Born on Sunday the 7th of July at 7:21 am weighing 4.3 kg. He is my little VBAC success story! No pain medication during labour, born in the bath, and only a minute tear which 2 little stitches took care of.
Super sweet and strong Ester was my midwife and gentle, constantly supportive Shasta was my doula.
A bit of a long story here, as I try to remember everything and I just want to add that my VBAC cut off date was the 9th of July for a c-section.
I was exhausted on Saturday and lay down with my 18-month-old little Jayden, while he took his nap. A wonderful 2 hours of cuddles and zzz’s.When I woke up it seemed like my Braxton hicks felt different. There were lower back pain and a strange feeling on the top of my thighs with each hick. I didn’t think anything of it and kept on with the day.
Come 7 pm, and a little bit of an upset tummy, I felt uncomfortable to sat down on anything other than my pilates ball and my hicks was becoming regular. I said to Gareth that maybe this was something but after so many false starts, over the past few weeks, I wasn’t reading too much into it.
At 8:30 pm I went to bed and I definitely felt that this was contractions. Gareth came through to the room and we started timing them. They shifted between 5 minutes and 8 minutes each - 30 seconds long.
I kept saying to Gareth that I would go through to the kitchen to bake a cake or watch Friends while watching the contractions, so he could sleep. I definitely could not sleep! He insisted I stay close to him and we kept timing them. By 1:30 am they were a regular 8 minutes apart, 30 to 45 seconds long and then I had a watery, bloody discharge.
Gareth got onto the phone immediately with my midwife and Murphy’s law Jayden woke up!
Christina was here, visiting from Kenya (she had been here 2 weeks already and the 7th of July was the day she was flying home!). I ran through to her, in only my bra because I was so hot, and asked her to watch Jayden while Gareth spoke to Ester.
Not 5 minutes later and we were in the car and on our way to Genesis! Then your Dad jinxed us! I’m rocking on the back seat and he says, “gosh I hope we don’t meet cops.’’ Guess who was outside of Monte Casino and pulled us over! Your Dad told them that I was in labour, they looked confused. I pulled my top up and showed them my tummy and we were free to go!
Ester arrived at Genesis at 2 am and did an internal but could not find my cervix. She couldn’t find it the Wednesday before either. You, dear Bradley, were lying on my pubic bone and not on my cervix.
I think Shasta arrived at around 4 am. She set up music (once she got the password from her daughter ) and a lovely scented thing that changed into different colours. Mesmerizing!
I was changing positions between resting my arms on the bed while kneeling on the floor, to lying on my husband's lap on the bed and taking a rest before moving onto hands and knees with contractions.
Ester did another internal check and I was already at 5 or 6 cm! So, she broke my water and wow the contractions picked up speed and strength!
Thank goodness for my hubby and Ester letting me lean on them, swaying with them during contractions, and Shasta pushing on my sacrum (sacral squeezes were too sore) and then rubbing my back with various oils. I remember her using Frankincense and gosh did it feel and smell so good between contractions.
There were a few contractions where the pain radiated all the way up to my spine. It was so sore, I could vomit. My little boy must have been twisting across a nerve at that stage. With the other contractions I didn’t focus on anything in my sight. I swayed my body, I moaned low, and I kept my eyes closed. I did use the imagery that Shasta taught in yoga class, of a wave gently starting on the shore, and then waves speeding up and building strength before going away again. I totally internalized myself.
That’s the BIG plus side of contractions. You can feel them coming. It’s not a surprise. You have time to get into a rhythm with it and then suddenly *poof* they’re gone. I was loving the rest periods between each wave. Gosh, I felt like it was a deep rest.
I think around 6 am I was leaning on the bath and asked if I had transitioned yet and if I could get into the bath as I felt pressure in my bum.
Ester and Shasta both said yes and that I had transitioned. Ester did another internal and I was at 9cm.
My hubby got into the bath with me. He sat on the step and I would rest in his lap and then rock on him or pull him with each contraction. Poor guy, I really battered and bruised him. I remember people talking between the waves. I remember Ester checking our boy's heartbeat at regular intervals and then I felt the need to really push!
Ester told me to put my hand between my legs and feel his little head. He was right there! I had to push now. I did the coffee plunger breath but didn’t seem to be able to hold it long enough and his little head would disappear again and again.
They got me into a deep squat in the bath, facing my hubby and told me to push longer and harder. To work with my contractions and to try push an extra few times after they had finished. I found the moment I held my breath and pushed down the pain would ease but I was so very tired. I kept saying I couldn’t do it. And Ester would tell me I am doing it. My hubby would lean forward and whisper in my ear that I had strength and Shasta also kept telling me I was doing it.
I think Shasta pulled me to lie back against the bath and now I really had to push! I could feel my son’s head pushing to get out. Ester told me to hold the push, take a quick breath and push for as long and as hard as I could.
I felt the little head moving through. The ring of fire was uncomfortable but not sore. I felt Ester help guide his little head out and giving me constant encouragement. I heard my husband go, “wow…wooow…WOW”,and his head was out. I took a couple of breaths and then pushed for all of my worth. I didn’t always get the coffee plunger breath right but now I had it! I felt relief as he popped out and was suddenly on my chest.
My hubby told me that Shasta said to him,”So are you going to catch your baby?” and he did, with Ester's help!
The bathwater was drained and my little person was on my chest and we still had no idea if it was a girl or a boy. Apparently, we sat for 10 minutes like that, waiting for the umbilical cord to stop pumping.
My hubby cut the cord and we checked who our little soul was. A boy! My hubby leant over the bath and said, “Is this Bradley?” And I agreed.
Our little Bradley was finally here with us! I was so tired that I didn’t know what emotion to show.
My hubby took Brad to do skin to skin while Ester waited for my placenta. And what a beautiful placenta it was! Healthy and a beautiful tree of life!
I still cannot believe I got to experience this. I am so indebted to Ester, Shasta and my husband for making this happen. Bradley will forever be a part of my heartbeat.