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Birth story: meeting Alannah at home

birth story - home birthOn the morning of May 5, 2013, at 3:30 I started getting the first contractions. I was excited but tried to sleep.

I managed a fitful dose until 6am when I got over it and started doing dishes.

My partner got up at 7am, looked at me and smiled. I didn’t need to say anything because I hate mornings. The fact 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 midwife 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.

My midwife and the student midwife she was working with showed up at around midday with the birth pool. We set up the pool and the table on which the middy could put her stuff.

The student midwife suggested the idea of her taking some photos of the birth and I told her I would let her know because 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. At 10.10pm I got a huge contraction! I could feel bubby moving and then my waters broke.

I could feel the baby pushing on my cervix and the pain was now in the front. I knew that this was it and all my yoga and being on all fours had turned my baby anterior!

Contractions did not start to regulate until midnight and after timing them for 15 minutes we rang the midwife to let her know it was actually happening. We started to fill the pool.

The midwife arrived not long after 1am but I had asked my partner to call her 15 minutes before she got there because I was desperate to get in the water. The water was bliss and helped me relax fully between contractions. My partner sat behind me the whole time to hold me up.

The midwife checked my blood pressure, temperature and the baby’s heartbeat regularly. 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 know baby was finally on its way! I allowed the student middy to take photos. Everyone basically just watched me and if it looked like I was struggling mentally they offered quiet words of encouragement and advice.

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 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.

The midwife and I 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!

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, and was 49cms long. I am so lucky to have a birth experience that I can treasure and feel joyous in.

Image credit: arvebettum/ 123RF Stock Photo

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Thanks to mum Tildy for sharing her amazing experience with us.
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