My Story #7- Lennox Birth ‘Inner Lion’

WARNING: There is an image in this post of me giving birth to Lennox

NOTE: if you are a mother and have been through a birth or are soon to be. Please be aware that everyone’s story and situation is different. No mother is the same. No baby is the same. But whatever your story is, love it for what it was meant/going to be. If there is anything I want you to take from my experience it’s this… Connect to your body and baby through out your pregnancy. Breathe. Connect. Breathe. Know your body and trust it!…

Never have I felt so grounded and connected to my physical and inner body.

Waking up Saturday morning I had slight period pains… now I never get these pains even during pregnancy so I knew I was in early stages of labour. And I was super excited. After 9 longs days being overdue and the pubic pain and discomfort I was so ready for this labour… I wanted to meet our Booboo. Kyle was at work so it was just me and Maeve at home. She actually slept in that morning and I had the urge to bake something… so I did. Once Maeve woke I just wanted to be with her. There is this deep emotion you go through with a second Bub where you don’t want to leave your first child’s side. The Guilt kicks in already knowing she will soon be looked after by someone else while I’m in hospital. You know you’re going to be so busy with a new born, that it breaks you a little inside to know that they will have to adjust to this and learn to share my attention and time and grow up even quicker. I was actually saddened when Kyle’s dad came to pick Maeve up. I said a quick goodbye before I got too emotional. There was no time for guilt or becoming an emotional mess. Maeve was safe and happy. It was time now for me to just connect and focus my energies on my labour ahead. I needed to be fully connected to my body and baby.

Just before Kyle got home my waters started to break… things progressed quickly. I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital yet but as things happened so quickly with my last pregnancy Kyle thought it was best. Kyle is the kind of guy who likes to do things right. And he gets anxiety. So for me the important thing was I needed him to feel relaxed and at ease… I needed him for what lay ahead. So I went along with what made him feel comfortable. I had the pleasure of sharing my entire pregnancy with a student mid-wife. Lara was amazing and came to all my appointments and gave great help and advice. So before we left home I called her as she was excited as I was to be there for my labour. In the car ride I still just had some cramps come and go. Waters kept breaking… luckily I chose to wear a dress and had a towel under my bum on the seat. The car ride was quick and casual. I sat in the passengers seat, we listened to music and reminisced about our labour day with Maeve (still one of the best days of my life).

Lara was already there when we got to the hospital. She had the best room available ready and waiting for us. I knew that with this birth I wanted to get my room and environment set up before any type of monitoring. I did not have this with Maeve but it was important for me mentally to do this first. So Kyle, Lara and I set up the room with diffuser and essential oils (lavender and easy air). Kyle put on the music (that I had already pre-planned). I got myself in some comfortable clothing. Lara made sure I had water and all the extra bits needed for the labour ahead. Kyle also called the lady who was to pick up my placenta as this time my naturopath recommended I do placenta encapsulation. I went to the bathroom and just sat down and just took in a few long deep breaths… This was it! I remember telling myself…’I know my body more than anyone. Listen to it. Work with your baby. Go with the flow. Enjoy the experience.’

Now laying on the bed my midwife, Marnie, came in to monitor me. I was all strapped up to the monitors to check my heart rate, babies heart rate and contractions etc… I had issues in my last pregnancy and labour so it was a must to be monitored again. But I knew this time I was so much more relaxed and in control that all would be fine. The monitor wasn’t showing too much and my heart rate levels kept spiking up and down. No contractions were showing. Funny thing is as I lie there my contraction very quickly got more intense and closer together. I tell the midwife this and we manually monitor it. Just laying on the bed for over 10-15minutes was stressing me out. I just wanted to get up and get on with it. My body was telling me to get up. I tell my midwife this and she agrees but has to check with the senior midwife first due to my apparent increase in heart rate. They decide to unstrap the monitors on me and re-do i all. Aarrrgh! After another few minutes of monitoring it is clear that my contractions are now very close together and heart rates are normal enough. The relief I had when they pulled those monitors off me and said I could now stand up. I knew that as soon as I stood up it would be on! And right I was. I was already at the later stages of stage 2. Contractions were definitely happening now. We’d been at the hospital for about 30minutes now. During this time my sister-in-law and my birth photographer arrived. For those of you who don’t know Tara, she is a mother of 4, with the kindest heart, a nurturer, so grounded (she’s like the mother goddess) and could make any situation feel at ease. After our last birth we did not get nay photos (we were so lost in the moment-which is a great thing), but I knew this time I wanted to capture my birth. As my labour got more intense I only noticed Tara being in the room once. Apparently she just stayed in a corner capturing our moments and gave me a few back massages. Funny thing was leading up to my birth I was a little worried about having extra being in my birthing room (photographer and student midwife, plus midwife and Kyle). I had told them I was not sure how I would feel about them being there, like maybe too many people would take me out of my internal space. But it did not bother me once. Even though they all did so much for me, I hardly realised they were there. I stayed within…

