Today I'm going to share the story of Alice; my birth story of my second daughter. Alice just celebrated her first birthday on September 6th and what better way to celebrate than to tell you all about how she arrived.
Alice was a planned home birth with midwives right from the start. I had midwives with my first daughter and was lucky enough to have the same ones second time around. So September 6th, 2012 was my due date. It was a warm sunny September day and my husband took some vacation time in order to be around for the delivery. That morning was just like any other. We woke up, had breakfast, chatted and had a leisurely time waking up. My husband took Stella to daycare that day. Not for any particular reason, but just in case the baby should decide to arrive on time or at the very least we could finish a couple last minute things around the house.
In the time he was gone I felt a few pangs but didn't think much about it and continued with my regular morning routine. Again these pangs we a bit painful but nothing I thought concerning. So I thought I would go hang out downstairs and catch up on a little Netflix. I wasn't comfortable on the couch so I was lazily bouncing on the yoga ball in front of the TV. This seemed to keep the pains at bay, at least until I stood up. Every time I would stand I would be flooded with a wave of what I would call strong discomfort. It was at that point that I decided I was probably in labour. My husband had been watching me intently but did not interfere as he knew something was up but I was in complete control.
So we decided to go for a swim. Yup, you heard me, a swim. We have an inground pool in the backyard and we had always jokingly said that if it was nice out then I could labour in the pool. So out we went. The water was a balmy 84 degrees and stepping into it was immediately relaxing. Maybe a little too relaxing. By this time it was about 10:00 or 10:30 am and the warm water seemed to put things into overdrive. I remember floating in the shallow end clinging to a pool noodle. I think I practically ripped it in half with each contraction. Sometime after 11:00 am we decided we should probably call the midwives. I remember clearly talking to Beth between contractions and she asked what I was feeling. I think I said I felt like I wanted to rip something off the wall with each one. With that, she said she would get dressed and be right over. (She had another delivery the night before and had only just got home and was just getting to bed when we called) I stayed in the water a little longer and then I yelled at my husband the baby is coming and I'm not pushing! There was a bit of a frantic exchange between us - of him telling me I had to get out of the pool and me insisting that I couldn't. Then magically there was a brief break in the rather intense labour and I grabbed the pool ladder and my husband shoved my girth out of the pool. It was like the 50m dash; I sprinted with my knees tightly squeezed together into the house and up the stairs into our bedroom.
We had been very well prepared for the birth and had an entire birth kit set up for weeks with all the required necessities. It was sitting perfectly packed in our bedroom at this point. We barely got a plastic sheet down when I screamed "MY WATER BROKE....YOU BETTER CALL 911!" At which point my husband responded "They're here, they're here!". I remember thinking that was a quick ambulance, but he was referring to the midwives. Leanne (midwife #2) had just arrived at the door and saw Mike standing there slightly panicked and dripping all over the floor and she could hear me yelling in the background. She came in to check things out and sent Mike to the car to grab all her gear as she didn't realise I was so far along. A few minutes later Beth arrived. And literally 3 pushes later and Alice was born. It was the most incredible experience of my entire life. We never found out the sex of the baby so was a wonderful surprise to have another girl. The midwives arrived at 12:00pm and Alice was born at 12:18pm. It was unbelievable to be at home one minute and then have an new human being in your arms the next minute. She was glowing and pink and completely healthy, tipping the scales at 8 lbs, 10 oz.
|Me & Alice and my midwives Beth (L) and Leanne (R)|
The rest of the day was absolutely glorious. We laid in bed and cuddled forever our bodies oozing new love for this perfect tiny being. The midwives were OUTSTANDING and really just let us be. They stayed for a couple hours and then left us to enjoy our new baby. I remember them telling me to take a nap and I replied "I'm not tired, I had a great sleep last night and it's the middle of the afternoon."
Later Mike went and picked up Stella from daycare. How wonderful for her to come home to a new baby sister! It was like a dream really. We woke up, had breakfast, had a baby and then we were a family of four. That is what I call a miracle; the miracle of a woman's body, the miracle of birth and the miracle of life.