What a privilege it is to write about my first hand experience of childbirth. Can’t help but feel so grateful and lucky to have done this twice.
Locky and I woke up Sunday 16th July the morning after spending a quality night together in Brisbane city sharing a meal and some much needed one on one time as we new we would soon be in the thick of those early parenthood moments anyday now.
Well low and behold I did not have any idea that Sunday would be the start of Memphis’s journey to earth side. We had some breakfast and headed across town to my friends house to pick up Melitäh and catch up for a couple hours. Whilst I was there we did some card readings had some nice messages from the angels and made plans to potentially go for a late arvo picnic the same day.
Whilst I was there I was experiencing some dull sensations in my back. I wasn’t confident what it was and whilst I thought it may have been the start of something I just didn’t want to get excited. As they came more regular I began to time them. They seemed to be coming on quiet regular and lasting around 40-60seconds long. I ignored them and suggested we head off to get some
Lunch. Whilst we were driving back to the apartment we had booked I told locky that I think it may actually be surges and to prepare us for an afternoon in the hotel. I wanted to get comfortable and just take it as it comes. Literally got back to the apartment and within 20minutes we were calling the hospital. Melitäh was so cute she was timing my surges on her watch and as a team effort her and Lachlan were jotting them down in his notes. Lachlan made the call that I was consistently having 3 surges within a 10minute period and wanted to get me to hospital. We phone ahead to let them know we were on our way.
Once we arrived they did the usual paperwork side of things and I was taken in by a midwife for further assessment. As a Hypnobirthing mamma I have strong views and opinions amongst a lot of the medical jargon and “policies” and was respectfully met with a really lovely midwife who had clearly assisted in Hypnobirthing. She asked me if I was happy to be examined or if I would prefer not to, she dimmed the lights for me immediately and began to use softer terminology to refer to otherwise medical terms. (E.g surges for contractions). I had a really detailed birth preference list that actually said clearly I don’t want regular examinations etc and I would only have it at the beginning to assess if I was in fact in labour.
Well, guess what… I was 4cm. Lachlan met our photographer and after about an hour I was moved to birth suit. My surges were becoming a lot more intense by this stage and I remember feeling so much pressure in my back. Something I had never experienced with Melitäh.
Once we had moved to birth suit I was really eager to just settle in find my place and completely surrender and relax for my birth. I knew what my body needed to do and I knew it was time to quieten my mind. Locky went around the birth suite setting up fairy lights and my birth affirmations( these birth affirmations were handmade by the wonderful women in my life at my mother's blessing) it was special because I was reading those encouraging words and felt as tho they were right beside me cheering me on. Anyway whilst locky was doing that I gravitated towards the shower and exercise ball. This is where I think I spent 80% of my labouring. The midwife in my birth suite was not what I had hoped for or expected. I really believe that if I didn’t have the confidence in birth myself or the education around birth I could have had a very different outcome. She wasn’t “bad” but she wasn’t great. I felt as tho we just weren’t aligning. She did things that annoyed me and she was trying to talk to me during surges even tho the detailed birth preferences said not to, along with Locky voicing that she shouldn’t do that. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t know if it’s because she felt like she wasn’t needed or if she was just bored because my birth was calm but what really pissed me off is when she left the birth suite and returned with a coffee and her snacks and began typing on the computer. I remember saying “that typing is stimulating me to turn that off now” and then I just decided in that moment that I was going to have to really go deep and ignore external factors.
So shortly after I’m in transition. If you’ve had a baby or you are in the field then you would understand that this is the most active, challenging, and intense part of labour. Nothing I couldn’t get through tho. I was doing acrobatic positions. Locky and my Photographer said I was literally doing lunges, jumping up on the bed and standing with a leg on the wall you name it I was very much active locky called me “spider woman” hahaha.
So it’s 6pm and I’m thinking to myself I must be close it’s second baby and I’m at around the time I was when I gave birth to Melitäh. So I get into the birth pool and begin the shift in my breathes to assist breathing my baby earthside.
Whilst I was doing this I had a knowing that something wasn’t quite where it should be. I don’t think my baby is ready to come yet I think I may still need to move them down. Because I wasn’t being checked regularly I didn’t know how dilated I was. I just had to trust my body. That really irritating midwife I think was talking to me and saying some things but I had already made the decision an hour or so early that I was tuning out to her. So when writing this I honestly can’t remember what she said because I wasn’t listening.
I remember I got uncomfortable in the bath and felt I needed to be upright again. So out I hoped and back to the shower I went. Locky would beautifully observe this birth waiting to meet his baby all whilst aiding me. Washing the water over my back. Once a surge would come I couldn’t stand the water I would wave my hand for him to take the water off me, and so then began a rhythm of me leaning over the exercise ball on my knees swaying with this amazing water washing over my back in-between surges. This must have carried on for some hours because all of a sudden it was 10pm. I didn’t watch the clock so I felt like it had only been half
an hour since that 6 pm timeline and to my surprise 4 hours had passed. I do remember thinking that I was surprised baby wasn’t here yet but I can’t let that deter me or dampen my spirits.
