Our birth story – as written to baby Dexter…To dear little baby,10amLots has happened in the last month but today something incredible happened… I woke up and my waters broke at 9.10am! So looks like we’re not far away from meeting you now! I’ve just made your little bassinet bed 🙂 You’re only a few days early!11amWell, my midwife asked us to get to the doctor to get a swab, just in case you take your merry time to arrive. When we got to the doctor, I sat down and immediately started to tense up. I was having a small contraction! I felt the waters down yonder and made a dash for the toilet where it all splashed out – movie style! Once I cleaned up (minus undies), I headed back to the waiting room and called my midwife again. Her daughter answered and told me that the waters will keep replenishing and that it was very important to stay at the doctors. Well that was news to me – who knew the waters would keep replenishing and therefore keep gushing! That was lesson # 1.12pmAfter the doctor, we drove home and daddy asked why I was so tense in the waiting room after all our practice with calmbirthing. I told him I was trying to stop the water from gushing out with a contraction (failing miserably) and he understood my reasoning. Just then I had another contraction and completely relaxed through it and guess what? It didn’t hurt at all! Lesson # 2, relaxing really does help 🙂 When we were just about to turn down our road, I had another contraction, slightly stronger this time, but the waters gushed out like a river rapid! All I could do was laugh my head off and all daddy was thinking was ‘what about my car seat?!?!?!’. Lesson # 3 – laughing makes the water gush out faster 🙂2pmYour auntie Angelina arrived from Warrnambool She called the whole way to make sure she wouldn’t miss seeing you arrive. She stopped in to buy your change table on the way for us. We like to keep things fresh around here, preparation not our strong point. Daddy was busy getting your room ready with a pool.We had some lunch and had a good laugh over how calm I was – I was so excited but also quite relaxed.3pmTogether we sat down to unpack your clothes into your drawers. We were still renovating you know. I figured I should get some rest after that as I had been having small contractions on and off all day. So I headed to the bedroom to lie down for a nap.6pmI was starting to feel stronger contractions at this point, but was still relatively comfortable. Daddy and Auntie Angelina were recording the contractions on an iPhone app to see when to call my midwife to advise I was in ‘active’ labour.9pmAround this time, daddy called the midwife to ask if I could go in the pool as I really felt the need to be immersed in water. But because my waters had broken, she told him to keep me out until she arrived. So instead, I hopped in the shower. The shower was DIVINE! I felt instant relief. I sat on a stool and swayed with the motion of the water during and in between contractions. I could have stayed there forever! Lesson # 4 – A blow up couch is a better option for use than a stool in the shower for longer periods of time!I found myself making noises during contractions to communicate to your daddy and auntie what was happening. It was easier than talking for some reason. It made it easy for them to track too (they seemed pretty fascinated with the process). I was enjoying bits of icy pole that they fed to me and also some sips of water. I was having a pretty good time in that shower, let me tell you!11pmThis is about when I started feeling the urge to push. It wasn’t overwhelming, but definitely there. Daddy called my midwife who said she was on her way!! He told her that google helped him determine I was now in ‘active’ labour. Our second midwife was called and set off from a long weekend away especially for us… how nice of her (and how sorry we were!).12amMy midwife arrived around about now and came in to check on me in the shower. I was tired but in heaven. She helped me out onto the bed and on the way I told her I felt drunk! She said “that’s the endorphins, love!”. The contractions immediately felt more intense without the water and I asked her if she had the tens machine to which she said she didn’t. Lesson # 5 – ALWAYS accept the tens machine even if you don’t initially intend on using it.My midwife could see I was just tired and upon getting me comfy on the bed, I went to sleep between each and every contraction – right up to the birth. The pool was out of the question, it was a whole 20 steps away and I was pretty comfortable on our bed.I felt the uncontrollable urge to push and heard my midwife softly whisper that it was premature pushing. I resisted the urge as much as possible but it took a great deal of daddy telling me to find that special place at the beach to calmly relax. We weren’t always successful, but I knew from a friend’s experience that it was important not to push too early.Daddy and Auntie Angelina were interpreting my slurry speech to the lovely midwives, including when I insulted calmbirthing (sorry about that) as I thought I wasn’t being very calm.3-something amI asked if I could push yet to which my second midwife told me to listen to my body. My midwife also told me the most amazing news – that I had passed transition! Well, I can’t tell you how wonderful life felt right at that moment. I felt like I could go on forever and ever. I had the most amazing and empowered feeling I have ever felt in my life, like I was a true fighter, that the last 4 hours were forgotten, but appreciated as they got me to this point.I remember actively working with each contraction from that point. I was wide awake and ready for action. I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t fearful, I wasn’t uncomfortable – even with the contractions. I was ready to work with my body to bring a beautiful baby into the world – right in my own home, on my own bed.I started breathing out with the contractions and could literally feel a head moving through my pelvis. I felt every moment, every centimeter – but no pain. I asked for help to position me to allow this beautiful baby to pass through my pelvis. With each contraction I felt the little head advance until crowning, when finally everyone could see what I was feeling!The midwives asked for more towels and buckets as they could see things were happening right now! Auntie Angelina went to gather what was needed.3.32amAfter a few more pushes (or breathing out), your little head popped out! Daddy saw you wiggle your nose and was absolutely amazed at what he saw!!! I felt the ‘pop’ and immediately thought Auntie Angelina had missed it! I yelled out saying ‘where’s Angelina???’ thinking she wasn’t there, but was relieved to know she had been back for some time and I’d been in a time warp! I also felt an amazing stretch and thought to myself ‘if that’s the neck of my baby and the stretch is this bad, how on earth am I going to get the shoulders out?!’. Little did I know that you had paused right at the widest point – just under your nose! As I didn’t know this, I was determined to get you out and fast, so I waited for the next contraction and gave an almighty push! BAM – you flew out and landed on the bed, you were too quick to catch!My midwife then scooped you up and passed you through to daddy who put you on my chest. Daddy and I were both amazed and in awe – we couldn’t believe how amazing you were! We finally met you and daddy told me you were a little boy! We sat there as a family for about half an hour, just looking at you looking at us. You were so alert and only had one short cry immediately after you were on my chest. After that, you looked around, taking everything in. We’ll never forget those amazing first moments!Later that morningUnfortunately the placenta did not detach, so we ended up having to get a ride to the hospital in an ambulance where doctors manually removed it (you were in daddy’s arms the entire time). My midwife expressed some colostrum for you to eat (which you gobbled up nicely) and we spent our first night in there, but luckily daddy was with us.All in all, we were so happy with our birthing experience! We have our midwives and Auntie Angelina to thank for the wonderful experience that we’ll never forget!