BIRTH OF CHLOE
The night of the 29th August I went to bed with a funny feeling that maybe something was going to happen soon. Chloe was 11 days over her due date and I had been trying everything to avoid induction – including acupuncture and all the old wives tales!!
At 2.15 I woke up, which wasn’t anything new but the cramping was. I remember thinking ‘its happening’. I got up and went to the toilet and sure enough I had a show. Remembering my MWs advice of resting up as much as you can in the early stages, I got back into bed but at 3.15 I got up again – I was shivering uncontrollably by this point and felt sick and the contractions (or surges as Caterina our hypnobirthing instruction had taught us to refer to them) were intensifying. I had been practicing my ‘calm breathing’ as I’d learnt in my hypnobirthing classes but things were intensifying.
I was so cold I got into the shower and sat on the shower floor with my eyes closed and just focused on my breathing, using the Surge breathing technique and ensuring I was breathing out slowly for the peak of the surge. I vomited a couple of times but otherwise I felt relaxed. Somewhere in between all of this I was able to alert Fraser who forgot all the things he was ‘meant to do’ from our hypnobirthing course and instead he came in and out and asked what he should do and when he should ring Karene our midwife – which I found distracting and annoying, especially as the surges got more and more powerful. I remember not wanting him to ring Karene for a long time as I didn’t realize how fast things were happening, but eventually I asked him to – more to get some peace than anything else!! My contractions were happening every four minutes and lasting about 50 seconds.
At 440 am Fraser rang Karene and she asked to speak to me, I was able to talk to her in between contractions and so she suggested I carry on doing what I was doing and ring her if I needed to. Later she told me she did not think things were as advanced as they were as I was because I was able to hold a conversation fairly easily!
I stayed in the shower until the hot water ran out and then got as far as the sofa in the lounge. Fraser brought my music through and from this point on their was no talking from me until Karene arrived at 6 55 am . She had been here a few minutes and my contractions were lasting a minute and coming every three minutes when I opened my eyes and said ‘ I feel like I want to push’. It surprised me as throughout the hypnobirthing the focus had been on using a ‘birth breathing technique’ to breathe the baby down using controlled deep breathing and imagery, but my body had a mind of its own! Karene gave me a quick internal and to all of our surprise I was 8-9 cm dilated. She asked me if I wanted to go to the birth unit or have a home birth but I had my heart set on a water birth so it was all action station after that – Fraser went into superman mode and a few minutes later we were off. He had set the car up with incontinence sheets on the back seat and a bucket!!! I laid here while he drove and Karene followed in her car. It was a long bumpy ride on the backseat and I wasn’t able to stop the pushing sensation – I really thought I was going to have baby in the car, especially as we bumped and bounced up the infamous Collins road!!! Then we hit school traffic….!!!
At 8 am we arrived at River Ridge. I remember staggering in as glamorous as you could be with an incontinence sheet between your legs, and the relief as I got into that birth pool was beyond words!
I hung over the edge of the bath and fraser held my hands and Karene put my relaxation cd going. Her labour notes report I was ‘very focused and laboring beautifully’… focused is the word. I was thinking of nothing else but my breathing and my baby.
At 8.20 she reported me giving involuntary pushes with surges – this sensation was getting harder to stop, my body knew what It was doing and I couldn’t stop.
At 8.47 my contractions were every two minutes and lasting a minute. My waters broke at this point. Twenty minutes later I was able to feel the head of my baby : ) The sensation of my babies head was amazing and gave me a whole new sense of purpose – I was doing it!!!
At 9.30 Chloes head was born and my midwifes notes report she was moving her lips! At 9.33 Chloe was born and cried as she was brough to the surface. It was the most incredible moment of my life. I couldn’t believe what I had done. I felt stunned. I had a baby!!! I sat back in the pool and cuddled her and Fraser asked me if I was laughing or crying – I didn’t know! I think I was doing both!!! It didn’t occur to us to check whether we had a boy or a girl for a few minutes. Embarassingly because of the swelling of the vulva I at first thought I saw testicles! When we realized we had a girl I was surprised, as had felt we were having a boy all along, but looking at my beautiful amazing daughter I would not have traded her for a thousand boys. She was perfect.
I stayed in the water until the placenta was birthed and at ten am went to a recovery bed. I was so thirsty and drunk a whole powerade in about one minute – having a baby was hard work but the most amazing incredible feeling in the world. I couldn’t stop staring at my little bundle.
Karene checked me and reported a small skin tear that didn’t require suturing and we tried to get Chloe to latch. She struggled and preferred to suck her hand, which made us all laugh.
Karene weighed her and reported she was 8 pound 5 ounces ( 3.74 kg. ) and 51 cm long. Our little girl was bigger than both her mummy and daddy at birth. Fraser rang his mum and I rang mine. There were lots of tears and laughter.
Her first visitor arrived shortly afterwards- Frasers grandma had received the excited call from my MIL as she was heading out, so came straight to us!
By 1.30 we were settled into our room at the birth unit and both still on a high. Karene said she could not remember the last time she saw a first birth like that and then said ” actually, I don’t think I have ever”. She had been a midwife for twenty years so that made me feel even more like superwoman! She said she was initially suspect about the hypnobirthing but would be recommending it to other woman now.
I had wondered if it was going to happen quite how I imagined too but it had. It was my dream birth. It made me want to spread the word to everyone -I am not a religious person but I felt how imagine it must be for people when they find god. I wanted everyone to have a birth like mine – it didn’t have to be like the manipulated births you saw on TV with loud noises, screaming and bright lights. It could be relaxed, peaceful and beautiful aaand I am so glad Chloe came into the world that way.
I snuggled with my beautiful daughter for the whole afternoon. She was perfect and I didn’t want to put her down.