It’s hard to know where to start, but I suppose I’ll start with my pregnancy. My pregnancy with Logan was great! I felt fantastic until around the 36/37 week mark when my feet started swelling. It became quite uncomfortable but I was still as active as I could be, spending lots of one on one time with Maverick.
I was not expecting to go to 40 weeks as I had Mav at 38+4 spontaneously! But as the days and weeks went on, I had to find a way to let go of that expectation.
I listened to the Hypnobirthing Australia tracks every night - Surge of the Sea, Rainbow Mist and Baby, Come Out.
I would have quite intense, consistent surges between 3 and 6am for about 8 days before I actually went into labour.
I spoke to baby a lot, especially in those early hours of the morning when it was quiet and we were alone. I told him that I was ready when he was! I had to practice so much surrender.
Matt ran me lots of lavender and clary sage baths, I did meditations and chatted to bub in the bath as well.
I had some amazing cuddles with Matt and with Mav. Mav talked to baby and baby would kick him in the back while we cuddled which Mav absolutely loved.
On the 13th March in the late afternoon, I started to have consistent surges, between 5 and 10 minutes apart for a number of hours. I called my team. We all expected things to move quite quickly as my labour with Mav was only 5 hours.
My midwife, Jacqui, doula, Aimee and photographer, Sarah arrived at around 8pm. I was going between bouncing on the ball and leaning over the lounge. When I stood up though, my surges spaced out. The birth pool was filled and I got in. The relief was instant. The water was amazing. I had my birth playlist playing, reading my affirmations on the wall and having my husband pour water over my back and my sweet Maverick rubbing my shoulder. Aimee was keeping me well hydrated. My pain was significantly less when I felt Matts hands on me, it made my skin tingle.
When I got in the pool, my surges slowed to every 10-15 minutes. Maverick went to bed and I felt very emotional. I felt guilty that he would have to share me and that our relationship would change. I cried.
At about midnight, Jacqui told me she thought that babies position was causing my consistent contractions but I was still in early labour and that I should head to bed and try and get some rest and that she would drop by in the morning to check on me.
I jumped into bed with Maverick and had lots of cuddles. My contractions eased and I had a great nights sleep.
The next day I called my acupuncturist who generously said that she could make a home visit for me. Angie came and gave me a wonderful, INTENSE, treatment. I felt my baby kick like mad! It was very relaxing.
On the 17th March surges started strong and consistently at about 7pm, just after dinner. These sensations were much stronger than before. I went to bed with Maverick, with the mindset that my baby was never going to come. I was 40+3 at this stage having had days of prodromal labour. I was already exhausted.
I was awoken at 11pm with intense surges only a few minutes apart. I stayed in bed for a few hours, breathing and cuddling maverick. I got up at around 2am and woke Matt, telling him that it must be time, that it really hurts and I was going to get into the shower. When I stood in the shower, the contractions didn’t ease as they usually did. They were intense, toe curling, I moaned. I roared.
Matt called my birth team again and they arrived at around 4am. They filled the birth pool again and I got in. Once again, the water provided such a huge relief. I swayed and moaned, vocalisation helping immensely. Maverick got in the pool with me and rubbed my belly.
My surges slowed again, so I got out and leaned against a chair. I felt a trickle of water down my leg and said that I thought my waters may have broken, but wasn’t sure as it wasn’t a gush like it was with Maverick.
At around 8am, everything slowed again. I asked Jacqui for a vaginal examination because I was so defeated and needed to know what my cervix was doing. I was 2cm dilated. I wasn’t upset or disappointed with that as I dilated very quickly with Maverick. We decided to send Mav to preschool, Matt to work and I was going to go back to bed to try and get some rest. Aimee and Jacqui were going to get some breakfast to hang around close to home in case anything happened.
I slept for about 2 hours and was awoken at 11am with intense surges 2-3 minutes apart. I tried to rest between surges and listened to my Hypnobirthing tracks, but I could not concentrate.
My mother in law came around midday and brought lunch. I couldn’t eat, but had some coke for some caffeine and energy. My surges consistently stayed at 2-3 minutes apart if I was standing or upright, or 10 minutes apart if I was lying down. I stayed lying down in bed to get a break and attempted to get rest, but it wasn’t happening.
