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Mia's birth, by Sally Paech

Sally's first baby, Mia, was born in October 2006.

After a week or so of having Braxton Hicks contractions, Hubby and I decided to go for a walk to see if things would progress. We returned home at 5pm and the contractions were coming about every 10-15 mins but without increasing intensity or frequency. As usual we sat and ate dinner together, both secretly becoming excited at the possibility of soon meeting our daughter. We both had become quietly frustrated at the coming and going of progress in the last few days.

In bed later that night I mentioned that the contractions were still coming but were not quite as frequent. This was unlike other nights where they had stopped once I was lying down. I eventually fell asleep, which would turn out to be the last night with just the two of us.

The night went as usual, lots of toilet trips, however at about 4am I was suddenly woken by an intense contraction that made me sit up and take notice. Thinking I had imagined it I lay back down only to have another within a few mins. It took one more even stronger one to realise that perhaps this was it!

Unable to stay comfortable, I got up, leaving Hubby to sleep knowing I would need him more later. In the lounge room I glanced at the clock seeing it was 4.15am(daylight saving time actually made it 5.15) I felt quite cold so I put on the heater and made a cup of tea.

I began pacing around the lounge room as contractions started coming roughly every 3-5 mins and becoming very intense. I ended up being sick but failed to realise this meant I was much further into labour than I thought. I struggled to find a comfortable position for every contraction as they came, eventually finding that leaning over the couch arm, high up on my toes and bobbing up and down, was most comfortable.

After a very fast hour of pacing and watching the sun come up, I heard Hubby stirring. He came out to ask me if he had been snoring again! I told him he would be becoming a daddy today and he offered to call Midwife no.1(as I'll call her).

As soon as he picked up the phone my contractions started to double in intensity and I felt the need to again be sick.
In between being sick I also had to empty my bowels and noticed I had my show.
Hubby said midwife no.1 wanted to talk to me and I remember saying I really can't right now (with a slight growl)!
After coming out of the bathroom I rang her back as I felt the onset of another contraction.
Thankfully it was a quick conversation and she told me that she was at another birth and that she and my second midwife were on their way, stopping to pick up the birth pool first.

By this stage I was very uncomfortable and unable to find where I wanted to "be". I found myself in the study, squatting and leaning my head on the armchair.
As Hubby rubbed my back I heard him say that midwife no.2 had arrived and that she needed help to set up the pool.
Before too long I heard midwife no.1 arrive and that's when I remember thinking it won't be long now.

After a few more fast strong contractions midwife no.1 checked the heartbeat and said all was well.
As problems developed with the pool hose I remember feeling a huge pressure in my cervix and then with the next contraction my waters broke.
What felt like only seconds later, as Hubby was back again rubbing my back (fantastic!), Midwife no.1 again checked the heartbeat, which was fine.

As time progressed midwife no.1 went out and announced to midwife no.2 and hubby to stop filling the pool as I was going to have this baby in the study after all!
I remember feeling this enormous pressure in my bottom that increased with every contraction.
I recall midwife no.1 having a look at my progress with a torch and saying to hubby that we would be meeting our baby soon.

The pressure increasing I felt baby's head coming down more each time and eventually felt a burning stinging feeling for the next three-ish contractions. Trying to breathe her head out, fighting the pushing, was impossible at times during each one.

As it subsided I realised her head must be out and that I was nearly there!
Midwife no.1 said she would help me breathe her shoulders out during the next one.
As I felt the next increase I was careful to again try to resist the urge to push, not wanting to tear.
At the peak of it I felt a burst of energy as my body pushed without my control. Mia Ashley Paech was born (rapidly expelled!) and placed on the ground between my legs.

I remember asking if she was okay and hearing a squawk - the most beautiful sound in the world..
I looked up at hubby and he told me "Look down there"
And when I did I saw our baby. Wow!! Words can't explain the emotion I felt all at once.
Eventually I found the courage to pick her up and gave her first cuddle. I think time stood still while we all marvelled at what had just happened.

What seemed like ages after I felt something "drop" from inside me. I again went up on my knees only to have the placenta drop. Apparently it was only minutes.

After sitting and bonding with our little girl, hubby cut the cord and it was clamped.

I was helped to the shower as daddy had his first cuddle.

Midwife no.1 had to return to her other birth but did return later that day.

Midwife no.2 made the bed and helped me out the shower.

Eventually I fed her and midwife no.2 left.

Hubby and I then had the most amazing day getting to know our new baby girl. We had skin-to-skin cuddles and were in no rush to please anyone else, or be squeezed into someone else's schedule.

I am so grateful to our midwives who helped make our birth so amazing, and to my soul mate, my hubby, I could never have done it without him - he is truly amazing and I have never felt so much love for him as I do now.

As for a water birth, something to look forward to next time!!

Sally Paech

Low-lying placenta

Are there any other details, not mentioned in your birth story, which might be relevant to other women?

During my ultrasound it was found that my placenta was only 3cm from the cervix opening and the doctor seemed to think this was a big issue.(I understand why if it didn't move up). However my midwife seemed to think it was not something to be overly concerned about and explained how, like a balloon stretching my placenta would grow up as my belly grew.

It was at the 20 week scan and I actually chose not to have another one.


Related pages:

Home Birth Stories

First Babies and homebirth

The Third Stage of Labour - what are your options, and the pros and cons of each?


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