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Riding the Waves – The Birth Story of Hailey Faith Part 2

Riding the Waves – The Birth Story of Hailey Faith Part 2

To read Part One of Hailey Faith’s birth story, click here

All of the sudden my body began pushing and I could hear myself sounding much more deep and guttural than before, almost angry. I remarked to the room that it felt like throwing up and it was the weirdest sensation ever. It’s so odd that during a contraction, it is extremely painful and violently strong yet moments later there is no pain and my head is clear and calm. At this point, the pain was unbelievable and I would have for sure demanded drugs if I’d been in the hospital. I’m so grateful that it wasn’t even an option because my body was doing great work and progressing quickly.

As the intensity and frequency of the contractions reached a peak, I could hear God calling my name. He had given me a verse before this birth: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine,” and I’d carried it in my heart for the last several months. At this time, I could hear Him matching my volume and calling my name, urging me to keep going, to stay strong.

I made eye contact with Tracy and told her I just wanted the baby to come out now. She maintained eye contact with me and said, “I know,” in a way that was so comforting because she did know. She’s had five kids of her own and has been attending births for 10 years. In between contractions, I marveled at feeling Hailey move down. I kept reaching down to see if I could feel her head because I could tell she was so close. During one particularly strong contraction, my bag of waters popped underwater and it felt like I had burst a giant balloon! Finally, when I reached down I could feel her head and I was very excited! She went back up slightly and I tried to control my pushing a little bit so as not to tear. It was about two or three more pushes and she was out at 12:06am! I did feel myself tear slightly but couldn’t have cared less. I know in books and birth stories they always talk about the “ring of fire” as being pretty bad but honestly I didn’t care about that either because it was so brief and she was out the next second.

Tracy was right there at the tub and she helped to guide Hailey between my legs and up into my arms. Hailey came out crying and covered in vernix! I thought beforehand that I would be grossed out by the vernix but I wasn’t at all. It was more like lotion all over her skin than anything disgusting. I was able to hold her and rejoice with Jim. I did it! She’s here! She’s so little and cute. She lay on my chest and I looked at her, both of us shocked and exhausted. She was getting cold being half in and half out of the water and so we decided that I should try to deliver the placenta and move to the bed. I gave a few arbitrary pushes and Tracy guided the placenta out. I got to look at it and see the broken bag of waters and where the umbilical cord attaches.

Then, this birth took a turn. I hadn’t put much thought into the third stage of labor and was surprised when I didn’t feel calm and safe anymore. I felt panicky and detached from my baby. As I lay down on the bed, I told Tracy. She checked my uterus and it didn’t seem to be clamping down well. Due to this, I was still losing quite a bit of blood. Quickly, the room became busy and serious. Jim held Hailey as my midwives moved me to the toilet to try to get me to pee as that could have been causing my uterus to continue bleeding. As I sat down, blood gushed into the toilet and I felt woozy. We moved back to the bed and Melissa gave me a shot of Pitocin in the thigh and an IV bag of fluids. Kyla gave me doses of two different tinctures as Tracy massaged my uterus. She put in a catheter to empty my bladder and gave me misoprostol suppositories. I told Jim to pray. All of this, and my bleeding was still not stopping. As a last resort, Tracy scrubbed up and manually scraped my uterus of any partially retained placenta. The assistants checked my placenta but could not tell if a piece was missing. This process was understandably extremely painful and terrifying. As she finished, she told Kyla to call the ambulance so that I could go to Legacy Emmanuel. She couldn’t be sure if she’d gotten everything and my uterus still wouldn’t clamp down. In only moments, the EMTs helped me out on a stretcher into the ambulance; Tracy rode with me. Jim stayed with Hailey at the birth center and I was assured that she could wait to eat until either I came back or Jim brought her to the hospital.

I believe that God lead me to Tracy and Melissa. I am not exaggerating when I say that these two women acted as angels to me during this time. Tracy never left my side and continued massaging my uterus to control the bleeding. I tried not to panic and the EMT was very friendly explaining that I was doing well, not in shock and still maintaining good pulse and blood pressure. When we arrived at the hospital, they wouldn’t let me go to Labor and Delivery. They instead insisted that I go to the ER despite the fact that we’d called ahead and that my midwives have a good working relationship with the OB hospitalists. At this point, I don’t feel out of line in saying that the hospital was atrocious and negligent in my care. They were asking me every arbitrary question to admit me and they would not allow me to be seen by an OB. Rather an ER doctor came by and in my panic I started demanding to be seen by an obstetrician. These doctors and nurses must’ve been having a really bad day because instead of responding to me with medical care and attention, the doctor left saying that I was refusing to be seen. A nurse came in to give me a second IV and tell me to “stop it,” and that they could give me a transfusion if I needed more blood. At this point my pulse was around 150 bpm and I was losing my ability to hear. I pleaded with them to get me a doctor, as I could still feel myself gushing blood and I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to keep myself from full on losing my mind.

I have to say it again, Tracy and Melissa are angels. They never left my side even for a minute and Tracy massaged my uterus for an hour as we waited in the ER. Melissa put her face right above mine and talked to me calmly about her life and her ambitions to become a midwife. I knew that Jim had called my dad to pray and he’d texted my dear friends in Texas to pray as well. I was distraught because this was very similar to the scene of Amelia’s birth, only it was a botched epidural/spinal and a traumatic c section the last time. My midwives continued to listen to me and reassure me. Tracy was advocating for me and trying to get a doctor to come examine me. As I felt my panic reach its breaking point, I laid my hand across my abdomen and I said aloud “In Jesus name, bleeding stop. In Jesus name, bleeding stop. I am not afraid.” I heard Tracy agree with me. As I’m writing this, tears come to my eyes because I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and my pulse began to drop. An OB finally came in and she was attentive and concerned. Her name was Wendy Smith and she wanted to take me to the OR to do an exam and possibly a D&C because everyone was fairly sure that I had some retained placenta. Tracy and Melissa accompanied me to L&D so that I could meet the anesthesiologist and be prepped for the OR.

As I got up to L&D, I began to feel much better. My bleeding slowed and my hearing was returning. I no longer felt terrified but instead I felt calm and able to make decisions. We decided on sedation and I headed back with a really caring OB and team of L&D nurses. One of them was named Anna and I was so glad that they were all making eye contact with me. As I headed into the brightly lit OR, I wondered if I would feel terror or have a flash back of my c section but instead I felt God’s love. I felt the weight of His immense love for me and I started to blink back tears on the table because there is no way to bear even a small portion of that love without overflowing. The anesthesiologist did a great job because I spent about an hour having the most real hallucinations! I told the room afterwards that I was going to make him cookies and it reminded me of both the Lego Movie and the sci-fi movie Lucy at the same time.

