My One Hour Labour - Full Homebirth Story
I've been asked to share my labour story, so I have pulled it from my old blog for those who are interested in reading it.
As I sit here and type my long story about a very short labour, Beth is getting a little fussy beside me. It's been one of those cluster feeding days, ones where you barely make it out of your pyjamas and you sit on the couch the entire day. I also have puke in my hair and on my chest, but I really don't care.
When I look back to the 19th of October, all I can say is it was just one of those perfect days where everything just fell into place.
It was a sunny Sunday. As usual my husband and I went to church in the morning. I remember looking at my phone and saying "it's the 19th! Wouldn't it be a good day to have our baby on the 19th, the same day as my birthday" (I was also born on the 19th but in February).
After church, we went out to lunch with friends. The guys were discussing going to Omaha (a semi-local surf beach) for a surf and a paddle board. As I love the outdoors I was determined to tag along. It may have been the last time I could sit on a white sanded beach in peace - indeed it was!
The guys and my very pregnant self arrived at Omaha a few hours later. We hitched a ride in our friends' younger brothers car. Oh... that car was not like our smooth car with proper suspension and air conditioning. No. This one was a 1980s something. Every little bump in the road pushed my baby's head down further into my pelvis. When we finally got to the beach, I sat and read my book in the sand while I recovered (for all you mothers to be and mothers I can definitely recommend it - it's called Mother's Little Helper).
I remember my husband say to me "are you feeling okay? You look a bit pale". I now know why...
After a bumpy, sweaty ride back to our friends house (about a 45-minute drive) I was feeling bumped out. My friend got me some panadol, a hot pack (which was bliss!) and sat me down on her couch while the guys had a spa. After about an hour and a half of sitting on the couch chatting away we decided to go get some dinner. I was craving vegan pizza so we were off to go get some pizza. As I stood up my waters gushed out. I will always remember that feeling and thinking "oh no, did I just pee myself?." My friends jumped in the air with joy. While my husbands face... was just priceless!
I ran to the loo and the guys departed the house to go get pizza. I called my midwife and she told me to go home straight away and sleep as it still might be a while. Thinking I had enough time, we stayed at my friends house as I really wanted that pizza! After 45 minutes, the guys came back with the pizza and we dug in. By this point, I was in no pain and I wasn't sure if I was having contractions or not with all the excitement going on. After a few bites of my pizza, I felt a strong period type cramp. After a few of those I thought we really ought to go home. So off we went.
Sitting in the car was SORE! The labour pains started in the car, the worst place to be. Ideally I should have stayed put. What made it worse was that it was a good 20-minute drive to our house and the council had decided to block off the motorway on ramp. We then had to detour through a residential area and hop on another on-ramp. Not fun. I noticed my contractions were about three minutes apart (three minutes apart = baby is coming out) so on the motorway we called the midwife with the 10 per cent battery my phone had. As both our phones had ran out of battery that day, my friends (while I was on the loo with my waters breaking) ran around the street asking the neighbours if they had a Samsung charger. They managed to charge my phone slightly so I would have enough battery to call someone if there was an emergency on the way home. Bless them that they did this!
In between contractions on the way home I was talking to my midwife whilst eating pizza trying to explain to her that I was having very strong contractions about three minutes apart.
She wasn't too sure and I don't think she quite believed me as I seemed 'fine' eating pizza in between contractions. So she insisted we continue on home and get in the bath.
Finally on our arrival home, I got straight in the shower (we don't have a bath). Dan grabbed our laptop and some candles and brought them into the bathroom (the lights in our bathroom are very bright and I wanted it to be dark - this also helps with oxytocin release). A few minutes later I had the most painful contraction and I knew I was in the transition phase of labour. I learnt in antenatal classes that you say some whack things in transition. I remember yelling out that I wanted an epidural - so this was a clear indication to me that my baby was going to make her grand entrance in our bathroom.
After the contraction stopped I checked to see if I was right. I could feel her head!
It was all on from there. I yelled out to Dan and he called the midwife again. We don't have a landline so I only had my eight per cent charged phone. If my friends hadn't have gone out to find a phone charger, Dan would have delivered our baby. My midwife left her house immediately and instructed to call 111. In the meantime, I could feel with each contraction my body wanting to push. I tried to stop, but my body couldn't help it. Dan came running back into the bathroom on the phone with the emergency services. The lady on the phone instructed me to lie on my back on the floor. Our bathroom is quite small and I really didn't like the idea of lying on the bathroom floor when I was perfectly comfortable in the warm shower.
Dan got out all our towels, layed them down and I uneagerly hopped out of the shower. It was freezing, I was uncomfortable and the baby's head was almost crowning. I grabbed all the towels and wrapped myself in them as I was shivering from being cold and being in shock. A minute later three ambulance officers arrived (they were useless) and a minute or two later my midwife arrived (thank goodness!). The first thing she said was "you are in the worst position" (I thought so too!) and she propped me up. Laying on your back causes your uterus to compress the large vein that returns blood from your legs to your heart, which compromises blood flow to your baby. It also slows down labour, which I suppose for me it was a good thing so my baby had to wait until my midwife got there to come out.
My midwife got me into a semi-squat position with Dan behind me. He told me later that night I squeezed his neck so tight I was pretty much strangling him. Whoops. After a few pushes in this position, a head popped out. Some mums will talk about 'the burning ring of fire' and well, all I can say is that it's true! After waiting for what felt like too long, the next contraction came and in one push out came my gooey little baby! It was about 9.50pm when she was born after just over an hours labour. How about that! Our sweet little girl was born with brown hair and blue eyes weighing 3.14kg and was 49cm long. We named her Bethany Faith as we were believing in faith for a quick, painless birth. The book that encouraged me to believe for this was called Supernatural Childbirth. Ideally, I should not have gotten into the car. My pain only started then, as Bethany's head was making its way down my pelvis. If I had of stayed at my friends house she would have been born with a lot less pain and faster!
Sorry no photos of the labour - it was all over too quickly to even think about capturing the moment. We are so in love!