We always planning a home birth but were told at 32 weeks (!!!) I had “put on too much weight” and my “BMI was too high” to birth safely at home. This, along with the fact that I had declined the gestational diabetes test, meant I would not be supported in a home birth. Not only did My midwife suggest that it would be safer to have a hospital birth but also that it’d be recommended to be induced, have continuous monitoring, a catheter in my hand “just in case” and an assisted third stage because I was a risk of haemorrhaging.
The way this information was conveyed to me instilled a lot of fear and self doubt. I also had to see a therapist because it was very triggering of a past where I had so many challenges with my weight. FYI pre brith weight was 72 Kilos and I had put on 30kgs but was still very active, feeling great, and all scans and bloods including blood pressure was WITHIN NORMAL RANGE…
Obviously taking the home birth off the table because I had gotten a bit FAT was just not good enough for me. Intuitively I knew my baby and I were healthy…
I called over 15 private midwives and begged my case (ALL were happy to support me but as my due date was so close and covid was causing a boom in homebirths, they were fully booked) until MAMA midwives took me on. They were also fully booked but Jan encouraged me to write a letter and I did, pleading my case. The midwives felt so strongly about what had happened they agreed to take me on…
I was woken by a gush of liquid on Tuesday 24th August at 12.05 am. I was exactly 37 weeks.
By 1am I was feeling strong period like cramps and I messaged our doula, to notify her that my waters broke. I also called Jan, who asked some questions and then sent me back to sleep (ha-ha!). The cramps were very uncomfortable (sleep was out of the question) so my partner Cameron and I laid on our bed, holding hands, and listened to the Hypnobirthing tracks on repeat. The contractions were getting stronger and closer and Cam started timing them. I found rocking my hips back and forth was helpful until they got too intense so we put the TENS machine on. I also felt nauseous and was was intermittently throwing up. The next few hours passed in a blur and I believe I was in a hypnotised state but at 6am the contractions were getting intense. Cam called my sister Kritz and Jan again who said she was sending my midwives straight away.
At about 7.30 Marita and Emily arrived and checked the heartbeat. They were happy baby was happy. At this point I asked Cam to take the clock off the wall as I kept looking at it because it felt time was really dragging. I was pacing around the apartment and would brace myself on the back of two chairs at the dinner table when I felt a contraction. Because I was moving so much I was getting tired. I lay on my side on the couch with Cam next to me and was able to drift off to sleep briefly between contractions. The whole time we had the Hypnobirthing tracks playing and I was so in the zone. Each contraction I tried to sway my hips in clockwise circles, I visualised my baby turning clockwise and descending down the birth cannel. Some contractions where I felt strong I would welcome the contraction and the next, and tell myself each contraction was bribing me closer to my baby.
Despite things escalating, the whole time I felt WELL… STRONG, healthy, safe and CALM.
My doula arrived at around 9am and I wanted to cry with relief I was so happy she was there!! By this stage I wanted to be on all fours and support myself on the back of the couch.
Things were getting extremely intense and it felt like there was no break in the contractions. My sister came up and told me the midwives were preparing the birth pool and I knew that this meant I was getting close as Marita had told me that they only would encourage me to the pool if I was almost ready to push! My noises were changing and I was close!!
I jumped in the pool around 9.30am. Hitting the water was like taking a drug – the relief was instant and the warm water was such incredible pain relief. My sister and my doula had a leg/foot each supported like stirrups and when I asked Marita how long to go she said, “I don’t know, you tell me..” I put a finger inside to feel and I could feel my baby’s head! I could even feel the hair on its head!! This was the most motivating moment of the whole labour I knew we were so close to meeting our little human! I tried to remain relaxed and loose faced, I focused on my breathing and with two pushes the head was out! I was caressing it and although it burned so much, I told my team I needed to take a breather. I slowly returned my breathing to neutral and prepared myself for the last bit.
With the next contraction I pushed our baby out and it was the most bizarre sensation! Our baby only let out one little cry as if to say “I’m here!” Baby was born at 9.53am.
Cameron announced that it was a boy and the midwives wanted me out of the pool as I had started to bleed a little. Even though I could see the blood in the pool intuitively I knew I was fine! There was no fear of haemorrhaging even though that had been suggested to me – because intuitively I knew I WAS OK. I got up myself and stepped out of the pool unassisted to lay down on the couch.
Then Cam announced our babies name; Braxton James.
After that, the midwives set us up in our own bed and the doula cooked us some food. marita said that you could not get a more textbook homebirth and Cam said it was a Cinderella story… it was such an incredible birth I could not have scripted it any better
I was so incredibly proud of my labour and birth. And mostly, I am proud of myself as a first-time mum for advocating for myself and for the birth I wanted. I was so close to giving up, between feeling ashamed of my size and scared of the risk I was taking. But I’m so glad I had an amazing doula and sought help to get my head straight to remind myself to block out all the noise and TURN IN to listen to my own gut.
And to have such a perfect labour and birth after I was told that I could not do it was such a sweet, sweet thing
Marita and Emily were true angels. Holding space for me like a comforting presence from the sidelines, making me feel safe and seen. Their calming energy played a huge role in my labour I am so incredibly grateful for my experience and can’t wait to do it all again this year