Baby Angus- July 2013

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On the 23rd of July 2013 @ 11.51pm I birthed my beautiful, precious baby boy at home supported by my amazing husband, my mum & daughter. Along with our two midwives Loralee & Pete, and our doula Nicole.  Hours earlier the homebirth my husband Jeremy and I had wanted so much, seemed like a distant dream. I was 19 days past my “due date” & my waters had broken over 24 hrs ago, we were facing a hospital induction. I was emotionally exhausted, I had been crying nearly every day for the last 2 weeks, and was torn between trusting that my body would birth my baby when the time was right & trying to prepare myself for an induced hospital birth. 

23rd July (19 Days Past EDD) ~ its 3am and I can’t sleep, like every morning over the past couple of weeks, I lay there longing for some kind of sign that labour is near, nothing. I was so sure something would happen overnight, the day before I was walking around with a huge smile on my face knowing that my waters had broken and getting surges on and off.  The tears start, only five more hours and it’ll be 24hrs since my waters broke, a hospital induction seems more and more likely “come on little one, I’m so ready to meet you” I’m pleading with body to release this little one into world. I get up and bounce around on the fit ball, mum wakes up and I make us both a cuppa & some toast. We chat for a while and then Beth wakes and sleepily comes and snuggles up to me on the couch, its 5am, we all head back to bed to try and get some more sleep. Beth falls asleep again quickly next to us, I try to sleep, but again the emotions well up inside of me, the thought of being induced in hospital terrifies me. I decide to have a shower, the water falls over me and I can’t stop the tears, I cry & cry until Jeremy comes in and jumps in with me, he holds me & everything melts away. Oh I wish this little one would come now, where it is safe and warm and welcoming. We are ready.

7am Everyone is up, I suddenly remember it’s Beth’s 8th birthday today, and I completely forgot. We all did! I can’t believe we forgot her special day, I think for a moment, she even forgot. It has been such a busy few days, we have all been wrapped up in waiting for this baby to arrive we forgot about the precious one we have here with us already. I start to cry again. It’s going to be a long day. After birthday wishes, hugs and kisses to little B. We decide to go out for breakfast, for little Bs birthday and to take our mind off “waiting”. On the way, I get a text from our midwife Loralee saying she will be coming to spend the day with us to monitor bubs and myself. We drop into my sister’s place on the way to say goodbye, they are leaving for Karratha that morning, and my little sister won’t get to hold her new niece or nephew until Christmas now. 

8.30am After breakfast, Jeremy & little B head off for some supplies & mum & I go in search of anything that will bring labour on, we pick up some of the dreaded castor oil I had been avoiding & some more liquorice & raspberry leaf tea. I doubt that it will work, I have tired just about everything else by this point. I know bub will come when it’s ready, no amount of hurrying it up will work. I just wish I didn’t feel like we were fighting for our bub to choose its birthday. I wish we could just hide until baby is born.

10am We arrive home and Loralee is waiting for us, Jeremy & B arrive soon after. Jeremy, Loralee & I talk about our next step and what is happening with the hospital and our Dr. We agree to organising some IV antibiotics to buy us more time at home. We decide that if nothing happens, we will go into hospital Wed afternoon maybe Thurs morning if we can push it.  Loralee calls our Dr and arranges for a script to be faxed through to the chemist in Bunbury, Jeremy will go into town and collect later. Jeremy takes B for a walk and I take some castor oil and go for a walk to clear my head. I listen to my hypnobirthing affirmations and walk slowly through the wind. It is a grey & cloudy afternoon, the wind is howling through the trees, I close my eyes and feel it cold against my face. I wish I could stay here away from the world, away from hospital rules and protocol, away from the fears of others,  the pressure I feel to have this baby here and now is suffocating. I do not fear for this baby growing inside of me, this little person is strong and will not be rushed, bub kicks me strong and knowingly. They have taken their time to come to me, when they finally come it will be perfect. I meet Jeremy on the way back, I have taken over an hour, I feel lighter not so weighed down by everything. This baby & I will make our own way, we are supported & loved.

