LEAH HOWARD

8 APRIL 2020 - 15:30

Leah's due date was the 4 April. That day came and went and I was very emotional and unsure of when Leah would arrive. On the morning of 7 April, I woke up very at peace. I baked, did housework, did a yoga flow. After dinner that evening I went to have a bath. I had been having very mild cramps for the past few days. When I got out of the bath the mild cramps began to intensify but I didn't think anything of it as I didn't want to get my hopes up. I got into bed with my husband and the cramps began to intensify more. So I got into the bath again at about 9 pm. The excitement began to rise. After an hour or so in the bath, I had a shower and washed my hair.

When I got out of the shower we began timing the contractions to see if they were regular. They were about 6 min apart and 1 min in duration. I tried to sleep but the contractions were getting too intense.

When I could no longer talk through a contraction, my husband contacted Ester, my midwife and Shasta my doula, and they said we could head to Genesis. When we left home, at about 11ish my contractions were 3 min apart and they become more frequent during the car drive to Genesis.

We arrived at Genesis at about 11:30 pm, my contractions slowed down completely. Shasta and Ester arrived shortly after us. I was 4cm dilated at this point. We relaxed a bit and settled into the room. Then Shasta took me to walk up and down the stairs and do some squats. It kicked everything into gear and my contractions become more intense and more frequent. When we got back to the room I laboured a bit and then got into the bath. The water really helped with the intensity and everything felt like it went quite quickly from there.

The pushing stage was very challenging for me as I was struggling to hold my breath and push down. But with Shasta's coaching and support, and Ester's support I managed to get through it.

It is amazing how capable our bodies are. At one stage I could feel her head crowning and I few more pushes and she was on my chest. We did not know her gender and we thought she was a boy, so it was a wonderful surprise hearing she was a girl.

Leah Luna was born at 3:30 am on 8 April, at 3.1kg. It was made even more special as it was also my husband's and my 3rd wedding anniversary and a pink super full moon.

I have to say I could not have gotten through the labour without Shasta, Ester and my amazing husband. There are no words to describe how grateful my husband and I are for them.

A big thank you goes out to Norma and Fanny. They looked after us so well. Also the staff and all the nurses at Genesis are incredible. They made our stay so wonderful. And we cannot thank them enough.

Remember how powerful and amazing your body is. It knows what to do, trust it. Natural childbirth is one of the most amazing and life-changing experiences, don't fear it.

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