Amanda, Family Birth Centre, drug free, episiotomy, retained placenta

26th November, 2018, ten days before her due date, we welcomed our first daughter through a drug free natural birth at 11.59 am. She was 3.67kg and 53cm, healthy and alert. Her name, ISLA RANJANA, carries our hope that she will become a grounded and content human being whatever life gives her.

00.30 My water leaked and I felt the first surge right after. I played my Hypnobirthing Australia track and drifted to sleep in a second. 04.00 The urge to move my body woke me up. I felt stronger surges but they're still bearable. I got up, made a cup of tea, and bounced on my gym ball. 05.00 The surges were getting more intense. I timed them, 20 minutes apart. I thought, "oh well it's gonna be long all I need to do is relax". So I just breathed in and out consciously while doing some little yoga poses.

06.00 The urge to move was getting a lot stronger, the surges felt a lot more intense. I timed them again while pacing back and forth in the house. Now they're 3 minutes apart! My husband called our midwife and she told us to go to the Birth Centre. He got everything ready while I took a hot shower to ease the pain. After that, my husband put the TENS machine on me and we jumped into the car. 07.30 Stuck in the traffic on the Kwinana Freeway! Believe me it's not fun to be in transition stage while strapped in a seat belt in a traffic jam! The urge to push was very strong. Lucky my husband knew the drill. He counted, breathed/panted, and made sounds with me, while tried to focus on the road.

8.30 Arrived at the Family Birth Centre, I walked into our room. My midwives were there. The room was beautifully set up, candles everywhere, dim light, everyone spoke softly, the room was quiet and serene. She did vaginal exam, and said I was fully dilated and now it's time to push! I went into the pool and pushed when the surges came. My baby's head was partly in and out continuously for an hour. We decided to try different positions on land and pushed again for another hour. It didn't work. Following the regulation, they took me to the hospital, which is only upstairs, to give birth there just in case I'd need medical intervention. My midwives came with me and assisted the whole process.

11.49 My baby girl was born vaginally without any pain relief which made me feel like a warrior!! She opened her eyes the second I had her on my chest, she was very alert, absorbing all the new sensations she felt outside the womb.

I didn't end up having water birth as planned, but I'm ok with that. I ended up having 2nd degree tear from the episiotomy, and I'm ok with that. I had to go through manual placenta removal because my placenta attached too strongly to my uterus wall.

My first birth experience may not go as planned, but I'm happy because I was with my with my baby every step of the way until she was in my arms. I'm grateful for every moment I've been through with her, and of course with my husband. Three of us made a great team!

Greatest gratitude for the people who were with me during the birth: my wonderful husband and the amazing midwives at The Family Birth Centre & King Edward Memorial Hospital. Big thank you to those who filled me up with knowledge and positive attitude towards birth: Renee from The Birth Space who taught me the Hypnobirthing Australia program and Bloom Yoga Room who taught me yoga for active birth.

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Renee Bradfield, Perth WA

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