We had such a lovely experience birthing our baby girl into the world

Simmone’s Birth Story 

home water birth
Adelaide, Australia
Lia 7.7lb
Home water birth

We prepared for our birth by educating ourselves about the physiology of birth and did a Hypnobirth training which gave us the confidence to trust my body and our baby to know how to birth. We made the decision that we wanted a homebirth and to use a birthing pool. Luckily we were accepted into the Midwifery Group Practice through the WCH and were able to move forward with our plans to have our baby girl at home.

I practiced the breathing techniques and positive affirmations in the months leading up to the birth and I also had peri massage in the last few weeks which I think were all important in seeing our daughters safe and calm arrival into the world.

I was mentally prepared to carry bubs for another 10 days or but she made the decision to come into the world just after her guess date. At around 7:30pm my waters broke and continued to leak for quite a while, which I wasn’t expecting, so I sat on the toilet waiting to stop leaking. I didn’t. Meanwhile, my husband, Anthony, pumped up the pool and got started on the list of things to do. We had put tarps and blankets down in the living room to protect everything.

My contractions started slowly around 9:30pm and I wasn’t even totally sure they were contractions to begin with, but they increased over the next few hours. We popped the Tens machine on my back, bounced on the fit ball and breathed through each surge. I mastered that healthy “pain” knowing it was completely natural and not actually harming me – or baby – and it was simply just muscle fatigue! All of my labour pain was in my back, which is why the tens worked so well! I did vomit twice during labour which wasn’t very pleasant.

Anthony timed the contractions and we rang the midwife (Carrie) around 2am and then again at 5:30am and she arrived at our place about 6am. Carrie took some basic observations of baby and I (heart rate, blood pressure etc) and then by about 7ish I felt like I was ready to get in the pool. Initially Carrie had wanted to do a vaginal exam to see how far dilated I was, but I had expressed that I didn’t want one and she agreed that she was happy for me to get in the pool and continue on without an exam.positive natural birth

So off came the tens machine and into the lovely warm pool I got. I was slightly worried that I was going to struggle without the tens because it was working so effectively but the water was just as good if not better! I laboured over the edge of the pool on my knees for the next 4 hours. Anthony pat my arms, back and face with a cool flannel, did some acupressure in my hands and gave me water.

With each surge the urge to push became greater, it was basically involuntary but I could choose to actively push along with the contractions. After a few contractions feeling like baby was crowning, I asked the midwife if that were the case, she said no and that what I was feeling was bubs pushing over my coccyx and then slipping back, she explained that once bubs made it over the hump, she would be ready to make her way out and she said I’d need to give a big push to get baby past that point. I felt empowered and like she had given me permission to really push hard with that next surge, and then instead of relaxing everything in between surges I kept holding tight so that baby didn’t slip backwards.

So close now, in the next few contractions her head crowned and then fully emerged with no tearing or damage – yay! There was then a bit of a delay (about 7 minutes) before the next surge came to help bring the rest of the body into the world. Eventually it did come though and our daughter, Lia, was born I brought her up out of the water and to my chest, the umbilical cord was wrapped once around her neck, which the midwife unwrapped (no issue at all).

The midwife claimed she didn’t cry straight away because the birth was so calm. We had to stimulate her quite a bit before she took her first breath, and she did and it was perfect.

newborn babyI tried to sit comfortably in the pool but couldn’t make it work, so we hopped out of the pool pretty much straight away. Anthony had set up a beanbag for me to lay on. We didn’t clamp the umbilical cord, we let the placenta deliver all the blood and nutrients back to baby. While sitting and bonding, I had a couple of contractions to birth the placenta. Our student midwife suggested I stand up and let gravity help deliver the placenta. They helped me stand and with the next contraction the placenta came straight out.

We had such a lovely experience birthing our baby girl into the world and I am so pleased to say that as much as the pushing stage was hard work, I wasn’t ever at a point where I couldn’t manage the pain or sensations with the tools we had learnt. The affirmations in the lead up gave me the confidence to trust my body and allow my body to do the work and produce the hormones to make childbirth “pleasant” if you can call it that and the breathing and vocalisations were such a powerful tools

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