I recently welcomed my beautiful baby girl into the world after a very rocky pregnancy and a very horrible first birth.
In 2009 after trying to conceive for a year and having constant visits with my endocrinologist since leaving high school we finally fell pregnant to our first child – a little boy! I was due to have him in the Townsville (QLD) birth centre with my lovely midwife Jan. I wore a pad for the last few weeks of being pregnant and I woke up on the 9th of November 2009 and had a dribble of my waters breaking into my pad.
I went to the toilet to find that my pad was green. I called my midwife and she told me to have a shower and head up to the hospital, as it was likely I had meconium in my waters. We headed to the hospital and it was confirmed. I was devastated as it meant I was no longer able to have my planned water birth in the birth centre and I had to birth upstairs in the birth suite.
My midwife broke the rest of my waters and sent me for a walk in the hope it would start contractions, but it did not so I ended being induced with the drip later that evening. My midwife had to go home as I was no longer her patient and was unable to stay with me. As soon as she left the doctors jumped to the opportunity and bullied me into having an epidural. I ended up having an episiotomy and had my son at just after midnight/ early morning on the 10th of November ( the day before my 21st birthday ).
Just a year later, and being told by my endocrinologist it was in our best interest to start trying for another baby if we wanted another – my husband and I decided it was time for another baby. We started trying again for baby number two a few weeks before we were to start hormone replacements – and we fell pregnant naturally!
It was a very bitter sweet time for us as a few days before we found out we were pregnant, my husband’s Oupa in south Africa died. We found out a week after he died – December 23rd – and Christmas eve my husband’s mother went to Africa to be with her mother. We called Africa and told my Husbands mum and his Ouma which bought some happiness at that very sad time.
At five weeks I had bleeding. I had bleeding with my son’s pregnancy but this was a lot of bleeding and clots. I thought for sure we had lost our little one. After spending hours in the emergency room and having numerous amounts of tests done and scans we were told I was having a threatened miscarriage and was put on bed rest for a few weeks.
Throughout both pregnancies I spent a lot of time in emergency with gall bladder issues. At 32 weeks I had the worst attack by far and my body had started to reject the pregnancy, thinking it was an infection. I then started having contractions. I was there a week before and was told that they would try and hold off removing my gall bladder until after I had had my baby.
Because I was back again, and had spent two days in hospital with no sign of it easing, the doctors sent me for emergency gall bladder removal. My baby stayed put. The rest of the pregnancy – besides low iron and the recovery from the operation – was pretty good. I was worried I was no longer able to have my drug free water birth in the birth centre, but after seeing a number of doctors I was signed off and given the okay!
Because I had an episiotomy which still caused pain right up to the birth of my second child ( I was stitched up too much ) I had planned to have a water birth. My Midwife Dawn was fantastic for advice and helping me prep my body and my mind for the birth of my second child. I was so scared from my first birth. It was so traumatizing that I was having freak outs about my second birth. I really didn’t think I could do it.
My due date came Wednesday September 12. I picked my husband up from work early and I had a friend with me so we all went with my son to the beach. We went for a long walk and a few hours later contractions had started. We went for another walk but everything died down and the contractions stopped.
I dropped my husband to work Thursday morning and went for a walk on the beach with my son. We went home picked up my friend and chilled out for a while, while I bounced on my birth ball. I called my husband and asked if he was able to finish work a bit early. I’m not sure why, I just had a feeling he should be home.
We all went and had a lovely lunch. My parents came over and we chilled at home for a bit. After they went home I was watching TV and started having light contractions. I told my husband “THIS IS IT!” I was so excited we all went for a really long walk and the contractions we getting “nicer.” I say nicer because they weren’t paralyzing.
They were nothing like I expected. I could talk through them and walk and bounce on my birth ball. They were getting more frequent and a bit more uncomfortable. I sent a text to my midwife and told her “this was it”, she replied with “ great now go get some rest.” I was so excited! I sent my husband and friend to bed as I needed them to be well rested if I needed them during the labor.
I tried laying down but couldn’t sleep through the contractions. Every time I had one I had to get out of bed and rock on the side of the bed.
My son decided that night he was sleeping in our bed so I was trying to be super quiet through my contractions and breathing (my birth plan was to have a quiet calm birth no yelling or freaking out ). Eventually around 2am my son woke during a strong contraction and started to freak out. I woke my husband and asked him to call his sister to come pick him up and get him away from seeing mommy in pain.
I also got him to call my midwife and let her know that when I went to the toilet I had a good amount of blood when I wiped which she assured us was okay. She asked if we were ready to come up and I said no – we were okay and I really wasn’t in “that much pain.”
My waters hadn’t broken and my husband’s sister still wasn’t there. She fell back asleep and thought we were dropping him off to her. After another frantic phone call to her from my husband, things started moving along a lot quicker than before. We woke my friend and headed to drop my son off and head to the hospital.
We beat my midwife there but there was another midwife in and she started to fill the birth tub for us. We got there around 3:30 am and my midwife came not too long after us .
A quick check of the baby’s heart beat and my blood pressure, and after pacing the floor a while, my midwife suggested I jump into the shower. Super hot water on my belly was wonderful for the pain. My midwife asked if I wanted her to check how far along I was and she said I was 7cm’s! I was so shocked I had no idea I was that far along. My husband was frantically running around setting up cameras and mp3 player and making sure everything was perfect.
I was so excited! 7 cm’s! That means I’m going to have my baby very soon! I hopped into the bath and instantly relaxed that little bit more. I kept saying to myself “I CAN DO THIS!! I CAN DO THIS!” I got out one more time and put some hot water on my belly and instantly needed to push. My midwife joked and questioned where I wanted my baby to be born in the shower or the bath?
My baby needed to be born in the bath! I needed my baby born in the bath! I got back into the bath and my waters still hadn’t broken but I needed to push – it was time! I asked my midwife what happened if my waters didn’t break and she told me it was fine and then - yep “pop” goes my waters! A quick check of the water to make sure it was still clear and clean and we were ready to go. My waters broke about 10 or 20 minutes before my baby was born.
My husband was still on dry land and I was in the bath laboring with the support of my midwife, husband and best friend. I was ready for my husband to get in and I fell into his supporting arms – “Don’t touch me, just hold me,” I said to him. He had the underwater camera and my friend was taking photos from the outside. She left the laboring to us and stayed out of the way and respected everything we were doing.
After pushing my midwife told me the head was coming. A great big push and I felt like everything was tearing (it was). I could feel the head and a great big bunch of hair – “holy $### that’s a head” were the words from my mouth!
I instantly grabbed my husband’s hand to feel the head coming out. Another great few pushes and her head was out. I grabbed the camera and took a photo myself, mainly just so I could see later – I was in such a state of shock that there was a head with dark brown/black hair! (When my son was born he had basically no hair and was blond).
I leaned back into my husband’s arms and pushed. My baby was moving her head and I was having minor freak outs feeling it. The cord was slightly around the her neck, which my midwife moved so it was safe again. A few more pushes while leaning into my husband’s arms and I caught my baby! She was born at 5.22am weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces.
I got sewn up and by 10:30am we went home. I could never thank everyone involved in my labor enough, and I could never love my body more after the experience I have just had. I’m so proud of myself for doing for what I did and getting to finally have my water birth! Everything about my labor was perfect and beautiful.
Below are the beautiful photos that also tell this story, click to see them enlarged.