Indi is our rainbow baby. We tried for a long 3.5 years to successfully fall pregnant, and lost two sweet babies along the way. I was so blessed to have a really wonderful straight forward pregnancy this time, and knew it was meant to be.
We opted for a home birth without much thought, it felt like the right choice for us. When we met our wonderful midwife Jodi, she helped cement the idea for us and we began confidently preparing for our perfect birth.
I had very text book early labour symptoms, and had been feeling uncomfortable and ‘off’ for a couple of days. Saturday night I had Braxton Hicks regular and painful enough to keep me awake, and got up on Sunday morning disappointed that they had fizzled out and we weren’t in labour. I had been convinced I was in labour a handful of times now, this was another line on the tally. We spent Sunday evening at friends for dinner, with lots of chocolate and lots of laughs (got to get that oxytocin flowing!). I had a long, candle lit shower before heading to bed.
I awoke on Monday, Anzac morning about 7am after the BEST sleep in months, in quite a decent amount of pain. I felt like I was having a really rubbish period, so I lay in bed googling “early labour symptoms” for the millionth time. Nothing seemed consistent throughout my Google search. I got up at 8am to go to the loo and was really uncomfortable, as I leaned onto the bathroom sink my waters broke, or I just wee’d myself! I came to my husband Oska to let him know either I just wet myself, or my waters have gone! We sat on the lounge floor giggling, trying to decide if this was actually it. The contractions began immediately, ranging from 4-7 minutes apart and lasting about 30-40 seconds..
I texted my midwife to let her know I’d stay in touch during the day, but figured it would be a long one and set about the house work that needed doing. We put our birth affirmations up around the lounge, lit some nice candles and put on some music. By 10am I could no longer concentrate on anything but the contractions, so I set up in the lounge with my swiss ball and had a cry that I hadn’t managed to get the dishwasher emptied yet. At 10.30am things got more intense and Oska decided it was time to phone Jodi.
I was in such an incredible head space from the moment my waters broke, we had spent so much time educating ourselves on labour and birth, and how all the hormones work together. I had a very clear picture of my perfect birth. My primal brain was in control right from the beginning, I never questioned the labour or wondered ‘what if’. I was just right in the moment, completely surrendered to each contraction and the break that came in between them. I concentrated on the work each contraction was doing, moving my baby through my body, opening my body. I had complete confidence in the process, my body and my baby.
Oska was incredible support, though I was so in the zone I had no idea of what was going on around me. But I knew his presence was there and that was what I needed to keep going.
Jodi arrived with our wonderful student midwife Victoria, thinking it was probably too early and they would touch base then head off for awhile. They decided as the contractions were getting very consistent and intense that they would stick around. I don’t really know what happened for the next couple of hours, I was oblivious to everyone else in the room and just riding each wave of labour. I remember hearing Jodi tell Oska with a hint of urgency that he best get the pool filling ….. Now! I sat on the floor on all fours with my Swiss ball. Nobody examined me or asked me any questions. I recall Victoria saying she could see my sacrum lifting up, and the baby passing through which I thought was pretty awesome. I could feel everything my body was doing, and feel the baby moving down. It never felt hugely painful, just intense. It got more and more intense.
The contractions started coming in clusters, 2 or 3 at a time with only a few seconds between. I kept thinking “okay after this one I am going to pop upstairs to the loo” but never got a chance between them. I was eager to get in the pool which was almost full.
I could tell exactly when I was fully dilated (1.20pm) My labour noises changed, I got freezing cold, felt quite sick and was getting in the pool with or without permission. The pool was wonderful and it felt great to be warm. The pressure kicked in pretty quick and I was ready to start pushing.
Pushing brought an amazing amount of relief to the contractions, but it took me awhile to find the strength to put my everything into each push and be productive. It felt like a long time working to get baby through the bend to the final stretch, I was starting to feel really tired and wondered if my pushes were doing anything. But once she was there it was a huge relief. Jodi suggested I have a feel and see if I could feel her head, and I could! Our baby was right there! I felt a massive wave of strength and emotion once I’d felt her head, and all of a sudden I put everything I had into each push, desperate to meet our baby. Jodi kept checking baby’s heart rate every minute or so, as Victoria kept an eye on baby descending. Oska snuck around to watch her coming too, but I really needed him to hold on to!
It wasn’t much longer that I was making the final push, and our baby was coming into the world (2.38pm) Victoria pushed her through my legs as she arrived and Oska reached down to catch her.
It was a surreal moment watching as she floated up to the surface and landed in my arms. It went in slow motion. Here was our incredible little baby. I was so immediately in love with her, and overwhelmingly proud that she’d done such a great job coming into the world. She was so alert and awake, and we lay in the pool together just staring into each other’s eyes for half an hour before we cut the cord and daddy got his first cuddles. My heart melted watching Oska cuddle Indi for the first time. After such a journey she was so perfect, so worth every hard month, so worth the wait. And there was my amazing husband, now a daddy.
Oska dressed Indi while the midwives checked for any tears and helped me to dress as well. Indi had her first breastfeed and took to it like a wee champion while we all had a cup of tea and at 5.30pm the midwives left. Oska and I sat on the couch with our wee girl, staring at each other… Absorbing the day that just flew before us and staring down at our beautiful baby sleeping happily in mummies arms.
I feel so lucky and blessed to have had such an incredible birth experience. It’s the most overwhelming and empowering experience of my life, and one that has changed me as a person for the better. I’ve never been more proud of my body and everything it achieved growing and bringing our perfect little girl into the world. And I’ve certainly never felt so complete, and happy.