Have been meaning to write to you about my labour experience but have been a bit preoccupied with little Stella! Well my waters broke at 3.30am on my due date (very text book!) & even though my midwife had said take a couple of panadol & try & get some sleep if it starts in the middle of the night there was definitely no way I was going to be getting anymore sleep! – I was way too excited & the contractions seemed stronger when I lay down as well. So I tried to keep myself busy & occupied until about 6 in the morning – MSNing my friends and finishing off some work! all while bouncing on my swiss ball to try and keep things progressing.
I can’t tell you enough how comforting it was to be in my own home I really believe this helped me to stay calm & not get stressed or anxious about what was happening. We had made the house so comforting and relaxing – oils burning, candle lit, my fav music playing the whole time – I actually got a bit emotional and teary about it at one point (maybe it was the hormones : ) but it was exactly how I had visualized it & where I wanted my baby to be born.
Jaan set up all the props I intended to use on the dining room table, & his Mum (my 2nd midwife) & him set about filling up the pool and we jumped in at about lunch time… I was about 5-6cm then. The water was amazing I really loved it & found it really helpful for a good 2-3 hours – my contractions did slow however at 8-9cm and I decided to get out and get active… Walked around the garden for a while – poor Jaan it was pretty chilly but such a beautiful day & I was loving the fresh air.
I used so many different “tools” at different times I had read up on & different techniques for pain management – it really did give me the confidence to try for a home birth, Jaan gave excellent massage throughout – Thanks to your workshop! & I found acupressure really helpful – Jaan did this for almost the whole 1st stage, I also used different homeopathic remedies, TENS machine, lots of Aaaggghhhing together, banged stress balls together, and of course lots of breathing which my midwife said I was very good at… Maybe due to all the yoga through pregnancy!
My support people were amazing a real team effort I couldn’t have done it without them – Jaan was by my side for almost every contraction – I had trained him up well on all the different techniques I wanted to use so we were on the same page through the whole thing – I think this definitely helped.
The 2nd stage of labour – the pushing was pretty long – 2 ½ – 3 hours & at one point they said we needed to get some action & see the baby or we would have to go to hospital… that was enough encouragement for me to pull some energy from I don’t know where & get this baby out! & within about ½ hour she was born. Wow! what an incredible life changing moment that second they put your baby on your chest – it makes all of the labour so worth it!
After a bit of skin to skin with our new baby, I went & showered & hopped into my own bed to feed Stella – Midwives & Jaan sat around chatting over some dinner & a glass of Vino – they said this was much better than if they were at hospital still filling in paperwork.
It was so great that Jaan didn’t have to leave me on my own that night we all just settled in for a rather sleepless night together… Not because Stella was crying just because we were all to overwhelmed to sleep so we all just lay there staring at each other!
I hope that this story may encourage other ladies to have confidence in their birth plans whatever they may be & confidence in their bodies doing what they need to, to get their babies out safely & who knows maybe even inspire someone to think about home birth as I really don’t think it is common enough & it really was the most incredible beautiful experience.
Take care & I’m sure I’ll see you soon for a massage & some yoga.
Jacinta, Jaan & Stella xo