Elle’s Birth Story
I started to experience some mild cramping on Friday evening, tightening sensations in my lower abdomen. I assumed my cervix was preparing for our baby girl and hoped that labour would hopefully follow soon. The cramps were bearable and I was able to get fair periods of sleep and was otherwise unbothered.
Saturday came, and these “cramps” continued sporadically throughout the day. I spent the day napping, journaling, watching movies and took a bath laced with aromatherapy oils, much like a lot of my days in the weeks beforehand.
In the late afternoon around 4pm I put on some music as the sensations started to intensify. Trent lay with me, rubbing my back and instinctively brought me my labour beads to hold.
By around 6pm I started to feel pressure radiating to my back, and found relief under a hot shower. We decided to start timing the sensations, to discover they were only around 2-3 min apart.
I figured that that was too close together to be actual contractions, as everything I had read told me that they would slowly build in intensity and frequency. So I continued to manage in the shower and write them off as my cervix just preparing.
As I became more vocal, Trent decided to call our midwives for advice. I spoke to them and together decided I was comfortable enough in the shower to continue at home. I really didn’t want to go to the hospital to be turned away, and I was still convinced this was a practice run.
Within minutes, I felt the urge to get out of the shower and be on the cool bathroom tiles. We applied our TENS machine but didn’t find relief, so removed it just as swiftly. Trent used acupressure points on my sacrum which relieved some pressure.
On all fours around 7.30pm, I felt my waters pop and I finally accepted that I was in fact already in active labour. We decided it was time to go to the hospital, and Trent helped me get dressed and gathered our bags. Trent called my Dad to come over to be with our other babies, our pet greyhounds Horse and Violet.
I made it to the living room before I started to go to the stars. Hot waves flushed over me and I once again collapsed down to all fours and transitioned, an overwhelming urge to push.
I managed to express to Trent that I couldn’t go in the car, so he called the ambulance around 8pm. They arrived within minutes, and assessed my progress through my sounds, movements and timing contractions which were now only about a minute apart. I declined the paramedics request to lay on my back, opting to stay in the position I was already comfortable. Trent was amazing offering me guidance through breath and dousing my neck with cold water.
At this time my Dad arrived, walking straight into the business end, witnessing my roar and offering me a few words of encouragement.
Josh, our amazing paramedic offered us the options of birthing at home, or travelling to our closest facility, Logan hospital to deliver. Trent was firm in our choice of Redland Hospital and voiced that we wanted to attempt the 20 minute ride. Despite Josh’s hesitancy that we would make it in time, he was beyond caring and listened to everything that we requested. He quickly summoned the stretcher, and allowed my last contraction at home to pass before loading us into the ambulance.
I continued to bear down in the ambulance, the most practical and comfortable position being on my side, with one leg raised and gripping the overhead rail. I was offered pain relief but at this stage I wasn’t vocal. Trent was firm on our decision to decline on my behalf as we had planned within our birth preferences. I found calm between each push through my breathing techniques, facial relaxation and Trent providing massage.
Within two more surges, Opals head was crowning and emergency lights and sirens were engaged. With one last roaring surge, at 8.28pm she arrived. Opal Rose was received by Josh and placed immediately on my chest, where she latched.
Trent and I were overwhelmed with adrenaline and love. I consented to syntocinon for the delivery of my placenta, requesting delay until after the cord was cut. We allowed 5min for delayed cord clamping, before Trent severed the cord only a few minutes away from Redlands hospital.
We were handed over to the wonderful team at Redlands maternity, where a calm environment welcomed us to await the delivery of my placenta.
Despite not eventuating in the environment we assumed we would deliver in, our birth was an extremely positive, emotional and empowering experience. We used all of the tools our hypnobirthing journey at the Sacred Space workshop equipped us with, and birthed with confidence in my ability to allow nature to take its course.
We cannot thank Josh and Queensland Ambulance Service, as well as all of the wonderful staff throughout our stay at Redlands Maternity enough for making our birth and aftercare so positive. Danielle from Sacred Space, thank you for sharing your passion and wisdom with us, without it we would not have believed that an unmedicated, consented, intervention free birth was even possible.
To my husband Trent, I hope I made you proud. You were my calm, my support and my grounding force. You had confidence in my ability when I doubted myself and I will be forever grateful for you.
Opal, I am so blessed to be your Mumma