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Our first daughter Mila was born five years ago, she arrived six weeks early via emergency c-section and we spent four weeks in NICU with her while she grew. What came with that was a huge amount of anxiety and now what I know to have been post natal depression. At the time I didn't realise it as I wasn't a 'depressed' person but looking back I now know I really wasn't in a good way.

We spent the next three years trying to conceive again. Loads of money, testing and frustration at not being able to. We tried so many different avenues - Naturopaths, functional doctors, acupuncture, kinesiology - I even did surgery to make sure everything inside was ok. We were pillar's of health on paper but just couldn't get pregnant. We never tried IVF, it was our decision not to. Then finally we got pregnant! It was November 2019 and by January 2020 we had sadly miscarried while holidaying in the Sunshine Coast. I had given up. I was over timing my period and pretty much using my partner as a sperm bank. Any of you that struggle with infertility will know exactly what I mean. Then a miracle happened, we got pregnant in March 2020!

With the pregnancy came a load of anxiety. Would I miscarry. Could I make it to 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 20 weeks. If I made it to 24 weeks it would be hard but we'd surely be ok. Then 30 weeks. My last pregnancy was 34 weeks but we made it to that. It was constantly checking the toilet paper for any blood and really not being able to enjoy any part of being pregnant. Every day was a blessing and we made it to 37 weeks and 3 days so essentially carried her full term. Yay to us!

We'd decided to book a family staycation to have some 'us' time before the birth. I was due to finish in the clinic to start a business owners version of maternity leave but woke feeling really off on my last day. I never cancel clients but I did. I was tired, I had diarrhoea and I thought I had eaten something that had upset my gut. I felt tightening through the day but had also felt this for weeks prior to her arrival so it wasn't too different. I tried to enjoy the day, bobbing around in the resort pool. I had no desire to eat or drink anything and eventually went back to our room to rest. Around 6.30pm I had a shower and thought I had done a wee - I now know this was a bit of my waters breaking. We had completed a Hypnobirthing program with Nicole from Mind, Bump and Birth which was AMAZING. So we knew we were semi prepared to get our VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). I wanted to experience birth so badly. My hospital bag was half packed (at home) and I had my hypnobirthing tracks downloaded on my iPhone.
At 11.30 that night I was back on the toilet with more diarrhoea. By this stage the tightening came on quite quick and strong. I woke my partner and called my midwife. I remember having to hunch over and breathe while I was on the phone to her thinking about what we were going to do with our five year old daughter Mila. We made some calls and dropped her to our friends room who were also staying at the resort around 1am.

We made it to the delivery suite around 1.30am and was asked to be monitored straight away due to my previous history. I was uncomfortable, breathing through my surges with my partner. I wanted to lay down, get up, be on the floor, stand up, nothing was comfortable. I asked to be in water so the midwife got me in the shower. She didn't think she would have time to set up the bath for me. I tried some gas but immediately wanted to vomit, it was horrible. 

My actual midwife was called as well as my student midwife - both didn't make it in time for the birth.

I had around four huge surges and immediately asked for an epidural which was clearly too late. I placed my hands below and felt our babies head, she was almost here! The midwife on duty was just beautiful, she was encouraging me to listen to my body and I kept on hearing her calling me a superwoman over and over. Bless.

By 3.30am I had birthed our baby on the floor of the hospital. It was by far the most insane experience I have ever had. We delayed cord clamping and I asked for more time to deliver my placenta (oxytocin free). This allowed me time to hold our daughter on my chest and enjoy some skin on skin time.

Around 40 minutes later when there was no more life from my placenta to our baby we cut the cord and I accepted the oxytocin injection to help my placenta move. It simply fell out while I was standing after the midwives asked me to give a gentle cough.

My birth plan, hospital bag and any item I had packed to help my birth was not needed. I literally had my handbag, some old iPhone headphones which played my hypnobirthing tracks and my partner. We were home by 9.30am eating breakfast like nothing had ever happened. It was the most surreal experience and so completely different to my first birth. Do I think the first experience more so brought on the post natal depression? Yes. I feel completely different this time. I feel very blessed to have birthed both ways and now can share both of my experiences with you.

We named our little miracle Lola Jean MacFarlane, weighing 2.7kg and arriving very quickly into this world. She is an absolute dream.

As my labour was fast (and I didn't have my bag) I didn't get to use my labour products but I enjoyed the birth prep and postpartum care very much.
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