The Birth of Oriah
Oriah - born at home in water on the 9th June 2012 at 6:58am, weighing 3450g
MONDAY 4th June
I lost a bit of plug throughout the day and went to bed feeling a bit of nervous excitement, even though I know it is not an indication of when labour will start, I know it means things are happening and I have feelings of 'am I ready for this yet?' and I am not quite sure of the answer! Upon waking the next day the remainder of my plug is lost.
FRIDAY 8th June
I feel a bit tired and off all day but don’t think anything of it. I don’t feel like eating anything except for mandarins and I have about 10! We had planned to go to the pub for dinner but I don’t want to, in the end we go as Michael and Amaliah both want to. I don’t eat much. We get home about 7pm and after I put Amaliah to bed I watch some TV and start to notice that I am having tightening’s accompanied by a dull backache. This is how contractions felt with Amaliah but as they are so mild I am not sure if it’s anything or not. At 9:30 I decide to go to bed and get some sleep in case this is it, I text my Mum and Aunt to tell them not to have a late one just in case and I tell Michael not to stay up too late. I have broken sleep as the dogs keep barking and waking me, my tightening’s feel a bit more intense. Michael comes to bed at midnight.
SATURDAY 9th June
I wake at 12:30am to neighbors setting off heaps of fireworks. It wakes Amaliah and she comes into our room very upset. Usually when this happens Michael takes her back to her bed and sleeps with her, but tonight she is just crying for me. It’s odd so I decide to go back to her bed with her and try and get some sleep, while Michael tries to get some sleep in our bed. She won’t settle, and ends up being wide awake, it’s like she knows! I decide I want to get up so we both go and hangout in the lounge. I go into the kitchen and have a contraction that is much more intense and I have to hold onto the kitchen bench. Amaliah gets all giggly and silly and I ask her why but she can’t stop giggling. She says "the baby is coming today" She knows this means the baby is coming without me having to tell her, but I still feel a bit unsure as my contractions are not regular (They never were with Amaliah either, but I thought that was because she was breech and with a head down baby they would get regular) I had been timing them since I woke up and would have a big one, followed by a few in a row only minutes apart, and then I would have a break for 5-8 minutes before the next big one.
At 1:30am I decide to call Mum, I am still not 100% sure this is labour but as Michael is in bed and I want him to get some sleep I feel like I would like someone else there to help tend to Amaliah, and I thought maybe they could both go and sleep in Amaliah's bed (yeah right! Haha!)
Once Mum arrives Michael gets up, he is too excited to sleep and wants to start setting up the birth pool and bringing more wood inside etc. in case this is it, which it probably is! We all just hang around for a while and Mum and Michael start getting everything ready, while my contractions continue to get more intense. At 3am I remember I had bought a pink cupcake kit for myself and Amaliah to make while I am in labour, so we get started on that. It takes me about 30 minutes to put all the ingredients in the bowl in between contractions and by this time Amaliah has lost interest. I go and kneel on the mattress and lean over the couch with a wheat bag on my back and tell Mum I cannot finish the cupcakes and can she call my Aunty Nikki to come and to pick up my sister as they are about an hour and a half away. Mum and Michael keep asking me when I want to call Kathryn, my midwife, and I keep saying not yet as I want everyone to be able to sleep as long as possible, and in my head I keep telling myself I may be in labor for another 12 hours or more yet!
I have a think about it and decide I should call her, because if my waters break things might start happening really quickly, so I call her at 4:10am. Mum also calls my Omi to let her know things are happening and she decides to head over as well.I continue to labour over the couch with the occasional trip to the toilet, which sucks! I am so much comfier having contractions whilst leaning over the couch! My Aunty Nikki and Taylor arrive about 4.15 am.
At about 4:45am Michael asks if I have called Rosey yet, which I haven’t, and he says he thought that Kathryn would have arrived by now. I tell him that I knew it would take her about an hour to come. I don’t know why he keeps asking me, but then I realize he is feeling a bit anxious, and he confirms this and says he just wants either Kathryn or Rosey to be here already, so I ask Mum to call Rosey and ask her to come over. I had asked Rosey to be at my birth for support as she was my midwife with Amaliah and both of my brothers and I felt a bit odd about birthing without her there as she was my rock in Amaliah's birth.
By 5ish Rosey had arrived, and Kathryn minutes later. I continued to labour where I was, I had been going through a check list with each contraction and Kat and Rosey both helped remind me of this too, relax and wiggle my toes, relax my bum, relax my belly, shoulders, wriggle my mouth. I know the fastest way to meet my baby is to relax and let my body do what it needs to do. We checked baby’s heartbeat and all is well. My Omi had arrived, the pool was ready, and contractions were feeling really intense, much more intense than in my first labour and birth but I still didn’t want to get in the pool. I was worried about getting in too early and in my head still thinking I could have hours and hours and hours left.
