Birth Stories

Lisa and Trents birth of SANA

‘This baby is huge! It’s at least 10 pounds!’ These are the words said to me while having an ultrasound 9 days past my due date. I however, am not convinced and not in the least bit concerned. I feel good, I feel healthy and I am confident that what ever size my baby is, it is the right size for me.

Perhaps if I heard these words before I read the book ‘A Labour of Love’, it would have sent me in to an absolute panic! As I was now 9 days over due, I am routinely booked in for an induction at 15 days over. I tell my midwife that there is no need because this baby will be born before then.

I am now 32 and having my first baby. My pregnancy journey has been an interesting one. I have been paying private health cover for well over 10 years always imagining that I would give birth in a lovely private hospital and see an obstetrician. I had lists of names of obs to choose from and had an appointment booked with two of them.

Once falling pregnant, a new life journey began- not only for my new baby but for my self too. I decided I wanted a natural birth, no drugs at all. It felt right for me and the best for my baby. I wanted to be in an environment which was supportive of my choices but one which I also felt safe in. This is how I came across The Family Birth Centre. I can’t speak highly enough of my experience there. Even though I knew that I wanted a natural birth, I still felt that I had to boost my confidence and really believe that I could do it. I borrowed ‘A Labour of Love’ from my friend and finished reading it as early as 10 weeks pregnant. It was an inspiration for me! I then went on to the website and completed two courses on offer- birth support partner & the 4 weeks journey. I also listened daily to positive affirmations on cd.

By the time I was ready to birth my baby, I felt so confident & relaxed, it was truly amazing! I also kept fit & healthy through my pregnancy with yoga and aqua classes and walking regularly. My husband had also experienced his own journey and was equally confident in me & himself as a birth support partner. He also read the book and completed the birth support partner workshop

I felt different this day, heavier, more pressure down below, period cramp like sensations and very relaxed. I think to myself that this baby is coming tomorrow (Saturday) and will be here for Fathers Day on Sunday. I am booked in for a massage with Gaby. My eyes look glazy and I feel like everything is happening in slow motion. Gaby says that I have that labour look about me. Gaby concentrates on my pressure points to encourage labour and we finish with a visualisation meditation. It is very vivid and I can see my baby being born. A tear rolls down my face with happiness.

3am that morning, I go to the toilet and come back to bed whispering to my husband “It’s showtime, the show is here” We laugh and are both excited. My period cramping seems to be happening more often now and it is definitely stronger. I try not to get too carried away as I know that this does not necessarily mean baby is coming soon. I wake the next morning around 7am and my husband and I take our dogs for a walk. I feel like I am walking with a melon between my legs, baby feels like it has dropped.

I go about my day leisurely but keep busy and moving doing a few housey chores. I send my husband off for a massage & a haircut. About 12pm I feel like there a bit of a pattern to my cramping. I ring Gaby and tell her that I am not sure if it’s labour because it feels too easy. She laughs and says that our bodies very kindly warm up slowly to labour.

About an hour or two later, I am having to concentrate and stop to breathe. Ok, I think something is happening. 330pm, my husband comes home. I ask him to time what I think are contractions. 5 mins, 3 mins, 4 mins, 3 mins. 5pm, we are on our way. We call the birth centre to let them know. I have 6 contractions on the way and I am listening to Gaby’s labour cd. I have 2 contractions from the car to the front door of the birth centre.

I feel good, relaxed and am going with the flow. Sharon, our gorgeous midwife shows us to our suite with a smiling face. It’s the suite I had visualized being in.

I am feeling a little shaky and there seems to be lots of blood. Sharon is not concerned. She runs the bath for me. I am feeling like I want to make noise and now have to really focus on each contraction. My husband stays with me at all times, but this really is time for me to focus inward and on my own. His presence is enough to make me feel safe and supported

It’s 7pm now, a new midwife Debby is here. I tell her that I am feeling pressure, like I almost need to push. She looks at me and says ok but I can tell she is not totally convinced. To be honest, I am not sure that I am convinced either. She asks me if I would like to be examined. I wasn’t sure because I didn’t want to be told I was only 1 or 2cm. I felt confident in what my body was doing, so I agreed to it. 8cm! Hooray!!