In the end, the cause of my bleeding was undetermined because the OB could find nothing wrong! She stitched up two minor tears and I awoke to Tracy and Melissa. They had stayed right outside the OR waiting for me for me. Again, angels. The L&D staff said that I had lost a significant amount of blood but that as long as I felt able and my vitals looked ok, they would release me back to the birth center that morning. So, Jim packed up the little baby and drove to the hospital where I could feed her and then we could recover for the next two days at the birth center. Funnily, I left the birth center completely naked so Jim brought me some clothes but he forgot shoes! At 10am I slowly walked barefoot out of the hospital and gratefully into the arms of the postpartum midwives at the birth center where I received nothing short of excellent (even luxurious) care for the next two days enjoying my baby and husband.

birth center, midwife, midwives, birth

Overall, what can I say? Neither of my birth experiences have been “normal.” I’m assured that the third time’s a charm! Some might say that because of this birth, I regret not being in the hospital to begin with. But nothing could be further from the truth. It was always our plan to treat birth as non-emergent unless it became so. And in that sense, everything went according to plan. I feel that my midwife is highly educated and trained to respond to an emergency and that’s exactly what she did. I’m so grateful that she let me labor uninhibited and deliver my child in the way that my body knew how to do and yet she stepped in when her hands-on attention was much needed. Some people will decide that hospital birth is best for them, and I’m totally on board with that! But for me, I know that God guided me to make the right decisions about my care. I know that He was not surprised by anything that happened and He did not leave me or Hailey at any point.

Tracy thinks that I did retain part of my placenta; she said that it looked “shreddy,” when she checked it out later. Her opinion is that when she manually swept my uterus, she got the placenta out but that it took a while for the bleeding to stop. The hospital said that it was my first degree labial tear that caused so much bleeding, but truthfully that doesn’t seem plausible to me because of the way my uterus was reacting. Ultimately, I don’t know what caused the bleeding and the failure of my uterus to clamp down but I believe that God heard my prayer in the ER. I believe that God heard Jim’s prayer, and my dad’s prayer, and my friend’s prayers.

In many ways, this birth has been healing because I went through the fire and yet wasn’t burned. I birthed my baby on my own without surgery or drugs and God held me through the complications. He replaced my disempowerment and fear with strength and peace!

Hailey is perfect and lovely in every way. She has a peaceful and accommodating nature. Amelia loves her and gives her kisses all the time. I am grateful, for my daughters, my midwives, my husband, the L&D team, all the people who prayed, all the people who supported our family, and the plan God had for our lives at this time.


Submitted by Anna Ryan. 

A Blood Clot, Zika, and High Risk Natural Hospital Birth

A Blood Clot, Zika, and High Risk Natural Hospital Birth

Three years ago I was traumatized during my son’s birth and it took me a long time to be ready for another baby. When we found out we were pregnant again we were excited and ready to give natural birth another shot. When I was 21 weeks pregnant we moved to Tonga (in the South Pacific) to serve as missionaries for two years. We met with a local midwife who barely spoke English and she agreed to do our home birth. But when we were offered a different ministry job when I was 29 weeks pregnant we decided to come home to Washington. As we were driving to the airport my leg began to swell and I knew that I had developed a blood clot. Over the course of our twenty-four hour trip home my husband began to feel sick and we knew that he had contracted Zika. When we finally arrived home and were able to go to the ER, they confirmed that both were true – I had a large DVT from my iliac vein to my knee and Charlie’s test came back positive for Zika. Our dream of a home birth went out the window, and it took me nearly two more months to find an OB who would take my high risk case so late in my pregnancy. I was put on a blood thinner and the doctors let us know that if my labor was quick (meaning I had taken my blood thinner within the previous twelve hours) that an epidural would not be an option.

It was Saturday morning and I was 38 weeks and 6 days into my pregnancy. It was a beautiful day and after discovering the loss of my mucus plug that morning I knew labor was going to be happening sometime that weekend. I didn’t have any signs of labor all day other than just feeling very “ready”. She had been getting lower and lower for weeks, and the previous Tuesday my doctor had confirmed that I was dilated 4cm. I was very discouraged by the time I went to bed that night around 10:30pm, I thought for sure that I would have started having at least some cramping by then.

Around 2am I woke up to some loud banging upstairs and checked to make sure everything was okay, which it was. I went back to bed but shortly after laying down felt my first real contraction. It felt like a Braxton Hicks contraction, but lower in my uterus and painful. I started having them every few minutes, they were about ten breaths long. I knew it was finally time and I was so excited! After about half an hour I got in the shower and by the time I got out I knew it was time to wake up Charlie and start packing our stuff. The contractions were short but very intense, I could not talk or move through them. Charlie was excited and giddy as he got ready, and he seemed to miss how fast things were progressing until I finally looked him in the eyes and told him we NEED to leave soon. I was struggling to walk around and finish getting ready and packing and was frustrated that I couldn’t brush my hair because I just wanted to leave! We were finally ready and left for the hospital around 4am.

Once we got in the car I began timing contractions and they were about 3-4 minutes apart and 1-2 minutes long the entire 40 minute drive. At one point we had to pull over so I could throw up on the side of the highway. I was feeling very scared about what lay ahead of us and I was regretting my choice to have a natural birth. I knew that if these contractions were already this painful that transition and delivery were going to be hell. I kept telling Charlie how I didn’t want to do this.

Emma, our doula, greeted us in the parking lot and was very helpful in confirming for me that “Yah, this part sucks balls.” Which made me feel better. We somehow managed to get the worst nurse in the entire hospital who asked me during a contraction, “So, what brings you in?” When she checked my cervix I was 6cm, 90% effaced and my bag of waters was “bulging”. I wanted an epidural so bad at this point but she confirmed for me that they couldn’t, because I had taken my blood thinner seven hours earlier. I was so pissed and did not want to be labouring naturally anymore. They transferred us to a delivery room and during my next contraction I must have muttered the word “pressure” because she checked me again and I was 9cm. Apparently I went through transition in the wheel chair 😉

I was really happy to hear that my doctor was on call that night. I had a crazy time trying to find an OB in my last trimester and was so relieved when I started seeing him, but I knew that my odds of getting him for delivery were slim. He brought some familiarity and comfort to the situation. He let me know that everything was ready to go and I could either continue to labor and wait for my water to break, or he could break it right now and she would most likely be born immediately. I didn’t know what to do and was frustrated that no one would tell me what the better choice was. On the one hand my contractions were incredibly painful, but they were actually spaced out pretty far apart. But on the other hand I was terrified of pushing her out and couldn’t bring myself to jump into that next phase. So I continued to lay on my side in the bed for about another hour as my contractions got more painful and I could feel her moving lower and lower.

