Firstly, apologies if I'm just blind, but I searched and searched and can't find the birth stories section...I'm sure there used to be one...
On the morning of the 21 November, my birth support came over for a visit. I was feeling a bit strange all morning, and having little waves here & there & thought within myself that something was different, that I would soon meet my babe. I didn't mention anything to her though, and when she left I went & napped for the last time with my only child.
I woke a couple of times to quite mild sensations, but obviously strong enough to wake me. I was chatting with a friend on Facebook, she asked how I was going, then jokingly clarified that she wasn't asking if I was in labour. I chuckled to myself. She later figured out I must have been when she asked. I think it's hilarious, but I guess you had to be there.
I start my official labour time at 4:30 that afternoon, as that's when I chucked my big boy in the shower and called Clayton to make sure he was headed home and to bring cashews and coconut water, “a baby will come out at some stage” I answered when he asked if we were having a baby today. By then, I was leaning on a pile of pillows and needing to focus on breathing through the surges.
I laboured through the night on the ball and over pillows, leaning on the wall and in the doorway. Finally at around 2am we filled the pool and I was able to relax and doze in between surges. I think I spent 2-2 ½ hours in the pool, then it got a bit cool so I headed to bed, tired and needing rest. Thankfully I was able to snuggle up and continue to doze in between, waking to quiely hum through each surge, about every 10 minutes.
The sun rose and I felt that I would meet my baby, perhaps late that night, or even not til the wee hours of the next morning, my motto for this labour was, “eventually a baby will come out”. I hopped back in the pool sometime around 7am. I think it was about 8am when I texted my birth support, who arrived sometime around 10am. By this stage I was vocalising during each surge, but was still quite chatty in between. We had some moments of laughter as I inhaled pool water annd choked mid surge, laughing and crying at the same time on a typical hormonal rollercoaster that is birth.
My birth support encouraged me to get out of the pool for a while, so we headed to the kitchen to make food and dance my birth dance. Things started to intensify over this period, I was leaning on my support, swaying my hips, singing my song. After a while I headed to the toilet. This is where I felt a real change. I went into my birthing zone and things get fuzzy from here. I think I spent the rest of my labour with my eyes closed most of the time. After a while on the toilet I hopped back in the pool, it was blissful relief. It must have been about 2pm by now.
I found Bubble's decent through the pelvis to be extremely intense and painful. It was hard not to tense up with each surge and I required a lot of pressure on my sacrum to counter the pain. My birth support was amazing. I remember at some stage saying “I can't do this”, and the reply was, “You are doing it”.I had flashes in my mind of getting the hell oout of there to get this baby out, but the logical part of my mind said not to be an idiot, the baby would be out before I got to hospital if I just stay put, they'd only pull her out and take her away and I was safe here and was going to meet my baby soon.
I'm not sure what time my photographer arrived, but apparently it was around the time my waters broke at 4:15pm. I was pushing now and wanted Elijiah to be there, but he ended up peeing on my birth support, and running away saying, “I'm outa here!”, lol. I was encouraged to feel Bubble's head but I didn't want to at first. When I did, it was amazing, but it didn't feel like a head to me. It was taking a long time and doubts started to creep in; what if I'm pushing against the cervix. My birth support suggested I try to feel if she was moving down as I pushed. I did and she was. That was an awesome feeling and gave me a burst of strength.
I started to giggle and was saying, “Yes, yes, yes, baby Bubble's got hair!” I was giggling as I pushed now, and when she was crowing it wasn't the horrid burning ring of fire I'd experienced with Eljiah's extraction. It was exciting, I was so close. Then with one final push, at 5:37pm 22 November 2011, after a good solid 25 hours of labour, Bubble emerged, and I pulled her from the water into my arms. She squeaked almost instantly, and had an amazing purple head, contrasting with her head of red hair. I knew in myself that she was a girl, but didn't check straight away. Elijiah came in straight away. He said, “She's so cute, she's so beautiful, I love her”.
I was immediately besotted. Little Junipah Rose, born perfectly into this world, no interference, straight into her mummy's arms. Noone shoving their hands where they weren't wanted, noone telling me what to do or how to do it. I was merely beautifully held and supported to do what I need to do, what I knew how to do; to birth my baby, perfectly, safely.
I wanted out of the pool fairly quickly, so hopped onto the bed, I was incredibly sore in my pelvis, but didn't have a scratch on me otherwise. Junipah self latched to the breast within half an hour (and has barely let go since, lol). I moved onto the toilet to see if I could birth the placenta, I thought I did, but it was just a huge clot. I moved to my own bed, it was tricky all this moving, as we were lotus birthing, so Junipah was still attached to me. At 6:37, exactly an hour after she emerged, Junipah's womb mate joined her earthside. I jumped in the shower and she got Daddy cuddles for a few minutes.
Back in bed, we were together again,now a family of four. What a perfect welcome to the world my sweet