It is time to get out of the bath and get on on the birthing stool. I can feel the baby’s head which my midwife then tells me no it’s not the head but my waters bulging. I move to all fours leaning over the bed. A few contractions later and I feel like I’m slowing down.

I can feel irrational thoughts creeping in to my head thinking I don’t want this baby any more, this is too hard, I want to go and rest. I observe these thoughts and realize that this must be transition. Our baby will be here soon! I feel determined again. Contractions have now spaced out to 5mins apart. I ask for help but I am not sure what I want. I definitely don’t want any drugs. Deb suggests that she can break my waters. I want to think about it and ask for 3 more contractions. I change positions to lying on my side. Deb goes to check my membranes and instantaneously after my 3rd contraction, they break naturally and explode all over Debby…woops.

Wow! I feel the burn now, the head had been cushioned on my membranes but was now pushing on my perineum. I knew I was close, not long now. Little did I know that I could be here for an hour or 2 just pushing being my first baby. The baby is crowning. I have so much energy now, I want this baby to be born. Deb and my husband talk me through calmly. Breathing throughout labour has been an incredible way to for the count of 4 through my nose and out for the count of 6 through my mouth. I push hard and the baby stops at it’s eyes just showing it’s forehead like it’s stuck. My eyes are tightly shut. I feel panic around me but I remain calm. I know I am in control and I know baby knows what it’s doing. Deb tells Trent that this is a big baby and to get my legs up around my ears. Deb runs for the emergency button to call in the other midwife. Our baby had decided to come out 2 shoulders at once instead of one at a time. One big push with all my might, I did not care if I tore, this baby was coming out now. I thought to myself I must look so unattractive right now with my face so squinted. It’s funny the thoughts that pop in to your head. I felt my baby slither out and then she was plonked on my chest. She was beautiful, just as I imagined. Big, long and chubby with a mop of dark hair. Looking all around, so alert and so beautiful. So much for 2 hours of pushing, it was all over in 26 minutes!

My husband & I sat there looking at our little girl ‘Sana Amelie’. We were amazed and so emotional, it was just so beautiful, so perfect. I felt incredible!! So full of energy and on the most amazing high!! My placenta then just plopped out like a big jellyfish. No tearing at all! My midwife was truly amazed! For anyone who is reading this, buy an EPI-NO. Look it up on the internet! My midwife tells everyone about them after witnessing my birth.

I felt like I could do anything after having a natural birth with such a big baby -9 lb 1 oz .

It was a truly wonderful experience, and for me- mental, emotional & physical preparation was the key. I would do it all again tomorrow & wouldn’t change a thing!

Olivia and Greg’s beautiful natural birth in hospital

As I sit here and look at my beautiful boy, it is difficult to remember anything other than the moment we held him for the first time.

Just over a week before my ‘due date’ I woke at 1.30am with what I guessed were contractions. Each time I felt this low intensity I would breathe through as I had learnt from Gab’s course. Then I felt the need to toddle off to the toilet. They began with ½ hour in between. By 5 am I had 15 minutes in between, but still felt the need to go to the toilet each time. When my partner Greg got up at 5.30am to see why I had not come back to bed in a few hours I reassured him but let him know that I was extremely excited. He didn’t seem to want to leave me so made a coffee and reminded me to breathe, whilst asking every minute if I was OK. We were so excited. Greg got dressed and ran the dog around the block quickly so that we could be ready for when everything hotted up. By the time he got back it had gotten down to 10 minutes rest between and then stopped just as the kettle boiled. It stopped, just as quickly as it had started. What on earth was that all about?