3pm Jeremy and I retreat to the sanctuary of our bedroom, for the last two weeks he has been trying to practice some hypnobirthing with me, but I have been too wired, too emotionally raw to let him help me go within and take a break from my endless thoughts & waiting. Now, he burns some clary sage, puts on our hypnobirth music and reads a deepening script to me. I instantly relax, why didn’t I let him help me earlier? The wind outside is comforting, the rain is starting to fall heavily. I am calm & at peace with whatever path our birth journey takes. Jeremy massages my belly with clary sage, long smooth endless strokes, his touch is comforting. My belly starts to surge, I am deep in relaxation, at first I think I am dreaming them. They feel good, I will them to get stronger, to stay. Jeremy kisses me, he has to leave to pick up the antibiotics before the chemist closes. I hold his kiss, I want him to stay with me to experience this with me, this moment just us. We kiss some more, it’s like our first kisses, I have missed him, I have been too wound up in a ball of emotions to let him embrace me like this in ages. Its bliss, I don’t want him to go. He tells me not to wait for him, I’m surprised, are my surges that strong? . I open my eyes and see his beautiful big grin smiling down on me, “I can feel them” he tells me. I smile back and squeeze his hand. Jeremy leaves and I fall into a deep sleep. 

I am wakened by waves of surges passing over my belly, they stayed! , they are coming stronger and higher. Its dark, the house is quiet apart from the chatter of little B & grandma in the kitchen. I lay there excited, I watch the waves fall over me, they are regular & strong. Suddenly I remember Jeremy isn’t home, what time is it? I call out, can someone ring Jeremy, how far away is he? I feel an urgency to be near him again. I know the baby is not close yet, but closer than it has been, he needs to be here. 

I don’t know what time it is when I make my way down to the lounge, I lay on the couch. The surges are  still good and strong, yet comfortable. Where is Jeremy I ask no-one in particular. Mum tells me he’s not far away. I relax into the waves, I try to quieten the excitement within me. L comes and listens to baby, nice strong heart beat, I think she takes my temp & Blood pressure, I can’t remember. She smiles at me , her smile reassures me this is “it”. I don’t want it to stop I tell her. L brings me some clary sage on some tissue, I inhale it deeply, its smell is calming, I hope it brings on stronger surges. I listen for Jeremy to come home, my eyes are closed and I am in my cocoon.

Jeremy is at my side, he kisses me on the head. I am so glad to see him! I ask for my hypnobirthing affirmations and he brings my iphone and headphones  to me. I lay back and listen & breathe. I ask him to call Nicole our doula. The house seems to be picking up with noise, the headphones help to block out the quiet chatter and rustling around the house. The surges pick up, they feel good, I call for Jeremy, I squeeze his hand and get up on my hands and knees on the couch. I hear noises coming from within me, I haven’t heard before, at first I am surprised by them, they sound so different than before,  they take over me and I try to quiet them. But then I let go and follow my body, if I moan or hum on my exhalation it releases the tension, I relax into a pattern of rocking back and forth and moaning or humming through the surges. I feel like I am roaring loudly, I hope that B isn’t worried by the sounds I am making.

Then, the castor oil takes effect! I run to the toilet it feels like a hundred times in between surges. I can’t believe I took the castor oil! Jeremy has filled the pool, and asks me if I want to get in, I tell him “ I can’t get in the pool, I have the shits!” Bloody castor oil! 

When I feel like I’ve finally finished running back and forth to the loo to poo! I decide to get in the pool. I can’t remember getting down to the other end of the house, but all of a sudden I’m in the water on my hands and knees. It feels soooo good, the surges are coming at me stronger now, I lean over the side of the pool and hold Jeremy’s hands. He helps me gather my concentration and go deeper within to my breath. I use all my focus to ride each wave with my breath. N our doula arrives, she holds my hand and tells me she’s here. Her hand feels cool and soft and small, it is a comfort to know she is here. I need the loo again, and Jeremy & N help me out of the pool as fast I can go, I get to the toilet just on time. I wish I would just stop sh@$$%^&. Sitting on the toilet feels good, I push against the walls with my hands and try and get into a rhythm again. I get into a good rhythm, and don’t want to move. N suggests I get into the pool again, that bubs is close. I don’t want to move, I’m happy here, I’m comfortable. After a couple of more surges I agree to get in the pool again. Jeremy & Nicole support me through my surges & keep me focused with affirmations. The surges are crashing into one another, over and over, I know I have to concentrate really hard on breathing down to bubs and letting myself go with each one. It takes me a while but soon I’m releasing myself over to my body and visualising each surge as a wave crashing on the shore. Jeremy never leaves my side, our connection is so intense, he knows when I’m surging even when I have become quiet and gone within to bubs,  he counts down as each one from its peak until it subsides. I feel like baby, Jeremy & I are all one, working together in unison. 