So anyways… Once the contractions got more intense I got that urge to go to the toilet. I know they say that birthing is like needing to do a poo. But I really needed to go. It’s a weird sensation going to the toilet and having contractions at the same time. I did go to the toilet. It felt like baby was pushing down strong against my bowels and bladder. I felt like I could have given birth to our baby on that toilet (haha). So when I stood up off the toilet I felt like I was ready to push this baby out. Shit could it really happen that quickly. It had only been just over 1 hour. Things were getting too intense too quickly. I got out of the toilet and the midwife could also tell things were progressing quickly. She asked me the usual questions including how would I like to give birth… what positions. I knew there was no time for baths or showers. I felt like I just needed to ground myself, bare down and start ‘breathing this baby out’. It was powerful. So my midwives rearranged the bed, got knee pads ready, blankets, towels… and I’m not sure what else but a minute it felt like everything was there ready for me. The next hour I bared down with all I had. I alternated between kneeling and deep squatting (very thankful for all my yoga and exercise and knowledge to do this so comfortably and confidently). I was massaged. Given water. A wet rag around my neck. And as embarrassing as it is with the baby pushing against my bladder and bowels I apparently did a few poo’s and they were cleaned up quickly. WOW yes i just told everyone that (haha). Hey it’s normal. But come on, he ended up a massive baby, no wonders.  I remember being annoyed by my hair touching my neck and within seconds it was tied up. I remember a song by ENYA came on, and I usually Love ENYA, but I hated it in that moment. I yelled for someone to please change that song. Once again it was changed within seconds. During the next hour I have never felt and connected to my body as much as I did. It was intense to say the least.

The best person in the room, by far, was Kyle. He is my everything in labour. For an anxious guy he is in total cool and calm during a birth. Whilst I squatting and kneeling, he sat there in front of me. Breathing with me, massaging me, encouraging me, motivating me, and helping me to bare down deep, breath deep from my heart and belly and push. I seriously felt like a LION. During a contraction I would breathe in, hold, bare down and connect so deep within and with all my strength, power and heart try to push. Stage 3 took me about 45minutes (it felt like hours as it was so painful). It was so challenging and frustrating. Knowing the baby was so close to come out but seeming like bub just wouldn’t. And with Maeve stage 3 only took like 15minutes so it was starting to get to me. But I had amazing encouragement and support from Kyle and my midwifes. They kept reassuring me that they could see bubs head, that everything was ok, that I was doing an amazing job. They would keep explaining how they wanted me to breath and what to do with each contraction. I trusted them. All of them. Together with their guidance and encouragement and my strength and power this baby was going to come out real soon. Another contraction and I used everything I had to get bubs head out. I felt like I was tearing right open. This was always one of my fears. I got scared. Kyle saw it and quickly calmed me.

The next part almost felt like a blur to me and it all happened so quickly. They could see that bub had the cord stuck around his neck and that he’s shoulder was getting stuck behind my pubic bone. Within seconds another midwife was there. Within another few seconds the senior midwife was there doing a maneuver called ‘shoulder dystocia’. It was so lucky that I was in a kneeling position and my student midwife also quickly lifting one of my legs to the side. During this time Kyle kept his cool and I was just looking at him and not the craziness that was going on behind us. Bub was quickly taken out and put on the trolley bed. No cry. No breath… it was then that I knew something was going on (OMG I am almost in tears writing this). But at the time I was so in the zone and felt so connected to me and my baby that I knew it would be ok. I am one of those people who always sees the best in situations so I just lay there back on the bed and just waited to hear a cry. Almost 2 minutes and we hear a big, loud, strong cry. The relief. They check him over and he is given to us as quickly as possible. Bonding is a very important part of the labour (it should be known as stage 4 labour). He didnt stop crying. I didn’t care. I just held and cuddled him. As did Kyle. The love was intense. Our hearts just grew bigger. My soul and spirit just grew bigger, but so tired at the same time. What an experience. I was so glad it was over and Lennox was with us. I remember feeling like a massive burger and a huge glass of cold water I did get it a few hours later (Thanks mum). I spent the next hour just holding my little man. trying to feed him and settle him. I just wanted him to know that he did an amazing job with me and the stress was over. He was safe. He was loved… oh my boy by so many people you will be loved…

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: A massive Thank you to the midwifes at Tweed Maternity Hospital for all your guidance, expertise and care. The midwives there throughout my labour were amazing support and I could not be more Thankful for their expertise and efficiency in delivery Lennox safely to us that day.

There is so much more I can say about this labour and the after events but I feel I have said enough for now. I’m going to finish up this post with a feeling THANKFULNESS, of PURE HAPPINESS and LOVE!

In Health & Happiness

Tenille Samuelson