The next day at Gab’s Deep Water Running Class she reassured me that this was great and it was all just really good warm up. I know that the whole birth experience is likened to a marathon. But come on, a week’s worth of warming up. This is not an Olympic sport. Meanwhile I was a little disappointed. I couldn’t wait to meet my baby. What it did do was reassure me that I was ready, the baby was ready and we could do this.

A few days before my ‘due date’ I was woken about the same time, with the same thing. This time I moved straight out to the couch so as not to wake Greg with the continual trips to the toilet. Besides, I really felt the need to do this on my own. ‘To concentrate/focus’, would be the only way I could explain it. Again, I went into my Yoga position on the couch, on my knees with my head resting on my arms. Or a bum-up beetle my Mum would say. I didn’t let myself get too excited this time. However, it all moved along quite quickly. By 5am I was getting the same low intensity until it was about 5-8 minutes apart. When Greg came out to check on me the last time I decided to get in the shower. Who knew how long this day would be? Who knew? Not us! I got in the shower and it all stopped again. I tell you who did know – Gab. A reassuring phone call had it all down to warm up, apparently a great thing as my body was getting ready for all of the action to come. Well, bring it on, I thought.

The night before my ‘due date’ I cooked a lovely curry and we went for 2 walks around the block. I was so determined to get things moving. You can’t rush these things, but I was determined to encourage or motivate. I woke up at about the same time as I always did and went to the toilet. When I went back to bed I had that low intensity again. This time I breathed through but stayed in bed. I was over the excitement of it all and figured I would know when it was all for real. Yep, then I knew. I had the urge to throw up. I ran (if that’s what you call it when you’re pregnant). Sure enough I was sick. I felt better but the intensity had increased. I decided to move out to the couch, but this time sit on the fitball and lean over the back of the couch. Greg didn’t even stir. I continued on for a couple of hours with another big spew. Unfortunately I didn’t quite make it into the toilet bowl and so wore much of the rebound. Great, contractions and a vomitty toilet. I got out the cleaning gear and breathed through the contractions and the Domestos as I scrubbed. By 3am Greg came out to check on me and must have known things were different. This time he asked if we should call Gaby. I thought it was probably a good idea but that he should wait a little longer. You just can’t rush these things remember. Not that I knew it at the time, but Greg had begun to time my contractions. He didn’t need to ask, but was aware by the way I was breathing and burying my head each time. At some stage Greg rang Gab and she arrived soon after. Greg made her a coffee and we chatted a little in between contractions. I was comfy and everything was calm. Not at all like me. I am normally far too excited about anything that’s going on.

I felt the need to throw up one more time and Gab suggested I might like to try the shower. The hot water felt fantastic. I was relaxed and fully focussed. The intensity was slowly increasing and the contractions (unbeknownst to me) were occurring more often. It was still dark, but the light was beginning to peek through as Greg rang the Hospital and spoke to the Midwife. However, they did not want to take Greg’s word for it. The Midwife asked to speak to me. I couldn’t believe it. What was wrong with this woman? Didn’t she know I was busy breathing? I spoke to her begrudgingly. She wanted to know how I knew I was in labour and how far apart the contractions were and how long they lasted. I told her they lasted about 50-60 seconds but had no idea how far apart they were and handed the phone back for Greg to continue on. Greg and Gab agreed they were about 2 minutes apart and she invited us to come into the hospital. Greg packed the car with my truckload of gear. I had been packed for months – 3 bags – a labour bag, a hospital bag and a baby bag. Oh, and the fitball. Lucky he has big arms, and a 4-wheel drive. He got it in the car in one trip, then he and Gab helped me in the car. You know what, I am not at all clear on these bits. They are sort of dream-like events to me now. I was in my own little world.

