Friday 14 May 2010
My daughter was born on the 14th May 2010. I had had no indication at all that she was going to be born and was quite sure that I would still be pregnant for another week at least. My “estimated due date” (5 may) had come and gone which was not surprising to me at all as I was still very comfortable.
On the 13th, I woke up with a head cold and decided I definitely wouldn’t be having a baby for the next few days – the same thing had happened before my son was born and I had gone two weeks past my “due date” with him.
I woke up at about 1am on the 14th, and tried to convince myself that the stomach cramp that woke me was from eating too many bran muffins. I went to the bathroom and had another contraction within 2 minutes of the first. I realised quickly that this was the real thing and I could really feel the pressure of the baby in my pelvis. I sat there very frustrated that the baby would pick this day of all days to be born. My previous labour had been very long and exhausting and I didn’t know how I would have the energy to go through the same since I was feeling so under the weather. I went back to my bedroom and my husband woke up as I began getting dressed. He looked at me and I nodded, at which point he shook his head. He had the same cold I did and neither of us felt prepared for a night of labour. He got out of bed and went to set the birth pool up. I kept trying to get hold of my midwife, but before I could dial, I would have another contraction that would require all of my focus.I eventually managed to call her and she told me to get comfortable and she would be there soon. She lives about 30 minutes away and in the time that it took her to get to my house (just under an hour), labour had progressed to the point where I was pushing involuntarily. I was in disbelief at how quickly it all seemed to be happening. I had never felt the urge to push during my son’s birth and this time it was so overwhelming. It was very exciting to feel my body bringing my baby into the world with no help from anyone or anything.
I climbed into the birth pool to try and slow things down and it felt SO good but there was little I could do to stop the baby’s descent. The pain of the baby moving through my pelvis was very intense and I was a lot more vocal than I realised at the time. After one particularly strong contraction, my husband told me very matter-of-factly that someone was going to call the cops because I sounded like I was dying. That should definitely be on the list of “what not to tell your wife when she’s in labour.”
My midwife arrived and in the time it took her to get in the door and around to the birth pool, the baby was beginning to crown.
Three pushes later and my beautiful Hannah Joy made her entrance into the world. She was born “in the caul” and is perfect in every way. She nursed moments after emerging from the water. We waited for her cord to stop pulsing before cutting it and the placenta followed about 30 minutes later. We got cleaned up and climbed back into bed just in time for the sun to come up. I didn’t tear at all and hardly felt like I had given birth by the next day.
I have never given birth in a hospital and I hope to never have to. Giving birth at home is normal for us. My babies have always been treated gently by hands that love them. They have entered this world without trauma or pain. I am grateful for the moments after their births when I was allowed to welcome them and hold them close to me in that protective embrace that is so instinctual.
I love birth!