Loralee suggests I hop out at this point as she thinks my labour may be slowing down a little, I have no idea what time it is or how long I have been in the pool for. I try to wait for a break in my surges to stand up and get out of the pool, they are coming over and over, so I just gather myself and urge my legs to stand as a surge crashes down against the shore, it takes all my effort to lift my leg over the side of the pool. Jeremy & Nicole support me and help me to the bathroom again, I tried to move as quickly as I can, it is intense to walk and my legs feel wobbly. I get to the bathroom and sit on the toilet again. Jeremy sits down in front of me and I press my forehead against his as I place my hands behind his neck. Nicole sprays some rescue remedy into my mouth. I try and focus and get into a rhythm yet again. Loralee asks if she can check how things are progressing, I agree. I don’t feel tired, and feel like it will be a while before bubs comes. I don’t want to know how far along I am, I just want to concentrate on going with my surges. Jeremy & Nicole help me back into the pool, it feels miles away, when it is only just few metres! 

I think at this point Loralee, Nicole & Jeremy try to get me into a more favourable position to help things keep moving along. I get on all fours and try poking my butt in the air! Nicole pushes down on my lower back and I push against her. It is a really good relief from the surges.  After a while Loralee suggests I get out of the pool again & do these crazy lunges! At first I wonder what she means, she gives me a demo lifting her leg up onto one of our kitchen chairs. I don’t think I’ll be able to do them, but I figure what the heck and give it a go. I hold onto Jeremy for support and just go for it, first one leg then the other swapping legs each time I feel a surge.  At first it feels very weird, but once I get into a rhythm it feels great and I just keep on going! I don’t know how many I do before Loralee has a quick check to see how things are progressing, the lunges have done the trick and bubs is close. (I had no idea at the time, but find out later that Angus’ head was starting to crown) I hold onto Jeremy and squat down through the next few surges, the feeling of my surges has changed and I keep holding my breath and feel like I’m losing  my focus, Nicole, Loralee & Jeremy keep reminding me not to hold my breath and to focus my energy down to my baby. Loralee says the bubs is really close and it’s time to get in the pool again. I don’t want to, I don’t want to get back in, if I have to get back out again I say. Nicole, Loralee & Jeremy keep telling me bubs really is almost here, but I don’t believe them! I still don’t feel or realise that bubs head is just there.

I get back in the pool & by this time I’m starting to wonder if I can keep going, I am physically tired and feel like I’ve run a marathon. I remember thinking that if I feel like I absolutely cannot keep going, that bubs must be really close. I try to remind myself this, but I wonder if I have enough energy to get bubs out. Loralee grabs my attention and starts to read some of the affirmations I had written and placed around the house. She reads them to me slowly and strongly, she tells me I can do it. I am so grateful, the words lift me and give me focus again. I can do this, I will do this, I’m ready. I get on all fours again and Nicole and Mum push down my lower back again as I push back against them during the surges. Soon I start to feel bubs head, I am getting impatient and start to bear down as long and as hard as I can. Just when I start to feel bubs head getting close, the surge stops and it disappears again. I turn over and lean against the pool, Jeremy is behind me supporting me, I look up and see mum & little B sitting on the couch. Bubs is really close and I put my hand down to feel its head. I’m surprised it feels sort of rubbery, surely that can’t be the sack?! 

The room seems like it has gone really quiet all of a sudden, it is just me and bubs in this moment surrounded by such love and support. I feel really peaceful and connected to my body and my baby. I give a few really good pushes and bubs head is out! I wait for the rest of bubs, and wonder why the rest of him is not coming out quicker! I have no idea how this is supposed to feel like after my last experience. I ask is he coming yet? Loralee tells me gently that he’s going to turn first and then he’ll come. It is just then that I start to feel him turn, I am in awe of what I’m feeling. I am still touching his head and I can feel  him turning & kicking me at the same time. It is amazing. It is then I look up and see Pete our other back up midwife, I am surprised to see him, I had no idea he was even here. He is sitting on the chair quietly watching, he has a beautifully calm presence. After a couple of more surges bubs still hasn’t come out yet, Pete leans over and so quickly and quietly helps bubs shoulders out and I lift my little one up to me! I feel so peaceful, it is a quietly wonderful moment, I soak up this beautiful little person in my arms at last. I feel like I am dreaming, a dream I had dreamt so many times before but now a reality. Little B and Jeremy are beside me, I am, in that moment, so content and happy


After a little while, Beth whispers I wonder if it’s a brother or a sister?! We promised little B that she would be the one to find out first, I ask her if she wants to find out? She comes round to the other side of me and has a look. It’s a brother! She seems so happy but starts to cry, Jeremy worried she might be upset that she got a brother and not a sister, asks her why she’s crying, she replies “ I’m just so happy! I’ve never cried tears of joy before”. 

Jeremy gets into the pool next to me and cuddles our new baby boy for the first time, Beth eagerly awaits her turn, she cuts the cord and she takes her pj top off and gets to have some skin on skin time with her long awaited little brother. Born on her 8th birthday.

© Diana Fischer 2017