My Story #4- Birth Story continued… Stay within, breath, squat, repeat…
Ending my story from last week…
Driving back to the hospital all I could think of was ‘shit what lies ahead of me?’ But I knew I was ready, I felt in control. After my day in the sunshine and water and eating my yummy food and spending time with my best friend and husband I felt a great powerful and uplifting energy… I knew this would get me through the pain… but still the unsure was evident… How far dilated was I? Will I feel comfortable at the hospital and in my room? Will my labour be quick or long? Will I get in the bath or shower? Will I end up with a cesarean? Whatever lay ahead I felt confident in my body and what it could do….
So we make it back to the hospital and all I can remember is wanting to get this disgusting full maternity pad off and the clinical atmosphere compared to our scenic, relaxing and fresh smelling beach walk. But I try to get over it quickly. This is the place we chose to birth, a place we feel safe and comfortable. I go in for another check up and everything is progressing well. However, I unfortunately have to take antibiotics due to my waters slowly breaking over 15 hours. A little bummed as I rarely ever take drugs so wonder later how it will affect me… hopefully it doesn’t make me throw up. I also find out I can’t have a water birth due to likely infection. Bummed again as pictured a water birth… not starting off so well at the hospital after my day of bliss.
A contraction hits me much stronger and I realise i need to start connecting to my breath and go within. Just breathing made me think a little clearer. I automatically think how thankful I am for all my acupuncture and yoga throughout my pregnancy. I am going to use this knowledge in my birth ahead. Breathing calms me. My husband sitting next to me, looking so casual and calm, relaxes me. I realise from now that I am in control of my birth ahead. I can do this. Just breathe. Stay within. Don’t over think things. Stay light hearted…. we get in to our birthing suite. Whilst Kyle sets up the music, bags and room layout. I head straight for the exercise ball and do what feels natural to me… Hip circles… it makes me feel at home and safe. Kyle turns on the television… we have a good laugh when we see it’s the friends episode where Rachel gives birth to a baby girl… haha! I’m pretty sure in this episode Rachel has a really long labour. I hope mine is not. But I am pretty confident it wont be (and luckily it was pretty quick). Here’s a pic of me on the exercise ball getting super pumped for the labour ahead.
My contractions slowly get more intense and I start to walk the room and get myself more comfortable. Hair up, clothes off… just underwear and a singlet feels best to me. I’m not one to flaunt everything in front of people I don’t know. My widwife is a lady named Robyn.. who is an identical twin sister of a long term client of mine. This also makes me feel safe and comfortable. And she seems totally chilled and just pops in every now and again to check on things but doesn’t crowd us, gives us the space we like. Due to my high blood pressure (even though I feel normal and totally fine) and baby’s slight increase in heart rate, I have to wear electronic sensors, taped on me, for the whole labour. They are so annoying. As my contractions get more intense I start squatting from the bed. Kyle massaging my lower back between contractions. I thank my restorative yoga instructor for this tip. I get that urge to go to the toilet. I do but just a wee. I stand up and it’s on…
I don’t know how others feel but I felt scared going to the toilet during birth… You hear all sorts of stories like… giving birth to a baby whilst going to the toilet, pooing during the final stages of the delivery, that birthing a baby just makes you feel like you need to do a poo even if you don’t really need to. I was also a little worried that going to the toilet would take me out of my zone. I was so focused and within. But then I figured my body is telling me to go to the toilet, so just do it. My main aim in this birth process was to stay within as much as possible. To listen intuitively to my body and just breathe. Not once did I think or want any drugs. It just didn’t enter my head. After my wee I stood up and it was on. This baby was ready to join us and I felt ready to help this baby out. I was starting to feel a little exhausted at this stage but I felt comfortable leaning over the bed and standing and squatting during the contractions so decided this was where I would give birth. It was between this time and just before my final stage in birthing our baby that my memory blanked out… I was told the next day that during this time I was squatting really low- like nearly doing the splits. And between contractions I would literally just sleep (or more like pass out) and rest on Kyle. Looking back on it I think that was very smart of my body… taking a rest before the next surge so I had all my energy. I also remember feeling raging hot one second and then shivering cold the next.
