~Guest Blog by Lee Beaumont~Around the end of August 2008 I started to feel a bit off so I thought I may as well do a test just to rule out pregnancy. I was tandem breastfeeding, using condoms and billings. Pregnancy seemed unlikely. I thought for sure it was just exhaustion making me feel so flat.
I got a line and a shadow. It was so faint that I had to hold it in the right light on the right angle for it to be visible. I didn’t get the courage to tell my husband till late that afternoon. We had felt that our family was complete already with our 2 children Ciara 2yrs old, Taj 9 months old at the time. Thankfully he was over the moon. The first thing he asked me was “Have you booked T yet?” (Our IM)
We had our initial appointment with the T, our independent midwife before Mick left for basic training. Just the usual blood pressure, urine tests and a bit of a chat. He was happy with the decision to have T as our midwife.
I did the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of my pregnancy solo. Mick was away for work and my family lived an hour away. My Mum started to come and visit me daily and helped with the kids from about 35 weeks. I was having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions at five minute intervals and was resting all I could to try to delay labour till DH got home for good. Mick had a few days leave where he got to come home and see us all and we spent quite a bit of time fooling around. It set off some pretty serious prelabour with tightenings 5 mins apart lasting for hours at a time but I refused to call the IM until I had something more exciting to tell her than just that we had been fooling around in the bedroom. Saying goodbye was tough because I doubted that he would be back in time for the birth.
37 weeks 2 days:
Mick finally arrived home at 39+2 which is the most pregnant I had ever been. We did all we could to try to encourage bub to vacate but she was having none of that. By 41 weeks I was exhausted, emotional, sick of contractions that did nothing and ready to call it quits. I was fantasising about begging for a stretch and sweep, ARM, anything to get things started. Bub had quietened down movement wise and of course my mind went into overdrive thinking that something was wrong with me being post dates.
39 weeks 2 days:
T came out and checked up on me after a teary phone call and reassured me that bub was fine and just sleeping. She suggested that I book acupuncture to try to get things started. I was stressing so much as we were moving house three weeks after my EDD. She gave me a couple of numbers and I managed to score an appointment for the next afternoon. She told us to keep her updated if anything changed.
That night (Tuesday) at 9:00pm my tightening stretched out to eight minutes apart but got stronger. I couldn’t sleep through them anymore so I spent a couple of hours rocking on the fitball with my laptop on the couch chatting away on Facebook chat and MSN.
At around 5:00am I tried to crawl back into bed but the tightening didn’t let up. Every eight minutes I was being woken by them and it hurt like hell to lie down so I gave up! The kids were up anyway so I made them breakfast and got on with our day, stopping every 8 minutes to rock through a tightening. I had been burning clary sage like a crazy women by this stage. It helped speed up contractions with DS's birth so I was hoping it would help again. I cancelled my acupuncture appointment. There was no way that I was getting in the car with tightening like this! I sent a text message to T to let her know what was happening. She was pretty casual about it all and told me to sms let her know when I felt like I needed her here.
All day and all night the tightening continued. I was dozing lightly between them and pretty much ignoring the kids. Thankfully Mick took them into the yard so that I could have some quiet time. He had partly filled the birth pool that morning and I had showed him where everything was that we would need for the birth. I had oils, candles, towels, and plastic sheeting all ready to go.
At one stage through the day my tightening dropped back to 20 minutes apart. I cried not knowing how much longer I could go on like this. I was getting shooting pains in my hips and thighs. I messaged T to see what she could suggest to relieve the pain and she said to try the bath or walking up the stairs sideways with one foot higher than the other to get bub to shift off the nerve that was causing me grief. It did nothing so I gave up and went back to rocking through tightening. They picked back up to eight minutes apart around 5:00pm.
I was so glad when Mick put the kids to bed for the night. They were making me lose my focus which made the tightening hurt more. If I breathed through them I was fine and they weren't really that bad.
I wandered between our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, backyard. I went upstairs and downstairs just trying to increase the regularity of the tightening. They stubbornly stayed at eight minutes apart the whole time. Mick wanted to call T but I promised DH we would call her when there were three contractions in 10 minutes. Honestly I refused to get excited till my waters broke or I felt a head. I had been labouring for so long that I was kind of in denial that it was ever going to end.
