Byron Bay hinterlands – a dream homebirth story
18.9.2013 – The day before my estimated due date.
After seeing my friend Priscylla and asking her little darling daughter Lyluna to tell the baby boy in my belly to finally come out I had 2 or 3 contractions which felt like the pressure I’ve always felt when he moved down into my pelvis but this time the pressure was combined with strong contractions. When Priscylla left at about 4 pm I called Olivia to find out about our friend Spell’s birth and after I talked to her on the phone something happened. It felt like knowing that Spell was already holding her child in her arms totally opened my floodgates. At about 5pm I went to bed because I was now having contractions every 20-30 min and I wanted to rest and focus on myself. At 6 pm I called André to make sure he is on his way back with our friend Tina (who was going to stay at ours that night) and our organic veggie delivery box :-)
I told him that I was probably in labour although I still wasn’t sure if this was the right thing. When he finally arrived we lay on the bed together to time the contractions and André talked to the midwives who said call us back in 2-3 hours and we’ll come over when her contractions are 1 min long and 5 min apart….
Tina and my sister Celeste were having fun in the kitchen making dinner while André and I went for a walk outside around the house together under the stars and every time I had a contraction I would put my arms around his neck. They were 5 min apart now and for some reason I still didn’t really believe I was in labour so we waited until 10 pm to text Sahar so she could send out an email to my woman tribe and have them all light a candle for me. When André talked to midwives Leanne and Salomé again at 10 pm he said my contractions were now only 3 min apart and getting more intense and I couldn’t handle him being around me or touching or talking to me anymore… As he said this they knew I wasn’t far off and when they arrived I was just about to enter pushing phase and really intense contractions which fully opened my cervix.
Throughout the whole time I was absolutely confident, calm and peaceful while thinking that if the midwives won’t make it in time I can also do this by myself. In between contractions I would drink so much coconut water and juice ice cubes… Tina’s wonderful dinner soon came out again in a violent purge preceded and followed by diarrhea. Every break between contractions was so sweet and serene and blissful though and André was always there at the right time to encourage me and tell me how well I was doing. Since 6pm when my labour got really established I could not lie down, sit, be on my side or on all fours anymore as this would make the contractions infinitely agitating and cause this sharp nasty pain in my pelvis…so I was walking around and standing upright the whole time.
When I transitioned into the second stage the contractions became very intense but still absolutely bearable and I became more and more vocal often making a quite high pitch sound as opposed to very deep more animalistic sounds later on when I was actually pushing the baby’s head down and out. The whole time I tried to remember the 4 in and out breath for the contractions and the 4 in and 6 out breath for in between and relaxation (from the Calmbirth class we had attended). The panting breath later on during pushing came absolutely instinctual to me and André only had to remind me to relax deeply between contractions…
The whole time I had spent pretty much by myself in the bedroom making sounds freely and moving as I needed to, 100% trusting my body and intuition while also trying to connect with my baby. At some point I couldn’t pee anymore because of the pressure so I hopped into the shower to make it easier while standing and discovered a bit of blood running down my leg. After telling Leanne she asked me if I can feel the baby’s head and I said yes. I was so overwhelmed, excited and shocked at the same time to find out that I had made it so quickly to this point as I had been prepared to have a 20 or 30 hour labour as most of my friends have had.
As soon as I knew the head was there the contractions were coming one on top of the other and I really couldn’t tolerate anyone around me anymore. André and the midwives all tried to get the pool ready for me quickly but it took what felt like forever as I was definitely ready to push now. When it was finally filled I hopped in and it felt amazing but as I couldn’t be on all fours but had to be standing up I had to get out again pretty quickly! Just leaning against the wall and rotating and rocking my pelvis I finally had to completely surrender and bear down next to the bed with my knees on the ground and upper body on the bed folding my hands and praying for this to be over soon. Tina (she is an incredible singer) was singing shamanic womanly songs in the background. My cervix was stretching around the head now which gave me incredible and unbelievable pain in my back and I screamed and wanted to curse everyone around me for not helping me and taking this pain away… this was actually the only time I would even use the term pain before that the contractions were just intense waves of opening pressure. Pretty soon I was pushing the head out and everyone looked into the mirror to see his head crowning. André was right there with me holding my hands and looking into my eyes and kissing me and I was so glad he was right there as my rock and focus… we both didn’t really pay too much attention to what was going on “underneath me” and all of a sudden I could feel the head coming out and with another contraction his shoulders and the rest of his body slipped out so easily it was almost funny. Salomé caught him and I needed a few breaths and moments to thank the heavens for it being over and being alive and intact when Salomé asked me to pick him up. He was a bit blue greyish but absolutely perfect and exactly how I had imagined him and seen him in my dreams and visions. I put him up to my chest and wanted to lie down immediately because I was absolutely exhausted. I walked over to the other bedroom. Like a cavewoman, slowly, step by step, leaving a trail of blood behind me, which my wonderful helpers mopped up. I still had to birth the placenta but no contractions came and I had no more strength left in me so they gave me a Syntocin (synthetic oxytocin) injection as there was quite a lot of blood. My sister Celeste cut the cord while André was holding the baby and I pushed and gave my best to get the placenta out and Salomé helped me by gently pulling on the cord. It was all done now and I was so relieved, quickly had a shower and made sure there was no more blood on my body so I could hop into bed. I felt faint having seen all this blood and scared that I would end up like my mum (with blood transfusions)… but it all turned out perfect and ok and I could lie down with my new baby: I was so relieved, thankful, shocked and excited at the same time and these first moments, hours and days after the birth have been so big and beautiful and hard to describe with words. The most predominant emotion is probably feeling overwhelmingly grateful for having had such a wonderful intense and joyful birth and feeling overwhelmed with love holding this child in my arms now… The one I have always waited, prayed for and dreamt of.
Nathalie, André & Pablo