Emma and Charlie suggested I roll to my right side so I did, and during my next contraction I felt my body do a huge involuntary push and my bag of waters exploded all over the bed. “Breaking” is not the correct term for what happened, it was honestly the biggest gush and it terrified the crap out of me (I don’t know why). I immediately began panicking and screaming and soon my doctor and nurses had returned to the room. This part is more of a blur than the rest because it happened so fast and I was completely freaking out the whole time. I grabbed Charlie and wrapped my arms around his neck and began pushing her out. This was very different than I imagined it because it wasn’t controlled pushing during contractions punctuated with breaks, but more like one long push with pauses, while I screamed bloody murder. I remember feeling her crown briefly and then they told me her head was out. I don’t think Ive ever been so happy in my life! I gave another hard push and the rest of her was born. I was so glad it was over and couldn’t believe it all happened so quickly. After a few minutes Charlie cut the cord and I was able to lay her on my chest. She was born at 7:08am, about five hours after my first contraction.

hospital birth, zika, blood clot

hospital birth, zika, blood clot

hospital birth, labor, zika, blood clot

It was such a beautiful celebration and the atmosphere in the room alone made all the pain worth it. It was amazing just being able to take unlimited time together as a family without anyone stressing over us. Eventually we moved into our recovery room and ordered breakfast and called our families. Everyone was able to meet her within a few hours!

hospital birth, zika, blood clot

hospital birth, zika, blood clot

hospital birth, zika, blood clot

hospital birth, zika, blood clot

Submitted by Sara Montes. 

Photographs by Have Heart Photography

Pushing Past Pubis Symphysis for a Natural Hospital Birth

Pushing Past Pubis Symphysis for a Natural Hospital Birth

I was dreaming that my water broke, with this odd sensation of fluid flowing from me, then I woke and it took me a second to realize I wasn’t dreaming at all, my water had actually broke!

It was 4:30am January 21, 2016, exactly one week before baby’s due date. I was very thankful I had placed a soaker pad under the sheets a few days before! I woke hubs and told him the news, he jumped out of bed and I reminded him we weren’t in a rush and to get back in. The first call I made was to my mom, she answered the phone screaming, and was so excited to hear things were happening. The next call was to the midwife. She was very calming and reassuring, and suggested hubs and I go back to sleep in preparation for little one’s arrival. We both laid in bed and nodded on and off, but we were so excited we couldn’t sleep. We got up and went about our day. I was full of energy, we cleaned the whole house, I made cookies!

Contractions had started around 6:30am but they were not painful and disorganized, My midwife would later tell me this was typical of early labor and that I wasn’t in true labor yet. Throughout the day I kept active, doing the stairs in hopes of getting things going. Around 4:30pm I was getting discouraged, the contractions were getting farther apart, though they seemed a little stronger. My midwife happened to call and check in at this time, I told her how I was feeling and she decided to come over and see how we were doing. She checked me and I was 3cm, did a membrane sweep and was able to stretch me to 5cm, and decided I was officially in active labour at around 5pm. She left and encouraged me to call her when things started getting more intense. Hubs and I decided to go relax and watch some movies, and the contractions slowed waaaay down, some even stretching to 30 minutes apart. This was extremely discouraging, I even cried a bit in fear that I would have to go to the hospital and get induced. I decided to try and sleep a bit and closed my eyes and then all of a sudden I was struck with the strongest, longest contraction yet, I had to moan through it and even swore a bit because it caught me so off guard.

That’s when things really started happening, the contractions all of a sudden picked up to 3-5 minutes apart and within 30 minutes I knew things were happening. I called my midwife around midnight and she decided to head over. When she arrived she checked me and said I was 7cm, transition had arrived! Although I didn’t have that breakdown that most women experience in transition, I felt energized! I was excited to know that our little boy would be arriving soon! Hubs filled the birth pool and I jumped in, and it was the greatest thing ever! Contractions picked up to about two minutes apart, we chatted, watched friends and laughed. It was all so relaxed and peaceful! Around 3:00 the contractions started feeling overwhelming and I decided to try and push, what a relief! I told the midwife and she was excited. I pushed for a little while in the tub, then she decided to get me out and check me because I wasn’t making as much progress as she would like. She found I wasn’t yet completely dilated and helped me along. I got back into the tub and pushed some more. About an hour into pushing I started experiencing excruciating pelvic pain, my midwife explained this was my pelvic bones (pubis symphysis) separating to allow baby through. This was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life! I tried to push through it, but it was so, so painful. The midwife saw I still wasn’t making much progress so she got me back out of the tub to try some different positions. It seemed like forever. We tried every position you could think of; squatting, hands and knees, on my back, on my sides. Nothing seemed to make any difference.

At about 5 am, I was exhausted. I had been awake for basically 24 hours, save for a few short naps. My contractions slowed to 8 minutes apart and I was literally passing out from exhaustion between contractions. Every contraction was a nightmare and I cried through pushing. The midwives suggested we try one more push then if nothing changed we transfer to the hospital to try a vacuum and give me some gas for pain relief. I was so over pushing so I said screw one more push, let’s go now! We quickly packed everything up, I managed to walk myself up the stairs, to the door and out to car, pausing for a few contractions along the way.

The car ride was awful. The longest 10 minutes of my life.

I had three contractions in the car and something felt different but I was too tired to tell what. When we got to the hospital and were on our way to the labour ward, the midwives heard me pushing and knew something was different too! When we got to the room, I tried to pee but couldn’t, and just ended up pushing on the toilet! They got me into the bed, and I pushed again and there was little to no pelvic pain, and they found that the baby was crowning! Something had shifted in all of the movement between the house and the hospital and he managed to get past my pelvic bone! They encouraged me that we were almost there, and after another ½ hour of very careful pushing, he was here! He cried immediately (before he was even completely out!) and it was the most profound sense of relief I have ever felt. I remember the moment so vividly. Nugget crying and being placed on my chest, and all I could say was “I did it! I can’t believe I did it!” He was a perfect 8lbs 1oz, 21 ¼” with the cutest little brown birth mark on his left arm. He nursed right away and we cuddled for 2 hours! Everything went perfectly, no complications for me or our little man, and we were at home in our own beds, off to sleep three hours after he was born!

