Eden's birth story
A week after welcoming our fourth baby, it is time for me to write her birth story!
Contractions started on the 30th of December, irregular but strong enough to disrupt my sleep. Everything stopped around midnight. I assumed I'd have a few days of prodromal labour like I did with my last baby... So when the contractions started again the next evening, I wasn't surprised. I told my husband I'd potter around until they'd stop and would join him to sleep later. We hadn't planned anything for New Year's eve anyway!
But, the contractions never stopped! Although still irregular, they were quite strong and I could only manage them while standing up. I was getting tired and a bit discouraged when I read this Bible verse a friend had shared on Facebook : "I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth" (Isaiah 43:19) I wondered if my baby would be born that day. I found this verse very encouraging at this time.
I woke my husband up at around 5 am on January 1st. He ran me a bath and stayed with me until our boys woke up just before 7 am. I got out of the bath to use the gym ball and that's when I noticed my waters must have broken as there was some fluid coming out with each contractions. I was relieved to see the liquid was clear - no meconium, yay! (I had to transfer to the hospital with my last baby because of meconium in the waters).
We called the midwife soon after and sent the boys to our friends. I had pictured them here for the birth but at that moment I felt like I needed the space. My midwife arrived at 9am to notice contractions were strong but still irregular.
I spent a few hours walking around our apartment. At 11.40am, I asked my midwife if she could check my cervix as I didn't feel the contractions were doing anything and I wanted her to go home if it was still early labour. She did this while I was standing up and announced I was a good 5cm so we decided she would stay here.
She suggested I take another bath while she went out for lunch, so we did that. She came back not long after and I got out to use the toilet, then decided I didn't want to use the bath anymore and would rather stand up. I was going to walk around again but by now the contractions were too painful. I managed to reach one end of the sofa to lean on and stayed here until the birth!
That's when I started doubting myself. Up until now I was dealing well with the contractions, visualizing my cervix opening and my baby descending and breathing well. I stayed very quiet during this time. But now I could barely catch my breath during a contraction which made it difficult to keep breathing! I was feeling sick, I was tired and hungry and just very fed up. I cried like a small child, yelling I had had enough and wasn't strong enough to keep going. My midwife simply said "that's a good sign your baby is coming soon" and one part of my head knew she was right. I also yelled "how do women do this!?" to which she replied "just like you're doing it" and it gave me a huge boost. At that moment I felt like I wasn't alone in this pain anymore, but that all women were doing this with me. Is that weird?? I don't know, but it helped!
Then I felt the baby come and told my midwife the baby was coming. Indeed, a few contractions later and I could feel the baby's head. It felt like it was burning which surprised me big time as I hadn't felt it with my last baby! (born in a hospital, but with no pain relief) I wanted so bad to stay quiet buy I couldn't stop screaming, so I did so in a cushion so as not to worry the neighbours...
Finally, my baby was born!!!! I kept saying "it's finished, my baby's here, it's finished, I have a baby..." but it took me a few minutes to actually look down to see the baby. During this time no one touched it, I knew the baby was between my legs and I really appreciated that my midwife or husband didn't rush me. Then I came around and picked up my baby :)
I thought I felt a penis when I picked it up so imagine my surprise when I looked about 30 minutes later to find out we'd had a girl! (maybe it was the cord I felt?) After three boys, she was our first surprise baby, first home birth and first daughter :)
The placenta came really quickly after which was a relief and our beautiful girl latched on really well at the breast. My wonderful midwife checked everything, but she knew when to give us time too. She helped clean me up and transfer to my bed, cleaned our living room, gave me a little something to eat and drink and left. She was brilliant!
Oh, and although my baby was born at 41+3 weeks, she had no sign whatsoever of being overdue and was covered in vernix! She was also our smallest baby at 7.5 lb :)
I'm so glad I did it!!!
Eden is so sweet and calm. She sleeps well, breastfeeds well, we haven't heard her cry yet, she smells so good, and her skin is so soft... yes, we're smitten!!! Her big brothers are so proud too :) What a wonderful blessing!