Amanda

My birth story By Amanda

I was lucky enough to go through Midwifery Group Practice for all of my prenatal care. I had an appointment at 39.4 weeks and my midwife said bubs was all good but offered me a stretch and sweep as I was experiencing lots of pressure on my lower back and hips and was wearing a pregnancy hip support belt as advised by my Chiro. I decided to go ahead with it as she said it may or may not help bring things along and bub will decide when they are ready. I had had a few period like pains and cramps the previous day and thought it was all starting then as that is how my first labour started but then they went away.
The day of the stretch and sweep nothing happened nor the next day.

At 12:30am on 39.6 days I was having mild cramps enough that they woke me up. I went back to sleep and woke up at 4am when my waters broke in bed. I couldn’t feel any of the cramping or pains so I waited until 7am to call my midwife. She said to just let my body be and if nothing was happening in about 6 hours time then to call and come into hospital. Almost as soon as I got off the phone to her my contractions started. They were very mild but regular. My husband started getting our son ready for daycare while I was in the shower and they started getting more intense. I said ‘you better hurry up and take him to daycare and get back!’ By the time he got back I was on all fours working through my contractions that had intensified a lot. I wanted a big breaky to get energy for what I knew was to come.

By now my midwife has changed over so unfortunately my main midwife that had followed me throughout my pregnancy wasn’t going to be at my birth. My new midwife said it sounds like it might be time to come in and get checked out. We drove the long trip to the hospital (3 blocks to be exact 🤪) and just as we were getting out of the car I had the biggest contraction yet (really really painful and went for a while) then as we went upstairs to maternity and birth suite and met our new midwife my labour paused. My midwife said this was normal and once I relaxed the contractions would start again. They sure did. Into birth suite we went and my husband said to our midwife ‘are we going to be going back home for labour?’ And she said to him hahah no you’ll stay here now your baby is coming soon!’ I was really keen to try for a water birth. Before jumping in the bath I got checked and I was only 4cm dilated. This was around 10:30am. I couldn’t believe it as my contractions were regular and painful.

As soon as I got into the bath I felt more relaxed. My husband had chilled music playing and sprayed lavender spray. The lights were dimmed and in between contractions it felt like a really calm environment. We instantly clicked with our new midwife and this also made me relax. Things started getting intense and I asked for some gas. This gave me a little relief but not much. I started getting into that transition (is that why they call it?) phase and was exhausted I didn’t feel like I had anything left. For some reason I felt the sudden urge to get out of the bath. I don’t know why but my body must have wanted it.

I walked and climbed onto the bed and pushed a few more times and our precious baby boy was born at 12:13pm. I had gone from 4cm to fully dilated in under 2 hours. I was in a bit of shock and it took me a couple of minutes to gather myself and my breath before I could turn around and lay down. My midwife was so calm and reassuring and said ‘your baby is here right next to you waiting for you when you are ready. Take a minute and come down when you are ready’ I was hanging over the top of the bed I couldn’t move. Looking back now I really loved that my midwife said that as I needed a minute or two to just be still. When I got down they popped our baby straight on my chest and said ‘have a look at your healthy, strong baby’ and I was completely surprised when I saw that he was a boy! We didn’t know the gender but were sure it was a girl! Kobe started feeding then and I was amazed again for a second time at how clever these little babies are at seeking out your nipple and knowing how to feed on instinct.

I remember reading an article about ‘the golden hour’ or something like that about how important is it to let your baby feed for the first time for however long they want/need and not be interrupted or rushed by nurses and doctors to get moved out of birth suite. Kobe feed for at least an hour and our midwife popped in and out and gave us all the time he wanted to feed. She was very happy to leave him be. I felt a mixture of pure exhaustion as I had no idea if was all going to happen so fast but also pure love. I also felt calm as it was my second time around and I didn’t feel as overwhelmed as the first time.

I feel so grateful to have had such great care and support during my pregnancy and birth and also during my 2 night stay in maternity. I definitely wanted to stay until I felt ready to come home as my first time I was gently pushed to go home early as I had a natural birth and was feeding fine but emotionally I wasn’t ready. I was in a much better head space this time heading home. My post partum recovery was a lot better this time as I was much more prepared. I had afterpains mixture and perineal healing spray and bath salts from my amazing naturopath. I also had lots of healthy snacks and labouraid which I didn’t have time for during labour but still came in handy those first few days post birth.