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My birth story was written below for a magazine, so its all neat and stuff.
MY BIRTH STORY
My pregnancy was a stressful one; I had a scare at 8 weeks when we found that I had a subchorionic haematoma which caused the placenta to partially pull away from the uterus. I was terrified that I would loose another baby suffering a miscarriage round the same gestation a few months before. After a week of bed rest I was reassured that everything was back to normal and the baby was fine. Needless to say my pregnancy continued on the path of stress and worry.
In my 26th week of pregnancy I was doing my usual facebook status update when I noticed a friend of mine had uploaded her birthing pictures. So curiously I had a look to find that she had her mom, husband and two other women in the room with her. Not to mention she was sitting in a bath of water. This intrigued me, so I decided to drop a mail and ask her how her birth experience was. She had a natural midwife birth in hospital accompanied by a doula and she swore it was the best thing she had ever done. No pain relief nothing, just support – which is exactly what I felt I needed. I got in contact with the midwife at Cheryl’s Gentle Birth and the doula. They then came to see me to explain everything about a natural midwife birth. We spent a good few hours going through the pros and cons. Cheryl informed me that gentle born babies are born into the world as nature intended them to be and are more alert after birth. The mother is supported the whole way through her pregnancy and birth by the midwife and doula. I suffer with depression and had to go off my medication in order to fall pregnant. With all the mounting stress of the scare and work I was advised to go back onto my medication. The thought of having two extra people looking over me during my pregnancy and birth soothed me and contributed to my decision to having a natural midwife birth. I still suffered with anxiety which brought on severe Braxton hicks contractions. I had a preterm labour scare at 27 weeks gestation and was placed on a month’s bed rest. During this time I had several visits from my doula and midwife who would make sure I was well nourished and comfortable and all this would help for a happier mom and baby.
The midwife approach was one I never thought of looking into but with each consultation we got to know each other more, we became almost like family. Cheryl’s compassion and constant reassurance made me feel that this was going to be an experience of a life time and there was no better way to do this. Our consultations were a full hour long, different to the 15 minute session with my gynae in which spent most of the time, it seemed, trying to jog his memory of who I was. My birth plan was welcomed and she assured me that she would help me achieve my wishes.
On Wednesday 3rd June 2009, i was 39 weeks and 6 days, my husband Brett and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner, for weeks he had been telling me I would be going into labour any minute and I would tell him I didn’t think so, however tonight I felt different. I turned and said to him “love, I think by the end of tonight I will be in labour”, his eyes wide, he had never heard me say I would be going into labour. True to my word I lost my mucus plug at about 9pm. A flood of memories from my previous miscarriage rushed into my head that I was totally prepared for, my midwife and doula said that labour can sometimes bring back memories where one experienced fear and anxiety, for me it was fear. I knew I wasn’t losing my baby and it was just the mucus plug coming away from the cervix. After calling my midwife and telling her what I had just seen she replies “don’t get excited, sometimes this can happen with no sign of labour soon after. Just keep me updated if anything else happens”. Then at 10pm while I was lying in bed my water broke. Amazingly I had laid down a linen saver before I lay down, my instincts took over that night and I just knew it was the thing to do. I called for my husband who came running, in a panic he started to get all my labour bags together, my mother was with me at this time and helped me off the bed and cleaned up. contractions started shortly after that. I had been having braxton hicks contractions from the previous Saturday but they were different because I had mild period pain and back pain, when these contractions started I could immediately feel the difference between the braxton contractions and these. These would peak and then slowly fall. I called my midwife to ask if we should meet at the hospital. To my astonishment she replied “no need just yet, try getting some sleep”. Pardon? Sleep? When, now? You kidding me right? So I got into bed but soon after was sitting on my birthing ball next to the bed with my wheaty-bag against my aching belly breathing as I had been shown by my doula in our one on one antenatal classes. The contractions were steady at 3min apart 50 sec long.
At about 1am I decided it was time to contact the doula and head to the hospital. I felt that I wasn’t progressing at home because I was so worried about WHEN this prelabour would turn to ACTIVE labour. After discussing how I felt with my midwife we left for the hospital when we got to the hospital both doula and midwife was there. Annie, my doula, had soothing music playing in the background, the lights were dimmed and a birthing ball was waiting for me. The birthing ball was the place I felt most comfortable throughout my pregnancy and during labour there was no exception.