I travelled to Kaleeya kneeling on the floor in the back of the Jeep, with my head on my arms on the back seat. I was concentrating and breathing and felt like we got there in no time at all. It was the next day that Greg told me he was so worried about bumps and stopping and so drove at about 50 Kph the whole way. To him it seemed to take for ever. Gab drove ahead and met us in the car park. Greg grabbed all the gear and Gab helped me inside. We entered the front door and I saw a sea of faces. I don’t know why I assumed that the hospital would be empty. But no, there I was looking like a dag and walking like humpty dumpty after a fall. The idea of stopping did not amuse me at all and so Gab helped me up the stairs. We were greeted by a Midwife, although I didn’t even look at her. She led us all through to the Birthing Suite. Greg and Gab set everything up. I was completely free to keep labouring, breathing through my contractions while sitting on my fitball and leaning over the bed. However, I felt the need to go the toilet, often. I have no idea where this love-affair with the toilet came from. Gab asked if I wanted to get in the shower. I said I was fine, but soon after I decided to get in the shower. Funny that. Again, Gab just knew. It was so relaxing. The water felt fantastic. I could hold the shower-head down low and it really took the intensity out of the contractions. Obviously the term water restrictions doesn’t apply to women in labour.

Greg and Gab spoke softly and reassuringly, encouraging me. Gab excused herself to ‘bags’ the bath. However, I didn’t feel the need to get in the bath. Soon after I felt I wanted to get in the bath. What is Gab, some kind of Psychic? She just knows what you want and need before you do. Greg and Gab helped me along the hall to the bathroom.

When I immersed myself in that water the whole experience just changed. I began to will on the contractions to bring it on and get it all moving. I lay in the bath with the shower-head down low, the hot water directed on my pubic bone. Greg fed me ice chips and Gab held a cold flannel on the back of my neck or my forehead. Someone held my head above the water. I was aware of nothing other than the contractions. I late found out, Greg and Gab would take turns to get each other coffees or go to the toilet, but I really wasn’t aware of this at the time.

I welcomed every contraction as I knew it would be one less I would have to experience. After many more contractions I wanted to know where I was at. Greg kept reminding me that I was doing so well and that this was just like swimming to Rottnest in the Channel Swim. He would ask me if I could see the Island and the finish line and just keep focussing on that. But, just like the Rottnest Swim I reached a stage where I felt like I had been seeing the finish line for a long time. I wanted to know how far I had come. I felt the need to do a poo. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I wanted to push. I asked for an internal to know where I was at. But I had to get out of the bath to do this. Then I had to wait. I was getting cold and just wanted to get back in the bath. The Midwife told me I was 4cm. I had told Gab I thought I was about 6cm. I felt like I had past half way. I was disappointed. I regretted having the internal. I was brought back to reality with a hit. Gab must have sensed this.

As I got back in the bath she leant closer and told me about a friend who had recently given birth and was at the same stage as me, in the same place and dilated to 10 cm in 1 ½ hours. That was all I needed to hear. So I closed my eyes and focussed again. I firmly believe, that if Gaby hadn’t told me that story then and there, I would have lost my focus and the adrenalin would have kicked in. I had felt like a failure. But Gab’s comment and both Greg’s and her encouragement from that point on made me want to do whatever I could. I even asked Gab what I could do. She told me I was already doing it. So I got back into my little world, dazing, trancing and letting it happen.

And so I kept going. I forgot about Rottnest and the Finish line. I tried to do my visualisation. To walk through the flowers, to the birthing hut and birth this baby like I had seen myself do 100 times in my visualisations using Gaby’s hypnosis for birth Cd’s each day up to this point.

At some stage Gab suggested we move back to the room and that’s where everything took off. I walked up and down the room with the heat pack down low and leaning over the bed or the bench or anything I could find each time the contraction was on again. The Midwife moved in to do intermittent checks. That is the first time the staff really had much to do with me. (Other than my own stupid idea of having the internal.) They really did respect my Birth Plan. Mind you, Greg and Gab made sure they did.

The only time I was aware of time was when the tea lady came by for drinks and meals. At this time I became aware that she had brought in dinner but it didn’t really register. I was on the fitball, leaning over the bed and Gab suggested I eat something. I just didn’t feel like it. I was addicted to the ice chips. Gab suggested I might like to put on her birthing CD and have a bit of a rest. I could tell by their breathing that Greg and Gab were resting or sleeping and I would drop off every now and again. In fact, I almost fell off the fitball a couple of times as I would drift off to sleep.