My obstetrician was in the room at this stage doing what doctors do and watching on waiting for an intervention. Obviously being private I could elect whatever I wanted and would have had my wishes granted immediately. No need to beg when you're paying for it. However, I knew I wanted my baby to come to earth the same way their sister did. She offered to do an examination once or twice prior and we knew that Memphis's head was transverse (sideways) this is why my birth was taking longer as we needed his head to assume the correct anterior position. She offered to “turn” his head and I said to her that would feel like an exorcism inside of me and I don’t think I could sit through it. I would rather labour for longer and let him naturally change.
Anyway we are 10ish hours into this labour now and I told her that in a couple hours if nothing changes I’ll let her do it.
During this time there was a shift changeover. That first midwife was out of there and this beautiful ol girl arrived. She had the most gentle energy. I could feel a shift in my birth suite, she was so encouraging yet not too overbearing. She was the right amount of everything. Help, good energy, assistance, bringing me water, wiping my head when locky wasn’t. Just a little angel on earth. I felt so at ease and I guess my baby did too.
Time passed by quickly again and before I knew it we were past midnight. I remember feeling confident that my body was going to do its job but slightly concerned about the sensations (medically) of moving my baby. I wasn’t going to make it easy for the Obstetrician I wanted to make it easy for me. This meant I lay down in the shower in my most comfortable position instead of moving to a bed and laying on my back for my doctor's ease.
When she checked me I was 9cm and baby had moved his head into the correct position (if Memhpis's head was anterior to begin with this probably would have taken 3 hours in total but of course he made me wait longer to meet him)
This part is all a bit of a blurr but I think because this part was so fast. I remember going back to the bath, feeling so empowered and capable constantly looking up at my birth affirmations and repeating them like mantras in my head. Locky was holding my hand and rubbing my face.
Melitäh was telling me I am strong, capable and beautiful all whilst caressing my arm. The midwife was just being her right amount of presence and good vibes and with that I felt this “pop” I thought it was babies head as I reached my hand down but couldn’t feel him.
I was so confused. My midwife told me that my amniotic Sack had just ruptured, The next surge came quickly and Memphis head was out- I remember the obstetrician saying there was meconium in the water. I knew I didn’t come this far to just come this far. So on the next surge, I pushed a little longer once my surge had stopped because I made an informed decision with myself that I would rather cause a tear than change my birth position or location. So with that Memhpis was completely earthside (1:21am) and I put my hands down in the water and gently brought him to the surface.
He didn’t know he was born yet he was coming to his body still. Exactly the way his sister had. This part is really annoying for me and I know a lot of you wouldn’t label it as “trauma” because of how amazing 99% of my experience was but this 1% still plays on my mind. I was clear in my preferences about not rubbing, smacking or tugging baby for a reaction to “cry” because I know my babies will do that when they are ready. Anyways bubs cord was around their neck and I was so calm about it. Not one bit phased, as the cord was blue and plenty of oxygen and blood was still being delivered via the placenta.
As I began to gently untangle it I remember all these hands appeared and everyone was trying to do it so quickly and it just kind of interrupted our own togetherness. Then they started rubbing his back abruptly to startle a breathe reaction. I feel really annoyed about this part of my birth. I feel I have a strong intuition and if I felt something was wrong I would of said so. Not knowing the gender at the time I remember then checking to see what angel we brought earthside and I looked up at Lachlan and said “omg we had a little boy, we have a son” and then I held him closely to my chest in awe of my beautiful little family that I have created and all of this oxytocin flooded the room.
Once I was on the bed and we had all had a moment to dote on him, we patiently waited for the cord to stop pulsating. Melitäh & Lachlan were given an opportunity to cut the cord. That one cord that nurtured my baby for 10whole months. The cord that connected us as one, delivering all of what he needed to be with us here today. Melitäh decided she didn’t want to cut it as she was afraid it would hurt him(bless her) so with that Lachlan did it. We spent 3 hours in birth suite before transitioning to the postpartum maternity ward. Memphis and I cuddled for nearly 2 of those hours before I let them do any weighing, assessments etc.
I let Memhpis crawl on my chest discovering all of me, smelling the pheromones and studying my face. Hearing my voice and giving him the reassurance that I am his home on the outside. He found his way to the boob and we shared a breast feed. You never forget the first .💙
It’s 4am we are all eating toast and sipping on a juice. I have my first shower whilst Locky and Memphis were bonding skin to skin just as I had hoped. His big sister is eagerly waiting to love on him and all of a sudden I feel like the wealthiest woman in the world to have 2 healthy babies.
Upon reflection birth was not just about meeting our son but infact meeting myself all over again. Finding my soul back at my roots. Memphis was a healing journey for me and I am so beyond grateful to be in the chaos of motherhood. Being a mother to my children is a full sense of self. It’s where I feel most familiar.❤️