Tamara, accidental homebirth
It was the 20th of July 2019, a Saturday evening. The day before, we had gone for scan as everyone was nervous our baby might be “bigger” than what would be safe for me to deliver at the Family Birth Centre. I was 38 weeks pregnant. The scan indicated our baby weighed around 3.7kgs, and the doctor’s suggestion was that as we progressed further in the pregnancy, I should consider an induction. I really didn’t want to go down this path, and I had hoped that because of my first daughter’s pregnancy and birth (she was born at 38.4 weeks, weighed 4.1kg and I had a vaginal birth that went very well), that this baby would arrive soon, before any pressure was applied for an induction. That week, I had gone for acupuncture, I had seen my chiropractor, I had been eating dates religiously for weeks, I was rubbing Clary Sage on my belly every night, and I was doing daily yoga stretches.
So that Saturday afternoon I decided it was time to get things moving. I alternated between bouncing on the yoga ball and doing deep squats and lunges. We put “The Sound of Music” movie on as a joke, as my water’s broke during my first pregnancy just after watching that musical. I decided to have a nice long shower, and to express some colostrum. I also used some diluted Clary Sage on my stomach.
Throughout my pregnancy, I had had regular practice surges. I could have 5 of them in 30 minutes and then have nothing for a couple of hours. But I did experience them all the time, every day. That evening, we got into bed and I noticed I was having some surges. At around 10:30pm I thought I would start timing them because they seemed regular, although completely painless. I timed 5/6 surges and they were exactly 5 minutes apart lasting 45 seconds each. At around 11:15pm, I decided to wake my partner up. The surges were painless, but because they were very regular, I thought it was more prudent. He woke up and had a shower, while I woke up our other daughter, and got her ready. She was going to stay with my brother during the labour.
At midnight, we decided to call the midwives. The surges were still painless, but I was fairly certain I was in labour at this point. The midwife on call, had a long conversation with me to gauge where I was at, and said we should stay home as long as possible. This sounded good to me, as I was still very comfortable. At around 12:30, hubby left to drop off our daughter.
I pottered around the house, packing the final items into our bags while listening to my Hypnobirthing tracks. I also popped the TENS machine on, and I was very surprised by how effective it was. I didn’t use one in my first labour, and I didn’t think it would be able to help in anyway, but once I had it on, I found it fabulous! Such a handy tool, and definitely worth having.
Hubby got home around 1am, and I was still very calm. The surges had increased, but they were still very manageable. I was on my yoga ball, listening to my Hypnobirthing Australia tracks getting into the zone. At about 1:15am, I told my hubby we should start getting everything into the car and to make our way to the Birth Centre. I was nervous to go in too early (which I thought I was at this point), but I could feel the intensity of the surges were beginning to increase, and I was relying more and more on the TENS machine, so I thought it was a good idea to get going.
In the space of 15 minutes, I managed to have 2 or 3 super-intense surges. I was putting my pants on, when I told my husband I could not sit in the car. I HAD to be on all fours or lying on my side. I told him I wanted to climb into the boot of the car, but there was no way I could sit upright in a car seat! He looked at me like I was losing my mind (haha!). I immediately had another surge, and I told him, change of plans – we are not going anywhere! I am having this baby at home, there was no way I would make the car trip to the Birth Centre. Again, my poor husband looked like he had seen a ghost, but he could tell that I was being serious, and he immediately went into organisation mode.
It was around 1:40am when he called the midwife and told her we weren’t going to make it. She told him to call an ambulance and to get some towels ready. He called 000, and the paramedics were at our house at 2am. I was in the bathroom on all fours, trying to focus through the surges. I could feel that the baby would be arriving soon.
The paramedics kept trying to get me to lie on my back, they still wanted to get me into the ambulance, but I was absolutely adamant that I was not going anywhere, and that I needed to remain on all fours (this was the only position that was comfortable for me, and I also knew that it created more space in my pelvis to birth my baby). I am so glad that I trusted my intuition.
At around 2:05am, my waters broke and along with that came immediate relief. The surges were SO much easier after that and I could definitely breath and focus through them. The next thing I knew, I could feel the baby was ready to join us, she was right there! I didn’t push, because I really didn’t want to tear (especially after such a quick labour), so I breathed her out. It was the most amazing feeling, I was completely in control, and I knew our little baby would be joining us shortly. She was born at 2:13am on Sunday, 21 July 2019.
I had birthed her while on all fours, with my head resting in my husband’s lap. The paramedic was behind me, and he caught her as she came out. We hadn’t found out the sex of the baby during the pregnancy, and the paramedic accidently called her a “he”, until he properly checked. We were over the moon – I was convinced during the pregnancy it was a boy, so I was completely blown away to have another little girl. I was so, so happy! It was one of the best moments of my life.
They put Margot onto my chest, and we waited for the cord to go white. Then they clamped it and whisked us off in the ambulance to the Birth Centre, where I delivered the placenta and underwent all the checks. We were back home by 7:30am, it was absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, our birth photographer just missed the birth itself, but she was there shortly after to capture these special moments for us.
This birth was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I can say that was largely thanks to Hypnobirthing Australia. The course, in conjunction with months of preparation listening to the tracks and my vision board, enabled me to remain calm but also to trust my intuition and make educated decisions on the spot. If we had got into the car that night, our baby would’ve been born on the side of the road, in the pouring rain. The course was also brilliant for my partner. He was educated about the outcomes, he knew he could trust my instincts, which enabled him to react calmly to the situation. Thank you, Renee, and thank you Hypnobirthing Australia, we couldn’t have done it without you!