At around 1:30pm the sensations changed. I knew immediately that baby had moved into a full posterior position. I called my chiropractor. She described a number of manoeuvres to try and ease the sensations and texted me some photos. My mother in law did these manoeuvres and they worked fairly well for a while.
At around 2:30 I messaged Jacqui and told her, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this”. She called soon after and helped me to relax, telling me that my body was doing exactly what I had to do to bring my baby down. She said I should call Aimee but I was still in denial that baby was coming and I didn’t want her to travel all the way down the mountain to have to go all the way back for the third time. In retrospect I definitely should’ve called!
Matt got home around 5pm with Maverick. At this point I was feeling very sorry for myself. I was crying, I felt defeated. I was staying on the bed because I was getting a slightly bigger break between surges. At this point they were painful, and I feel that they were more painful due to my extreme exhaustion.
Matt was doing hip squeezes during surges and putting counter pressure on my back. It must have been frustrating for him because it was never the same spot that provided relief! Maverick was happily playing in his toy room, coming in every so often to tell me I was being too loud!
From this point, things got quite blurry. I lost control a bit… no. Actually, I lost control a lot!
I had a bloody show at around 6pm. This was SO exciting. It was something different, progression! Matt messaged Jac and she called and was also very excited. She heard that I was distressed and said she would make her way over. I think she got to our house around 7pm.
When she walked in, I told her I wanted to die. I told her I was in fact dying.
“No sis, you’re not dying. Let’s hop up and get into the shower”.
So I got in the shower around 7:30ish. I tried to stand, but couldn’t at this point. I was then on all fours and I threw up. Jacqui was sitting on the floor in the doorway telling me that I was doing great. She said that she was going to unpack her things and call Aimee. I cried and told her not to unpack her car because the baby was “never going to come”. She said, “Jaime, we’re not leaving without a baby tonight!” I repeated this in my head multiple times and it helped immensely.
Aimee arrived at about 9pm and I believe this is when Sarah was called. I was back on my bed, really out of control. I was saying that I felt like I was dying. I told Matt I couldn’t do it anymore and true to his tough love style, he said “well we can go to the hospital and they can cut him out?” I needed that reality check!
He never faulted. He was exactly where I needed to be at every turn. He never freaked out, not once did he ever question me or my ability.
I felt such a huge relief when Aimee arrived. Logic and calm. Matt continued to do counter pressure and hip squeezes while Aimee offered me water and kind words of encouragement. I was using acupressure points on my hands when I remembered to as well which actually worked quite well. Aimee asked if I wanted her to call Sarah, our photographer. I said no because it was probably still too early. *it wasn’t.
At some point Mel, my second midwife, arrived!
I asked for another VE and I was 5cm dilated. I asked Jac to break my waters. I really felt that this was the barrier to me progressing even though logically I know that’s not the case. Jac asked if I was sure and asked if I wanted to wait a bit longer. I said no, that I wanted her to break them now, that I couldn’t go on like this any longer.
I went to the bathroom, came back and lay down to have my waters broken. I was 7cm and my waters had already released, so they had broken that morning. I truely believe that I had a mental block, thinking that my waters were still in tact. Once I knew that they weren’t, everything changed. I wanted a completely undisturbed birth, but having a team that I completely trusted and knew, made me comfortable asking for these interventions.
At this point I walked out to the dining room, my contractions taking my breath away. Matt held me and Jac told me to breathe. I couldn’t, it felt like I couldn’t take a breath in. I was on my toes, the pain in my back was intense. I was trying so hard to breathe but at this point I just felt high. I felt out of control and like the room was spinning. Everyone’s voices were distant and echo-y. Jac suggested going to sit on the toilet.
I went and sat on the toilet with Aimee, while Matt tried to get Mav to sleep. We definitely didn’t expect things to move this quickly. I had actually accepted that my baby was NEVER going to come. It sounds crazy, but I literally accepted that I was no longer going to be alive. I felt really calm at this point internally, no too sure about externally. I surrendered.
