Braxton's homebirth, by Miradija

Braxton

Miradija's son, Braxton, was born at home in Australia. He was her fifth baby, but her first homebirth.

My 5th pregnancy was going so smoothly, and I wasn't ready for it to end. Especially knowing this would probably be our last baby.
 
The morning before my due date, I woke up with the same niggling braxton hicks contractions I'd been having for a few days. I told Gary (dh) what was happening, and that I felt we'd probably be holding our 4th son sometime the next day.

I got organized and headed off to the city to do some shopping with my parents. I didn't want to tell my parents, and have them worrying too much during our shopping expedition.

During the day, the contractions didn't stop, but they didn't get any stronger either so I thought it was a false alarm. A couple of hours of walking around in the city I finally told my parents that I was feeling very 'niggly'. Mum asked if I'd timed them yet. So I started watching the clock. 6 minutes apart, but still too mild to be 'real' labour.

Gary called me several times during the day to see if anything else was happening. He had to start work at 3pm, and called me at 1pm to ask if he should go in to work or not. I told him I wasn't sure, and that it was up to him if he wanted to go in, or not.
At 2pm he called me again and said that he called his boss to explain the situation, and his boss told him to stay at home with me.

I got home and had Kirsty (student midwive/friend) and her 2 kids over for a bbq dinner. While she was here, I told her that I'd been having braxton hicks contractions. She immediately got concerned and asked if I was in labour.

I told her that I didn't think so, because they hadn't gotten stronger, or closer together at all during the day.

She went home at around 8pm to put her kids to bed, and suggested I call Anne (my primary midwife) so she could come over and see how I was. I told her that I didn't want to call Anne yet, as I didn't want to get her all the way to my house, if it was a false alarm. She said she'd give me an hour, then she would call me back and see if things were happening.
 
She called me back at 9pm. I told her that nothing had changed. I hadn't had a show, waters were still intact, and my contractions were still really mild. Coming every 4 minutes, and lasting about 30 seconds. I could still walk & talk through them. Definitely not strong enough.

By 9.30pm she convinced me to call Anne now, rather than late at night after she was in bed asleep and it would take her longer to get to me.
That made sense, so I called her reluctantly, and told her that I didn't want to bother her, but I was having mild contractions, and thought that I should let her know, just in case. When she asked if I wanted her to come to my house and see how I was doing, I kept replying with, "I don't know" I really didn't want to bother her.

She convinced me that I wasn't bothering her, and that it might be best that she just pops over to see how I was. If it was nothing, then she would just go back home.

Just after 10pm she arrived at my house. We sat at the table chit-chatting for a bit. Each time I felt a contraction she would put her hand on my stomach to see how strong they were. Apparently they were strong. But for me, they still weren't painful enough. I asked her if she could check to see if I was dilating.. because I still didn't believe that I was in labour. I was 4cm dilated.

Anne said that she wasn't going anywhere, but suggested that I climb into bed to see if I could catch a few hours sleep before things really started.

I was so excited, I text messaged family & friends to let them know that things were happening!
My Mum asked if she could come over but I told her that I wasn't ready to have everyone around yet. (I still didn't really believe that things were happening)

At 11.30pm my Mum text messaged me back and asked if she could come to the house yet. I still didn't think anything was going to happen, but told her she could come 'if she liked'.

By midnight, Gary told me that Kirsty (student midwife), my Mum & my youngest sister had arrived. Mum popped into my room to see how I was doing. I prompty burst into tears. (The emotions we have as soon as we see our Mummies!) I was still doing fine, and having pretty mild contractions. Not long after, my sister in law & cousin arrived. We all sat on my bed chatting & sipping raspberry leaf tea.

Our eldest, Tyler, woke up around this time and whispered to me,
"Mum, are you having contractions?" When I told him that I was, he burst into tears then asked if he could stay up.
We told him he could sit up and wait if he liked.

At 1am Anne asked everyone (except Gary) to leave the room. She later told me that she was concerned that things weren't progressing. As soon as they all left my room is when things picked up in intensity.
 
Was so nice to be able to wander around my own house during this time. To the bathroom, back to my room.

It was at this point that Anne suggested I try the birth ball. I sat on the birthball, piled up my pillows on the edge of my bed, and buried my head in the pillows with each contraction. Anne & Kirsty massaged my lower back during them. My contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart and lasting around 30 seconds.

Gary tried getting the hot wheat pack and holding it on my lower back but I found my back was super sensitive to the heat, and it seemed to make the contractions harder, so I asked Gary to keep it away from me.

I got up and went to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet, and I was hit with such a strong contraction. I jumped up off the toilet, and leaned over the back of the cistern. The contraction kept on going, and no matter what position I was in.. it just got worse. I started feeling a little panicked that it wouldn't stop, and if it was to continue like this, I started wondering how I could cope. (transition?) I'm sure it lasted at least 2-3 minutes. When it finally finished I quickly walked back to my bedroom before I would get another contraction. All I wanted to do was lay down, so I lay down on my side, on my bed, with my face buried in the pillow.
 
Not long after this is when I was so consumed by my own little world that I now no longer knew who was in my room, who was rubbing my back, or who was whispering sweet things in my ear. My contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and were lasting 45 seconds. I kept my eyes closed and breathed through each contraction, knowing that they would bring me closer to my baby boy.
 
At about 1.30am I asked for Anne to check how I was doing because I had a slight urge to push.
She suggested that I listen to what my body is telling me, and just do it. I wanted confirmation, and asked her to check to see how dilated I was (I'd actually been feeling slight pressure for about 15 minutes by this stage, but was too scared to push in case I wasn't ready).

I was 9.5cm, but still had an anterior lip remaining. She said that we'd wait a bit and let it go back on its own. I begged her to push it back for me because I didn't think I could wait for much longer.
Finally, 10cm!! I tried a little push, but didn't feel the 'relief' that I'd felt with my other kids.. so this scared me. I was scared that if I pushed, I would make the pain worse. I told Kirsty that I couldn't push because I was scared. She gave me those magical words that I needed to hear..
"The quicker you push, the quicker this is all over with"
 
I tried my first real push and my waters broke. (finally!) Kirsty asked where the kids are, and there was a scramble as Gary rushed to wake my elder 2 children Shayden & Eva - and to get Tyler back into the room. I'm asked who I want in my room, as I had told them previously that it depended on how I felt at the time, to who I had in the room with us.
I say: "Everyone!"
I hear people scrambling - "She wants everyone"

1.42am - Second push, and out comes my beautiful baby boy, all in one go - with Kirsty calling me to reach down and help deliver him. As I reach down I'm guided to his slippery body, and I help him up onto my chest.
He is the the most beautiful sight I've ever seen!! Very clean, and that beautiful baby smell!!

It's around this point that my back-up midwife arrives - and bursts into tears because she's just moments late. (she's 30wks pregnant)
Umbilical cord cut by big brothers, Tyler & Shayden. (Eva, big sister, decided at the last minute that she didn't want to)

It was the most amazing experience, having done it all in the comfort of my own home - in my own bed, with family members supporting me.
The placenta is delivered 6 minutes later. The kids are entralled by it, and actually watch while my midwives look it over (and take photos of it for me).

Then being able to get up and hop into the shower, and climb into my own bed with a cup of tea, and snuggle with my baby. It was all just amazing!! The only thing missing was our 2 year old, Kailan - who slept happily through the whole thing.

Braxton Shea
10lbs 3oz
54.5cm length
36.5cm head circ

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