My girlfriends and I catch up a few times a year and there’s usually a new bubba in the midst. So we regularly share our birthing stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. My birth with Charlotte was quite an incredible experience, so I thought I’d write a blog post.
It was mid-afternoon on Tuesday 17th September, after a scheduled midwife appointment I began to feel mild contractions, as I was over 40 weeks I knew I’d be giving birth in the next 24hrs, which was quite a surreal feeling. I sent my husband to collect the kids from school, organised an early dinner and baths, notified the babysitter to be on-call, ordered some groceries online, and went for a walk around the block.
Not much was changing so my husband took the kids to their school concert while I had planned to have a rest, HA! The minute they left my contractions were intense and close together. I text my midwife, the babysitter and my husband all to standby as things had progressed. I was waiting for my waters to break before heading to the hospital, but my midwife said not to wait. Within half an hour my contractions were very intense and I knew I had to get to hospital, I notified everyone and while I waited for my husband to get home I had a hot shower.
On the way to the hospital my husband was eager to drive quickly but every bump on the road hurt so I kept telling him to take it easy. He was going to drop me off at the front of the hospital and park the car, I told him I could handle it a bit longer and we both parked the car and made the long(ish) walk to the maternity ward. I had to stop about four times to breathe through my contractions.
We met my Midwife Ros in the birthing suite at 7:15pm and I went straight into the dark bathroom and bounced on the exercise ball, this helped keep my mind off the pain and helped move baby into position. I felt things progressing further and knew I had to get into the bath (birthing pool) (In my previous birth this took some of the pain away).
I hopped into the water about 8:15pm, my contractions were sporadic but still intense, I just kept breathing through my contractions, my husband went to rub my shoulders at one stage and I shrugged him off, totally in my element of giving birth. The next 15 minutes came down to my mindset, as much as I wanted to give up, I kept giving myself an internal pep talk “I can do this” “no one else can do this for me” at this stage I was tempted to ask for gas (pain relief), but knew I would have to push soon and couldn’t have both so I pushed through. (Literally ha)
I wasn’t sure whether I should start pushing or not, so I gave it a try with my next contraction, as I did the baby’s head moved down slightly and I remember feeling like I was going to break something so I whispered my midwifes name so she could come closer to see if everything was ok, with my next contraction I was able to burst my waters and push baby’s head out, shortly after I remember my midwife saying “pick up your baby” and to my relief it was over! Baby was born at 8:35pm.
I nursed my baby for a while, sitting in silence, eyes closed feeling relief that the worst was over. It actually took me 10 or so minutes to look at my baby to reveal the gender.
My midwife kept saying “you are amazing, you could birth 5 babies”. My labour was silent, drug free, over within 2.5hrs, and was able to deliver baby safely in water. Her Apgar score was 10 and had 100% oxygen levels. Pretty amazing to look back on as far as births go. (Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of pain!!!)
Baby weighed 9pd 1oz, 54cm in length, head circumference 34cm. We had no names picked but after 30mintues we both agreed on Charlotte. This name kept popping into my head, my husband was lying next to me scrolling through a long list of girl names on google, and he put his phone down and said the only name he liked was Charlotte!!!! I couldn’t believe it, crazy. So it was meant to be. (Her middle name took 2 weeks to choose).
As I was under the care of the My Midwives team I had the option of leaving the hospital 4-6hrs after birth. So I was able to take baby Charlotte home, have a little sleep and introduce her to her brother and sister in the morning. I received daily visits from my midwife at home to check on my recovery and the babies’ progress. It made it easier to be at home so I could still be with my other children. However it was hard at times as it was the beginning of school holidays.
The first few days were a challenge as I had forgotten all the after birth pains, lack of sleep, and pain associated with breastfeeding a baby with lip and tongue tie. 4 weeks on and this has all balanced out and things are getting better.
A big thanks to Daniel from Murray Chiropractic for not only helping with my aches and pains during pregnancy but also addressing my fear around child birth and guiding my mindset into a better place so I could accept my contraction pains as my body’s natural process to deliver a beautiful gift. I believe this is why my birth was such a success. I remember Daniel saying “Acceptance of pain can be the difference between a 10 hour labour and a 2 hour labour”. I kept remembering this during my labour.
My personal midwife Ros Beard (My Midwives- Toowoomba) has been amazing all the way through my pregnancy, from my very first appointment at 7 weeks, to regular check-ups throughout. It was piece of mind having someone on- call (just a phone call or text message away) that was familiar with my history and previous pregnancies. She ensured I received regular blood tests, scans, made me accountable for taking my supplements and always checked on my health and wellbeing. She became a coach, and personal photographer during birth to capture those precious moments. She identified early on that Charlotte had lip and tongue tie so I was able to get this fixed early on. It was also great to receive house call visits after birth to check on me and Charlotte, and I didn’t have to leave the house. If you are pregnant or considering having a baby I highly recommend this service.