After the CD and blood pressure and foetal monitoring I felt the need to move to the toilet. In no time at all I felt this sudden urge to do a huge poo. To the point where I said “What the f*** was that?” The next move was to the floor of the bathroom where I began to push. I was in the same yoga position I began labouring in – on my knees with my face buried in my forearms. Gab was massaging me and Caroline, the Midwife was doing checks in between contractions. This was the best feeling. I felt like I was now able to do something. I could make a difference now. I could push. I was going to meet my baby. Greg and Gab continued to encourage me.

However, Caroline said it was a little difficult to help me ‘welcome this baby into the world’ in this position. (A bit like Mum, she didn’t appreciate the bum up beetle.) Now I get it, I was on the floor, in the bathroom, on a mat in the corner, in the dark. At the time I didn’t like the idea of moving onto the bed at all. But I crawled to the bed and Greg and Gab helped me up on it. I assumed the same position on my knees and began pushing with Caroline and gab coaching me. I began to feel the head coming out and the burning sensation that came with it. It was a natural thing for me to push and then relax and then push and so on. All the time I had Caroline telling me what to do and Greg and Gab either side of me, encouraging me along and giving me updates. It seemed like no time at all before they told me his head was out and Greg could see our baby. With 2 more pushes he was out and they past him through between my legs. He was perfect. I just wanted to hold him and Greg and never let them go. I couldn’t believe it. Look what we made. How clever were we? I went from tired to full of energy in one split second. I am Wonder Woman!

They helped me turn around and hold my baby to my chest to feed him. He was amazing and still is.

So far everything went exactly as Greg and I had written in my Birth Plan. Unfortunately I was not having any luck pushing out the Placenta. So I had the injection and moved to the toilet to see if I could push it out. I don’t know what my need to sit on the toilet or be in the bathroom was about, but that’s how I spent me birth. Eventually, after a period of time Caroline helped me push the Placenta out. It was all Ok and I was elated.

I couldn’t wait to get my baby back in my arms and kiss Greg. Greg and I have discussed the birth experience over and over. We owe so much to Gaby. It was the most amazing experience. It was hard work and I am glad I was really fit, but above all I was ready. I felt empowered, Greg felt inspired and capable to support me and this was due to the preparation we did with Gaby Targett beforehand. That, and the fact that I am a woman and we are just built to become mothers. Tyson is the most incredible, beautiful, amazing creature. He is and always will be a part of me. There is no better feeling!

Isabelle Frances Randall’s birth story –  26th May 2008

I found out about Gaby’s Pregnancy Specific Aqua classes through her website, which I looked at whilst reading her book ‘A Labour of Love’.  I knew from the word go that I wanted her input, she is so warm friendly and knowledgable.  As a graduate of Dance and having taught Dance and Physical Education in Secondary Schools around the world, I felt a connection with Gaby, on several levels.

The first aqua anti-natal class that I attended made me really excited about my pregnancy and about giving birth.  (I was 19 weeks pregnant at the time.)  Up until that point I had been worrying about EVERYTHING to do with this pregnancy and birth!  I was busy working full time (teaching Dance at a high school) but from then on the preparation for birth was on my agenda.  Simon (my husband) and I went to Gaby’s support person’s workshop, which was excellent.  Simon really felt that he understood the process of birth much more clearly.  Then a week later I began the 4 week journey along with a really excellent group of women.  These 4 sessions were exactly as Gaby suggests ….. ‘A Journey’.  I gained knowledge, lots of knowledge about the actual mechanics of child birth, this was really useful and thorough, not like at any anti-natal class information at the hospital.  I gained awareness of myself, this enabled me to mentally prepare for birth and motherhood.  We discussed, in detail, all of our options and choices, before, during and after giving birth. Up until this point I was unsure that I had choices!  We also watched some amazing and beautiful births.  By the end of my ‘journey’ I felt like a powerful woman who could set out to do something and successfully DO IT!  Gaby created such a positive and empowering belief system, that from then on I was on a mission to create the beautiful, natural birth that I desired for me and my baby.