I was then told that I would have to complete stage 3 of delivering the baby whilst laying on the bed. This shocked and scared me. As the one other time they had me on my back it hurt my back and took me out of my inner bubble. Plus I knew my body could deliver standing up and squatting. But due to the heart beats having to be monitored (due to my high blood pressure) I had to lie down. The monitors were slipping off during the deep squats and this could cause alarm if something was to go wrong and they wouldn’t know. The midwife called my obstetrician to come straight in and he was there in like 10 minutes and he stayed until bub was born and all was clear (total 15 minutes- he had the easy job I tell you). It would have taken 15-20minnutes for the midwife and Kyle to convince me that I had to lie on the bed. If they had of just let me I think I would have birthed baby within that time standing up. And had it been my second bub I would have. But first time around, I’m feeling unsure, not confident enough to speak up and just trust everything that’s being told to me. Finally, I am now on the bed… and I make sure the bed was as upright as I could have it. As I truly believe that being upright is the best position to give birth. Lying on your back just goes against gravity and can slow things down. I did not want this to happen.
So I’m all set up… One foot pushing against my midwife and one foot pushing against Kyle. It’s one of those moments when your mind flashes to a documentary or show you’ve watched, like ‘baby born every minute’, and you think OMG I look like them right now. Everything just out there for them to see. OMG my husband is seeing me from a different perspective… what is he thinking? So I am set up and my doctor tells me… “on your next contraction I want you to take a deep breath in and then hold your breath and push. Make it come from deep within your body.” A contraction comes and I think I do what he tells me but I scream as well… I don’t think that’s right. No it’s not because then my doctor tells me “Tenille if you keep screaming like that baby will take longer to come out and you will just have a sore throat tomorrow.” He explains again what to do. And I say and I remember so clearly, “what do you mean hold my breath…? I’m not use to holding my breath…? That’s not what I’ve practiced to do…?” My self thought is…Seriously Tenille don’t overthink and analyse the situation and just do as the doctor says. I remember repeating in my head ‘breath in. hold. push from deep within’… I nail the next 3 contractions and baby is born. Did it hurt? I seriously just remember a little sting. besides trying to work out the breath this stage for me was fairly easy. Luckily bub was tiny and It’s like she just slid out… as did my placenta only a few minutes later (however stay tuned for my next birth. Totally different experience. I was on fire down there).
Kyle looks and I ask what is it? I loved not knowing what we were having. For me it was more about setting myself a challenge to last the whole pregnancy not finding out. I am usually a real control freak that has to have everything known and organised. But I figured when you become a mother you have to let go of that so I’ll start in my pregnancy. Anyhow… Kyle looks at the baby and just mistakes part of the umbilical cord as the penis… I think it’s a BOY he says… our doctor laughs… look again! Our baby, growing for 9 months, with us developing all that time is a petite, perfect little girl. Kyle cut her umbilical cord and then I got to hold her straight away. I personally think there are 4 stages in pregnancy. The 4th stage being the bonding between mum and bub. It is so important for both of you. She enters the world crying but is settled very quickly once in my arms and comforted. In that moment I have never felt so much love, intense love for somebody. For my baby girl and my partner. there is no better way to bond and grow a relationship then to share a birth with somebody. Kyle was the best support partner. He is usually quite an anxious person but did not feel any nerves from him the whole labour. We were the best team. And our strong team become a magical team of 3.
Maeve Maree Samuelson… Our little pocket rocket. From the day you were born your beauty stunned us. You have so much love for everyone and everything. And those blue blue eyes… what a gift to be born with! Now at 2 (nearly 3) years old you are a strong (stubborn), passionate, loving, cheeky, clever little girl. I know you will do great things. You are born to SHINE!
I leave this story filled with so much Love and Joy!