I truly, strongly, 100% believe that being able to get up, move, and walk up those stairs and out to the car is what saved me. That amount of movement, plus pushing in odd positions was the key to get baby past my pubic bone and into this world. I am so thankful I chose to attempt a home birth and go as natural as I could because it saved me so many potential interventions!

hospital birth, birth, labor, labour

Submitted by Kirsten Carruthers.

From Niggling Pains to Quick Water Birth at the Hospital!

From Niggling Pains to Quick Water Birth at the Hospital!

I’ve always wanted a water birth, so I arranged to speak to my midwife about my birthing plan. The day I had my midwife appointment I started contracting (niggling pains) at 6am. I was really worried that I wouldn’t get my perfect delivery. After a couple of hours thinking about if I should go or not, I managed to get to my midwife appointment at 11am and told her what I really wanted. At this point my contractions were coming quick, but I wasn’t in that much pain.

After my appointment, my friend dropped me off at my mother’s. She told me to ring the ward because of how fast the contractions were coming, although I still wasn’t in that much pain. By 1:30pm, I decided I’m going to go to the hospital, because I was getting a lot of pressure and was worried that I was going to have my baby at home. My sister got me to the hospital, but I was scared that they were going say I was about 3cm dilated and send me home. The midwife checked me over and I was actually 6cm dilated!

That’s when the pain started to come. I asked about my birthing plan and luckily there was a birthing pool available! I was really happy to the point I wanted to cry. I got in to the pool, the midwife dimmed the lights, and I felt so relaxed. At 4:06pm my little girl arrived (she came so quickly).

birthing tub, water birth, hospital birth

A water birth was the most amazing experience of my life and the whole labour was so easy. Couldn’t ask for a more perfect labour and delivery. Amazing!

hospital birth, water birth, birthing tub

Submitted by Hannah Novak

The Birth Story of Violet Marie – Part 2

The Birth Story of Violet Marie – Part 2

*This is the second part of Violet Marie’s birth story. To read Part One, click here.

The Birth!

Neil came into the bathroom to check me at 3:00pm and sat beside me while I had five back to back contractions then transitioned and puked all over myself and lost my mucous plug. They got me out of the tub and told me the baby was coming and it was time I started pushing. I asked that my midwife check my cervix for the first time after I fell on to the bed. Her mentor, D, checked my cervix and said the babies head was already passed it and it was in the birth canal. I started to push at 4:00pm. At first they said to try and stand up and squat using the sheet we had hanging from the door frame as support. I was too tired to stand so I laid on the edge of the bed. They had an old school birthing stool that they also told me to try but I said I needed to be on the bed so I could rest between pushes. I only wanted to be on the bed and really felt like I needed everyone right there with me giving me instruction and progress reports. This was interesting because I initially wanted to have the baby in water and with no help. I think if I wouldn’t have gone into ketosis/exhaustion I would have birthed that way but due to my circumstances I needed them there with me and I needed to be grounded and on land.

Neil locked Laddie (the dog) into a crate because he was worried he was going to be possessive and concerned about me and didn’t want him biting a midwife or something if they were in my bubble. He hated being kennelled and howled the whole time I “howled” during my pushes. It was actually the most insane thing ever. I have no idea why this rescue dog and I are soulmates, but this totally confirmed it.

Between the pushes I would fall back into Neil’s arms and sleep/pass out for a few moments. My breaks between pushes were longer than the actual pushes and that was what got me through without having to be transported to the hospital. I pushed for almost an hour and a half. I’ve never grunted so hard in my life.

I kept trying to lift my hips and relieve the pressure but the midwives were telling me I needed to bear down and push into the ground like I was pooping if I wanted the baby to come out. It was so hard for me to push through all the pain. As my vagina stretched they chanted/sang “you’re stretching, you’re stretching, you’re open, baby is coming, you’re stretching”. They were so encouraging and it really helped me to keep my focus.

As the baby started to crown they saw that it was still in its water sack and that it was slowing things down and making it harder for me. My midwife tried to pop the sack as it came out but because of the way everything was suctioned it only just released the tiniest amount of water at the top of the babies head. I pushed some more and they noticed the baby had their hand by their face and she warned me that I could maybe tear. They massaged my perineum and told me I needed to stop pushing and very gently ease the baby out with very small pushes. I finally got the head and hand out of and then pushed a few more times and got the shoulders out. With one more swift push, out came the body. The baby was still en caul (in it’s amniotic sac) so she drained the water and pealed off the sac which looked like plastic wrap stuck to the baby. Being born with a caul is rare, occurring in fewer than 1 in 80,000 births. At 5:21pm She placed the baby on my stomach and I felt a slimy warm body move and squirm on top of me. I was so relieved that we were both alive.

birth, midwife, midwives, labor, labour
As they placed her on my stomach. *My midwives asked not to be in pictures online*

I was still completely exhausted and could barely even talk or function. My body was in shock and I could not stop moving my legs and shaking. All I could do was hold my baby and repeat “You’re here baby. We did it. Hi, baby.” over and over. The older midwife went and got me a cup of miso broth while my midwife wiped the baby up with a towel and talked softly to the baby telling it that it was safe and welcome here and that there was lots of space for her to “come in.” I laid there in relief.

D, the older midwife/doula fed me the broth and within seconds I was feeling human again. She then made me a banana, blueberry, kale and coconut water smoothie and I drank that and felt even better. Laddie came into the room and laid on the bed beside us. As I snapped back to reality the baby started to cry and wiggled up my body and started to nurse.

The midwives cleaned up my yoni and made sure everything was okay with my vagina and labia. I had a small cut on my upper labia from Violet’s hand being by her face when I pushed her out. They were so surprised I didn’t tear my perineum.

