I know it might sound like some people’s worst nightmare but honestly Calli’s birth was such an amazing experience and it just empowers me so much that i/women are so incredible! And I definitely have to owe my pain tolerance levels and calmness through the storm too calmbirth, so thank you.
There was one thing I was fairly certain on throughout my whole pregnancy, I would, circumstances permitting, have a completely natural birth. I’m a big believer in au natural, in the world and our bodies being able to provide for us, regardless of all of the synthetic drugs and procedures now known and practiced (don’t get me wrong they certainly have there place in modern society and within complicated pregnancies/ labours for that matter). There’s a lot I know now that I wish I knew during pregnancy that would have helped me implementing this belief more! But something I was well informed (and totally stubborn on) was the fact that my body and mind had the capability to go through labour naturally !
My first step towards achieving this was attending Calmbirth. Calmbirth is a highly acclaimed childbirth education program that teaches you how to embrace and work with the wonders and challenges of birth. It completely reinforced my beliefs and gave me confidence in my mind and body. I personally couldn’t recommend it highly enough! (It’s also great for informing partners on labour – what to expect and how to be helpful when D day comes!)
I entered labour in the best possible mindset… absolutely terrified I have the lowest pain tolerance and would assume the labour was further along than it actually was (you’ve heard the stories … get to hospital thinking you are ready to have the baby and your a full 2cm dilated) yet fully aware that my body and mind was equipped to deal with whatever was in store!
My labour started 2 days prior to my due date at 5am. Although I was in denial that it was actual labour till muuuchhhh later that day. I hadn’t had any Braxton Hicks so I assumed it was that, as I hadn’t had any yet and aren’t they supposed to prepare you?! How was I to be prepared without them, a safety net in my mind of not being in labour yet.
The contractions continued throughout the morning and into the day and after a huge Mexican lunch (we were recommended to keep distracted until things progressed and eating your favourite meal was suggested… we took this very seriously! ) at about 2pm came the first contraction that had me holding on to the seat of the car on the way home from lunch, yet I was still in denial, Braxton Hicks surely!
The funny thing is in between you feel COMPLETELY normal like “hey how you going? Let’s go to my mum and dads for dinner normal”…. so that’s what we did!
Who was Dave to convince me otherwise, I was fineeee. At this point my contractions were roughly 10min apart lasting for 45secs (Still was I in labour ?) In the driveway of Mum and Dads I had one – focused breathing with some slight chair squirms got me through the 45 secs and then it was inside to get on with more important things at this point … food, duh!
10 mins into our visit sitting next to my dad I had white knuckles gripping onto the side of my chair and Dave staring me down like ‘If this is a contraction tell me, we need to time these bad boys!!!’. The next two I was all over with some carefully timed bathroom visits – I was covered !
Home we went with mum waving me off with eyes that knew full well our little lady was on her way.
Home to the lounge where Dave and I snuggled and he watched the soccer. Things were progressing quickly, my contractions soon became 5 mins apart lasting 1 min and this had been going on close to 45 mins (our Doula had told us wait till this was happening for at least an hour to go to hospital!). We messaged her informing her of the timings and length but as soon as we did they slowed further apart, so she stayed put at home. The soccer was nearing an end and it was getting later. At this point my contractions were becoming unbearable. Pre each one I had to psych myself up … I’ve got this, we’ve got this little one and if I didn’t use my rhythmic breathing CalmBirth had taught me through the contraction, I was ready to call it quits. It was incredible the difference it made from one to the next with and without focusing on the breath .
As the soccer ended with an exciting result that had Dave jumping around, a contraction came that broke my waters … poor Bear (our Chocolate Labrador AKA our toddler) was ever so confused by all the commotion!
At this point Dave quickly gathered me up and we were in the car on the way to the hospital (a short two minute drive – proving ever so crucial later on … ) Dave had messaged my Doula as we jumped in the car informing her my water had broke but not mentioning we were hospital bound. By the time we reached hospital my Doula had messaged back saying “stay put calm breathing, I’m not far off your house now”. I take no responsibility for what happened next … I was in no state to make rational decisions but had clearly had Dave convinced otherwise … “let’s go home. It’s 2 mins and we will meet our doula there and come back if need be” in between my contractions this seemed like a totally logical idea! During though “Get me the hell inside that hospital …” but with non contraction state outweighing contractions, home we went. My mind still sick with worry that this was just the beginning … what if I had hours left?!? (This was now only 45mins prior to when we would meet our little lady … Major whoops!)
Our doula arrived (us pretending we had never left the house … oh boy ) and watched me contract. With someone new to witness boy did I have my composure, perfect rhythmic breathing through my most intense contraction yet, seeing how composed I was she assumed we were a little way off yet and sent me to shower (who was I to disagree … A girl about 20 mins off having her child … THATS BLOODY WHO!) The next contraction in the shower brought me to my knees … no way I could go through this much longer! My Doula heard me contract and was in the room instantly, it was time to go to hospital. I was out of the shower, dressed and heading to my bed when the next one hit … I needed to push.
The doula told Dave to grab towels … panic sets in … she thinks a home birth is imminent! I yell at Dave to call an ambulance… bloody hell! I wanted to delay hospital and medical intervention (induction etc ) but I sure didn’t plan on a home birth!
As Dave runs to get towels and dials the ambulance (call placed at 12:31 PM ) he immediately hangs up, he can get me to hospital faster than medical personal can get to us. In he swoops and picks me up and we’re in the car, hospital bound! The doula white knuckled holding on for dear life! As we near the hospital the next contraction hits … I’m pushing and can feel her head crowning … OH MY GOODNESS!!! As the contraction ends I literally feel the top of her head disappear. We fast and furious into the hospital to an awaiting wheelchair, I literally fall/stumble out of the car into it and before I know I’m in the hospital lobby hurtling towards the lift as my next contraction hits, we’re inside the lift and I’m pushing, I still have Dave’s Peter Alexander drop crotch pj’s on (I did by $10 Kmart ones to labour in which were soaked by my waters breaking – buy double people!) I feel her head crowing again and I reach down into them as the pain peaks and in a blur I have my little girl in my hands … INSIDE MY PANTS. I stutter to my Doula “I have her…” . She pulls open the waist of my pants, confirms and congratulates, 12:44AM Monday 8th – Day before my due date.
I’m being wheeled out of the lift to the delivery suite, too late where I’m greeted with a stunned midwife mid putting her gloves on! Dave sprints past the delivery room in his frantic state to find me (us!!!) He was parking the car as instructed to after hurdling in and off loading me in an ambulance bay. As he’s called out to he halts and changes direction, entering at quite the pace, our eyes meet and he sees my look … his gaze drops instantly too our little girl (who I’m now cradling on my tummy still in the wheelchair) and back up to mine and I can’t describe the emotions that look held within it but it’s something I’ll never forget, she’s here …. and so her adventure begins!