Monday morning I woke up, I was 11 days past my estimated delivery day.
I had this beautiful birth planned out in my head, natural, calm & in control after practicing hypnobirthing this pregnancy, desperate for a better experience this time around. Induction was crossing my mind every day – the hospital I was delivering at wouldn’t let me go over 42 weeks gestation, they always start the induction process at 41 weeks which I was able to prolong.
I called the birth suite at the Redlands hospital to request a stretch & sweep, as I had been having surges that I had to breathe through some evenings the week prior & I would wake in the morning they would be gone. I was determined to avoid induction that was booked for the coming Wednesday. The midwife that took my call said yes, Ashleigh come in for a quick stretch & hopefully we can get your body to realize what has to be done. I went in & had the procedure, it was quick, intense but over very quickly, the midwife explained to me my cervix was low easy 3cm dilated, buldging membranes & my body was very ready to go!
Off I went to enjoy my day with my family, all day I was having irregular cramping and tightenings. We had a beautiful lunch & relaxing day. At 3pm my surges were ramping up, we were seeing a pattern roughly 5/7 mins apart. I was ever so lucky enough to have my beautiful sister in-law Kelly as my Midwife she had started her shift at 3pm, we let her know that my surges were getting regular & my husband John said I needed to listen to my body & he decided we should head home to set up my calm birthing space, he put up all my affirmations & wanted me to relax on my fitball with my hypnobirthing music, dim lights & left me in our en-suite to get in my zone. I had my diffuser blowing clary sage & my roller blend applied to my temples, wrists & down my spine, I was comfortably swaying through my surges, My mum came over to play with big sister Kalani so that when we were ready to go John could be my full support.
At 6.30pm my surges were roughly 3 mins apart lasting 50 seconds, John decided it was time to place on the tens machine so it would take some focus off my surges but he & the hospital were saying that they thought I should go in. We decided to take our time & make our way in to the hospital. We arrived just after 7.30pm, I was happily breathing through my surges. Once we got into the birth suite our midwife Kelly had set up a beautiful birthing space, John raced around to make the room perfect for us to bring our baby into the world, he added our positive affirmations around the room & made the space dark, he requested the diffuser on with Clary sage oil & scattered all our fairy lights around, it was calm & absolutely the perfect space for us.
I had some time leaning on the floor with the fitball, after some time settling in I had a hospital assessment, I was in active labour & comfortably laboured around my big birth space. At 8.30pm John let my support team know to come, my sister Tahnee & Kirby my birth photographer/doula. They arrived quietly, I recall Kirby saying she couldn’t gauge how far along I was as my surges were so beautifully quiet and I was so in the zone. Around 9pm I felt the urge to wee, so I went to the bathroom, I had about 5 surges here, was so comfortable opening up my pelvis here on the toilet, I remember my loving & supportive husband being right by my side the whole time, offering me water, moving my speaker with my hypnobirthing affirmations playing closely by, offering light touch massage to my shoulders & neck. And when he could see my body start to tense up he would say relax your face -breathe down to your baby, this sent me into deeper relaxation, I felt safe & supported.
He never left my side. My sister-in-law said to me that she thinks I should move back to the mat, she could tell with my breathing that something was happening, so I moved over and leaned on the basin I had two surges here & I could feel my body naturally pushing. Kelly advised that I really needed to move back to the mat, I reluctantly moved to the mat. As soon as I got to there, leaning over the fitball my next surge came I had a big urge to push, this is when my membranes ruptured, was the best feeling of relief. My surges were only 2 min apart & then the next one came & my baby girl was making her way earthside – her head was crowning & I was feeling so strong, John was right by my side, Kelly said Ashleigh quickly feel her head, but my body was shaking & I wanted to save my energy for my next surge, and here it was…two more surges & my beautiful baby girl was out, I leaned back & Kelly passed her through my legs, the most amazing feeling holding our baby girl safe in my arms!
I rested here until her cord finished pulsating, then her cord was cut by her dad & we moved up to the bed so I could have a physiological third stage & deliver the placenta, took roughly 9 mins & out it came with a few little pushes, that little home that housed our perfect girl was incredible. The environment in our birth space was so beautiful, so much love & support exactly how I always imagined it, it was my zone & my happy place. All thanks to my husband John, Aaliyah May was born at 9.54pm on the 7/10/2019 weighing 3.4kgs & 51cm long. Born on her Nonna’s 71st birthday! The dr came in & had to stitch up a second degree tear and some grazes as she came out compound presentation, fist under her chin and arm across body. I did take the gas & air for this process. We left the hospital the next day, home to my new life a family of 4..