My waters started leaking at 1.30am Easter Sunday morning and leaked steadily through the day. I had no contractions and even got into bed that night, almost asleep and little Ryzer gave me the hardest (what I thought was a punch) kick that it made me bolt upright. Sleeping wasn’t on the cards and as soon as I stood up the contractions began. The last time I looked at the clock was as I got out of bed. It was 9.00pm, I wasn’t timing contractions but they seemed so close and intense for the beginning of labour. I barley had time to light all the candles in our birth space. I thought sitting on the birth ball would help but I couldn’t, the pressure gave me sharp pains. So I went between sitting on the toilet as my body cleared itself to on my knees leaning forward on the birth ball. I saw Reece looking in the easy reference book I made him to see what he needed to do, and coming back from the other room with a pile of towels, I just remember smiling and thinking how sweet it was to see him being all in and focused, I had really worried that he wouldn’t be able to support me how I needed him to because he didn’t really prepare much at all.
I had heard from other stories its best to Mentally prepare for a long Birth so that’s what I did but it ended up freaking me out a little bit. I never moved into the state of mind of having quite a fast birth so the constant thought I had as the contractions got more and more intense
was “how can I possibly do this for 12 hours, how do women do this ?!”
The contractions began to get so intense I couldn’t stand through them and just wanted to be in the water, Reece had just finished filling up the birth pool. So I got in for a little bit but then had to get back out to throw up. At this point the playlist I had on was not fitting at all for what I was experiencing, so I changed it to my second one; Sacred American Indian drumming and South American iccorois. As the contractions got stronger I migrated from the bathroom to the bed to the pool. I couldn’t stay in one place too long. I was throwing up with every really intense contraction, until there was nothing left in my stomach, And then I would just heave.
As I laboured There was only really two positions that allowed me to get through the contractions, on all fours, or leaning forward sitting on my feet. I would try to do runners pose or sit up right but it just felt wrong.
Reece was a great support, always there with me. But I couldn’t have him touching me for most of it, but he held my braids out of the way every time I threw up.
By the time I got back in the pool I was pretty out of it, I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore, couldn’t talk, was just trying to get through these contractions. The music helped put me into a trance like state, it was perfect.
The next part seemed to last forever, impossibly getting more painful, I couldn’t believe people do this again and again. I thought about all the videos I watched where the women seem so quiet and at peace, and I had the fleeting thought of how weak I am. The only way I could get through the pain was to tone and hum, this would often turn into a type of breathy yelling but I kept reminding myself to use lower tones and send the sound down through my body. Reece said I sounded like my crystal bowl.
The pain was almost unbearable. Reece sat in front of me as I so tightly held onto his hands, holding myself up and spiralling my hips through each wave.
He stayed with me the whole time, I swear this part went for like two hours. I could only be in that one position like sitting back on my feet but my knees wide apart, Reece holding my hands the whole time telling me I could do it when I constantly said that I couldn’t. I would go deep within with each contraction then come back out and shake my head as if I was saying “no, no, I can’t”.
There was a point when I thought of going to the hospital, but then my mind followed each step of what would occur, everything that I wanted to avoid, and I still never wanted pain medication so why would I want to go to the hospital, it was obvious my mind was looking for a way out.
It was then that I had the realisation that there was none, I chose this and the only way out is through. I had a new sense of determination.
I was constantly speaking to my baby and my body, when I felt like I needed a second I would ask for it, and that’s what I received. It gave me the chance to ready myself for the next wave, and go into it with strength of mind, ready.
As I neared transition ( even though I didn’t know it at this point ) the breaks between contractions were actually getting longer, up to 5 to 10 minutes.
My body knew I needed rest, I was exhausted and dehydrated only able to sip on labour aid because I would just throw it back up. I would flop over the side of the pool, and just lay there moaning knowing that another contraction was coming. I found that really hard, having these long breaks with no pain actually made the contractions feel even more intense when they finally came.
Reece was unsure about where I was at and said surely the baby must be coming down now. It felt like I had been labouring for ever so I put my finger in to see, but obviously there was no head there haha. And when I did that I had another contraction so I didn’t do that again lol.
The breaks in contractions were just teasing me, this pain free moment only to be blown apart by the next explosive wave.
I didn’t look at my affirmations once, but because I had been reading them all pregnancy they were in my head. At every point I had the perfect affirmation that I would speak to myself. But the ones that I used most was “I Am Strong” and “I can do this” simple but so needed.
I also thought how amazing it was that everything I needed was within me, every story I had listened to, everything I had read was all stored in my mind and brought up at the perfect time of when I needed to hear it. This made me feel so connected to all the woman out there who have walked this very path, not ever did I feel alone, lost or unsupported. My wise women were there with me every step of the way, whispering to me.
