On Friday 20th August my partner and I went on our daily walk around the block, I was one day over my due date, little did I know this would be our last walk as a family of two. For the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy I had been moving my body more by extra walks, bouncing on the swiss ball and doing my inverts.

At 10.30pm on the Friday we went to bed, I was feeling uncomfortable but nothing new. Two hours later at 12.30pm, the discomfort woke me up, I knew this was more than previous times. I decided to take 2 paracetamol as this was advised by my midwife and tried to go back to sleep. 30 minutes later I could not lie down anymore, I needed to move my body. I had my hands on the wall and moving my hips side to side. We went into the lounge, and I had planned to use the TENS machine for my pain relief, my partner set up the TENS machine and I went to lie on the sofa. The TENS machine was not working for me, I think we had left it too late. I started with the machine on low and with each wave I increased it, but it was making me feel nauseous. With every wave I would stand up and lean over the kitchen bench moving my hips side to side and then return to the sofa to try and rest.

 We had planned a home birth from 20 weeks which we were so happy we did as it was three days into level 4 lockdown. My partner was getting the birth pool ready as it needed to be finished being blown up and he had to get the water system set up. I was filling up pots of water to put on the stove as we are on electric and we did not know how much water we would need.

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During my waves, I would continue to lean over the kitchen bench and move my hips, all I was thinking was “I’m fine” and using my breath, breathing out when the waves were happening. My waves became stronger at 1.10am, I was telling my partner that I did not think I could do a home birth if this was stage 1 of labour. I was also telling him to rest as we would have a long night ahead and one of us needed to be rested. He decided not to as he was convinced, I was further along than I thought. I kept using the TENS machine even though I wasn’t too sure if it was helping. At 2.30am I passed a bowel movement which I knew that was a good sign as my body was emptying ready to birth. At 3.08am the waves became even more intense, but I continued to move my body to help with the discomfort. At 3.38am I lost my mucus plug. My waves were 5 minutes apart at this point.  

 We decided to time my waves so we could tell the midwife as we were not timing them but just making note of them. At 4.05am we decided to call the midwife which was our back up midwife. She was telling me to get into the water and see how the waves were. Once I told her I had the urge to push and had all the pressure in my bum she said she was on her way. I got into the pool at 4.15am which was the best feeling, it helped with the discomfit. My partner was putting hot towels on my lower back as I was leaning over the side of the pool. Our midwife arrived at 4.35am, she told us baby would not be far away, she did not do any vaginal checks on me, so we did not know how dilated I was. She called the second midwife more a less straight away when she arrived. I knew this was a good sign and not long to go. I was able to rest and stay calm in between each wave. My partner was on the outside of the birth pool cuddling me through each wave and putting the pressure on my lower back still. He was saying encouraging words and affirmations I was using throughout pregnancy. I used Hypnobirthing breaths. With each wave I pushed and then relaxed once the wave had stopped. With each wave the midwife was checking baby’s heartrate which was stable throughout the birth, this helped me to stay calm as I knew baby was doing well. At 5.34am our midwife could see babies head, our second midwife arrived at 5.34am. At 5.40am babies head was out and with a few more pushes at 5.43am, our beautiful baby girl was born. My partner was able to catch her and pass her straight to me, he then got into the birth pool with us and we were able to have cuddles together. I announced her gender as we did not know what we were having. Welcome to the world, Isley - Maise Tasman West. At 6.00am she was feeding with her eyes open. My partner cut the cord once it had stopped pulsing.

 The whole experience was amazing, we were lucky to have such a smooth birth and it went better than we could expect. The whole birth was 5 hours and for a first-time mum this was not expected. The amount of love you have for your child once they are born is so intense and I was not expecting it so strong. We enjoyed being a family of three while the sun was rising, our midwife left at 8.30am. Isley – Maise was 3.16kg and 50cm, she is so precious.

Our birth left me feeling so empowered and strong. I was proud of what my body and mind were capable of. Our home birth was the best decision we made as we were in control of our environment and all decisions were made by us.

From finding out I was pregnant; my aim was to ensure my body and mind were at their best for our pregnancy journey and birth.

Thanks to the beautiful mama @kirstii3x for sharing her story.