It's been 6 weeks since I gave birth to my little darling, at last I have some time to write down and share my labour story.
Before and during my pregnancy, I relentlessly researched all of my options for pregnancy and childbirth. After much consideration, we decided to have a homebirth with a midwife. I felt really good and healthy and had an easy, uneventful pregnancy. In fact, the most difficult part of my pregnancy was the constant criticism we received for the decision to have a home birth. Although some of the comments were well-meaning, some were hurtful, I tried not to let it bother me too much as I firmly believed that this was the absolute best choice we could have made.
On Boxing Day (26 Dec 2008 ) I was 37 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I had a fall on the stairs in my home and landed on my hands and knees. Initially I was a little worried as any falls during late pregnancy are potentially dangerous, So after the fall I rested in bed for the rest of the day and since I felt no pain nor any other symptons, and the baby was still kicking regularly inside me, I decided all is well and went out to dinner with the rest of the family that evening and had a wonderful time!
Needless to say I was shocked when I woke up around midnight and felt a trickle and gush of my water breaking! I was in disbelief, but I didnít know what else it could possibly be. The water continued to trickle, so I woke my boyfriend Duncan up. After establishing it was definitely not urine we anticipated something to start soon but after waiting eagerly for an hour was no contractions so we decided to go back to bed and see what happens in the morning. I called my midwife Ciska early that morning and she was pretty sure from my description that my water had indeed broken. She came around to check on me later and gave me instructions for reducing my risk of infection and staying hydrated so that my amniotic fluid would continue to replenish itself, and told me to call if I started having contractions. The next day, I still felt fine other than the strange sensation of the trickling water. So, I went about doing my daily chore and started making preparations for my home birth.
Day two and three came and gone still there's no sign of contractions nor any shows - just a steady trickle. Ciska visted me everyday and checked the baby's heart beat with a fetal trumpet making sure everything is okay. unfortunately some of my family were concerned and became angry at both duncan and I for not taking this leaking water seriously enough and have myself checked out at a proper hospital therefore putting our baby's wellbeing at risk. To make peace within the family (and to reassure myself) I agreed to go to a local maternity hospital where I have been going for my regular antenatal visits.
So on the 29th Duncan's Mom drove me to the hospital emergency room. I told the reception that I am 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant and had a fall a few days earlier and had been leaking waters for three days. The nurse got on the phone and sent me to the maternity ward at the hospital where two nurses were already waiting for me. They gave me a hospital gown and asked me to undress and checked my blood pressure, as well as urine and blood samples. Another nurse came and hooked me up with some machines where they monitor the baby's heartbeat and my non existant contractions. After lying on the hospital bed for about an hour another nurse came and put a wrist band on my wrist and wrote " full hospital diet" on the board above my bed. SHe then asked me to open my legs as she need to give me an examnation to make sure it was amniotic fluid that I was leaking.She inserted a stainless steel instrument inside me and the instrument opened my cervax and immediately I felt an huge gush of warm water came out of me. "Ah you've been leaking waters indeed and we will have to induce you today" was all she said.
I tried to tell her I do not wish to be induced then she told me it is the hospital policy to induce immediately if the waters had been broken for more than 24 hours and they have already arrange for the doctor to induce me in 4 hours time. " you'll have your baby today" she said.
I didn't know what to do... so I called Ciska. Ciska came to the hospital to see me and after checking me she said everything is still looking okay with me and there's no need for artificial induction so I decided I'd still like to go ahead with my home birth plan. So i just ripped out the machines attached to my belly and got dressed very quickly.
The nurses tried to stop me and threatened me with charging me full fees even though i'd only been there for an hour. I just signed the forms and walked out of the hospital like that... all i wanted was to get home and have my baby there.
Nothing happened that night but I was nervous and excited and happy and scared all at once. I had a spicy curry dinner with Duncan hoping spicy food would speed things up a little. I woke up at 3 am the next morning and noticed a pink discharge on my panty liner. Yay!!! A show at last!!! I woke Duncan up and told him that I will make him a daddy very soon because our baby is definitely on its way. We lie awake holding hands waiting fore more intense contraction to arrive. Around 5 am I felt I had three mild contractions. In fact, i didn't even know they were contractions until I described them to Ciska later. At 6 AM Duncan phoned Ciska and told her I had a show, to give her the heads up. Ciska came around at 7AM as I was beginning to have more intense contractions. They started out pretty far apart then got closer and closer together. The contractions were more painful than braxton hicks but they were still manageable. For the next two hours the contractions became much more intense. They were also getting much closer, 12, 8, 5 minutes apart, but not in a predictable pattern. I kept thinking I was in the first stage and it could still take like 12 or 24 ours for me to have this baby as i've read somewhere in a book that for a first birth it is generally longer. I began to doubt my ability to do this naturally. Suddenly, I had an extremely painful contraction. It felt like his head was coming down and I felt an extreme urge to push. I was afraid to push because my contractions were still mostly over 10 minutes apart, so I couldnít possibly be fully dilated. After a couple more contractions like that I told Ciska I definitely needed some help. I knew something was happening. I told Duncan to go ahead and start filling up the tub Ė I wanted to be able to get in it as soon as I could as I was so uncomfortable I couldnít sit or lay down anywhere Ė there was a huge bulge on my bottom and I felt like I was sitting on my babyís head! As I reached down I could feel something round withwet, soft silky hair. I felt a sudden courage and this immediate sense of relief - I felt relieved that the end was near.
The warm water really helped - as I got in and completely relaxed. I didnít have another contraction for a while and i was grateful for the interval as I was getting tired. after that I had a few more contractions, During those contractions Ciska told me how to push with them to open myself up, imaging myself like a flower opening. She put the mirror in the pool so I could see the little sliver of babyís head with each push. I pushed again and felt an intense pain as more of my babyís head came out. Ciska reminded me to slow down and not force it too quickly to reduce the chance of tearing. I tried to breath deeply, pushing gently and relaxing between contractions, but everything seemed to happen so fast. I think I pushed about 3 more times and my babyís head was out. Next thing I knew his body was coming out and he was in my arms! I immediately felt this intense love for my baby and couldnít believe I was actually holding him. I was amazed at how well Duncan supported me throughout my entire labor and delivery. I felt extremely peaceful as I held our new baby during his first moments of life.
holding my new arrival...
I am so grateful that I trusted my body and my baby enough to plan a home water birth. My birth confirmed my belief that it is most important to trust your body and your baby -- they are the true experts when it comes to childbirth. Iím so glad I didnít listen to everyone who criticized my choices to have my baby at home, to stay active when my water had broken and to continue being active during my labour.
. 2 hours old
1 day old.
Spencer Ming today, 6 weeks old!!!
So this is how my baby Spencer Ming Douglas Robson was born - and his entrance into this world was absolutely perfect!