Finally I felt something shifting, I told Reece I could feel my pelvis opening, I was amazed out how I could feel everything that was happening with my body. No matter the pain of birth, I could never make myself numb and miss the experience of that.
At this point Reece got in the pool with me. I knew now that I had reached transition and baby was almost here. It was an absolute relief when the contractions were replaced with the sensations of my body pushing.
I could not help but push, and it did feel like I was doing a poo, but more like passing a gigantic bowling ball.
I changed position, almost like runners pose but I was leaning back over the pool edge with one leg straight, this put a bit less pressure on my rectum. It only took a few contractions for my baby to move down the birth canal.
I put my hand down to feel him crown, I felt something there but it didn’t feel like a head. I was confused, I thought maybe it was a face presentation or something. I kept my hand there, I didn’t want Reece to see because I know he would have freaked out if there was something that was a variation of normal and of what he was expecting.
I had three big contractions with him right there, I felt myself stretch to a certain point but he wasn’t coming out. It’s hard to explain but it almost felt like his shape was too wide for me to stretch over [later realising he was complete breach], and that last contraction I was pushing so hard to try and get him to come out but he only slightly moved. I did have a brief moment of worry thinking “what if I can’t get him out”. But I changed position and With the next contraction I brought myself forward into runners pose, the movement allowed him to shift and come out, but because I was pushing so hard in the previous contractions to get him out I didn’t realise I pushed with that same force as I shifted and his whole body flew out. ( I ended up with some second degree tears from this ) I reached underneath thinking he was completely out, but felt his feet and body, with his head still in me. I was so surprised and told Reece he was breech. I spent my whole pregnancy thinking 100% that baby was head down, I think my belly mapping skills need some work.
Reece held it together so well even though he was scared seeing little Ryzers body hanging out of me while his head was still in there. I wasn’t fearful it was more like a heightened alertness as I remembered everything I had learnt about breech births, I told Reece not to grab his body and that he was ok, I knew I had time before there would be any issues but I had the feeling of wanting to get him out, I suppose an unnecessary pressure that I put on myself. But I went onto all fours and with the next contraction he popped straight out. Reece caught him and passed him to me after I turned around.
he was a bit limp and pale. I wasn’t surprised, I had watched so many videos of babies transitioning that I knew this was fine. Reece was in a bit of shock from him being breech and was so worried he wasn’t ok, he was quite upset and teary. But I reassured him everything was ok. I sucked some mucus from his nose and mouth, rubbed his back, gently blew air over his face, kissed and talked to him and told Reece that helped so he joined in talking to baby, saying his name and calling him into his body. Very slowly he came to, I held him leaning over to help him drain his lungs, and eventually we heard that sweet first cry.
I think it was a fast and hard journey for little baby, he had to catch up, My labour was only 6 hours, pushing was less than half an hour, and there was no pre labour contractions or anything, it was just so intense straight away.
We got out of the pool and lied down on the bed, His breathing was very raspy for a while, I cleared some more gunk from his nose and mouth, and eventually when he could breath well enough he latched on and fed.
I was experiencing the worst pain in my rectum and it hurt when I walked to the bed, I was worried I may have had an injury like 4th degree tears. But when I was lying down It was a cross between a contraction pain and needing to go to the toilet. As I laid there I remember feeling such relief that it was over, I thought I was prepared for the pain of birth but for me it was so overwhelming almost unbearable, I told Reece that we wouldn’t be having any more babies (even though I had always spoke about wanting four). I told him how I couldn’t believe that women do this five or six times.
After about an hour I tried to squat the placenta out but it was so awkward with the baby still connected I just laid back down and decided to wait till we cut his cord. So I we left Ryzer attached for three hours but I couldn’t deal with the pain anymore, so we tied and cut his cord after explaining to him we were about to do. Then I got up because I had the strong urge to go to the toilet, I took the bowl with me. Before I could sit down the placenta slipped out but I caught it in the bowl before it fell in the toilet, and the pressure and pain I was feeling disappeared.
I was planning on using part of the placenta for smoothies and burying the rest but we were so exhausted after the birth that we didn’t have the energy to prepare it.
I didn’t feel the complete bliss of love at first sight, even though my husband did. He couldn’t stop telling me how much he loved him. But he was still a stranger to me, this new little being, so different to what I’ve been connecting to for all these months. Part of me also couldn’t comprehend that he was mine and that I had just birthed him. It took days for me integrate this, but as each week passed and I learnt how to care for him, I was able to acknowledge myself as his mother, and in doing so I finally opened myself to that undying unconditional love of a mother for her babe. There it was, finally I felt my bliss.