Thursday, January 5, 2012

I am back! With a new baby boy! Here is my birth story...

My new year's resolution is to start this blog again. But shorter posts this time! Two months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Solomon. So while I am on maternity leave I will make time for my writing. And as he is teaching me so much, as is seven year old Jemima and 4 year old Bella, I will share it with my readers. What better place to start than with my birth story. Ok this one is long because I wrote it for me, not for a blog :-)

Birthing Solomon 4th November 2011

The scene at home was beautiful and candle lit. The midwives were wonderful and the girls there for the pushing and my yoga music - so from outside it was perfect and exactly as I had wanted – I even made the muffins I had wanted to make for everyone while in very early stages! And I had a lovely acupuncturist come to the house and treat me – after the muffins! While rushes still only 20 mins apart. The whole thing lasted about 12 hours. Soli was born at 450am on the 4th.

I was deeply self reliant and in control this time thanks to yoga, meditation and the practice of mindfulness. And hypno birthing too. This and the water meant I did not use Gas and Air as I have in the past (with a love-hate relationship to it).

BUT! The pain I experienced was as intense as always. More so at times. My pelvis and hips and legs felt like they might break in two. It really was agony. It is simply that I didn't say it was this time! In the past I have yelled out “I’m going to die!” or “I can’t do it!” but this time I didn't voice my fears or my pain. Instead I just thought to myself “It hurts now but in a moment it will feel different.” “This is now, in a min you will be blissfully relaxed again.” “Don't be afraid you have done this before you know you are not going to split it two really.” “Work harder! This baby is not coming out anywhere but in this pool!” Etc etc!

I hardly needed James although I absolutely needed his presence, his love and his hand to squeeze in pushes. (Sorry but they were pushes! Bearing down yes, but I still roared thru most, some quiet breathing down too.) And James was wonderfully loving and gentle and present as he always has been. Water was wonderful in the breaks but it didn’t make a difference to the pain in my legs during each surge.

The midwife was totally calm, shared my approach and was confident in my body. She kept saying “your body is working beautifully for you, everything is going perfectly, just as I would have hoped” That was very comforting.

And my doula training meant that I knew exactly what was going on at each stage. So when I vomited and ripped off clothes and weeed in garden under the stars and wanted to be alone, I knew I was well dilated and ready to get in the pool! I asked to be examined and the midwife did it beautifully and quickly and was so cool cos she said I was 5 cms and when I said “that means I am probably 7cms when not being examined” she said, “yes, exactly, absolutely. Happy for you to get in the pool!” And that was the only examination and even that one was at my request. I could have got in pool without it but I wanted to be sure myself.

It was great to be so informed but it did mean I had my own doula voice in my head all along - mostly a very good comforting doula coaching me through! I would like to have me as a doula! Which is good from a professional point of view!

But I also has a less helpful voice in my head: “Aren’t you supposed to be quiet this time? Isnt it supposed to be gentle and less painful?!” That was less helpful but then I was quite good at saying back “Oh be quiet! It is what it is! You are who you are!”

The actual birth was beautiful despite extreme intense pain. I saw his head come out in the water beneath me. The midwife could not see so thought I was not there yet! Then I looked again once shoulders out. And then again when torso out. (He was so big that the final exit was slow and hard! – Bella just slopped out after the head!) And then when his legs came out I said “He’s all out, shall I just lift him out now?” and everyone was totally surprised when I lifted him out of the water! It was so dark and he was coming out under me so no one could see. Disappointing for girls and James but lovely for me as I didn’t really see the girls come out. James did.

A boy! Hooray! Twenty mins skin to skin in water and then the girls and James had cuddles while I struggled out of the pool. Agony still in my legs and hips and no momentum anymore to get me through it. I felt very low then until the placenta finally came out and with it came total relief and bliss and flood of love and peace which has yet to leave me!

And after that it was party time. Breakfast of tea and muffins and an hour of feeding and chatting to midwives (three now! Student had been there all through, and now back up midwife here). And then to bed – heaven - where I pretty much stayed for two weeks, naked under covers with Solomon, running James off his feet fetching and carrying and cooking! Then, at two weeks, Solomon’s long career of school runs began. Luckily for him he sleeps through the in and out the car business and lucky for me Jemima loves doing that bit and can do up car seat buckles no problem. So all as good as it could be. 

And one more precious gift… Jemima - after watching 50 mins of me roaring my head off in 2nd stage and then baby born - grabbed a scrap of paper and wrote me this poem:

“Mummy you are lovely. WOW! Like fireworks! You are so brave! You are so strong!”

Four weeks later and I feel sooo blessed. The girls are totally in love with Solomon and hold him and kiss him constantly but are very caring and sensitive towards him so it is not too much at all. They are helpful and caring towards me and I keep thanking them for being such incredibly loving, giving individuals who have made having a third child pure joy and no stress at all. School runs have been (mostly!) happier and calmer than ever – and they were the thing I was thinking would be the biggest challenge. And bonus of bonuses! We can get three children in the back of our 3 door Clio so my fears of third child meaning bigger, more expensive, more polluting car unfounded! Just need get a trailer for the nappies and the tent now! Happy days despite sleepless nights.

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