It was at this point that I asked Gaby if she would be my doula, she said she would love to, I immediately felt calm and relaxed because she was now fully onboard. Throughout the remainder of my pregnancy I kept in close contact with Gaby, doing her classes and getting positive input whenever I felt a little lacking!  I finished work at the end of week 37, which in retrospect was a little late, in terms of mentally preparing I mean.  I felt that I had a lot to do in my final 2 weeks, if I had 2 weeks!  From then on I concentrated on creating a wonderful birth.  I was already doing a yoga class on a daily basis (DVD) as well as Gaby’s hypnosis CD ever third day or so.  So now I decided to do the hypnosis CD daily and really try and relax.  At this point I knew I needed Gaby’s help, I think too much and I needed her to talk to me calmly when I was winding myself up.  I booked a one on one hypnosis session; this for me, was the clincher …….. I mean that from that moment on my body was ready to give birth.  I experienced the whole birth process so powerfully in that session, it meant that for the next 3 days, (which was when I gave birth) I was so focused, so mentally ready that my body just did what it needed to do. Here’s how it all unfolded …

I woke up at 5am on Monday 26th May 2008 and needed a wee, this was nothing unusual seeing as I was almost 40 weeks pregnant!  As I was walking to the loo I thought ‘Oh no I have just wet myself!’ Again this was not totally unusual with the pressure on my bladder!  The big ‘splodge’ in my undies though was blood!  At that moment I felt a mixture of excitement nerves, I was thinking, ‘this is it!!!  I was going to have a baby today!’  I intended to grab new undies and an enormous pad, from my half packed hospital bag, without waking my husband but he was already awake.  We talked and hugged for a while when I got back into bed and then I said we ought to get a bit more sleep if we could because it could be a full on day!  We had gone to bed quite early on Sunday evening and I had slept really well, so another hour would just make it even better.  By 6.30am I was awake and aware of waves of period like back ache, I stayed in bed until 7am, this is when Simon was getting in the shower and ready for work.  We discussed what we should do and decided that I would text Gaby, then just potter about, finish packing the bag, have breakfast and a shower.  Simon went into work to tell them that he would not be staying and then he had been instructed, by me, to buy some slippers because I didn’t have any to take to the hospital.  As Simon went off to work I sent a text to Gaby and put on Bach ……………. This track was the one that we relaxed to at the end of Gaby’s class on a Thursday, it always makes me feel relaxed.  I was just making toast and a cup of tea when Gaby rang, we chatted about the intensities, and about what to do over the next few hours.  I did feel quite unable to be still and I was a bit worried that if I was only in the early stages of warm up that I would not be able to cope when it was REALLY happening!  Nevertheless I said I would call in a few hours to let her know how I was, I then swayed and hummed away to myself whilst eating breakfast.  I definitely could not sit down!  The next hour or so were a bit of a blur, I was trying to stay in my logical here and now brain, but my body wanted to leave it and get on with birthing this baby!  I managed to finish packing my bag and get in the shower.  I had only just got out of the shower when Simon got back home, it was 9.20am and I was really pleased to see him, I think from that point on I left my ‘here and now brain’ ……….. I really did not want to speak or communicate.  I was in another place, everything was fuzzy, I was concentrating so hard on each intensity and saying the following to myself, ‘relax’, and ‘my body is opening up to allow this baby out’ and ‘I can do this’!