We got settled and my midwife said I mustn't get to excited I may only be a few centre meters dilated so I got on the bed for an internal. I was a whopping 8 centre meters dilated! But baby was not descending. So Brett did a massage on my shoulders that Annie had shown him during our antenatal classes it triggers a pressure point that aids in helping baby descend.
Annie also had her tens machine on her from a previous birth and asked if I wanted to try it. It takes your mind off the contraction because of the vibrating and pulsating impulse it sends through your lower back.
From 2am I was in active labour. Contractions were strong and really close together but I loved the end of every contraction, it meant a few minutes break where I could laugh and joke and have a bite of an energy bar and juice that my doula insisted I have to keep my energy levels up.
We also had to try and keep my midwife awake who kept falling asleep in the lounger. She said that I had everything under control and there wasn’t anything she needed to do. The support during my labour was amazing. We had all created such a bond during our prenatal appointments that we felt like family.
At about 4:30am I was offered to get in the birthing pool, what an epidural! It was amazing; my pain was soothed by the warmth of the water. But the pushing urge came in quite quick after I got in, but I battled to push in the water, I couldn't tell if I wanted to push or not so my midwife advised that I get out and onto the bed. I was still coping just fine, transition was in effect. I got onto the bed and wanted to push but my pushing contractions were weak so I had to have a drip administered to make them stronger. After a few minutes I think the drip started to kick in as I started to feel the pushing urge coming on strong.
After pushing for a short while the midwife checked my cervix. Baby was stuck in my cervix and the midwife had to pull my cervix up and that’s when she found our baby had her elbows at her face, this is what was making my pushing so difficult. All through this I had encouraging words from my doula, husband and midwife, my mother, mother-in-law and best friend had joined us in the labour room to give me support. I was so encouraged and all I could think about was holding my precious gift in my arms.
It was time to push, with every contraction I held my breath grabbed my thighs and pushed so hard. It was the hardest part of the whole labour. Pushing was so intense. From all the holding my breath when pushing I had to have oxygen. I felt like I was going to pass out so the doula gave me the mask. It was such a relief.
When our baby crowned my midwife told me to reach down and feel. It was so weird, all I could feel was hair and skin! Then one last push and out came her head and Morgan Paige was born. On the 4th of June 2009 at 5:25am our baby girl was born.
I was so overwhelmed, exhausted but bursting with love. I looked at her and said "is she mine? Is this her" it was such a strange feeling. This is who I had been dreaming to meet, who was taking up occupation of my abdomen for 9 months. It was crazy to fathom all of this. She was beautiful and alert and just perfect.
All the pain, sweat and work were worth every second. It was so rewarding to give birth the way nature intended. I am so proud of myself. I consider myself a ninny for pain but WOW I pushed a baby out without any pain relief, only support. If I had to say what the best part was I would say having my family witness and support such an event, because the first thing I did after Morgan was born was call for my mom, and there she was ready to hold my hand while Brett was busy bonding with his daughter. The worst part was the internal examinations and the needle for the IV. I hate needles and just did not like the interals at all. Thanks to a friend who introduced me to the natural way of midwife birth I had the birth experience I wanted to have. It was a beautiful experience and recommend that every mother to be look into it.
at the hospital and ready to have a baby!
a much needed pressure massage to help baby to descend (she wasnt descending well)
we had time to chat and laugh inbetween contractions
my midwife, she was cold so my doula heated up some blankets to keep her warm!
my husband concerned about me being in pain
my big belly for the last time
using the tens machine
a contraction in action
me in the birth pool
after getting out the pool and onto the bed to push
I HAVE REALLY GRAPHIC PICTURES OF THE ACTUAL BIRTH BUT IM NOT SURE IF I CAN POST THEM
proud to present Morgan Paige Robertson
daddy and baby bonding while mom gets stitched up
3.8 Kgs, 52cm long
mom bonding with baby
mom and baby having a bath before heading up to the maternity ward