“I was convinced that I would go into labour after my 40th week, as it was my first full term pregnancy and people never held back telling me how small my bump looked. It came as a great surprise to me that on the same night we finally sorted out the house (I was 39+2 days), I began to have that old familiar feeling of period pain cramps .
Over the course of a few hours, the feeling became more distinct and I began to have moderately uncomfortable surges that lasted for a minute and were arriving every 5 minutes.
I rang the birth centre and they convinced me to stay home and have a panadol and a bath, which I did with my Hypnobirthing track playing and tried to get some sleep. I slept through the night and the next morning, all that remained was a mild cramping feeling.
I went to have acupuncture, ate a hot curry, had sex, diffused some clary sage oil and the same thing happened — the surges returned that evening, 5 minutes apart, painful but tolerable. They seemed to come on especially strongly when my husband touched and held me. Day three, I woke up determined to bring on active labour. We went on a bushwalk for an hour, listening to the birds and the wind moving through the trees. I hugged my husband Billy and confided that maybe I was deep-down afraid that I couldn’t do it, that maybe I wasn’t as strong as I was telling myself. He talked me back round, reminded me of all the preparation I’d been doing and that I could only do one moment at a time.
After a similar night, we went to the Birth Centre on the morning of Day 4 for our scheduled check-up. I felt emotionally exhausted from the pain and anticipation. The midwife suggested that since we had “tried” everything, perhaps we should consider embracing the unknown and not “trying”.
That evening, I was watching a documentary about birth in a dark, cosy room and at 6:30pm I felt something swell inside me and pop. Just like in the movies, I had a huge gush as my membranes released.
We were so ready.
I kneeled in the shower listening to my track as my surges ramped up to 3 minutes apart. We called RPA and they told us it was time to come in. Billy put our bags went in the car, I put the TENS machine on my back (the pads were held to my skin with band aids after four days of use!) and an eye mask and Billy drove us carefully to the hospital. I was checked over when we arrived and shortly after we were ushered into the birthing suite.
My close friend Scott came to meet us there. I wanted him there as a support for Billy because potentially this could take a really long time. Billy set up some low light and put up some pictures of our family and cat and the midwife filled the tub.
We played the Affirmations and Surge Of The Sea over the speakers. The water gave me lots of pain relief and after only 2 hours, I felt a deeper pressure and a need to shift positions. The midwife encouraged me to listen to my body and never told me to push.
I just breathed through this different feeling and felt the baby descend. The midwife suggested that I reach inside and feel for our babies head and when I did I was amazed — their little head was only a few centimetres away.
In the last few surges, I used all my effort to bring her down. Her head was born, then with after two more surges, her body was born.
We were so stunned we forgot to check the sex of our baby, so both of us shrieked when we saw that she was a baby girl! She looked around the room, not crying just deeply taking everything in. Within 10 minutes, she had firmly latched to my breast.
The placenta took close to an hour to come out and my surges had subsided so the midwife gave me an injection to bring and shortly thereafter it came out intact. I had no tearing, just a minor graze.
I held our beautiful baby girl, Ariel Blaize Judd in my arms, she was a sizeable 3.68kgs and 53cm long, the perfect size for my body.
I felt high on love and absolutely empowered by the experience. And still do! We are loving every moment we have with our gorgeous little girl. Thank you so much for giving us the tools and knowledge to approach this birth with calm confidence. I would wish for anyone to have this same opportunity.”
Love and many thanks,
Betty, Billy and Ariel Judd.