We still didn’t know the sex of the baby and Neil said “I think it’s a boy, yup it’s a boy”, then they checked and said, no, it’s a girl. My midwife said yes, I knew all along it was a girl! The baby cuddled on top of me and Neil and I conversed our excitement back and forth. I then looked into my baby’s eyes and said “Hi, Violet!” like she had introduced herself to me. We hadn’t discussed names prior to her birth and decided that we’d wait until she was born to name her and Violet was the first thing that came to my mind. This wasn’t a name we had come across while I was pregnant and we were all so shocked when I blurted the name out!

birth, labor, labour, skin to skin
Right after she was born! I was pale as a ghost and so depleted.
birth, baby, labor, labour, midwife
Checking each other out!
skin to skin, birth, home birth
Skin to skin
postpartum, homebirth
Right after she was born
postpartum, baby, newborn, infant, home birth
First cries

30 minutes passed and I still didn’t deliver the placenta. They gave me some herbal tincture to try but it still didn’t come. They knew it had released from my uterine wall because I gushed blood shortly after Violet was born but I was not having any urge to push it out. D decided to massage my stomach and very gently tug on the umbilical cord (which was still attached to Violet). After a little massage and time the placenta slid right out. Y, my midwife tore off two bite sized pieces of the fresh placenta and fed them to me. I ate them right up and surprisingly enjoyed it (with the help of a chaser). I think my body really needed the energy and vitality from it. We wrapped the placenta in a towel and placed it on my stomach still attached to the baby.

My placenta

The midwives left us in the room and started to clean the house and prepare some postpartum things for us to use (sitz bath tea, comfey pads, cut up my placenta and homeopathies and tinctures).

The raw placenta I ate for 4 days postpartum
Sitz bath, dried placenta and a comfrey pad

Neil, Violet, Laddie and I all laid in bed and marvelled over our new family member.

postpartum, baby, infant, parents, dad, mom
Excited new parents!
postpartum, new mom

We laid in bed for 4 hours bonding as a family then decided to burn her umbilical cord and officially welcome her earth side. The midwives each had a candle and burned the cord until it released. We weighed and measured her and the midwives left for the night.

umbilical cord
Burning the cord

Neil called and text all our family and shared the news. We tucked into bed and snuggled and waited for her to pass meconium. We kept Violet naked for the first 48 hours of her life so we could be skin to skin as much as possible. We used cloth prefold diapers under her to keep the fluids contained. We all fell asleep and had a great first night as a family of three (It all seems like a blur to me now!).

infant, newborn
Five hours old

My parents came the day after she was born to help us for a week. The midwives came to check on us in the morning and afternoon before my parents arrived. Once my parents arrived, my mom cleaned the house, did laundry, and made sure I was fed and had lots of water and got lots of rest. My dad supported Neil and played with the dogs and made sure they had their needs met.

newborn, infant
One day old
One day old
One day old!

My healing journey was rather quick considering the fact that I just pushed out a 6lb 14oz human. My uterus was shrunk back to its original size and my bleeding stopped within a few days and I was up and about feeling energized three days postpartum. I took 1 full week of mindful rest and took advantage of the help we had from my parents. For the first month I tried to consciously be in bed from 9pm-9am even if we weren’t sleeping. Keeping this routine definitely helped my recover and process the whole experience.

newborn, sitz bath
Sitz bath and Violet’s first bath at 3 days old
Five days post belly

Motherhood came very naturally to me. I didn’t have any postpartum anxiety or depression. I was very ready to be a mama and was so excited to embark on the journey with Violet once we officially met. My milk came in on day three and breastfeeding was easy besides having tender nipples for the first 10 days or so. I still have an over abundance of milk which leaks everywhere. It did regulate a little bit at 13 weeks but it seems that every time it tapers, Violet cluster feeds or goes through a growth spurt and I over produce again… It can sometimes be a frustrating blessing!

Five days old

Violet will be 4 months old this month and each day is a new and exciting adventure. I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

newborn, infant
July 31st, 2016 – 16 weeks old

So there you have it. The raw story of Violet’s entrance into the world. I hope you enjoyed the lengthy read. I’m already looking forward to another birth to see how it goes differently now that I have experience.

Submitted by Whitney Paige.

The Birth Story of Violet Marie – Part 1

The Birth Story of Violet Marie – Part 1

Brace yourself… It’s a long read! I hope you enjoy it, I share every detail I can recall of my labour and delivery from my own perspective


I had a pretty unconventional pregnancy in the sense that I didn’t participate in any regular prenatal care. I didn’t have a doctor or obstetrician, I didn’t have ultrasounds, no diabetes test, minimal doppler checks, I planned a homebirth and I continued eating my high carb vegan diet throughout my pregnancy. I didn’t participate in regular prenatal care for personal reasons and beliefs.

*I in no way think my way it the “best way” for everyone, it was just the best way for me at the time! Please be aware that this is not my recommendation for others to follow what I did, I am just sharing my personal experience.

At 11 weeks pregnant I hired a local “midwife/doula” who supported me from that day forward. She isn’t a trained nurse but has 18 years of experience delivering babies and supporting women who want natural and holistic home births. My prenatal support was mainly working through emotional stuff that could potentially hold Neil and I back from being the best parents we could be. We did a lot of healing, talking and clearing while I was pregnant. Y, my midwife and I both strongly shared in the desire to allow me to have an undisturbed/gentle pregnancy and birth.

My “due date” came and went on March 24th, 2016. After this I checked in with my midwife almost daily. She’d pop over with her adopted 5 month old son to check to see how we were doing or we’d chat on the phone. By this point in my pregnancy I was getting quite antsy to go into labour, but also trusted that my body and baby were in perfect unison to trigger spontaneous labour when we were both ready.

pregnancy, birth,

At 41 weeks I had an appointment with a local chiropractor. He assessed my body to make sure everything was in alignment for labour. He said I was the happiest and fittest overdue woman he ever met! That was a great thing to hear.

birth, pregnancy, chiropractor
Chiropractor appointment at 41 weeks along

Another week past and nothing changed. I was still full of energy, was able to tie my shoes and put on socks, was walking and rebounding on my mini trampoline daily and was feeling like I might stay pregnant forever.

rebounding, trampoline, birth, pregnancy
Rebounding on April 5th, 2016

Neil and I had be anticipating meeting our baby for weeks now. Our days slowed and all we could think about and focus on was labour and delivery. We had the birthing pool ready to go, the house clean, food made, and our bedroom ready to welcome our child. Still nothing happened. At this point my midwife started to suggest some gentle tools to encourage baby to come. I took some homeopathic remedies and herbs, and she did acupressure and acupuncture on a few points on my body. She was convinced that I’d go into labour that night. I didn’t.