Simon spoke to Gaby and between them they decided what to do, this was good because I needed someone else to take charge of the mundane decisions about being at the hospital or at home for longer!  I was to get in the shower while Simon packed the car, then he would help me to dress ….. which was really funny because the intensities were happening every couple of minutes or less and I had to kneel down to get through them!  Poor Simon, he had this grunting non speaking wife to try and dress!  I remember he asked me what pants I wanted to put on and the question was too much for my brain ….. I just grabbed a pair that I had worn briefly the night before.  Questions are not a good idea for a labouring woman, I remember Gaby saying that and it is so true!  Simon slowly helped me to the car where he had pulled the passenger front seat right forward to enable me to kneel on the floor in the back.  With my head stuffed into the pillows and blankets on the back seat, we made our way to Gaby’s.  I was totally oblivious of where we were and I was not worried now because I knew I was in good hands.  Looking back I bet I was a real site to be seen, I have a fuzzy memory of us stopping at some traffic lights as another intensity hit, I was groaning loudly and rocking with my head stuffed into a pillow on the back seat.  We were right next to a lorry and I could fleetingly see the driver looking at me, I wonder what he thought was going on!

When we got to the hospital I took ages to emerge from the car, my contractions were really full on and I knew I could not handle one standing upright!  I eventually, with the encouragement of Gaby and Simon made my way into the hospital and up the stairs.  I stopped half way up to honour a contraction, Gaby was talking me the through my breathing as people were walking past!  We were led to birth suite 2 and introduced to our midwife who was really lovely; she had read my birth plan and was really excited to meet Gaby!  They chatted while attending to me, although I was so focused on each contraction that it was only later that I could fully appreciate how wonderful they had both been.  The midwife asked me if I would like to have an internal examination to establish what was happening, I agreed and we were all pleasantly told that I was 7 cm dilated.

I laboured away on my hands and knees on the bed, with my arms holding onto the back of the bed, this was a good place to be and all the while Simon, Gaby and the midwife looked after me.  I drank a lot as Simon or Gaby were constantly offering me water and juice.  After a half hour or so both the midwife and Gaby suggested I get in the shower, for a while I couldn’t move or register what they had said, but I nodded to Simon that I was in agreement. Simon and Gaby then escorted me to the shower, once there I was very comfortable leaning over a fitball and kneeling on a foam mat whilst Simon showered me with hot water on the base of my spine.  My contractions at this point were really intense and at one stage I thought I had bitten a hole in the fitball!  Then all of a sudden, when I felt that my body could not ‘open’ any more, at least without splitting in 2! I felt a release of pressure and a gush as my membranes exploded!  Simon, who was concentrating on rubbing my back and keeping the water hot said, ‘something just happened!’

Gaby and the midwife came over to investigate and of course all of the membrane had gone down the drain!  With my next piggy backing contraction I really felt hot and that I needed to push.  It really does feel like you need a poo! You can’t describe it, you have to experience it to understand it; the brilliant thing is that your body knows exactly what to do and it just gets on and does it, if you let it!  I spent a bit more time in the shower then was helped out and onto my hands and knees on the bed.  I was cold then hot, then the more I pushed the hotter I got!  Gaby and Simon were offering me water between contractions, which I readily accepted and Gaby had got loads of cold flannels which kept applying to my forehead and the back of my neck.

I had another VE at this stage which was quite painful, mainly because I had to lie on my back, when a baby’s head is almost ready to be born this is the last position you want to be in!  Interestingly my contractions stopped for about 15 minutes after the internal examination.  (I think my body reacted to being interfered with and shut down for a while)  The midwife took a while because she could not establish whether the baby was facing up or down. (anterior or posterior presentation)  As we discovered when Isabelle finally appeared she was in neither of these positions, but instead she was facing sideways (transverse presentation), looking at my hip bone!  This is apparently quite unusual, both Gaby and the midwife had not seen a baby birthed like this before.  The baby had done a poo which meant that I needed a monitor attached to me. This was a bit of a hassle, although at the time I had no idea what was going on and I was just concentrating on pushing!  Isabelle’s heart beat was fabulous even through really intense pushes.  After a while I can remember sensing that things were not quite as they should be and that I had been pushing for too long to no avail.  At this point I said to Gaby, ‘I can’t do this! I can’t believe that I have got this far and now I’m really doubting my ability to birth this baby.’  Mentally this was make or break time for me and Gaby’s words saved the day, she said that Most women pushed for longer than this and I could do this.  Then she said, “Get angry! Use the power that is inside you, get angry and push this baby out”!  That was it for me!  I had to find some power to finish this job and it had to come from me!  I then proceeded to rant and swear!  I wound myself up and felt really angry; I actually felt more powerful and then I concentrated hard through each contraction.

