Updated: Jun 9, 2020
My birth story starts at 39+1, I woke up at 3am to my waters breaking in bed- just the same in my first pregnancy. I was only feeling very gentle twinges, and was able to doze until around 7am. I pottered around at home as I was having irregular uncomfortable contractions and tried to rest as much as possible during the day. My husband took our 3 year old out as I was finding him quite distracting.
It was a lovely cool day so I shut the blinds and watched a funny movie to get the oxytocin flowing. I was bouncing on the fit ball or resting on the couch and gradually started to feel things pick up. I set up my birth space and put up some affirmation cards on the wall near the birth pool.
I laboured over the toilet as things progressed, my contractions became more intense and regular, but I never timed them, just listened to my body and did what felt right. By this point it was around 4pm and I was finding it hard to talk through contractions which were all in my back. I got off the toilet and was leaning against the kitchen bench, Sam was putting a warm washer on my back during a contraction which felt lovely. He texted Louise (midwife) and Rachael (close friend and doula) around 4.30pm and they arrived around 5pm with Trudy (our second midwife) and Jen (student midwife) arriving soon after.
I got in the birth pool at around 5pm, Louise was pouring warm water on my back during contractions. The energy was beautiful, I knew people were coming but the energy was the same, the space was held and respected so beautifully. I was visualising blowing away the contractions as they came. After an hour or so I started to struggle with the intensity of my contractions in the pool, I was losing focus and starting to feel out of control. I couldn’t get comfortable, found the pool too hot, and was feeling as if I couldn’t manage anymore. I was also having some urges to push. Louise suggested I get out of the bath and try labouring on the toilet for a while for a change of scenery. The pain in my back was really intense as bub must have been posterior but sometime around this time he turned as the back pain went. I got out of the bath at around 6pm and sat over the toilet- such a good spot to labour.
This next half hour was incredibly challenging, I was in transition and really struggling. I sat over the toilet and Louise was standing next to me holding my head and my hand. I was still finding the intensity of my contractions really hard to manage and was so angry about how unfair it was, saying I had had enough, and asking why it was so unfair and had to be so painful. At this point I remember fantasising about having an epidural or a c section- which was pretty hilarious given I was at home! I kept saying I didn’t know what to do. I remember transition feeling the same during my first birth too, but the incredible support this time made all the difference.
I was deep in transition, and it was at this point that Louise and Trudy reminded me that the pain was good pain, it couldn’t hurt me, my baby was doing half the work and I didn’t have to do anything and to just surrender to the pain and let go - this was an absolute turning point for me and I calmed down. My mind cleared, I was quiet and just allowed myself to surrender to each contraction- the pain disappeared as I surrendered. I started to have the urge to push and reached down and could feel his head just inside with my fingers, so incredible! Louise asked me where I wanted to have my baby- I said I didn’t care, I just wanted them born. She suggested we go to the bedroom instead.
Everyone had made a beautiful space for me and I kneeled over the end of the bed. Once again I went into my body and let myself be taken over- the urge to bear down was so intense and I kept reaching down and feeling his head. I remember yelling “ow ow ow” and everyone reassuring me his head was almost out. The ring of fire was such an intense feeling, but as soon as his head was out, the urge to push went away and I panted as his head slowly came out. Louise suggested I wait for another contraction to birth his body but I wanted him born and just pushed his whole body out. He was born at 6.54pm, the whole pushing phase in the bedroom was only 14 minutes! We didn’t know he was a boy before he was born, and as a I picked him up i saw we had another little boy.
My placenta came away quickly and with one tiny push I birthed it soon after. We got up on our bed and had skin to skin, he did the breast crawl with some help and fed for around an hour! We cut the cord after an hour or so and looked at and thanked my placenta, weighed and measured him and he had some skin to skin with Sam. His big brother had been playing outside with his grandma and he came in and met him as well. Rachael ordered us all pizza (thank you Uber eats) and it was so lovely, we were all chatting, laughing and eating pizza in our bedroom together.
It was so ordinary yet utterly incredible and transformational- the sacredness and rite of passage of birth felt deeply honoured and respected by everyone in our birth space. Welcoming our beautiful second son into the world on the eve of the last full moon of the year, in our bedroom, peacefully and simply and surrounded by love was such an honour and something I will be eternally grateful to experience.
Written by Zoe Roxon-Hunter