I was 38+6 on Tuesday the 7th November 2017 when our wonderful midwife Linda visited in the afternoon. The previous weekend we had held a birthday party for our not-quite four-year-old, I’d had my last day of work on Monday and I had joked that once I’d sorted out the house on Tuesday baby could come whenever she wanted and I would be ready for labour and birth.
Everything was fine, no real changes and I didn’t feel like I was close to having this baby at all. It was the first really hot day we’d had so after she left I ignored the mountain of washing waiting to be folded and instead hopped into our new pool with my son and we had a beautiful time floating and playing together for a couple of hours before being joined by my parents who had just returned home (we all live on the same 4 acre property).
Not long after that all hell broke loose!
A large dugite trying to escape the heat and siteworks being carried out behind us came shooting under the pool fence heading straight for Mum’s dog. I (stupidly, with hindsight) threw my pool noodle across its path and succeeded in briefly knocking it into the pool with us. Thankfully it got straight out again and that bought Dad enough time to jump out and throw another toy between the dog and snake and grab the dog by his hind leg just as he approached the snake.
We also jumped out of the pool (far more quickly than I had moved for many months previously!) and ran inside. (The snake curled up under the alfresco and we got a catcher to come take it away for anyone who needs closure on that chapter!)
After the adrenaline wore off I was knackered so went to bed early leaving my husband to put our son to bed. He was still on edge so actually stayed up. Just before midnight I got up to wee as usual and felt a strange pop but thought it might have just been trapped gas until I was just about to get back in bed and felt a little trickle of water. I went back to the toilet and sat there for a while trying to figure out if this was just a lot of discharge or if my membranes had actually released.
I had just convinced myself they hadn’t and stood up and had another little gush that convinced me to text Linda and let her know that it was possible my water had broken but I had no sign of being in labour. She agreed I should just put on a pad, go back to bed and see if it was soaked through by morning.
About an hour later I started to have tightening’s that I knew were not Braxton Hicks, so I started timing them. Steve finished inflating the pool and we decided to fill it halfway, so we could top it up when I was getting close to needing it. About 2am I text Linda again to let her know I was definitely in labour, but we didn’t need her yet, and my husband text my sister to let her know the same as she was going to be our extra support person. She decided to head over anyway thankfully!
Things were getting intense quickly and I was starting to worry I wouldn’t be able to cope as my first labour was 32 hours long. I moved onto the ball in the birth space, decided I couldn’t be bothered with operating my phone to time the surges, put on my hypnobirthing tracks, necklace from my mother blessing, jasmine essential oil on one wrist, and a beautiful blend gifted to me by a dear friend for labour on the other.
Very soon I was having large gushes of fluid with each surge, the pool was only 1/3 full and I desperately wanted to get in it. I moved back to the toilet for a while and started to dry reach while I was in there, and at that point I lost track of time.
Next thing I remember is getting into the water and almost immediately having two big vomits. I was still worried at this point that it was too early to get into the water and also why I was vomiting “already” when there was no way I could be in transition!
I was so in the zone I have no recollection of Linda or my sister arriving except that at a certain point I became aware that they were there. We actually ran out of hot water (overnight labour with a solar hot water system!) so my Mum and sister were apparently running hot water in pots from their house to top up the pool.
Very soon I started feeling pushy and also a bit freaked out that again it was too soon for me to possibly feel that way but trying to just trust my body and go with it. Not long after that I asked Linda “What is this I can feel? It’s squishy!” and she told me it was the head!
I could feel her come down with each surge and then go back up between them, but I kept telling myself that that was needed to stretch me out gently. Steve barely left my side and repeated affirmations and kept pouring water down my back constantly which was perfect. The stretching was incredible!
I had an epidural with my first and never really felt the urge to push after I was “allowed” to. This was so different, like an insane itch you just have to scratch but the more you scratch it the worse it gets!
Her head was born at 5:45am, and I felt her turn inside me before the next surge delivered her shoulder and then the other one after that and the rest of her at 5:49am, just as the backup midwife was pulling into the driveway.
The placenta took almost a full hour to come so I stood up out of the pool and let gravity help a little – it came away easily with next to no blood loss, a perfect physiological third stage. I had a small tear of my episiotomy scar, which after some discussion we decided to stitch just to keep the tip closed and let the rest heal naturally.
Cady was 4.025kg (8lb 14oz), 56cm long and 36.5cm head circumference. Linda measured her length three times to be sure! A full 500g heavier and 5cm longer than her brother. Big brother Will and Aunty Amy cut the cord and we all settled into bed to snuggle and feed.
We could not have asked for a more perfect birth, and the hypnobirthing techniques we learned from Vicki were a huge part of that.
My name is Vicki Hobbs and I am a Childbirth Educator (Back to Basics Birthing), Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, Certified VBAC Educator, Remedial Massage Therapist specialising in Pregnancy & Postpartum Massage, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Placenta Encapsulator, Hypnotherapist, Aromatherapist, Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach. I am a serial workshopper and learner, so that I keep up to date with new research and information so that I can provide you with up to date resources. My focus has always been on the mind, the body and the emotions and how they all need to be in balance for harmony. You can subscribe to my newsletter by adding your details in the box on the right-hand side and when you do I will send you a free relaxation meditation to help you feel calm and relaxed. I am based in the northern suburbs of Perth and can be contacted by email at [email protected] or phone (08) 9303 9111 or click here to go back to my Blog Page for more great articles and information.