birth prep, pregnancy
Prepping the bedroom the night I went into labour

I then decided to take matters a little more seriously and hired the local acupuncturist to do three consecutive treatments on me in three consecutive days. On Thursday April 7th (Neil’s 29th birthday) I went to his office for my first treatment. He went gentle and just encouraged my body to open up and move energy downward. On Friday I went back and he intensified the treatment slightly and focused on emotional surrender and clearing. If I didn’t go into labour that night he planned to come to my home the next morning at 11am to do the final treatment. I went to bed Friday night with no signs of impending labour.

midwife, pregnancy, birth prep, labor, labour
April 9th, 2016 – My final acupuncture session before going into labour

Labour Begins

At about 1:00am I woke up with some mild contractions and couldn’t sleep so went and watched a movie on my laptop on the couch. The contractions were nothing to “write home about” so I just left Neil sleep! His sister was visiting and stayed overnight on Friday so on Saturday morning at 8:30am he left me home and took her to catch the bus so she could go home. While he was gone I only had a few contractions. 11am rolled around on Saturday and I had my 3rd acupuncture treatment. Going to the hospital for induction still didn’t cross my mind at this point even though I was 42+3 days pregnant. During my final acupuncture treatment I started having some more contractions. He left and Neil and I spent the day just hanging out listening to music and playing cribbage as labour slowly started. By 11pm that night things were getting pretty intense and we called our midwife/doula to come over. She took about an hour to arrive and Neil was starting to get nervous because the contractions were getting closer together and a lot more intense. I kept reassuring him that I was fine and everything was normal.

I paced around the kitchen and living room into the wee hours of the night moaning through the intense sensations. Our 4 dogs all slept in their beds through the noise and energy changes, which surprised me. Neil was slightly in shock and didn’t realize I’d be in such pain. He tried to rest as much as he could because I didn’t want to be touched, talked to or even acknowledged during my contractions/rushes. I sipped ice water and joked and had a lot of energy between my rushes. I also peed and had a few bowel movements during the night of labour. I had so much adrenaline and excitement I didn’t sleep all night. During contractions it was all business and I was totally gone within. Looking back I wish I would of rested and ate between contractions instead of talking and walking and wish I would of got Neil and my midwife to coach me in breathing through the contractions instead of refusing their support. I wasted a lot of energy that night that I needed for the next day of labour and pushing.

At 1:00am I started to not feel well and became more tired out. I had already been up for 24 hours at this point and only had a few rests during early labour. At 2am I puked in the kitchen sink and it made me feel a lot better. After that I got into the birthing pool in our bedroom. I laboured in there for 3+ hours while Neil and the midwife hung out and rested in the bedroom. She’d check the babies heart beat periodically and gave me homeopathies. The time in the birthing pool was the most insane and intense spiritual journey/meditation I’ve ever experienced in my life. I felt so connected to the baby and was basically having full conversations with the spirit inside me while I moved through the rushes. Between contractions I’d meditate and go off on wild crazy trips.

birth pool, birth tub, labor, labour
In the birthing pool at 3am on Sunday April 10th

I felt like I needed to start pushing at around 4:00am. I started to feel afraid and not ready for the next phase of labour. My midwife was tired (she was 10 weeks pregnant at the time) so decided to call her mentor to come support us for the birth. We had discussed this before I went into labour and all agreed that it would be okay but in the heat of the moment I was in such an altered state that I didn’t comprehend what she was doing and became fearful that something was wrong and she needed backup. My body completely closed up at this time and about an hour after her mentor came (who I hadn’t yet met – she was in the living room meditating and trying to hold space for me) my labour completely slowed.

I got out of the pool at 5:00am as the sun came up and was feeling completely defeated and disappointed that the baby hadn’t arrived yet. We were all exhausted at this point. Neil and I got into bed and had a nap from 5am-8am. I didn’t have contractions during this time and slept very deeply for three hours straight. At 8am I was awoken with the most intense contraction yet. It lasted what felt like forever and I cried and moaned the whole time releasing frustration over the fact that I was still pregnant. At this point I had completely lost track of time and didn’t even feel like I was apart of society. I was in a whole other world.

The midwife came into the room and gave us a pep talk. She instructed us to work as a team and told us that it was our job to get this baby here and that we needed to work together as a couple to make that happen. She said we needed to pull ourselves together and get this baby here or else we’d need to consider alternative measures like going to the hospital. This little talk snapped us back to the reality that things needed to happen and that we needed to get our shit together and take on our first challenge as parents. Neil decided to take the three female dogs to boarding which was just a five minute drive from our house and leave Laddie the male dog (who has separation anxiety) home with me.

I was utterly exhausted by this time. I barely slept the night before and wasted all my energy labouring and was basically back at square one. I was so mad at myself and I started doubting my choices. I started to have fears that something was wrong with the baby or that I couldn’t give birth naturally.

My contractions intensified from there. I hated laying down through the contractions and had the strongest desire to be walking but I didn’t have a choice at this point because I was so tired and physically couldn’t even move off the bed without assistance. Neil laid beside me and calmed me by repeating “stay calm, just breathe, breathe, breathe, it’s okay” over and over through my contractions. His voice and energy made everything so much more manageable that day.

At 10am I started violently puking between my contractions. Neil would try to feed me sips of water or juice and I was so weak I couldn’t even lift my head to drink. I was so frustrated because I’d work so hard to get just a few millilitres of liquid and was trying to stay hydrated and healthy but I’d puke it up right away and I just didn’t have the energy to be puking so much.

I was getting weaker and more delirious by the minute. I really needed an IV at this point but because my midwife isn’t a nurse she didn’t have the ability to administer one. They knew that I just needed electrolytes and kept trying to give me miso broth, coconut water and labouraid but I refused and was being so stubborn. I hated the thought of puking those beverages up. Just thinking about it made me puke.

They were all getting concerned for me and started to tell me that I NEEDED to keep something down or we’d have to go to the hospital for IV. I remember laying there dreaming that an ambulance was going to come pick me up and take me to the hospital. That was all I wanted at this point, was for everything to be over. I didn’t know how I could go on. I told them I couldn’t do it anymore and that I couldn’t have this baby, it was too hard…

My midwife was checking the babies heart beat with her doppler and having me pee on a stick to check for ketosis every hour. I had more and more ketones in my urine as the hours passed and was starting to get into dangerous territory.