I tried the bathtub upstairs. There was no point filling the pool if I hated being in water. I lasted three contractions before I got really irritated at being confined in the bath. I tried it again in an hour and felt the same. I only lasted three contractions again before I got irate. I didn’t even bother to dress myself after this bath. I just threw on a satin robe and knickers. I had to pee so I went to the toilet in the bathroom and felt a bit of pressure change.
At this stage I realised that labour was starting to pick up in intensity so I went back downstairs to get some snacks to get me through the rest of my labour. I grabbed a muesli bar and made up a jug of Gatorade. I managed one sip of Gatorade before I felt that I needed to empty my bowels. I had been waiting for the diarrhoea to start to clean out my body as a sign that bub was getting closer. I ran to the downstairs toilet before another tightening hit. It felt so good sitting there through the tightening. It was definitely the most comfortable place I had been my whole labour. Strange since I had dreaded the thought of a bathroom stop for the last 2 days.
I had another tightening almost instantly. I called out to DH to call T and he asked what I wanted to tell her. He was still on the computer letting me do my thing. He had no idea what was happening! The robe felt wrong all of a sudden so I ripped it off and threw it out the door. I told him to let her know I felt pressure. First time he called it rang out, 2nd time he got through. By then the head was already out.
He panicked and said to T, “Lee’s pushing!!” He asked her what she wanted him to do and she told him to go and catch his baby and call back when he could and she was on her way.
With the next surge my beautiful gooey baby slipped straight into the toilet bowl. I grabbed her by one arm as she hit the bowl and broke the waters. She was born in the caul.
The feeling of bring my baby who I birthed by myself to my chest was amazing. I instinctively flipped her over so that all the fluid could drain from her mouth and nose. She was a tiny bit gurgly so I left her laying over my arm and rubbing her back while talking to her.
Hubby called T back and she asked if bub was OK and what we have. We hadn’t even thought to check. My heart had been telling me “girl” since conception and I was right. She was breathing fine, I wasn’t bleeding much and everyone was happy so I told her not to rush. Mick grabbed some towels to keep us warm and we all moved to the lounge room.
While T was on her way we did the ring around and let people know that our baby was earthside. When I spoke to my mum she asked if we needed an ambulance? Was she breathing? Was I bleeding too much? Did I need her to rush down to help? I reassured her that everything was perfect and we would let her know when we had more details. I made her promise not to come over that night. All I wanted was to go and crawl into my bed with just the three of us for a little while before the other two children woke for the day.
About 25 minutes after Elliana was born I started to feel contractions again and OMG!! These ones hurt more than my entire labour ones had. Mick had put the colander and bowl on the floor for me while we waited for the placenta to be birthed. After a few more tightenings I felt it drop to my cervix and went and squatted over the bowl and gently pushed and it came out in seconds. It was perfectly whole.
It took T 45 minutes to get to our house thanks to road works and closures. By the time she got there the placenta was in the bowl infront of me, Elliana was happily dozing while feeding and I was desperate for a cup of tea but Mick made me wait till T got there. Big meanie. lol
She did the usual checks on bub and confirmed that she was perfect, checked for tears and helped me have a shower while DH got to know his daughter. Thankfully I had only a tiny graze. She tucked me into bed and said she would be back to check us the next morning. I think she was at our house for less than two hours that night.
We dozed and fed all night. At 5:00am Ciara woke up and came into our bed as she normally does. The kids had no idea what had happened the night before! DD1 was dozing in DH arms and heard Elliana grunt and snuffle.
The look on her face when she realised there was a baby in our bed was magical. “Look Mumma! Baby! She has hands and legs too, Just like me.” ♥ ♥ ♥
49hrs 13 minutes of labour
9lb 4oz (4200g)
9lb 4oz (4200g)
Breastfeeding Elliana, 10 weeks old.
♥ Lee is currently pregnant with baby number 4, and is planning a Freebirth in April 2011 ♥