, spontaneous, physiological water birth, with no (or minimal) intervention.
I messaged Jess (Mother Moon Hypnobirthing) for information on prelabour release of membranes, and chat about what we could be doing. We hadn't completed our Hypnobirthing course yet! We were due to learn about all the variations of birth the very next day. She gave us some helpful tools.
So of course, I went home to do ALL the things to bring this labour on naturally. We’re talking curb walking, squats, rebozo, meditations, affirmations, raspberry leaf tea, clary sage and a quick trip to my chiro.
I went to bed that night with a very light period-like cramp in my abdomen - was this a sign of early labour?!
I woke around 3am Sunday morning with some heavier cramps which got me out of bed in excitement. By about 5am I noticed these cramps had turned into steady light surges but I still wasn’t entirely sure if these were contractions or not, so I just kept on with my meditations and breathing exercises that were preparing me for what was to come. My bowels opened up and I knew this was a sign of early labour. At about 6:30am it was game on, I was definitely having frequent surges now that we’re getting stronger and stronger. I got in the shower and told Corey to get out of bed. Our baby was coming!
The surges were coming hard and fast now with only a 2 minute gap in between. It was time for the TENS machine. Corey helped get me set up with that and was offering rebozo, light touch massage, and activating pressure points during each surge. I phoned the midwife at around 7:15am to let them know I was well and truly in labour. I was still in a very calm state of mind at this point, breathing through the surges and able to speak the entire way through (which I think tricked them into thinking I still had a long while to go!).
All of a sudden everything intensified. I jumped back in the shower and in the next surge heard a little “pop” as my waters fully released.
I knew our baby was close now, I wasn’t getting any breaks between surges and was feeling like I needed to start pushing. Luckily we live 2 minutes from the hospital!
We walked in to hospital around 9:30am and was greeted by our midwife, Lucy. Straight away I was not able to control my body, it had taken over completely and I began to bear down at the end of the bed almost immediately after arriving in hospital. Corey was jiggling my hips from side to side through each surge which was the only thing getting me through (that and the very loud grunting!).
Once the pool was filled the midwife helped me in and I felt the instant relief. I was able to calm back down and focus on my breathing again.
After about 20 minutes of pushing, the transition phase hit me. “I can’t do it”, “he’s not going to fit”, “it hurts”, “give me the drugs” are all words that starting to come out of my mouth. That was met with Lucy and Corey’s affirming words “you CAN do it, and you ARE doing it”, “you’re doing amazing”, “he’s almost here”, “breathe”, “we’re going to meet our baby soon”. This is exactly what I needed to hear as my body shook and the doubts started to creep in. I began envisioning our baby boy through a J-breathing technique I’d just learnt at Hypnobirthing classes. I felt his head crowning, and then go back inside. If I hadn’t have literally just learnt that this is totally normal and that it can help to reduce the chance of tearing then I’m sure I would have freaked out. And his head did just that.
Next thing I know, his head was out and then followed his little body with the next surge. I slowly helped him out and brought him up to my chest. I did it! We did it!
His little head came straight up and he looked around the room, wide eyed, so calm, so beautiful. He let out a little cry and just like that our lives had changed completely, forever.
Oaklan John, born 10:52am. 💙
I am in absolute awe of my amazing body, for allowing me to live out my dream birth.
I am so thankful to Jess from Mothermoon Hypnobirthing for teaching Corey and I so many techniques that we used throughout the process and for helping to eliminate any lingering fear that was present up until the week before my birth. I was able to go into my birth with full trust in my body and my baby, and so much knowledge about the physiology of giving birth. Knowledge is power.
Big thanks to Cracknell Chiropractic for working your magic throughout my pregnancy, up until the very last minute (must’ve been that last minute visit that got me over the line and into labour).
To all the staff at the Redlands Hospital for guiding me through my pregnancy, and to Lucy for helping me birth little Oaklan for my hospital waterbirth. They all had a beautiful, natural approach to birth which was amazing!!
To all my friends and family who supported me through my pregnancy and into birth.
And to Corey. For not only gifting me with this devine little being, but for being the best support through that journey. For grounding me and being a calm presence, and for letting me lean on you (and squeeze you and scream at you, and pull on you!).
I wouldn’t say I’m ready to do it all again just yet, but I am so so glad I came out the other end with a happy, healthy little baby boy, and a positive story to tell. ❤️