At 2:00pm I asked if they could help get me into the tub. I laboured in our bathtub while the midwives and Neil sat outside on the deck making an action plan for if/when I needed to be transported to the hospital that was 40 minutes away. I laid in the dark bathroom with one small tea light flickering in the corner, breathing and moaning through my contractions and passing out between them. I didn’t even feel like I was in my house or my body. My dog sat stoically beside the tub protecting me and giving me all the energy he had. I felt like he was keeping me going and I could actually see energy coming from his body into mine… I’m guessing this was the ketosis talking and it wasn’t actually happening (maybe it was though- we’ll never know ;)!!).

Read Part Two of the birth of Violet Marie here!

Submitted by Whitney Paige

Finally! It’s Over! A Birth Story.

Finally! It’s Over! A Birth Story.

My plans were to have an unassisted home birth and to not have any prenatal care. But plans don’t always work out.

So at 36 weeks pregnant, after eating dinner, I feel water down my legs and freak out completely thinking oh crap my water broke, here I am with no house (living at the in laws between houses) got no baby stuff ready and this baby could be a preemie! So I called my husband who carted me off to the hospital. Turns out I had a hind water leak and I should just go home and come back if I had any concerns.

But a hospital visit isn’t that simple.

I was lectured how my baby and I were going to die leaving my husband and my other 2 kids because my baby was going to have shoulder dystocia like my daughter did and I was going to bleed to death. Basically trying to scare me the hell away from my home birth plans.

I went home remembering that I knew what I was doing and what they were saying was just to scare me. I also went home after being assigned a midwife. So this midwife gets me to come see her. I don’t particularly like her, but she states if I have the baby in the hospital that she will “allow” me to have a delayed cord clamping, my husband to catch the baby, so on. So I was happy to have some kind of support if I landed up in hospital for some reason.

I never saw her for another prenatal because she was very set on me having ultrasound testing and that’s not something I agree with. At 39 weeks, we moved houses. I was getting sick of being pregnant and my kids were traumatised from living with my in laws as our parenting is very different, so I was trying to get them to settle back down (poor kids) and unpack the house.

During a conversation with a friend it occurred to me that a homebirth at this time just wasn’t going to work. So I made the choice to labour at home and birth at the hospital.

As the days pass, I’m having contractions every day and wondering where they’re going. I get to 41 weeks and I am OVER the contractions and very over being pregnant. This midwife lady (let’s call her R) is calling me asking me to come in because I’m “overdue”. I continue to decline.

On Friday, 29th October, at 41+3 weeks, I was in the shower and I said to myself, “Now would be a really great time for my water to break”. My kids were up and could go to a baby sitter easily, my Mum was coming to Canberra the next day so wouldn’t miss the birth, my husband had Saturday off…couldn’t get more perfect right? I get out of the shower and I’m standing in the hallway getting dry while chatting to my kids and I feel a trickle down my leg. I froze. I looked down and thought maybe it’s just water from the shower? Another trickle. Did I seriously just ask my water to break and it’s broken? Another trickle.


My husband comes out of the study with a big smile on his face. I’m standing there naked with amniotic fluid trickling down my legs with a dorky smile on my face too. FINALLY this kid was going to come.

So I get dressed and start calling people. I’m on a high, I’m in labour yes! I call R, but someone else answers and says I can go get checked out if I like, but otherwise stay home and labour till I need go in. I figured I’d stay home and get some rest. We dropped the kids off at a lovely friend of ours place and went home. I filled a pad while dropping them off and when I checked it I guessed there was some meconium in the fluid. I called the MW back and she said to come in if I’m really worried. So to be safe I ducked in to the hospital.

This midwife who was covering for R (let’s name her M) told me she wasn’t sure if it was meconium or not, but she wasn’t worried about it. I had a chat with Brad and we decided it was best to have an internal to see how dilated I was, if I was only a little bit we would go get the kids and go home. I was 2-3cm. So we went and got the toddlers and went home. I fell asleep as soon as I got home and slept mostly through the night, waking to pee, etc. Woke up fully at 4am and lay there timing contractions for a few hours till everyone else woke up. They were 9-15 minutes apart for 50 seconds.

Around 8am, R calls me and says she will be at the hospital at 10am. I was like ‘OK…C-ya’. I had no intentions of going anywhere. I woke my husband and asked him to come and lay down with me because I was sore and wanted a hug. When we were finally ready to start the day properly, Brad got up and made the kids breakfast and I rang my Mum and talked to her about the worries of us not having a baby sitter available that day. She called my brother for me and he ended up saving the day. 🙂

I then got a text from R saying she was going home and to call M if I need to. I was SO very luck to have that happen. My brother got to my place at about 2pm. I had been sleeping most of the day and was still really tired, but I was sick of the random contractions and just wanted to get out of bed. I called M and she was already headed in so we met her there and I was obviously in some early labour, but I told her I wasn’t leaving till I had the baby. I had seriously had enough.

My lovely friend who took photos during the birth was at work that afternoon. I wanted her there and I wanted my Mum. Next thing I know Brad gets a phone call from Mum asking where to park! She was coming! I was thrilled. Mum and her lovely wife (MJ) arrived and I hugged them tight. I felt so damn lucky.

My contractions were all over the place. Sometimes they were 5 minutes apart sometimes an hour! I was starting to get impatient. I asked M if she could please check to see how dilated I was. I was 3-4cm. I started crying. I felt like my body was failing me. M also said she wasn’t sure if my waters had really broken or not. I ended up asking for them to try and break them. Brad asked me if I really wanted it done. I told him I’d had enough and I was buggered. So they tried to break the sac, but turns out it was already broken so there was nothing they could do.

We decided that MJ and Brad were going to pop home to check on the kids. Nothing was happening so figured may as well. After they left, Mum and I paced the hallway, contractions were frequent when I was walking. I held onto Mum and swayed through them. I loved having her there.

We went back to the room at 9pm. (I remember the time cuz one of the hallway doors shuts at 9pm) M came in and said if I wanted her at the actual birth she was going to go home and rest while another lady took over and she would come back when things picked up. She left and was replaced by this other midwife E. I didn’t like E.

I called Brad to see what was going on at home. He had gotten the kids to sleep and was planning coming back (yay). Mum and I decided to walk again as the contractions backed right off again. We walked the hallway maybe once and the contractions suddenly hit me like a bus. I pushed away from my Mum and I remember wondering when the pain was going to stop so I could keep walking, but it just kept coming. I remember Mum saying she needed to hang onto me to keep me safe.

