Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Location: Amberville, Victoria
|Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:47 am Post subject: The Home Waterbirth of Aurelia Amy
|Aurelia Amy's HWB
The Home Water birth of Aurelia Amy- 2pm on Tuesday 18th March 2008
I had been patiently awaiting labour to begin for 10 days before it finally began- my waters broke on Thurs 6th March and we all assumed that labour was imminent- I’d been having niggles and slight contractions for a few days prior to my membrane rupture. Our midwives and doula were all getting early nights as Aurelia’s head was well engaged and everything seemed so ready… But she needed to take her time!
From Sat 8th March onwards my body was preparing for birth slowly- lots of contractions but never intense ones, regular light ones which made me think things were about to start happening but eventuated in another morning without ‘real’ labour starting! My cervix was about 4cm dilated on Friday 14th March; I could feel the baby’s head- I thought we’d have a baby by the end of the weekend.
On Sunday the 16th March in the evening I started to have contractions during the night- I had to get up and rock through them, but they were bearable. In the morning they were still happening so I told my midwives again- one of my midwives laughed and called me ‘the boy who cried wolf’ which didn’t go down well at all!
Throughout the day on Monday 17th March I had contractions every 10-20 minutes which I had to breathe and swivel my hips through, but they weren’t enough for me to be too bothered by them. I hoped more exciting things would happen soon but I wasn’t going to focus on it too much. We spent the day at home as it was 40c and too hot to do anything else. Phoenix spent the day following me around and copying me- he’d come put his hands against the wall and rock his hips and breathe heavily, mimicking me. It made me laugh every time I had a contraction. I rested a lot and tried to enjoy my last day as a mumma to one. At 9pm the contractions became more intense so I hopped up and had to moan a little through them, they were getting more intense but I knew we had a long way to go.
Contractions continued throughout the night, at 3am I decided I should try to sleep (wishful thinking!), Yiani and I went into our bedroom and I laid down, but after 20 minutes I gave up and hopped back into the spare bed in the birth room- I couldn’t risk waking Phoenix in our room, and it didn’t feel right to be in there. I felt so tired but managed to nap between contractions, which were coming sporadically every 3-8 minutes. At 5am I got into the shower and things started to heat up, contractions got more intense and when I checked I could feel the membranes bulging through my cervix and her head just behind them. I stayed in the shower for 2 hours, using the heat on my back and belly and rocking and swaying in circles, letting my body do its work. I felt shaky and jittery and I vomited in the shower. I thought I was already in transition.
At 7am I asked Yiani to ring Sharon, Susan and Di, I felt like things were happening and was sure we’d have a baby soon, my moaning had become a roar at the peak of contractions and I felt like I needed our birth team here. I asked him to ask Sharon why it was all hurting so much at the front; she suggested it was my cervix dilating… It was a laughable moment when I realized things were actually happening! Our doula was over in 10 minutes; our midwives arrived within 30 mins. By this stage I’d hopped into the birth pool in anticipation, I felt like things were close.
But hopping into the birth pool at the time slowed labour down, as did the arrival of the midwives- my contractions took a step back and I was only having them every 10 minutes. I felt silly for calling the midwives and expected them to go home- they hung out with me intermittently and read the newspaper. Lots of cups of tea were had, and Phoenix woke up and came in to say hello to me in the birth pool. I had a few bites of toast but the promite/butter ratio was all wrong (LOL!) so I only had a tiny bit.
At 10am I hopped out of the birth pool and back into the shower. Things stepped back up again, this time with an intensity that hit me harder than I expected. The gravity of stepping out of the pool pulled little girl downwards in my pelvis in a position she hadn’t been in before, I felt a shift. Contractions were so painful, they were like an intense pressure and a huge pain in my back, and I didn’t remember this from my last labour. I roared, rocked, swayed and circled in the shower under incredibly hot water on a 37c day, oblivious to the heat. I asked for hot water bottles on my back while I was in the shower, I needed pressure on my back and intense heat. I roared in the shower for 3 hours, eating icy poles between contractions and drinking biodynamic grape juice with lots of ice. I hung off the shower fixture during contractions and rocked my hips from side to side. I needed to keep moving, I needed to change positions a lot, I needed it to be HOT! At about 1pm I asked Yiani to get Sharon. I told her I thought Aurelia was posterior, it felt like something in my back was fractured, and the pain was so intense. She agreed that from what I was explaining that she must be posterior. I needed that acknowledgement from her because until that point I’d thought it but not verbalized it. I wondered if I just wasn’t coping as well this time, when actually I was coping better! I was thinking about how much more painful posterior labour is, and I started to do bigger circles with my hips when I was having a contraction. I wanted to get out of the shower and back into the birth pool, I felt like I needed things to slow a bit because I felt like I had no control any more.