I had one contraction on the toilet which was very strong. Then another and I felt my babies head drop. I started to get the urge to push. I couldn’t speak or think. It felt like the world was spinning and everything was in slow motion. I was aware that Sarah hadn't arrived yet, but at that point I didn't have the energy or the focus to care. I'm very thankful though that Aimee took lots of video and photos!
Aimee called Jac over and they helped me into the pool that someone had filled. I called out for Matt who was still trying to get Mav to sleep. Matt grabbed Abby and Mav and brought them to the pool. The pain eased immediately as I got in the pool and knowing that my family was around me made me feel safe and excited.
The next contraction, I felt like I was doing the biggest poo of my life. It had to be poo because as I said, I had accepted that my baby was never coming.
I felt the familiar stretching of my perineum, it’s not something you forget. My babies head was born at 10:08pm. I reached down and felt my babies head, with lots of hair! I felt so much relief. I knew that I would meet my baby in the next few minutes and I was so excited and ready for my back pain to stop.
Feeling his head was surreal. I longed for that in Mavs birth but it was railroaded. Even now when I touch Logan’s head, I’m taken back to that moment. It makes me so emotional!
The next contraction, I pushed the rest of my baby out, receiving him into my own arms. It was the most surreal, amazing moment. Overwhelming relief was what I felt. The pain was gone. I finally had my baby even though I was convinced he would never ever come. And I was alive.
I cried. And cried. And cried.
Maverick got in the pool with me, Matt stroked my shoulder and Abby watched on. It was absolutely amazing. Looking at my beautiful baby, he was not what I expected. I suppose I expected to see a little Maverick, but he was a completely different little person. I looked for Maverick immediately and he was already bigger than he had been hours earlier. The look of adoration and love on his face still brings tears to my eyes. I will never forget the look on his face as he met his baby brother. Maverick said, "you are beautiful mum" which just melted my heart! For weeks afterwards he would randomly say "mum is so strong and beautiful".
It was at this point I felt myself coming back into my body. I realised that I was in the spot that I had sat in my mother blessing a few weeks prior. How powerful to have all the candles from my tribe in eyesight, all my affirmations. Just the feeling of being held, even from afar. I still have my birth alter set up today and don’t see me taking things down anytime soon.
Matt FaceTimed my mum and I spoke to her for a couple of minutes and showed her our new baby.
About 20 minutes after Logan’s birth Jac asked if we minded cutting the cord, getting bub skin to skin with dad, birthing the placenta and getting baby fed. He was very, very small and a bit congested so we just wanted to make sure that everything was ok.
About 5 minutes after that, the placenta was birthed, completely naturally. I felt some stinging and assumed that I may have some tearing.
I got up and felt empty. It was a sensation that I don’t remember feeling with Maverick. I felt completely hollow and it made me feel sick. I made my way to the couch and held my baby to my chest and he began to feed. Once again there was so much relief that I wasn’t having any pain. Sarah arrived around this time. She saw me on the lounge but continued through to the birth area and saw the others emptying the pool. She said that she thought it was another false alarm until they told her I was on the couch with the baby!
I was so ravenous all of a sudden. Someone made me vegemite toast and it was the most amazing meal I’ve ever had!
Baby was fine, just very small. Jac gave us a tour of the very cute, small placenta while I ate all the food. I think I had the toast, 2 muesli bars and an apple in about a 5 minute period.
Jac checked to see if I had torn.. not even a graze! Baby was 2.5kg and was 48cm long!
It was so amazing to be surrounded by the people I love and to be in the comfort of my own home. The next few hours were simply bliss. Matt took Mav to bed, Abby went to bed. My mother in law went home. Jacqui and Mel put down the pool and packed away their stuff. I sat with Aimee and Sarah for another hour or so and talked about everything that had just happened. It was so beautiful, just being with women in that space.
My birth was not what I had planned for or what I had expected. I feel that I was in my own head quite a bit, overanalysing. The support of the people around me though, grounded me, even momentarily. I do not have any regrets about the choices I made because I know that they were the best choices for me in that moment. I never felt pressured into anything!
Our little Logan showed me that I have strength and courage that I never thought I had. He showed me patience and love that knows no limits. It was empowering and painful and transcending and staggering. It obliterated every part of me and then just as quickly made me whole again, expanding my heart in the process.
It was birth.