Once I got in the pool my contractions stopped and took a while to start back up again, Rosey reminded me that it’s my body giving myself and the baby a rest. Even though I know Kathryn and Rosey think baby is close to being born, I don’t want to get my hopes up! Amaliah gets in the pool with me and has a lot of fun swimming around with her goggles on and checking if she can see the baby yet. The contractions start back up again and as they get more intense I ask that Amaliah be taken out of the pool, as her bouncing is making the contractions hurt more.
After a few contractions of her being lifted in and out the pool I request that she stay out now. While I had really hoped she would be in the pool with me when I birthed the baby, her jumping around is starting to irritate me. I start to feel really hot so Michael is rubbing my face with cold flannels.
I am starting to feel a bit pushy for 2 contractions, I feel a slight 'pop' and think that’s my waters breaking, but it’s too intense for me to be able to tell Kathryn that between contractions. On the 3rd I can feel that the baby’s head is right there and I know it really is time to have this baby!
She wriggles around a bit and with the next contraction her shoulders start coming out, I really want to push the baby out in this contraction so once I feel that her shoulders are out I consciously push for the first time, I push as hard as I can and then I feel that she is out! Kathryn pushes her through my legs for me to pick her up. I remember seeing her at the bottom of the pool and thinking "wow she is so tiny"
I pick her up and she has the cord around her neck, so Kathryn helps me to unwrap it. I sit back and feel in awe that I have done it! I have birthed my baby all by myself! I feel on such a high and so so so proud of myself. She is so beautiful. She is born at 6:58am.
We stay in the pool for about 40 minutes, Amaliah has been very emotional since the moment I picked the baby up and I know she will come and meet her baby sister when she is ready, for now she is content having cuddles with Nanny and Omi. The baby has been breastfeeding and I have been having really intense afterbirth contractions, and have been pushing and pushing but cannot feel the placenta and it’s not coming out. We decide that its time I get out the pool and lay on the mattress in the lounge room to birth the placenta. The umbilical cord is really short and I am concerned the placenta will come out when I am walking to the couch and tug on the baby’s belly. Mum and Michael help me walk and Kathryn is right there with the container for the placenta, halfway to the couch I can feel it is about to come out so she catches it with her hands and then puts it in the container.
We lay on the couch for another hour and Amaliah finally comes over to check out the baby. She got to talk to her Aunty Lynda and tell the birth story, and this seemed to helpshift her a little. She came in with the phone, telling Lynda all about it. When I get up to go to the loo she has a hold, then Michael has a hold, and Amaliah comes to me in the toilet and holds out her hands in a big circle and says "Mum I love you this much, and I love the baby this much too!"
When I get back to the lounge room we weigh her and then I have her back for more skin on skin and cuddles.My brothers come over to see the baby and we all hangout for a bit, then Mum leaves and Amaliah goes with her for a few hours. Everyone else packs up and heads off. Aunty Nikki gets some food going in the slow cooker before she leaves. Kathryn leaves us all in bed and we try to sleep, but only get about 30 minutes in as we just want to stare at our beautiful baby.
Having my family around meant that I was well supported, Amaliah had people around who she loved and trusted, and Michael did not have to do anything much except be there for me.
Having a birth photographer meant that we have precious memories captured of one of the best days of our lives. All photos taken by Nikki Hartmann Photography.
At 6am I was being asked again if I wanted to get in the pool, which I didn’t, (Amaliah was desperate to get in). I was really tired now and I told Kat all I wanted to do was go to sleep, I was actually trying to sleep between contractions, I was so comfy and I didn’t want to move, I felt annoyed that people were talking to me. I felt a bit upset that I needed to poo, and told Kat I was so tired but I needed to poo, but I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to move or get stuck on the loo having contractions.
Kathryn and Rosey told me if I wanted to have this baby in the pool, I needed to get in now or I may miss out. I agreed to get in, but went in the bathroom to put my hair up first! I didn’t want it to look too messy in my birth photos Haha!
As the head is coming out I try not to push and just let the baby’s head come out on its own, it is so much more intense than this stage was with Amaliah’s birth! The baby’s head is out in 2 contractions, I am amazed in the second contraction that I can feel her face and nose coming out and then a 'pop' feeling and relief as her whole head is out! I feel relieved that so far I have felt no tearing.