I woke at 2am on Friday morning, I’d been having strong Braxton hicks contractions the night before and my body had been working hard while I slept, now I was having contractions about 15-20 minutes apart, I got up and started to quietly tidy up the room and make space for the birth pool, then I woke up Kev my partner who had fallen asleep on the sofa and sent him off to our bed for an hour. I lit the fire and watched the clock, my contractions were coming much closer together now, I had a cup of tea and woke Kev again. I call Liz my midwife at 3am and she asked if I wanted her to come now or wait a while, I felt myself really opening up with the contractions and told her I thought it was time for her to come.
I was focussing on the flame of my birth candle and rocking gently against the kitchen table staying centered while Kev busied around with the birth pool. Liz arrived and unpacked her bag, we weren’t sure whether to start filling the pool but then a couple of really strong contractions came close together and we turned on the taps.
My contractions were coming 5 minutes apart now and I was walking around a feeling like I was really deep down in my body with each one, I had used a tens machine with the birth of both the girls so to have hands free now was letting me really be present.
Our hot water ran out when the pool was about half a metre deep, I got in and although relaxing the heat was a little to much and the depth did not allow me to submerge my belly, I stayed for a while relaxing back and coming to kneel against the edge of the pool with each contraction. Kev and Liz were topping up the pool with pans of hot water. I felt the need to move more and used the fit ball for a while and just flopped over it and rocked back and forth, contractions coming much faster and stronger now. Liz reassures me that the baby will be with us soon, totally relaxed in between contractions feeling good, back in the pool and Kev calls Kristy our friend to be here for the girls waking up, it’s about 5am now.
I am moving about a lot in the pool trying to find the best position, all fours is good, now bringing my belly low into the water when I need to.
Kristy arrives bringing great calmness with her and I know that my daughters will be in safe hands now.
Little Fern wakes at about 6am, I am almost sleeping between contractions, Kristy brings her gently through to the kitchen head on her shoulder and bless her it seems she is not at all bothered about everything that is happening, breakfast and gentle talking in the kitchen.
Kev gets into the pool and gives me some much needed support he is behind me and I relax into him and surrender to the contractions, they subtly change as I open up fully now and my sounds become low and throaty. Some time here Maya wakes up and shyly smiles from the kitchen, beautiful girls and an amazing sunrise fills the kitchen.
The space around me is so safe for me and my family that I am free to make the sounds I need to, Liz has a look and says she can see my babe moving down, she has a little laugh when I say “I think I might be in transition now”, I was expecting that panicky feeling that I had experienced with my last two births but there was none of this, only a feeling of incredible power and my baby spiralling down, Liz asked if I felt pressure in my bottom or an urge to push, there was a little of that but he was really making his own way out.
Kristy was about to take the girls out walking but a decision came that they should stay, then there was the sight of dark hair “come over” Liz whispered to them and everyone quietly gathers around the pool and I am wrapped in love. My baby crowns, I am panting and thinking open and let go and suddenly his head is out. Then I look at Mayas face and the amazement she is feeling, then his body is out and he is on my belly, a purple wriggling baby, Fern points and with a huge smile ‘a baby!’ she says, it is 7.23am and everyone is laughing and crying and I hold him to me and kiss Kev.
My babes cord is very short so it is hard to keep his head above the water, so as soon as it stops pulsing Liz cuts it, the water is cooling now and so are we, so he is wrapped and Maya holds him in her arms like the most precious treasure.
Now I have a rush of energy and feel impatient to birth the placenta so I can leave the pool and hold my boy. Liz helps with a gently pull and a few more pushes and it is out. I climb from the pool wobbly now and wrap up warm, the best cup of tea in the world and my beautiful boy Tal.
**This birth story was written while it was still fresh, 7 years ago, the absolute awe and joy in the faces of my daughters as they watched their brother come earthside was a priceless moment for me and my partner. The image of birth as powerful, amazing, sacred and yet part of the cycle of life is firmly with them, what a gift**