When I got out of the shower I had some contractions while leaning off Yiani, it was wonderful to have him there to hang off, and to have him hold me. I went back into the birth room but didn’t hop into the pool; I leaned over the bed and cried during the next contraction. Sharon massaged my back with arnica oil and pressed on pressure points during my contractions, it felt sooooo good. Everything was so intense and the pain I was feeling was making me breathe raggedly, I could hear my voice catching during a contraction as I sang my birthsong. Sharon suggested some intradermal saline injections- they inject saline into your sacrum in 4 different spots which is supposed to help with back pain during labour. I was unsure. I thought about it for a few seconds and decided to go ahead with it. She told me it would hurt. I laughed. Sharon and Susan both got two needles each and got it all ready. I held onto Yiani when they did it. It really fucking hurt!!!! They both put two needles in around my sacrum at the same time and injected saline; the stinging was more intense than the contractions and I cried for 30 seconds straight, sobbing a little. As soon as the stinging stopped, I felt like there was less pressure in my back, but I was waiting to see if the next contraction was easier.
At 1:30 I went back into the birth room. I laid on my left side for 3 minutes and rested. I hopped off the bed and squatted on the floor for the next contraction, it was much less painful and bearable. I felt like I was in control again, it was a magical moment! I got into the birth pool and rocked in the water, it was just heavenly. I put my knees wide and rocked back and forth during the next contraction, roaring and panting into the water. I felt Aurelia moving downwards and heard myself pushing during the contraction. I knew things were going to happen soon, I started to feel elated and relaxed. I lay on my side and Yiani supported my head between a few contractions. A few contractions later I felt something so I put my hand down and felt the membranes bulging, it was amazing how tough they felt, it felt like a water bomb was poking out of me, it really was a funny moment. I called Yiani to come feel, and my sister-in-law came and felt too, they were so hard and rubbery. I joked with Sharon while we waited for the next contraction, it felt so lovely to relax in the pool.
With the next contraction my membranes ruptured and I laughed as this happened, it felt like such a relief. I could feel pressure towards my bum and knew her head was coming down now, I could feel my body pushing during a contraction. The next contraction and her head was on show, a little oval of dark hair reflected in the underwater mirror. I knew she was the raven haired beauty I had imagined all these long weeks. A lot of joking as the heartbeat was checked and we waited for the next wave. The next contraction brought more hair, I could feel her coming down and I was excited and concentrating hard. I got back onto all fours and waited for the next contraction, I knew it was almost time for her birth. I yelled out to Yiani who had left the room (!) to attend to Phoenix, I chastised him for leaving the room with “Maybe you can stay in the room when I’m giving birth?!” Everyone laughed. It was such a lovely feeling, everyone was so excited and happy and there was an electric feeling.
The next contraction and I felt her coming fast, I panted as I didn’t want to tear. Her head emerged a little more, her fingers were coming out too, and Yiani exclaimed that he could see her little hand! Her head and fingers stayed there, pressing on my perineum, waiting for the next contraction to be fully born. Everyone was silent, waiting for her to be born. When she rotated I felt like someone was pushing on her and said “Stop pushing! Why are you pushing?” and when I said that, she pulled her hand back, her fingers went back inside and the midwives reassured me that it was just her body turning. It was almost as if Aurelia thought I was talking to her and obliged by pulling her hand in! With the next contraction I panted my way through, ooooing as well, and her head was born. Yiani told me she had luscious lips and that she was divine. He held his hands ready and she was born with the next contraction, kicking as she slipped out straight into his loving hands. I swung my leg up and over and turned around and he slid her into my arms, a beautiful slippery daughter with thick dark hair and vernix on her back. I drank her in, we marveled at her beauty and she took her first breath and made a gentle cry. Yiani jumped into the birth pool with me to stroke her, he wanted to hold her but the umbilical cord was too short!
Phoenix was brought in (nobody had thought to bring him in for the birth!), he was stripped off and he sat on Yiani’s lap and gently touched his newborn sister. A family of 3 became a family of 4.
What a beautiful gentle entry into this world, born at exactly 2pm on her due date. Aurelia Amy, 4kg.
Amber- tandem feeding mama to
Phoenix 21 months
Aurelia 3 months