So I’m pregnant with my 3rd child by 3rd father and it all goes wrong, again. By the 20 week scan I am single and having a scan with my other 2 children there to share the experience with me. We are all very excited! The sonographer is explaining what’s going on when all of a sudden she goes quite. She then leaves the room and a million things run through my mind, is something wrong? Is my baby going to be okay? I try to stay calm and be positive.
The midwife comes back with a specialist midwife they spend half an hour measuring all in silence (which feels like eternity) and at the end tell me my baby has a two-vessel cord and I’ll need more scans through out the pregnancy. I was in shock. I remember feeling very worried. My precious little baby girl seemed so vulnerable. It was at that point I decided I was really going to make an effort to be the most healthy I could possible be in order to give her the very best start in life.
I was in a woman’s refuge for the majority of my pregnancy not knowing were I was going to live with a 10 year old and 2 year old and a new baby. I was so scared my stress levels would affect my baby and do nothing but cry all the time when she was born. My life was full of fear and after 2 inductions I have to admit I was apprehensive about this birth too.
At 34 weeks I found a home! Just enough time to move in and get settled before the baby arrived. Just the small job of packing up my old one and moving it to the new one, whilst being 8 months pregnant with feet like balloons. Simple really, NOT. I was eager to get on and get my family settled in time for the new arrival.
I hadn’t felt the “glow” most women talk about when being pregnant, in fact I had felt the exact opposite from the moment of conception. I had thrown up every day and had awful heart burn but I treasured my baby. Every moment of being pregnant and growing this little being moving around inside of me. With my previous pregnancy’s I had felt awful to and never managed to go into natural labor I had two inductions. The first with epidural, second naturally, the pictocin made me lose my mind and the birth was amazing but awful at the same time. So in the back of my mind I felt like this one would end the same way.
I was planning a home birth this time, so I had my pool up and ready to go in the kitchen. I had been having pre-labor contractions since 34 weeks so was really ready for birth by the time I reached 40 weeks. I was eager for my baby to come earth side. My friend Dominique offered to take me to her active birthing class. It provided me with a few hours where I got to relax completely and be worry free. I connected with my baby and it made me feel strong and ready for birth. Dom and the classes helped me believe I could do it.
So labour had begun but it wasn’t in any hurry to progress quickly. Six stretch and sweeps later, after having acupuncture points massaged, drinking a bottle of black Cohosh, massaging clary sage into my bump, walking who knows how many miles and several false alarms. I was completely fed up and had lost all belief I would go into labor naturally. By this point I am now 9 days over.
I felt very strange on the actual birthday. I couldn’t sit still. I felt the urge to have a bath and shave my legs, I didn’t know why I just really need to do it. So trusted my body and ran myself a bath. I fed the kids and then sat down to eat when I felt a trickling. I knew this feeling well it was my waters! Hooray! She was coming. I was so excited!! I phoned the delivery suite then the baby sitters and tried and get the kids sorted with out covering my house in amniotic fluid. After 3 hours of madness waiting for baby sitters, birth partners to turn up, and midwives to come out. I then started to feel really sick. Great just what I need!? Contractions are coming irregularly and not progressing I started to get disheartened thinking the whole thing would come to a halt and everyone would go home and there would still be no sign of baby. Having had 2 inductions already I just thought maybe I cant do it maybe I’ll have to have another one this time?
After a few hours of monitoring the midwifes said they could examine me but would mean after 6 hours I would have to go into hospital due to hospital protocol and risk of infection. Why not “go for it” I told the midwife, by this point I was ready to meet my daughter in which ever way she chose to enter the world.
“4 cm and not very thin” she said. I felt so disappointed she also said she could feel front waters and could go in and get them broken in hospital at 3 am if I had not gone into full labour. This was not my plan, things weren’t going the way I had anticipated the birthing pool had not even been used but I was embracing it all the same. I could do this.
Every one left, my birth partner went to sleep and I carried on being sick. 3 am came and went I woke Kirsty (my birthing partner) up and left a message for Dom (my other birthing partner). We made our way into hospital, I felt so weak from being sick and not sleeping properly for what seemed like months, and probably was, as my 2 year old was a disturbed sleeper too.
