Birth Story From Our Bella Mama Community (AU New Zealand)
Yep, it’s a boy 🙂 Talen Tom Nesta Jennings was born on Wednesday 17th July at 10:20 am. The final stages were pretty quick and Dadda almost missed it while parking the car!
So, after weeks of full-on Braxton Hicks and nights of thinking maybe tonight I finally started feeling ‘proper’ contractions around midnight on Tuesday. I went to find the wheat bag just to put on my lower back and then try and get some more sleep, thinking it may not even be labour or just the really early stages.
Anyway, still couldn’t sleep and kept needing to go to the toilet so started thinking maybe this was really it and just ended up camped out in the bathroom as I didn’t want to be too far away from the toilet!!
Basically I just sat there all night with my phone alternating between googling pre-labour vs early labour vs active labour signs, still not 100% sure I was actually ‘in labour’. You’d think the bowel motions, vomiting and pain would have been a dead giveaway but to be honest I felt so in control and was coping so much better than last time that I really wasn’t sure I was very far down the track.
Cj and I had talked a lot about the effect of fear on labour and the importance of being calm and confident and I really felt able to apply it all. We read a great book ‘Confident Birth ‘ by Susanna Heli which we would recommend to everyone. We did hypnobirthing the first time around and definitely used a lot of those concepts but we felt this book is more realistic about birth and it truly helped us greatly.
Anyway, I was just concentrating on letting go completely during each contraction, trying to release my areas of tension one by one and concentrating on feeling heavy and relaxed. I had thought of some mantras beforehand but the one that ended up coming naturally was Accept, Embrace, Let go.
I said that to myself every time and after a few hours of this combined with catching up on my twitter feed I ended up lying down on the bathroom floor and snoozing a little. I had let Cj know things were happening by this stage so he was just in bed sleeping, ready to come if I called. About 6 am I was still dozing when, pop, my waters broke.
I called out to Cj and he rang my mum to come to get Skyla and the midwife to let her know. Skyla was up soon after and blissfully unaware of my pain, just totally excited that she got to go to Nan’s before she’d even had breakfast. So, Kathryn, our midwife had given a guideline of coming to hospital, contractions 5 mins apart and lasting a minute. We settled in for the wait, still in the bathroom.
My contractions never seemed to get the regularity in length but they were quite close together. I would have one lasting a minute and then another 30-40 second one just 2-3minutes after that. I was starting to get frustrated and still just sitting on the bathroom floor. I decided to start moving around and we thought it would be a good idea if I got in the shower. They got more intense then and although I was reluctant to get out we both decided we should ring Kathryn again and go to the hospital. Just as well we did in the end.
It was all pretty intense at this stage and probably when I started to feel a bit overwhelmed. We hopped in the car and I looked at the clock and it was 9:22 am. We’re in Torbay so decided not to go on the motorway in case we got held up. I had my eyes closed just dealing with the contractions at this point, still irregular but pretty full-on, in fact I was started to feel it in my bum. I opened my eyes and we were still ages away so I decided it was best just to keep them closed!
We arrived and Cj got a wheelchair and wheeled me up to the birthing suite. My midwife was still on her way and the hospital midwife hooked me up to the monitor to check things out. I had a contraction while she was there and she commented on how relaxed I was. I remember partly feeling pleased that she thought I was handling things well, and then worried that maybe after all that work I was probably not very far along.
I was getting a bit anxious at this point and desperate to see Kathryn and get assessed. She arrived and started getting sorted and Cj went off to move the car. The first contraction after he walked out the door I must have sounded pretty primal because Kathryn whipped her head around and asked if I needed to push. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with Cj not there but there was definitely something going on. Turns out I was fully dilated and probably had been in transition since we left home.
So, left home at 9:22, had Talen at 10:21. Not a bad morning’s work;) Cj came back in time to hear me bellowing down the corridor and he was thinking oh, someone is near the end, turns out it was his wife, much to his surprise. We both thought things had gone so smoothly that I must only be 5 or 6 cms.
Talen’s heart rate dropped a bit during pushing but I managed to get him out before any intervention was necessary, in fact, a little too fast in the end. We had to forgo the delayed cord cutting as he needed some oxygen and suction but he was all good, and almost a kg heavier than his sister! No wonder I was so uncomfortable at the end of my pregnancy.
People ask me how the birth went and they are all taken aback when I say awesome. It was hard, it was painful, but it was empowering and amazing and just such a positive experience. Thanks again Jo for all your knowledge and Talen and I look forward to seeing you in Mum and Baby yoga sometime soon. Oh and I’ll keep you posted on my Yoga Mamas community group, I hope to have it up and running in a couple of months.