The Homebirth of Kit
Kit's birth was so miraculous and unremarkable at the same time. Its when I learnt that labour can mean doing nothing at all and just giving way to your body. Giving way to the waves knowing all I had to do was let it happen. There was nothing to think of, no time to go to hospital, no timing of any contractions, no checking for dilation. Just Birth left well alone.
Births like this do take planning. Nine months of visualisations, support from my doula, meditation, hypnobirthing, yoga, spiritual reflection so when the time came, all I had to do was surrender.
My waters went at about 7pm on the 6th of December. I had just had a bath with some lavender and clary sage and was lying on my side in bed having a rest after a day with a toddler. Ali my husband came through and lay down beside me, putting his hand lightly on my hips. I think I had music on and I remember feeling chilled and loved. I then just felt this pop and release of fluid. I'd been having some bladder control problems in the last week of pregnancy (more on pelvic floor issues later) so I went to the bathroom to check what was going on. As soon as I got there I knew - once you have smelt amniotic fluid before, you are not going to miss it.
I got myself comfy, put a pad on, text my doula Nicola and then we went to have some dinner and watch some more game of thrones while bouncing a bit on the birth ball. I had a wee glass of red wine and decided to head off to bed to get some rest. I knew I wanted to save my energy for what lay ahead.
Through some miracle I slept and I woke up about 2am at first a bit miffed that nothing much was happening. I went to the loo and came back and started to have period pains which soon turned into contractions. I knew from my first birth, where I paced the corridors of a hospital in fear of "failure to progress" that I wanted to do the opposite this time. Rest and let go. So I go a hot water bottle and my headphones and lay on my side listening to my birth playlist and hynobirthing tracks.
About 6am I woke up Ali and told him that the contractions were coming faster. I was starting to get to the point where I wanted his support and I wanted Nicola to come too. Ali text Nicola and again I just lay there waiting for her to arrive. I think I must have told Ali to fill up the pool. When Nicola came in about 7.30am I remember feeling a change. I think my body responded knowing everything I needed was now in place. I knew it was time to get up and get in the pool but by this point the contractions were so strong I was struggling to move. I sat up and promptly threw up the water Id been sipping (a sure sign of transition) and then between Nicola and Ali's shoulders we got me down the stairs to the birth pool. I had made the room all dark blue with twinkly lights and my affirmation and love photos on the wall.
The work began then about 8am. I told Ali to phone the midwives as I'd been waiting until 8am to get a fresh midwife not one coming off nightshift. I'd met the midwife who arrived once and she was pretty respectful, I'd already said that I didn't want any unnecessary distractions or examinations. I knew Kit was happy inside me, and by that point I was moving around vigourously in between contractions, trying to find comfort in positions and water. At all times I knew he was safe, I didnt need a doppler to tell me that.
The midwife quickly connected the gas and air which I leapt on. I've lived with chronic hip and back pain since my early twenties so contractions feel to me like an intense fire across my lower back and hips like they might burst open. I was ready for this and knew the only way was through. I remember the midwife phoning for the second midwife shortly after she arrived which I was cheered by as I know they only call the second midwife when baby isn't far away. Aside from that I don't remember much of the next 2 hours except locking eyes with Ali and Nicola when it got really intense and trying to focus on the hynobirthing track I had on in the background. It's said that mothers go to another place in active labour and thats what it felt like, leaving the room with each contraction, coming back into the room to either laugh or declare I couldn't do it anymore.
After 40 mins or so of the most wild back breaking contractions I felt an urge to bear down and my moaning turned to shouting the word "oooooouuuuuuuuuuuutt!" over and over. That wasnt in my preparations but that wide jaw sound found its way out and felt like the only thing I could say at the time. I felt the urge to rise up on my knees and look up as he crowned and out he came into the pool.
I had done it. I still get goosebumps.
I'm not sure the elation I felt that day will ever be matched.