Gaby suggesting different positions for pushing, I stood up, squatted, went on my hands and knees, squatted again and so on.  Another thing which really helped at this point was watching myself push with a mirror, I know it sounds strange but there you are being to told to push, and you are pushing with all of your strength, but you’re not sure where the push is being concentrated unless you see it!  Once I had seen at what angle I needed to push I was away.

Finally after what seen like hours the baby’s head stopped playing peak a boo!  With each contraction Isabelle was now edging her way out of my body.  For the final pushes I was semi reclined on the bed pushing with my legs wedged against Gaby’s and the midwife’s hip bone, the leverage is really important and it worked really well.  I can remember saying to the midwife tell me how big a push I should do ….. I was thinking of my perineum and trying to prevent it from tearing.  The midwife was excellent and once Isabelle’s head was out she told me to do little pushes with the next contraction and out she came.  Covered in goosies and plonked straight on my chest, my baby daughter! Wow how amazing!  I did it and I was so pleased that I had done it with no intervention at all.  I birthed exactly as I had wished, naturally and in a really honoured environment.  Both Gaby and the midwife were elated! They could not believe that my pelvic floor muscles had been so strong and able to push my baby out side ways!  I was just so glad I had found the strength to do just that.  The placenta was born 30 minutes after the baby, with no syntocin drug to assist its expulsion.

I am truly in debt to Gaby for Isabelle’s awesome birth, without her input I really believe it could have ended with major intervention. With Isabelle’s transverse presentation a doctor would have definitely advised some intervention.  Without Gaby’s constant, even relentless positive words, I’m not sure I would have kept going.  Plus her interaction with the midwife was invaluable, because at one point she (the midwife) thought that I had been pushing for long enough, but Gaby convinced her to give me more time, which was all I needed. Consequently I had a fabulous birthing experience, and Isabelle Frances was born at 2.54pm, weighing a healthy 7 pound 11 she came into the world calmly, and breast fed soon after.  Simon and I were really emotional at this point and Gaby took lots of pictures of the happy and rather overwhelmed new mum and dad with their gorgeous baby girl.

Simon and I are both really glad that Gaby was a part of our very special birthing experience.  We are both convinced that had she not been a part of it, things may not have turned out quite so beautifully.  Thanks Gaby x

A Positive Story

Maia woke just as the baby’s head was crowning. Maia came in to the lounge, entering a very still and quiet space. A couple more contractions and baby was born, very gently, in the warm water of the pool. Phil was a very proud father whilst he caught baby underwater. Our baby was a girl, born at 2:36pm.
I proceeded to breast feed my new baby girl.Of course, seeing me breastfed our new little baby made Maia very upset. We immediately called my mother who arrived within 10 minutes to pick up Maia. My mum later told me how amazed she was at the peaceful and loving energy in the room. There were no disturbances from various hospital noises and disruptions, or fluorescent lighting. There was just gentle, dim, natural lighting, quiet voices and the fresh smell of a perfect summer’s day, not too hot and not too cool. My mum took Maia home with her and Maia spent her first night away from us.
We rested and snuggled with our new baby girl whom we named (3 weeks later) Eve Summer. Our midwife helped clean up and left us for an afternoon nap. As the sun was getting close to setting, I was back in the kitchen chopping vegies, preparing our dinner.
I say now, that after experiencing the birth of my daughter, Eve Summer, even though I am not planning on having any more children, I would really love to experience a birth like that again. What a phenomenal day!