I got into hospital and they were extremely busy. No surprise there. A midwife offered me an anti sickness injection and came and administered that about 4 am. They was an emergency so Kirsty and I were left to carry on as we were until a midwife became available to come and break the rest of my waters.
I rested, then I ate once I felt up to it. Kirsty and I got very bored so we went for a walk and finally at 6 am my front waters were broken. Nothing came out so must have just been a bit of sack over babies head. So off we toddle again for another walk. Then the contractions started heating up, “yes getting somewhere finally,” I thought but a bit of me, actually a huge chunk of me still believed it wasn’t the real thing.
Kirsty was getting me to keep on moving through contractions. Then I reached the point where I thought I needed to have some personal space. Maybe pacing up and down a corridor wasn’t the best idea for me, so we went to my room.
The morning staff had come and the night staff had gone home. Darkness had passed and light was now filling the hospital through every window, nook and cranny. I was tired and I needed to rest after a short break I decided with a bit of encouragement from Kirsty that I should go for another walk, as things seemed to be tailing off. She had me pacing up and down corridors, encouraging me strongly to walk through the contractions even though the pain was increasing I was convinced my labor would still stop. I was still in complete denial. After half an hour of walking up and down I said that I needed to go back to my room again it was getting really painful.
Midwife came in and offered me gas and air. With my others I really had to fight for it but this time I was given it easily which I appreciated even if it did only take the edge of things. I was still in good spirits and feeling happy. My friend and I were laughing. At this point I sort of went off into a trance and things go a little foggy. Dom got to hospital about 9 am, and I was in full on labour at this point. I was chatting away between contractions but as each contraction pulsated through me I tried to hold in the noise. I kept holding my breath, Dom explained the deep moaning would help to move the baby down. It gave me the permission I needed to respect what my body was telling me to do.
I had forgotten my birth music so Dom, who had driven her son’s car, only had his music in it. It was either had Dub Step or Bob Marley, so Bob Marley it was.
After a few hours sitting on the ball and then standing then sitting on the ball again, I decided I wanted to change positions. All fours on the bed seemed like the best one for me. By this point I would have believed my body was doing this but I didn’t. There still seemed to be this nagging thought in my mind, it cant be the real thing I even joked “I wont believe it’s the real deal until I feel the ring of fire” how I would regret saying that!
I wiggled my hips and gently pushed and cried loads. In that transition stage I even thought about running away. Dom and Kirsty reassured me I was in the best position, as they knew I was transitioning by this point. I lost my head for a few minutes and her and Kirsty kept me focused. I had lost my mum just 2 years before and not really grieved for her. It had been at this point I felt so close to god and my mother that I cried like I had never cried before and with those tears my baby moved down the birth canal.
Dom said with each moan you could see her move down and I moved my hips in tune with each contraction helping my baby make her path. A lovely head shaped bump appeared at the base of my spine where my darling daughter was gently moving down ready to meet me(so my birthing partners told me). I was completely in the zone, the burning and stretching started and very slowly and gracefully my wonderful 8lb 9oz daughter was born. She was beautiful and chubby and the whole experience was surreal, calm and peaceful just as I had wanted it to be. Zinnia Rose Valerie Brewer was born at 12:20 pm. My second rainbow baby helped me grieve for my mum, feel God in my heart and changed the awful past into something amazing.
I held my baby while the cord stopped pulsating, and staring into my baby’s amazing eyes. She was so peaceful and perfect. Once I was ready, Kirsty cut the cord. The midwife delivered my placenta then Kirsty and Dom had a little hold. Zinnia had my mums’ piano fingers and lovely little birthmark on her nose it looked like an angel’s kiss.
She had her first feed about a half an hour after being born. I didn’t tear. Zinnia and I instantly fell in love. She is so relaxed, I think that lovely slow path helped this. She is so special. In between my first and second children I had 3 miscarriages. My first rainbow baby is now 3 and Zinnia bought me hope after the loss of my mother. My 11-year-old son, Louie and 3-year-old daughter, Maisie instantly accepted her. Our family was complete. I was lucky I had amazing birth partners, a brilliant student midwife, and the only negative was the suggestion of introducing pictocin. Which was not needed as I did a marvelous job on my own trusting my body to do what it had been created to do.
I took a peace of placenta home made a smoothie and reaped the benefits of what mother nature provided.