I had a great pregnancy with no complications and decided to have a homebirth through Sunshine Hospital, with the same midwife I had with my first daughter – although that birth was in a hospital. In the lead up to the birth I had a few Braxton Hicks, but had been out shopping on the day my waters broke and had felt good compared to some other days, so I had no idea I would go into labour that night. My waters broke at 11:50pm while I was asleep; I changed and then woke my husband Alan. Alan asked if I was serious, then he began setting up the rumpus room and putting water in the pool and getting the tarp/plastic we had been given by the hospital, which I wanted to give birth in, while I told him I had no pains and it could be hours till the contractions start, so there was no rush. Alan then went to shave, because he didn’t want to kiss Tayla with stubble on his face, while I started to get the baby blankets, first outfit and mirror ready to take to rumpus.
I then started to get contractions at 12.05am. I needed Alan to support me through them as they were strong and coming around every 5 minutes, although it was happening so fast I didn’t time them or write them down. I told Alan how I wanted the rumpus set up with the tarp, plastic and curtain material, which he quickly set up. I had to get Alan to help me to the rumpus from the bedroom as walking was hard. We made it to the rumpus where I called the midwife at 12.50 am and let her know I was in labour but during our conversation I began to have a contraction and passed the phone to Alan. He later told me the midwife could tell the baby was on her way by listening to me and she was getting ready to come straight away. I didn’t get into the pool, as I didn’t want to get in too early or without someone else to help me to get in and out. Alan put the radio on for me to listen to which helped. The contractions were fast and strong and I remember saying to Alan, “It can’t be right, they’re too close together”. He told me to breath and relax my muscles, which was a big help in getting me to focus.
At around 1.15am I felt my body begin to push and said to Alan “what the hell, why am I pushing?” As I did I felt a big gush of water as my waters completely broke. Alan then told me to take my pants off and helped me take off my top, as I hadn’t even done that yet. After another contraction where I felt the urge to push I put my hand inside and could feel the head, I told Alan and he called the midwife straight away at 1.20 and told her. She said she wasn’t going to make it and was still in town so to put the baby immediately on me and not to cut the cord, Alan told me she was still in town so without saying anything we both knew we had to deliver our baby ourselves. Alan then put a mirror against the couch I was kneeling at so that I could watch the birth and see what I was doing. The head came out in a couple of pushes as I felt myself try to calm down and focus on the contractions and pushing with them while Alan told me which parts of the head he could see – the ears then the nose then the mouth.
Gracie, my 21 month old daughter, woke up at this stage and begun to call out “mummy, daddy”. I told Alan he wasn’t going anywhere till she was born! Alan held his hand below Tayla’s head ready to catch her when she came out. Once the head was out it took one or two pushes and her body came out at 1.30am. Alan put her straight on to my chest as I sat down on the ground and we wrapped us both in clean towels. He then went to get Gracie out of bed. Gracie came to me and looked at the baby calling her Tayla, then wanted to watch TV. So Alan put the TV on for her where she sat and watched TV while offering me drinks. We stayed sitting on the ground together as I delivered the placenta a few minutes later. We were then able to clean her a little more and get comfortable as we waited for the midwife to arrive.
The midwife arrived and had a quick look at me, my bleeding and placenta, and said it didn’t look like a lot of blood loss, which was reassuring. Alan got Gracie settled in the lounge room with some DVDs while the midwife prepared the cord. Alan cut the cord then helped me to move to the couch. The midwife then went to fill out paper work leaving us to bond until I was ready to go to have a shower. Alan then put Gracie into bed leaving Alan, Tayla and I to bond, say goodbye to the midwife and go to bed to sleep.
It was the most amazing, empowering and happy birth I could have wished for – although not quite what we had planned.