So I’m currently 3 days into the 1 Million Kilo Challenge which is a national weight loss program run by channel 10. Regan and I have been following the meal plans religiously and they are full of wholesome and varied foods but I’m struggling. My sugar and chocolate addiction is very apparent now as I struggle with thoughts of falling off the wagon and try to think up excuses to bake something full of chocolate. I do plan to get back to eating that stuff but right now I feel like it is a vice that is holding me back.
So with thoughts of baked goods running through my mind I thought I would post my birth story to occupy my time. I’d wanted to post it for a while but it seemed like such an overwhelming and magnificent moment with emotions that didn't fit words within my vocabulary but I decided that I wanted to share it on my friend, Christa’s website. She did 1-on-1 birth classes with Regan and I and she was also the doula (a coach that focuses on the mother) who was present at the birth and was an amazing help in the whole preparation and birthing process! I truly believe that without her assistance and knowledge that I may have had a very different outcome from the natural birth that I was so fortunate to have.
A few hours before the contractions started
I was so excited to find out that I was pregnant as it was very much planned. I went into it with anticipation but I found that I encountered some struggles throughout my pregnancy. I have a history of depression and anxiety and it became so severe by the end that I truly believed that the only way that I was capable of giving birth was to have a complete epidural or a planned caesarean section. I had been taking classes with Christa to increase my ability to have a natural birth and so this frame of mind that I had left me feeling devastated and disempowered.
I continued to try hypnobirthing and meditation leading up to the birth and by learning about my body’s true capabilities and the wonderful benefits of having a natural birth, I still held onto hope that with the help of Christa and my husband that I would find my inner strength. I would also imagine my perfect birth, no more than 5 hours labour and natural.
I had been having silent contractions for a week and I was starting to feel a bit crampy on my due day so by that night my pressure waves came suddenly and strong. My husband, Regan, had gone to bed and so I decided to time them myself before I woke him up. Within that first hour I was already experiencing 1 minute contractions for 4 minutes apart. I was astounded that I was as far along as I was. I woke up Regan and he timed my pressure waves which were becoming longer and closer together. I was coping by steadily breathing and rocking on my knees. After consulting with my midwife, Jo, several times over the phone I knew that it was time to head to the hospital, I called Christa and told her to meet us there.
Once in the delivery suite I knelt on the bed holding onto the headboard as the intensity grew. This was it! This was the real thing and I went inside of myself, breathing and focussing. I used all of my energy to keep my cervix relaxed. I then decided to go to the bath as that is where I planned to give birth. Before I got into the bath I reached transition, where you feel that what is required is beyond your capabilities but is soon followed by the urge to push. It was at that time that I asked for an epidural and a C-section but Christa assured me that my body was doing everything it needed to do and that I was doing so well. I then got out of the bath and was checked by my midwife and told that I was 7-8 cm dilated and that I was doing great. I knelt on pillows on the floor over the couch and after pushing for a while my waters broke with such great force that I was startled but also excited as I felt that it was another step closer! As I pushed, Regan, Christa and Jo massaged me which helped to relax me and if I would go to make any high pitched noises or breath faster, Christa would simply make low noises or slowly breathe and that would cue me to follow. In that dimly lit room I had only 3 people, relaxing music and a determination to push this baby out naturally! After pushing for a while they recommended that I try standing up and leaning on the bed to help the baby come so I did. I continued to use all of my energy in pushing and when they started to put a belly monitor on to check the baby’s heart rate it gave me more ambition to push harder for the health of my baby. Finally I felt the head crowning and for my own assurance I leant down and felt the baby’s head with my hand, he was coming!!! I gave a few almighty pushes and after a few minutes his head emerged. Then I continued to push and his body followed. The feeling of that little body coming out was so bizarre but the relief was amazing.
With Regan and Christa by my side, my midwife had caught Noah in her hands and as she passed him through my legs, told me to pick him up. I was scared that I would drop him as he was slippery but as Regan helped to pull him up to me I cried. I cried from the relief but more for the joy that I felt!
I had done it! I had a beautiful little boy and I had done it completely naturally and not just any baby but a 5 kg (11 lb 2 oz) baby and for my first one with a labour spanning 5 hours. This had gone against all of the things that I had heard about child birth from TV and other mums. I had heard that it is usual that your first birth will be very long and that if the baby is large that they will usually have to give you a C-section.
I sat on the bed with him and tried to breast feed him straight away with no luck but then I had a lot of chest to chest bonding which was amazing. I had fallen in love all over again and with a baby that I had only just met. After a few hours of cuddling they had to take him away to intensive care because he had fluid in his lungs but that cleared up after a few days. I felt exhausted but I felt empowered, proud, closer to my husband and so grateful to Christa and Jo for helping me to have the birth I truly wanted. I know that if I had an epidural that I would not have been able to push Noah out, I needed all of my power and feeling to be able to do that for him. I felt like I had given him the gift of life and the best start to that life that I could possibly give him.
So in 2 days my beautiful Noah will be 6 months old. I can't believe how time has run away from me but I can't wait to see what else life has in store for me