With little miss Lani sleeping in bed (as opposed to my arms) I finally have time to write her story and share it.
My enter key is still not working so I apologise in advance for the lack of paragraphs.
I had planned my homebirth, loved my midwife and was very much looking forward to the birth and to meeting my little wriggler. I gave her pep talks about staying head down and working with me so that we could both have a fantastic birth experience.
On the morning of the 5/5/13 at 3:30 (approx.) is when I started getting the first contractions. I was excited but tried to sleep. I managed a fitful dose till 6am when I got over it and started doing dishes. If I was going to give birth, we were going to need the counter space. My DP got up at 7, looked at me and smiled. I didn't need to say anything because I hate mornings. The fact that I was up at all was proof enough.
The pains were all in my back so I suspected a posterior baby which was confirmed when I rang my middy and told her about everything. My waters hadn't broken and so she agreed that we would both go about our business and I would call her if anything changed. She arranged to visit later on in the day and bring the birth pool around so we could set it up. Meanwhile I got down to the business of turning my posterior baby while my DP set off to coach/play football with strict instructions to leave his phone with someone who could pull him off the field if needed. He was only 10 mins away so I wasn't worried.
I spent the day doing yoga and hanging over my birth ball in the all fours position. I talked to my lil partner in this about how much easier it would be for us both if it were to turn around. My midwife and the student midwife she was working with showed up at around midday with the birth pool. The contractions were still all over the shop so we knew there was still time to wait. We set up the pool and the table on which the middy could put her stuff. The student middy suggested the idea of her taking some photos of the birth and I told her I would let her know when it got there cause I'm not a naturally photogenic person. They left with my promise to phone if anything changed.
I started getting a bloody show at around 7:30pm and contractions were more intense though they were still irregular. At 10:10pm I got a huge contraction! I could feel bubby moving and then my waters broke. Luckily I could feel it coming with enough time to get off the couch and to the toilet before it all came out. We had kept the middy updated and of course rang her straight away. I could feel the baby pushing on my cervix and I knew that this was it! Contractions did not start to regulate till midnight and after timing them for 15 mins we rang the middy to let her know it was actually happening. We had woken her up so she told us that she would shower and have a coffee then come over unless I wanted her sooner. I was fine though.
We started to fill the pool though I was not allowed in till she got there. The middy arrived not long after 1am but I had gotten DP to call her 15 mins before she got there because I was desperate to get in the water. When I got the go ahead I was stoked! The water was bliss and helped me relax fully between contractions. DP sat behind me the whole time to hold me up so my bottom wasn't touching the bottom of the pool. I barely let him get a sip of coffee or go to the toilet but he was a trouper and didn't complain, even when I was squeezing the heck outta the thumb he had hurt in his footy game.
The middy checked my blood pressure, temperature and the baby's heartbeat regularly but waited for me to tell her when I wasn't contracting to ensure I was comfortable. She also coached me through doing my own internal exams. It was the best feeling on earth feeling that wet fuzzy head for the first time and knew baby was finally on its way! I allowed the student middy to take photos and she was a handy pair of spare hands getting coffee for DP and assisting my middy so she could focus on me. Everyone basically just watched me and if it looked like I was struggling mentally they offered quiet words of encouragement, advice and reminded me I could do it.
The involuntary pushing really took me by surprise and as a result I tore a little with the first one. With coaching on how to breathe the baby out I was able to do so without further issue. Once the head (she had turned anterior before breaking the waters) was out I could only watch with fascination as baby turned in preparation for the shoulders which came out with one push. I put my hands under her arms and gently guided her to the surface as the rest of her body slid out. Me and the midwife then untangled her from her cord which was loosely draped across her body. Then there she was, clutched to my chest. My little girl! The best moment of my life so far! I had to be careful to keep her under the water to keep her warm and we put a hat on her as well.
After the cord stopped pulsing DP cut it and held her against his chest with towels wrapped around them both for his first cuddles. Meanwhile I got out, pushed out the placenta, got stitched up (2nd degree tear and a graze), showered and downed many glasses of juice to help my body recover from the shock. She weighed 3 1/2 kg, was 49cms long and had apgars of 9 & 9. I am so lucky to have a birth experience that I can treasure and feel joyous in.