Birth Story of Kai
My husband Mat and I were very lucky to fall pregnant relatively quickly when we started trying so we were very excited from the beginning. The first trimester I was quite wary, as people are quick to tell all the things that go wrong. Luckily, my worst thing of the whole pregnancy was bad skin. I must say my favourite part was all the kicking! That initial connection was the most beautiful thing, though writing this I am happy to breathe easily again!
It was only as the end drew near that I started to get impatient and worried. I feel that we prepared for the birth in the best way that we could. We went to great antenatal classes with Julie Clarke, I read every book under the sun, I trained my perineum with the Epi-No, did pre-natal yoga and lots of meditation and visualization. We were prepared for a normal natural birth with no intervention as we believe that that is the way it was meant to be. At 37 weeks we got very excited, as did all the family and friends. Time ticked by slowly after that, 38 weeks, 39 weeks, 40 weeks, 41 weeks. I then agreed that we needed to be induced. I had tried every single natural remedy recommended, but nothing seemed to be able to coax Kai out.
We were booked in to be induced the day before my 42 weeks mark. I was hoping to only need my waters broken and that was it as I very much wanted to avoid the syntocinon. The Midwives at Sutherland Hospital were absolutely fantastic in ensuring that my wishes were respected and adhered to as much as possible.
At 8:30am I went in to have my waters broken, luckily I didn’t need the Protoglandin gel as I was already 2cm dialated. I was told I had an hour, where the doctors like you to have 3 contractions in ten minutes or they start the gel. I had already decided that I was going to hide in the corridors until contractions became established if they hadn’t in time!
We went out to the lobby and started walking up and down the stairways, hoping that the activity would bring on the contractions. Half an hour later and I felt something starting to happen. At first it was a nice mild pain where I could tell Mat when it was starting, when it reached the peak and then tapered off. This was happening every five minutes so we went back to our room where our midwife measured the contractions on her machine. She said they still weren’t very strong, and she would check back soon hoping they would get worse.
Well, there was no need for the machine, my voice said that they were well established. I had read Juju Sundin’s Birth Skills book and taken Julie Clarke’s classes so I was very well prepared for an active birth and we had all our resources prepared –complete with flashcards!
For the first hour I was fine walking back and forth the length of the room. They then progressed and I had to stand in one spot bent over a bench and stamping my feet. This was a great way to start as I felt very in control and calm. It worked very well for us to match the activity with the pain, as the contractions built I added ‘ahhh’ sounds to the rhythmic stomping. At this stage it was 12pm and the midwife came in to check how I was going, I was only 3cm! We were told that average progression is a centimeter an hour so we could expect to birth around 7pm – 8pm. I then told Mat I was going to need a lot of support as I realised it was going to get much much worse and last a fair while.
Shortly after this I had to start using stress balls. I now looked like a monkey stomping around, banging stress balls together and saying ‘ahhh’! J The stress balls were with me till the end and I think my main tool. My legs were starting to tire from the stamping so I tried leaning over the bed on a bean bag but it didn’t work at all, I was only comfortable standing in the one spot. The whole time Mat was giving me so much encouragement! Telling me how strong I was, reminding me to focus and keep moving. His voice was fantastic to hear the whole way through as I could focus on his calmness and knew he would hold me together.
As we were planning a water birth, we planned to move to the shower, and then into the water. At 1pm I thought it would be helpful to get in the shower for a bit of a change of scenery. It felt fantastic to be under the water. I still had my stress balls in my hands, was still stomping, my ‘ahhhs’ were getting louder and Mat was moving the hot water across my lower back and his hands moving down my tummy telling the baby to move down and out.
The great thing about contractions is that they give you a break! It was a totally unexpected feeling to have such intense pain, then a total break. Though, by 1:30pm the breaks seemed to disappear and my sound got MUCH louder! It was then that I first thought it was going to be really difficult as I thought I had many hours left to go. The most beneficial thing for me was every contraction thinking once it was over, that was helping to open up and baby would soon be here.
All of a sudden at the end of a contraction I let out a huge new noise and a massive push sensation. I asked Mat what time it was as I thought it was too early to push so I thought something might be wrong. He told me it was 2:15pm and that I was doing great. There was no need to call our midwife back in as I could be heard down the halls! She came in and to my great surprise said it was pushing time and baby would soon be coming. From then on there was no control. It was the most amazing powerful and intense feeling ever imaginable! Completely different to the contractions I’d been having, they now consumed me completely as I focused on bearing down and pushing out baby as slowly and calmly as possible. Although I remember feeling very calm inside, the noise I was making was so raw and anamalistic, I am sure I could never make the sound again (till the next birth anyway).
The whole time Mat was a fantastic support, I am sure I wouldn’t have been as strong without him. As the baby’s head got closer, Mat was down and was the first hand to touch his head. He kept his hand there for half an hour as I pushed him out. His head was completely out for a few minutes, then everything started to ease and I got quite a nice break where we looked at each other amazed and the overwhelming emotions of the moment consumed us. Then suddenly I got my final contraction and out came baby into the arms of his daddy where the midwife wiped him down and checked him over.
I couldn’t do anything but look down at him so totally amazed that I had just birthed a baby! As Mat gave me a kiss and told me we had a boy was the greatest moment of my life so far and one I will never forget.
Being such a great birth I was able to pick him straight up and walk over to the bed to birth the placenta. I really didn’t want to do this because I had felt like I was done now and all I wanted to do was hold Kai. I did ask if I could give it a miss, but unfortunately I had to.
I opted for no syntocinon so it took another 30 minutes for the placenta to come out. I then needed a couple of quick stitches and we were done. One lovely happy family and birth experience that was far greater than I ever could have imagined. Although intensely painful, it was a good pain. As strange as it sounds I enjoyed the experience and hope that next time it’s just as good.
Tina is the Owner and Founder of Begin Bright. Begin Bright have centres around Australia that provide school readiness programs for our children. Tina won the Telstra Australian Young Business Woman of the Year in 2014 and is a wonderful philanthropist who is always searching for ways to give back. We are so grateful for her to share her 2 birth stories with us.