My second born was such a different labour in many ways to my daughter’s birth. The great thing about it is I got to apply many tools that I thought I would never have to use, which instilled to me the incredible power of having a strong mindset & toolkit going into this rare experience in our lives.
My fore waters broke on our baby moon in Palm Cove two weeks early & totally caught me off guard. I didn’t say anything to my husband as it was 11pm at night. It wasn’t until I realized the predicament we were in being on the wrong side of the mountain to where we choose to birth in Mareeba, that I woke him & we made the 1.5hour journey up the mountain a little closer to where we needed to be.
We live in an isolated community at the tip of Australia in Cape York so birthing our babies at home unfortunately is not an option available to us & we must fly 1 month prior to our due dates to a destination of our choice. We choose where we grew up on the Tablelands & Mareeba Maternity in particular for their holistic approach & empowerment of their wise midwives there. So, in saying this anywhere we go is not home so it is extra important for us to feel at home in the hospital we choose to birth & Mareeba definitely fulfils this!
It wasn’t until 1pm the next day after my fore waters broke that we decided to travel to Mareeba & check in as labouring at my Hubby’s folks place with the fam was actually a beautiful quirky memory but I still hadn’t had any significant surges to progress things. So we decided to settle into our double room at Mareeba Maternity. When we arrived, my whole body relaxed as my sense of smell took me back to labour with my daughter, a beautiful experience, in a funny way it felt like my labour home & I was grateful as everyone welcomed me back with smiley faces.
Things started to progress! I messaged my circle of close female friends to chop their chords from my blessingway (symbolic of my unborn baby’s umbilical cord & signifies they are ready to come earth side) After this amazing rush of support my surges intensified and I was riding them waves like a warrioress, until I had a shower and they all came to a grinding halt!?
Whaaaat. Nothing I could do would bring surges back? I applied so many tools from my hypnobirthing toolkit, including all my yoga wisdom but my little man was staying put!
Negative thoughts started to creep in as my midwife had already notified me that the doctors were wanting to give me antibiotics and talking of induction as my waters had ruptured prematurely. I kindly declined as my midwife (my greatest advocate for natural birth) negotiated that I would stay an extra 48 hours with bub for monitoring. I knew that I had no risk of infection as no examinations had been made or foreign objects been inserted.
I laboured very slowly in my dark room, my midwife went to sleep in her quarters, my mother in law had gone home, my husband asleep & my Mum slept in the waiting room. I knew my mindset was totally thrown, I was getting tired as I only had 3 hours sleep night prior, I sipped on my coconut water. As I witnessed my negative thoughts I knew this was so far from the natural empowered birth I had affirmed. I experienced how they made me feel in my body tight, anxious, totally in my thinking mind & not in control. This was not good! I knew I needed to release my fear surrounding intervention. I remembered a hypnobirthing tool, one that I had forgotten about, I plugged my earphones in and selected the fear release hypnosis script and went inward. The track took me into my subconscious mind where I acknowledged and witnessed my fear before releasing it for good.
After my fear release meditation, I had the strongest surge & I chose the path I wanted to take the one were I believed in my body & baby. I remember saying to myself I will hold my baby tonight & more specifically by 2am!
I took a big whiff of my clary sage oil & my surges soon started to intensify. It was when my temperature started to change intensely from freezing cold in between surges to steamy hot while surging I knew that there were big hormonal changes happening in my body, then a spew and I knew I was heading into transition.
Things were moving very fast but none of the medical staff on duty seemed it necessary to call my midwife? Even after a surge where I shared the urge to empty my bowels did the midwives pick up on how close I really was. Perhaps I looked different to other labouring Mums..? It wasn’t until the next wave when I had a strong urge to bare down did anyone take me seriously.
Enter CHAOS- my mum woke, my husband woke up, my midwife was called it was a race to get the birth suite ready and bath filled for a water birth. As this chaos unfolded I plugged my earphones in and remained super calm and active listening to my calm prompts for birth. It actually felt nice to be believed.
My midwife arrived at the same time as my Mum in law my whole birth team was there I felt held, supported and so ready! My midwife did a check and said this baby isn’t far away! The water had only just filled when I entered, I had incredible intensity in my lower back as we believe my baby had flipped posterior same as my daughter had. Through all this intensity I remembered a joke that I was having with some close friends about how I was aiming for an orgasmic birth- there were no orgasms haha. But I can honestly say in the moments of my baby crowning in between my last surges something washed over me and in this most intense time of the whole process a smile came to my face & tears of joy came as I felt so proud of myself and I knew I was about to meet my baby. I had a glimpse of how this most incredible experience can be euphoric. I then mooed for the last time as my son came into the world! WOW.
He was born at 2.48am 48 mins after the time I affirmed I would hold my baby.
There was quite a bit of blood in the pool & Abels umbilical cord was tightly wrapped like a holster around his shoulders and back of neck. This suggested the reason labour stopped, as he was being held up of my cervix.
Abel did the breast crawl & found the nipple intuitively himself. My midwife was eager for my placenta to birth as I had blood loss. After 20 mins of me working with surges to release it out my midwife administered syntocinon which I was happy for her to do. My placenta released but sat in my uterus & it was the amazing work of my midwife directing her trainee graduate that they gently encouraged it all out.
We had one hour of bliss holding our son together skin to skin as he suckled.
I remember strong visualizations of surrendering my body with each surge. Relaxing specifically my limbs, my hips and my jaw. Before the ebb of each surge I would grab control of my deep diaphragmatic breath so I felt in control riding the flow of each surge. As a yoga teacher knowing how powerful my diagphramic breathing was only affirms to me the power of the breath tool. With my bodies surrender I imagined the surge of the sea tool which I had practiced.
Although there were unforeseen circumstances throughout my labour having a large toolkit, being educated on the changes that were happening & most of all trusting in myself. I totally loved my birth experience as it had helped me grow deeper in wisdom through adversity. And I’m so grateful to be able to share this & help others the same.