I was due on 13th September (1987), however, I was getting some contractions every night a few days before 9th (the actual birth). Each night my contractions would disappear around midnight.
On the 8th I got my usual “false contractions”, so I was mentally prepared for disappointment. I went to have a bath at midnight, focusing on the faint contractions that I imagined having. It almost felt like I was willing them forward. After the bath the contractions did not go away so I decided to stay awake while my husband and son (19 months) slept.
As the contractions started to pick up intensity and pace, I started to think ahead. My last labour was long and intense and I was prepared for this to be no different. At around 2.00 am I was sure that I was in labour. My only worry was that my home birth midwife told me that she was not willing to travel at night from Auckland to Hamilton so I was hoping that there would be plenty of time.
I started to feel a lot of pain and at 3.00 am I rang my home birth support person and after listening to me she decided to come. When she came to my place she called my other support person, and then we called my doctor. He came at around 4.00 am and told me to call my midwife. Reluctantly I woke her up and after talking with my doctor she started preparing for her journey from Auckland to Hamilton.
The doctor (a male – from England and pro home birth), stayed with me the whole time. My support people helped me physically and mentally and the doctor was fabulous, very reassuring. My husband brought in my son and he calmly observed the whole situation, hugging me and just being cool.
I realised this labour was very fast and better managed then my last one. My waters broke and suddenly the labour took on a new intensity. The doctor said that I was fully dilated and the baby would come soon. After learning so much from my mistakes of the first labour, this labour was so easy and straight forward and I felt like I was in charge.
Sara was born at 6.20 am. The doctor assisted during the process, and allowed me to be in charge of positions and timing. The actual birth was very fast and gave my body a shock. I was shivering and my support team helped me to warm up.
My midwife ended up making it around 20 minutes after the birth. Shortly after, I hopped into a warm bath to bond with my baby girl. I took care to lower her into the water slowly and gently as she didn’t like any splashing!
Sara looked amazing. The doctor commented on how strong she was. When he lay her in his hands it looked like she was “planking”!
Sara’s comment: “I grew up believing birthing at home was normal. I was lucky enough to be present for the home birth of my baby brother when I was 10 years old. I feel so lucky to have such a wealth of support within my family for my birthing choices.”