Then suddenly there were two midwifes there and one of them had a red shirt on. She led me back to my room and put me on the bed on my hands and knees, bless her. I was in transition and I wasn’t pleasant. I knew the baby was coming soon and I was questioning where the eff Brad was. He suddenly was there and I told him I needed to go to the toilet. I used my bowels a few times sitting there being a bitch in full on transition. It was too hot and Brad kept moving when I wanted him to stay the hell still. I got up and halfway to the bed I wanted to go back to the toilet. And there I stayed. I refused to get up.

E was bugging me to move, because I couldn’t have the baby on the toilet. I kept looking at Brad in my ‘breaks’ as if to say to make them stop telling me what to do. I remember my Mum saying that I was acting like a 3 year old. I look back now and I so was. Finally M is back. She told me later on that E had called and said ‘Rachel has changed. You need to get back here now.’ I looked at her and felt much better, she was with me, my  birth will be awesome.

Then I was back to bitchy. M was using the doppler throughout and I slapped her hand away once. Brad asked me later if I was okay with the amount of doppler use. I am okay with it, because the entire pregnancy I had nothing and if that’s what it took to get the birth I wanted then go for it.

I saw Anna turn up. I thought, yes my team is all here. I waved at her at one point. She started taking photos and every time I heard her voice it was like the calm in the storm. She thinks like I think and I respect her a lot. She convinced me to get off the toilet. So, I stood up and got to the bed. It was nicer standing up and being out of the hot bathroom. They asked me what I wanted to do and I said lay on the bed. I was so tired. But I couldn’t do it. I wanted all fours.

I slumped my body over the top of the bed and when I had a contraction I would push my body into it. Man I was loud! I recall screaming. I was thinking that I didn’t want to be loud, but I needed to be. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t have been able to do it. My thoughts were all over the place. I was blank during my ‘breaks’, but during a contraction I would think ‘come on baby, crown’ and stuff like that. I was impatient and tired. I wanted him the hell out of me.

I kept asking for someone to push on my tail bone and I really didn’t like my back being massaged. I just wanted someone to rub my back. I think I got annoyed when people tried to massage my back, but I don’t remember all that clearly. Someone, who I learned later was Brad, was at my ankles, I remember feeling them being held.

Then finally, finally I felt the ring of fire. I embraced it! My brain went ‘finally’ and my body was ready. I had been working hard this entire time to feel that pain and I was so glad it had arrived (and woohoo for not being checked to see if I was “ready to push” instinct for the win!). As I was pushing I would bring my body right low. Someone told me to feel the baby’s head. I was surprised when I reached down and felt an entire head! I thought there would just be a little crowning. I poked bub in the face! Wow the whole head was out! This baby was coming NOW! I was ecstatic in my head.

My birth team reading this will probably just remember me being super loud, but my thoughts were crazy happy. I wasn’t too concerned about meeting the baby, I was really tired and wanted to rest. A few more massive pushes and out bubby came. I don’t know how I found out ‘he’s a boy’, but sure enough, as my brain had told me only about 2 weeks ago, it’s a boy!

Brad passed him through my legs and I sat up on my legs so I was kneeling. I held him up to me and thought ‘finally it’s done’. Someone asked his name and I couldn’t get it out of my mouth. Brad filled the gap for me and said ‘Lewis’.

He didn’t cry really at all. I blew in his face a few times, he wasn’t suctioned or anything. I think he was just really quite content. MJ said later she saw him take a huge breath.

I then needed to move, I was aching all over. Someone held bub while I somehow rolled over with the baby still attached to me. I don’t recall how that happened exactly. I was on my back with Lewis on my chest and I was not interested in him one bit. I started freaking out that there was another baby (remember I hadn’t had an ultrasound so I didn’t know). A reassured me that  it was just the placenta. I was shaking like crazy. A was squeezing my hand and reassuring me. I think M told me to push if I had a contraction.

I pushed the placenta out after 13 minutes. I’m glad it wasn’t in me longer, because it was stressing me out, Just the feeling that there was another baby to come out and I was so tired I didn’t wanna do it again.

After about half an hour of laying there, A trying to get me to look at Lewis. I just wanted to move. I didn’t like being on my back. I asked if the cord had stopped pulsating and if it had to go ahead and cut it. My back was killing me. So Brad cut the cord and I went to have a shower. After a shower I felt tons better and was able to finally pay attention to bub. I tried nursing him, but he wasn’t latching, he just wanted to poke around. He didn’t have a good feed until about 5 hours later, he just was sleeping. No problems here I wanted sleep too! Haha!

He weighed in at 3.7kilo and 47cm long. Lewis Walter James.

*Sent in by Rachel B.

An Unplanned Home VBAC!

An Unplanned Home VBAC!

Unplanned home VBAC by Audrey

With my first daughter, I had a long labour which ended in too much hospital intervention and an eventual emergency cesarean. Throughout my second pregnancy I was fixated by my previous labour. I was very frightened of being interfered with again. My midwife was amazing, she gave me her contact number and said to call when I went into labour-we would then take it from there.

I woke at 6 a.m. on the day my second daughter was born. I was having regular pains approximately 15 minutes apart. As my first labour was so long, I assumed this one would be too, so I sent my husband off to work. I called two friends to come and spend the day with me and my two year old.

We spent the day chatting, went for a long walk and had lunch. The pains where intense and regular, approximately every ten minutes. This went on all day. At about 4:30, I sent my friend home as I was fairly sure I was in for an uncomfy, unsettled night.

At five my pains suddenly accelerated. Every five minutes. I took my daughter into the garden and we danced through the contractions! I called my husband home.

My husband arrived home at 6 p.m. By this point I could no longer stand and was crawling in circles. He took our daughter to bed and settled her. As he went upstairs he said, “Call the Midwife. This is it.” I was adamant that this wasn’t it, I was convinced I couldn’t birth naturally. I just couldn’t.

I phoned my midwife who after a brief panted conversation said, “You’re fairly far on…I can tell. I am coming over”. I then called my friend tocome babysit, I thought we were off to hospital. My friend arrived followed by my midwife. It was 7:30.

The midwife examined me. I was 8 cm! She called an ambulance. She had no equipment with her! As I climbed down from the sofa where examination had occurred, my waters broke. Suddenly I was pushing.

The ambulance arrived. The paramedics sat and drank tea in the kitchen with my friend. Forty minutes later I had given birth to my beautiful baby girl. Totally naturally. My first born slept through the whole thing and woke the next day to a baby sister.

It was the most wonderful birth more than I ever dared to hope for.



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