I know everyone comments how quickly time goes by during the first weeks of your little one’s life outside the womb…but goodness, 8 weeks already! I am so blessed to have this babe in my arms, motherhood is another gift undeserved but eternally appreciated!
On a side note, I have finally rocked Honour to sleep and placed him beside me so I could hopefully get our birth story written out, but now along comes Bella, and seeing my lap empty has tried to snuggle her way between myself and laptop haha. There are just not enough hours in the day to cuddle everyone efficiently!
Back to our birth. I wanted to get this story written as#1 people have requested it and #2 I have already forgotten the pain of the birth and do not want to lose the beautiful details that made it an experience I would do again tomorrow. So bear with me as this post is mainly for me to remember the 30 hours spent bringing our child into this world 🙂
To begin with Ben and I actually had two due dates. One was based on my ovulation schedule and the other was based on the measurements of the ultrasound. The first date being June 22nd, the second being June 14th and so our midewife picked a date in the middle (a little closer to the LMP date) and we had June 20th…I guess that means we had 3 dates haha. Therefore even though we were at 38 weeks when labour began it really could have been closer to 39 as June 8th is a week off June 14th…but who knows maybe we will just always have early babies (fingers crossed) 🙂 Ben and I knew, before we were even pregnant that we would have a midwife as our birth attendant rather than an OB. I won’t bore you with the arguments for this but there were many reasons that made this decision an easy choice for us. We did not make an immediate decision on having our child at home as we wanted to see how our pregnancy went first seeing as a home birth may not even have been an option. We actually decided at 35 weeks that we would give birth at home if possible and that we would rent a birthing tub to help during labour. We desperately wanted a natural birth, again for many reasons, and having our child at home leaves no choice for drugs as there just are not any available. I found this very beneficial during labour as I did not have to fight the temptation to use meds and therefore I could focus totally on labour without a nagging voice telling me the drugs were there if I wanted them. The benefits of natural home birth to babe, mum and even dad are incredible, and if you want anymore information I would love to share with you…for me there is no other choice 🙂
The alarm rang at 515 on Thursday June 8th and both Ben and I rolled over and went back to sleep, re-setting the alarm for 615 (Ben did not have the energy to go in for morning overtime). I noticed that I really had to pee but decided against getting out of our warm bed so that I could maintain my sleep state and get another hour cuddled up to my hubby. I had a hard time falling back to sleep though and dozed in and out and by the time the alarm went off for the second time I had a slight feeling I had peed myself a little. I climbed out of bed and sure enough my mucous plug had gone, but my water was still intact (thankfully). Right away I began to notice mild cramps and for peace of mind gave my Mum a quick text…she agreed that it sounded like labour and to keep an eye on the contractions to see if they subside as this could just be false labour. Well Ben went off to work and at 7AM I called our midwife and she agreed that by the sounds of the increasing-in-intensity contractions that we were in labour…so I called Ben home 🙂 We had planned for a home birth with a birthing pool but seeing as we were at least a week early our tub had not been delivered yet. We made some phone calls and our chiropractor, Dr Dan Kresan, made a special trip out during his lunch break to set up our tub and we got to filling it right away! We had not made a decision on whether to birth in the pool or not as there were so many factors surrounding that we had learnt not to get your hopes set on actually birthing in the tub…but labouring yes.
That first day until about 3 PM the contractions were average intensity, I could walk and talk through most of them so Ben and I hung around the house, taking walks around the farm and making a meal for after the birth. Being at home allowed us to be extremely calm, relaxed and in control of our environment. We could do what we liked, when we liked and were therefore more relaxed which helps speed up labour. Ben was able to support me in our home and this was empowering to both of us. At 3 we had a call from Soheyla, our midwife, to come up to Windsor if possible so she could check me out and see how things were going. I was ready to go for a drive and the contractions were not at a point where driving was too painful…if anything the bumpy ride would speed up the progress! We arrived at 4 and found out we were 2-3 cm dilated.
From 4 Pm to 4AM the next day things picked up. My contractions began to increase in rate and intensity and it was a welcome relief to slide into our birthing tub and be weightless for awhile. The hardest part through our birth was the exhaustion. This began to set in around midnight as I had not eaten a huge amount and had only really been drinking water and lemon lime gatorade. So, when I climbed in the tub it was such a relief as I could get into a good labouring position and not need to carry my own body weight. Out of the water the only comfortable position was standing and I was wearing myself out by continually walking and rocking.
As 4AM we called my Mum as she was going to be my birth coach. She came asap and agreed with us upon seeing me that it was time to call our midwife. I was sprawled out in the tub, unable to talk through my contractions and they were coming every 5 minutes or so. I was sure I was almost fully dilated and felt incredibly disheartened when Soheyla arrived and announced, after a very painful exam, that I was only 5 cm. Ben and I looked at each other and I had to hold back the tears…my mind was filled with doubt as it had taken me 12 hours to dilate 2-3 cm…
Seeing as I was utterly exhausted already, Soheyla discussed with us the choice of having my water broken as it was still intact. She shared the pros and cons and we had thought, prior to labour, that we would not go through with this procedure. But there is a time and place for everything and after talking with Ben and my Mum we agreed to have it done. After that things went very quickly. I climbed out of the tub as sadly, our little guy was in a bad position and had to be rotated before he could descend properly. This was the time that I held my Mum’s hand, had Ben supporting my back and just wanted it all to be over. I was utterly worn out, the pain was quite intense and I had no idea how long it would take him to turn and then fully dilate. I can remember asking my Mum as she cooled my forehead how much longer this would take. 🙂 Looking into her eyes was such an encouragement as she truly had the ‘I know how you feel’ look. I knew she could honestly sympathize with my situation and I was so thankful to have her there.
Finally the pressure came, the babe had turned and he was ready to enter the world. We stayed on the bed to finish the birth as I hardly had the energy to push let alone walk back to the tub. Once I got through transition I found the pushing was not too difficult. Yes, it burns, but as soon as the midwife positioned a mirror so Ben and I could see Honour I was incredibly motivated to push with everything left within me. For any woman who has not yet given birth, GET A MIRROR. It will encourage you and give you the motivation you need to finish the birth, especially if you are overly tired. Goodness, I can still remember the joy of seeing him crown for the first time! Ben was behind me supporting me and with every push I know he was there with me, arms around me, encouraging me and wishing he could do more of the work. He was an amazing birth coach and everything I needed from my husband 🙂
After 15 minutes at 11 16 AM or so he was in my arms. 7 pounds 11 ounces, pale, crying and ours. We had decided not to find out the gender of our child beforehand so as he was placed on my chest for the first time I kept my eyes trained on his and asked Ben what we had. I wanted him to announce the birth of our child as the head of our home and he did so with love, pride and joy. He said we have a boy and from there he was no longer an it, a he or a babe, he was our Honour Hadley David Clark.
Our gift from our Father, a responsibility laid before us, a joy resting against my chest.