At 12:30am 4/7/12 I rolled over in bed and felt a discharge large enough to wake me up: my show had come! I quietly ducked out of our bedroom and called the midwife (so as not to wake Kiel just yet). I had no other signs of labour so the midwife told me to try and get a few hours more rest and then come in for a check up. When I crawled back into bed I was woken 12:57 by the first wave of surges, then 12 minutes later, 11 minutes later, then 10, 10, 10 … By 2am it was intense enough that I wanted to get into a hot shower for some relief. So I woke Kiel and told him to start the “To Do List” I had made for him on the list while I jump in the shower. He set up the affirmations track for me to listen to while in the shower. We were both calm, but excited.
By 2:45 we were in the car ready to go to the hospital: I called the midwife to say meet us there in 30 minutes. She asked how frequent the surges were (she wasn’t my regular midwife ” just one that was oncall) ” I said they were still around 10 minutes apart, and she said “oh we probably still have plenty of time” .. I said “No, I’m ready to come in now, I’ll see you there in half an hour”. By the time we arrived at the hospital they were 3 minutes apart, and around 3 minutes long. Annoyingly a lot of the pressure was coming through in my thighs which didn’t feel like ‘productive’ pain that I could work with for birthing i.e. it wasn’t in my abdomen to be imagining this pushing my baby down ” she wasn’t going to birth from my legs !?
Anyway. By the time we got to the birthing suite I had diahorrea and vomitting (which I would sometimes get with severe period pain monthly), so trying to breathe and relax when my body convulses and I reach for a spew bag wasn’t really possible for me. I got in the bath and Kiel put water down my lower back and thighs to help with the pressure. They gave me a shot to help with the vomitting (with limitted success). By 6am I was feeling really disheartened that I wasn’t feeling the pan in my abdomen that I could work with to breathe down and birth Charlotte … so I asked for some gas take the edge off. At 7am I felt my abdomen contract / convulse ! I was thrilled ! This is it ! This is was the sensations I was waiting for and that I felt I could work with … so I threw the gas away and tried to get comfortable in the bath. Eventually, laying on my back (suspended in the water) with my head wedged in the corner of the bath with a pillow, Kiel beside me with a cold cloth over my forehead ” I was the calmest and most focused.
Kiel was constantly reading scripts and affirming that I was doing well and telling me to just keep breathing, as well as blocking unnecessary chit chat from me. When I found my position in the bath I opened my eyes, looked at Kiel and said “No more talking now”. Thankfully by this stage the midwife who had seen me through the pregnancy arrived for her shift and took over. I worked the J-Breathe with each new surge, and rested calmly in between, my mid-wife explained that I was ‘stretching nicely’ with each series of surges, which was nicely affirming. They saw her crowning and asked if I wanted a mirror or to touch her … I just shook my head … I wasn’t ready yet. I had some internal dialogue happening with my baby: telling her that we are doing well, let’s work together, it’s not long now and we can finally meet each other. Then on my own accord I reached down and felt her full head of hair … the end was so close now. And at 9:53 with those final surges, breaths ” she entered the world in silence and she locked her massive eyes with mine and just stared at me in calm shock! She had the biggest red lips. A little splutter and she took her first breathes of air, still locking eyes and in silence. We moved from the bath to the bed so the placenta could be birthed (and they could monitor blood loss ” which gets distorted / immeasurable in the bath). She latched on and fed within 5-10 minutes of being born, the placenta was birthed naturally. Alas the membrane was not in great condition and didn’t come away in full. So I had the cytoxin shot to ensure I didn’t continue to bleed / haemerrage. I new I had some tear / damage that needed repair (I think those last 2 surges I was losing some patience and pushed my body further then it was ready for). So that repair work was done, and we happily called family to tell them the amazing news. 8lb7oz, 55cm, and a whole lot of cuteness!
The recovery: nursing stitches, hormones, sore nipples and sleep deprovation ” I was not prepared for! Poor Charlotte had tummy pains and was up screaming from 10pm ” 3am the first 2 nights in the hospital. Then I was up most of the day with visitors … So the first week or 2 were hard juggling the physical and emotional conditions and well-intended loving family and friends wanting to see us.
Janine and Kiel, Miami, Gold Coast