Amy's motherhood story - My unplanned home birth
I’m one of ‘those’ Mummas that are considered lucky when it comes to giving birth. But, I beg to differ. I’m the ‘I can have a baby quicker than my husband can poop type’, like that meme that pops up in your newsfeed from time to time.
Lucky in some ways, like not enduring loooooong painful labour pains for days on end, but the high shock value of quick labours can be a bit daunting. In fact after having my first little boy pretty quickly (post-birth report noted 3 hours) my husband and I were kind of worried my second birth would be even quicker. We'd been told second time around is a lot faster. Since we would have a toddler to consider this time and the hospital isn’t exactly around the corner, my midwife even seriously told me to keep towels in the car in case we didn't make it. My husband and I laughed (very nervously of course) at the thought of this but we did have some real concerns of getting to the hospital on time. I swear I saw my husband go a very pale shade of white when I told him about the towels, he’s the most squirmy person even, faints at needles, cringes at blood or even the word placenta.
My first baby boy, Hayden, was 10 days early so I was kind of expecting to be early again second time around, but I got right up to 40 weeks exactly. Cooper not only has a very exciting birth story (keep reading to find out) but he is one of the 3% of babies born on their actual due date. This kid is destined for greatness I swear.
How my labour started...
I woke up at about 3am on my due date with a pain in my back and I instantly knew 'today was the day'. Then some mild contractions started, so I laid in bed timing them and listening to a calm birthing/hypnobirthing track to distract me. At that stage they were 10 minutes apart and pretty mild. I texted my midwife to let her know it had started but didn't hear back. After about half an hour I decided to call my mother-in-law and get her to come over and look after our toddler. My contractions were then about 5 minutes apart and getting a bit more intense.
I texted my midwife again as I didn't hear back the first time but she was on her day off and told me to call her number to be connected with my back up midwife. Both my midwives knew the possibility of a very quick labour and my concerns of getting to hospital on time, so I was pretty shocked when someone completely different answered. My back-up midwife was off too after being on all night with another patient.
This midwife was pretty flippant and advised me not to come in until I was having 4 contractions in 10 minutes...she wasn't aware of how my first labour was so wasn't too worried about us getting there in time.
Things start to get intense...
At this point I got my husband up to help me, my back was killing me and the pain was so intense by then! My contractions were getting so intense and so close together, probably more than 4 in 10 minutes. I started feeling nauseous which I didn't know at the time was the transition into the second stage. We made the decision to get ready and go into the hospital, my mother-in-law was a few minutes away by this stage so I jumped in the shower.
Suddenly I just knew my waters had broken and then I noticed my mucus plug had come out too. I couldn't move either there was so much pressure and pain, I knew we were in trouble, things had moved very quickly. I managed to get out and start getting dressed, ready to make a dash to the hospital, my husband was having a quick shower when suddenly I needed to start pushing! During this time our toddler was also awake and watching everything. Following me around as they usually do. I was gritting my teeth pushing, standing over the bed, trying to tell my toddler that ‘Mummy’s ok darling’, all while the head was actually crowning.
My husband called the midwife to update her and she'd told me to try and not push – um yeah right lady, as if I couldn't! This baby was coming and was well and truly making his entrance into the world. I told him to hang up and call an ambulance. The toddler and our 2 dogs were still hovering around at this point, watching while I was trying to stay calm for them.
This baby was coming...
By the time my husband got connected to an operator, the baby's head was pretty much out. I was told to either lay on the bed or the floor and in that moment I actually thought NO WAY, not the bed, that’s a brand new Adairs doona, we ain’t wrecking that! So my husband laid me down on the floor, which we had literally just had the carpets steam cleaned too. I was thinking 'why did I even bother with that?'
At this very moment we were lucky my mother-in-law and brother-in-law (who had just come along for the ride to help entice my 2 year old to go back to their house...awks much?) just got there. They had no idea what they were walking into, but my MIL helped us while my brother-in-law looked after our 2 year old (thank goodness for pre-recorded Paw Patrol episodes).
Time to push...
We kept wondering where the ambulance was, they were taking a while. You always expect an ambulance to just be there so quickly, but this baby wasn’t waiting. With my next contraction and push, this baby was coming out. The operator gave my husband instructions on what he needed to do to deliver our baby. And then literally just like that, one last push (was only 3 in total) my husband delivered our beautiful baby boy Cooper Owen on our bedroom floor!
Actually we didn’t know for about 5 minutes if our baby was a boy or girl, no one thought to check, it wasn’t until the operator asked what we had, we were all in too much shock and just hoping everything was ok.
I then got to lay there on our very own bedroom floor (dog beds and all behind me, so hygienic right?), with our beautiful baby boy on my chest for about 10-15 minutes while we waited for the paramedics, it was just absolutely amazing and so surreal. He was just perfect and completely healthy too, he got given the perfect score from the paramedics and my husband got a pretty good wrap for his midwifery skills too. He is a plumber by trade soooo….
Even though we'd been worried through the whole pregnancy about not making the hospital, we wouldn't have changed Cooper’s arrival for the world. It was such a beautiful experience and my husband was just so brave and amazing delivering our son all on his own. As I mentioned, he’s such a squeamish person but he made me so proud. He was so scared, his voice sounded so worried and stressed but he was so calm, he was just beyond incredible. He did go into shock though and was so vague and out of it for the rest of the day, he was in worse shape than me and I was the one that had the baby!
It was definitely surreal arriving to the hospital by ambulance with our baby in my arms already. It wasn’t quite our birth plan but it will be a day we will never ever forget and will make a great 21st birthday story for Cooper. You can still sort of see the marks left on the carpet from the blood and fluid even though my poor mother-in-law spent the morning cleaning up after. It’s such a beautiful reminder and I’m definitely more attached to our home now which will make it hard to sell if there ever comes a time.
And next baby I think we'll just plan a home birth from the start, or I’ll just camp out the front of the hospital in the last few weeks. Especially after being told from my waters breaking to birth was only 7 minutes!
Pre-kids I played netball and basketball which I have actually just started up again with some other mum friends. We are called the Mum Buns and we are actually pretty good…watch this space, premiers 2018...
Currently on maternity leave round 2 but I have a degree in business/marketing. However my recent roles has seen me a bit of jack of all trades around the office. I have also started a side project called Little Loves Collective which is a locally based business directory and blog that showcases and supports local baby & kids businesses.
Hood: Mt Evelyn/Yarra Valley
Children: 2 boys - 2 and a half and 9 months old
Motherhood in 5 words: Amazing, exhausting, busy, frustrating, enriching.
Fav family friendly place: Our favourite park, Morrisons Reserve. It overlooks the Yarra Valley, has a lovely playground and lots of space for the fur babies to chase the ball too. There’s never anyone there, it’s such a calm peaceful spot.
Coffee order: Skinny mocha (Self-confessed chocoholic. Even my coffee has to have a bit of chocolate too).
Biz: Little Loves Collective
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