I wanted to birth my baby the way I felt babies should be born and I wanted to do this in an environment that provided me with support and guidance.
I wanted to know where I would be, with whom I would be with and I wanted a calm and supportive birthing place.
I was pregnant with my third child and initially I had decided on an elective Caesarean. Something I had been very opposed to in the past but now very interested in, after the long and complicated births of my previous two daughters. As the pregnancy progressed there were no issues, I felt wonderful, everything was going along very smoothly.
It was towards the end of my pregnancy that I felt this sudden urge to give a natural delivery another try.
What would I do differently this time to ensure a positive outcome?
I needed a different environment. I needed to feel safe and supported, understood. I needed quiet, I needed dark. I wanted guidance.
I contacted Kirrah from Traditional Wisdom to ask for some advice. Kirrah had been our doula at Seren’s birth and has been a very supportive person in our lives over the past few years. It was through Kirrah I found out about The Birth House.
I contacted Bronwyn directly and we chatted about what The Birth House would offer. It sounded ideal! The environment was beautiful. Relaxing and clean. It was safe, near the hospital and with qualified midwives. Could this be the answer I was looking for?
On visiting The Birth House, I knew immediately that this would be the birth place of our child and it felt good.
As this decision occurred late in the pregnancy Bronwyn saw me weekly until the birth. She provided me with advice and professional support, she also helped me to manage and maintain healthy blood levels just in time for the birth of our baby, by using natural remedies and alternative supplements.
We practiced meditation, visualisation, massage and relaxation techniques which enabled me to be mentally prepared for the journey.
My partner and I spent time most nights meditating, talking and visualising our up and coming birthing experience – it was a very special time for us to share, dream and support one another.
We also attended another Traditional Wisdom course as a refresher and I attended weekly massages with Kirrah to keep me feeling good and relaxed for the birth.
I felt relaxed and positive the afternoon I went into labour. Seren and I were dancing around to old tunes, we were really enjoying ourselves. I felt a few tightening sensations but nothing much so we danced on into the evening.
After a few more hours these sensations became a little stronger and then I realised this is it! We are going to meet our baby.
We put Seren to bed and I suggested my partner should get some rest just incase we are in for a long night. They both went to sleep and I jumped into the shower with lights off and candles on, relaxing and breathing through these sensations. After only two hours I felt it would be best to head to The Birth House.
On arrival to The Birth House, the lights were dimmed, the aromatherapy oil was burning and candles were glowing. The birthing pool was being filled and Nat greeted us with a warm and genuine smile.
It felt and looked great. I felt safe and knew this is where I would birth our baby.
I laboured in the main room and also spent some time in the shower. I then immersed myself into the birthing pool in the arms of my loving and supportive partner.
After just two and a half hours of a very smooth and calm labour, exactly as I had wanted and envisioned, I knew we were super close, and we were. With only five minutes until we would meet our daughter little did I know that there was a problem occurring. Bree and Nat communicated effectively to get their message across to one another all the while I was relaxed and feeling positive, oblivious to any possible issue.
As the contractions were coming my body was trying to push our baby through the birth canal, out into this world. I did not push at all. It was then Bree asked me if I could feel the baby moving down. I replied with “no”. I couldn’t feel Pippa moving down at all. Bree and Nat suggested I change positions.
As I changed positions Pippa’s head emerged, but only partially, then nothing. My contractions now ceased to exist, stopping completely. She was not coming out, her shoulder was lodged firmly behind my pubic bone. (shoulder dystocia)
Nat asked me to reposition, in which I did, there was no change. Then it was suggested that I should hop out of the pool, going on all fours, still no change. It was then Nat asked me to get onto my back. My legs were placed up and over my head as Bree attempted to help Pippa out but to no avail, so Nat attempted. She then said to me that she had to get inside and get her out. Nat put her hands inside me and dislodged Pippa’s shoulder allowing her to be birthed from my body.
During this period of the birth, it was extremely quick, perhaps 5 minutes at the most, and I still had no real pain. I felt relaxed and closed my eyes, allowing Nat and Bree to make the decisions and to do what they had to do in order to get Pippa out, safe and sound.
When Pippa was born, she was not breathing. She was limp but well perfused with a strong and regular heart beat.
The ambulance was called.
It was at this point that Nat said I should talk to Pippa, ‘let her hear your voice’ she said.
‘Pippa its ok Pippa’ ‘come on Pippa, you’re ok’ I said whilst looking at her, and before we knew it a faint cry emerged from her mouth, Pippa was ok, just as we knew she would be.
I did it. We did it.
I had a shower whilst Darren, Nat and Bree weighed Pippa. Her birth weight was 10 pounds! I couldn’t believe it, 10 pounds, I birthed a beautiful baby girl with the very smallest of tears and the absolute best recovery I have ever had. Smiling and energetic – it didn’t feel like I had just birthed a baby, it felt straight forward, quick and easy.
We all slept in the guest room. A lovely large bed, with the warm heater on and cosy blankets. A persistent smile upon my face like a cheshire cat, new baby alongside – what an absolutely amazing experience.
I will never forget how smooth, calm and complete I felt birthing Pippa. It was by far the best experience I have ever had. The care and support from Bree and Nat and Nat’s quick thinking and actions resulted in a healthy and thriving baby girl.
On reflection I remember Bronwyn asking me to visualise my perfect birth. I remember laughing and thinking well that’s not up to me…but I took part in the activity anyway. I closed my eyes and said the following;
“I will go into labour in the evening, the house will be dark and quiet and I will labour on my own for as long as possible. I will then come to The Birth House. I will birth my baby within 4 hours and it will all go smoothly. Her shoulders will get a little stuck but she will come out ok, I will have a very small tear and recover well.”
Turns out that that is exactly what happened – the power of visualisation….
I will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to birth at The Birth House, it was exactly what I was looking for and we had a wonderful, life changing experience.