Jade, first time mum, birth centre, water birth

Here's the birth story you have all been waiting for. I am so, so happy for Jade and Ryan and how beautiful their birth experience was. I've said it before but I LOVE it when clients are birthing at the Family Birth Centre. Both parents and care-givers are on the same page and want the same outcome, a low-intervention, natural birth. It makes for a much easier and stress free pregnancy for mums too.. Thank you again Jade and Ryan for inviting me into your home to teach you the Hypnobirthing Australia program. Tools for life!

"It all started early on the morning of Friday 27th December. I hadn’t slept much that night because I had noticed I had reduced movement since the night before. With some poking & prodding of my belly we had managed to get her to move that night but when I woke that morning and noticed she wasn’t moving, we tried again to poke and prod but got no response. I decided to go to the hospital to get checked because I was worried. At about 6am we drove to my local hospital which is only 5 minutes from home, I chose not to drive to the family birth centre where I was birthing because it’s a 30 min drive away. I didn’t have a pleasant experience at all. The birth suite didn’t want to see me because I wasn’t birthing there but thankfully the triage nurse in ED forced them to take me. They then made me wait for about 40 minutes before finally seeing me and putting the monitor on my belly to check baby’s heart rate. Thankfully the heart rate was fine and once I had been laying there for a little while I did feel a few movements. The midwife then sent me on my way and didn’t do any checks on me. I was 37 weeks and 4 days which is considered full term so I wish they had of checked me because then I probably would have been given some warning that I was actually in labour! We got discharged and went to get a coffee then headed home. As we were pulling into the driveway I felt a trickle of some liquid, but I didn’t think it was my waters because it was very minimal. This was now about 9.30/10am. We went in the house and then I noticed that I was starting to get a dull period pain. I messaged my sister and my best friend and they both replied saying they think I’m in labour which I still didn’t believe haha! But it was at that point that I thought I should probably start preparing just in case. Due to our house renovations and the fact that I was only 37 weeks I hadn’t yet packed my hospital bag nor had I washed the baby’s clothes so I said to Ryan I’m gonna start washing the babies clothes if you can start packing the hospital bag. I then proceeded to sit on the floor in the study and started putting all the baby clothes into the wash basket. During this time the period pain was getting more uncomfortable. I did one load of washing and came back to the study, I went to kneel back down on the floor and I got a sharp pain down below, then all of a sudden I felt my waters break and this time it was obvious!

I yelled out to Ryan that my waters had popped and he ran in with a towel. This was at 1.20pm, I was in a bit of a panic just because it was so unexpected! I said to Ryan we better call the midwife, so I went and sat on the toilet and Ryan called our midwife Dani to tell her what was happening. She asked to speak to me and I told her I had period pain and that I think my waters had broken. She said that it sounded very convincing and that I could either go to the birth centre to be assessed but that I would need to then come back home because you can only go to the birth centre when you are in the late stages of labour and ready to give birth. She said my other option was to lie down for half an hour, assess the water leakage and see how I feel. So I decided to do that because I didn’t think I would be in active labour any time soon and I didn’t want to drive all that way just to have to come back home. I sent Ryan to the supermarket to buy me some maternity pads so that I could assess the water leakage.

I was on the phone to my sister and the period pain started getting worse and it was only then that I realised the “period pain” was actually contractions.

From this point the labour is slightly a blur because it all happened so fast and intensely. The contractions ramped up really quickly and I was trying to find a comfortable position. I ended up kneeling on the floor leaning over the bed because this seemed to be the most comfortable position for me. By the time Ryan got back I think he was shocked because my contractions were pretty intense. He grabbed the TENS machine that we had hired and put it on for me. I started using that with each contraction and it definitely helped, I think it was more of a distraction tool than anything. I gave Ryan my phone and told him to get the contractions app up so that we could start timing the contractions. It was a bit hard to time them at first because I didn’t seem to get much relief in between the contractions, I still had the period pain. But after timing a few contractions apparently the app said to go to the hospital so Ryan called the midwife again and explained things were moving fast. She suggested to get in the shower so I moved to the shower and stayed in there for about 10 contractions. The water did help but then I found that I wasn’t comfortable standing up so I got out of the shower and ended up back on the floor on my knees leaning over the bed again.

Ryan was such a great help, he would give me lower back massages, light touch massage on my arms and back and he would give me reassurance that I was doing well.

The contractions became so intense that I didn’t think I was going to make it to the birth centre, I thought I was going to give birth at home! So I ended up telling Ryan to call an ambulance because I couldn’t even imagine trying to get in the car, I couldn’t seem to move from the spot and position I was in. The paramedics came and managed to get me up and on the stretcher and into the ambulance. Up until this point I had been keeping my eyes closed the whole time and just staying in my own zone so when I was taken outside the sunlight was so bright! In the ambulance they gave me some gas which was really sickly but I sucked on it anyway and that helped me get from home to the birth centre. When we arrived at the birth centre it was 5pm and the midwife said she needed to assess me. Ryan said afterwards that he was expecting her to say that I was about 5cm dilated, well it turns out I was fully dilated and ready to push! I was on my knees again and I remember for the first time feeling the pressure in my bum that everyone talks about and apparently I yelled out “I’m pushing”! So the midwife and Ryan quickly managed to get me to the birth pool.

I was initially on my knees leaning over the tub but I wasn’t comfortable because I felt like I couldn’t spread my knees wide enough so I changed positions and laid back with my arms over the edge of the bath. I got Ryan to put on one of my Hypnobirthing Australia tracks, Surge of the Sea. The room was dimly lit which was nice, Ryan placed a cold flannel on my forehead because I was feeling hot and he kept reassuring me that I was doing great. Once I was in the water I felt the urge to push and started the pushing phase pretty much straight away. I used the gas and air while pushing which again I think was just more of a distraction than anything.

I was actually amazed and shocked because when it came to pushing, I had no control over my body. It literally pushed when it needed to push and I just had to go with it and focus on the breathing that I had learnt in our Hypnobirthing course.

I had also expected to be a fairly quiet person when giving birth but like with the pushing, I also had no control over my voice and the sounds I was making. My body pushed when it needed too and it roared when it needed too as well. I just trusted my body and focused on my breathing in between contractions and listened to my midwife. I think it took about 6-8 contractions to push the head out, and then on the final push when I thought I was just going to push the head out, the body followed and I pushed her out all in one go! I remember opening my eyes and catching a glimpse of my baby in the water and then the midwife lifting her out of the water and onto my chest. This was a moment I had imagined and envisioned so many times and it was so much more magical than I could have ever dreamed of.

Holding my baby, our flesh and blood, and seeing her for the first time was such a surreal feeling and I will cherish it forever! We stayed in the bath for a few minutes and then the midwives wanted to get me out to assess my blood loss so we slowly got out while the cord was still attached and went and laid down on the bed. We had skin to skin for what felt like hours and then once the cord had stopped pulsing and lost it’s colour, Ryan cut the cord. Ryan then had skin to skin while I got checked for tears, and it turned out I had a 2nd degree tear so I would need to go up to the hospital to get stitched up.

Our precious beautiful baby daughter Marli Jade was born at 5.55pm on December 27th 2019 and I am so happy that I got to have the natural drug free water birth that I had wanted."

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Renee Bradfield, Perth WA

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