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Birth of Eadie (22-07-2023)

Saturday the 22nd of July 2023 at 0941 was the most magical moment of our life. The moment we met our beautiful daughter Eadie May, born in our home with so much love and support from my partner Brad and our amazing midwives Jas and Jenny.

I should mention that throughout my pregnancy and birth preparation I had visualised my birth at home, I visualized a safe and beautiful birth, I knew water would play a massive part, I visualised it would be a weekend, that it would be raining, and I would birth in the morning. I had purchased croissants even for the freezer as I knew we would all need breakfast after birth. I also visualized the number 2 and that I would go into labour before my estimated date.

The day before on the Friday at 37 +6 Brad and I had gone for a drive, as we were driving back along the coast I asked him if I should message Jas and Jenny to see if they were popping in over the weekend since we would be 38 weeks tomorrow and to get the birth pool to have here and make sure we had everything ready to birth at home. I was talking myself out of it, because I didn’t want to be a bother and thought I’m sure they will get in touch when they’re free. Brad said just message, they won’t mind. I sent Jas a text and she messaged to say they had planned to come today but they needed to go to Launceston unexpectedly and said they would aim to visit tomorrow on the Saturday. This was perfect and I was excited to see them, I always looked forward to their visits throughout my pregnancy. They felt like family and always felt so comfortable with them in our home.

I remember that afternoon so vividly we got home, and I said to Brad we need to clean both our cars in and out, I had a sudden urge that both cars needed to be cleaned. It was a big afternoon at almost 38 weeks cleaning both cars, but it was a beautiful afternoon. We had just finished, and my parents called in to visit. I was pretty exhausted, and we came inside for a drink. Despite being tired I wasn’t able to sit, and I couldn’t get comfortable. My lower back was a bit achy and I honestly thought I had overdone it with the cars. Brads friend then called in for a drink and whilst they had a beer in the shed, I laid over the fit ball and rocked to stretch out my back and I had also been doing this daily towards the end of my pregnancy to hopefully help baby be in an optimal position for birth. As our friend left, he popped his head inside to say goodbye and jokingly said you’re not in labour are you. I laughed and said no!! Gosh hindsight is a funny thing.

I went to bed early that night as I felt achy and I couldn’t get comfortable on the couch. I laid in bed for hours and I could not sleep, I was just wide awake. Brad was watching a movie and hearing it was making me irritable at midnight I came out and asked if he was coming to bed soon. I feel asleep for an hour and woke at 1ish to a wet sensation in my undies. It was only a small amount but felt like maybe a lot of discharge thought it maybe have been some mucous as I knew that could happen in the weeks prior to birth. I got up, it didn’t look like mucous, but I was like maybe it is my mucous plug. I wasn’t sure but I just changed my undies and pj bottoms and went back to bed. I felt a bit like I was going to get my period a little crampy but I just thought my body is getting ready for the next few weeks. I couldn’t get back to sleep, I just felt awake. I laid there for a bit. I ended up getting up and heating the heat pack for my back. At about 2:30 I got out of bed, I knelt beside the bed leaning on the bed, with the heat pack resting on my back and swaying from side to side. The heat pack kept falling off which was super annoying. I remember thinking is this like a Braxton hicks thing, or I had listened to so many birth story podcasts and women saying they would have niggles overnight and then stop by morning. So, I thought it was that. I did think to myself that gosh I’d be tired if I had to do this every night until labour. The cramping and back pain continued and noticed it was coming and going with a bit more of a rhythm. I had remembered seeing a post on Instagram from a midwife about signs of labour. For some silly reason I made it my mission to scroll back through her whole Instagram page looking for this exact post whist swaying from side to side on the bed. I found it and then I thought could this actually be labour. I think back about all that and laugh, how was I so naive. I downloaded a contraction timer app and thought I would time them and see if there was any regularity to them. The surges were ranging from 5-7 mins. I thought maybe this is actually it. I remember holding my belly and saying is 'this the day I meet you baby girl'. Such a special and surreal feeling.

I woke Brad between 3/3:30ish, I said 'Brad I think I might be in labour', I still laugh at how quickly he sat up in bed and said 'What do you mean you think?' I said 'Well I haven’t been in labour before so I’m not sure'. He said 'Should we message Jas and Jenny?' I said 'No, I reckon it will have petered out by morning plus it’s early in the morning let them rest'. I got in the shower which the warm water was really lovely, because I was feeling it all in my back. When I got out of the shower I decided to put the TENS on, I wasn’t sure if I was in actual labour but I remembered people saying it’s best to be put on early and to build with you. Brad said there was no harm and may as well give it a try. Brad placed the TENS on my back and I naturally went back to kneeling with my arms and head resting on the bed swaying from side to side. The surges felt like they were starting to become a bit more regular and like a wave it would build and then fall away. I noticed I was using the boost button on the TENS with them. I was also closing my eyes with a surge and really going within. I’d like to say I was peaceful but I was very vocal throughout labour and used sound to ride the wave of each surge. It still amazes me the deep visceral sound that came out, my body took over.

As I was swaying and kneeling over the bed, I had this weird thought that if this is labour then I think we should change the sheets for the occasion, who knows why this was my thought considering we had to change them again after birth anyway haha but at like five in the morning brad is rushing around changing the sheets while supporting me when a surge would come. If I could be a fly on the wall as he was rushing around, changing sheets, stoking the fire it would be a good laugh.

Brad was helping me time the surges with the app, each time I would press the boost button on the TENS he would time the surge. The app said 5 mins apart and you should go to hospital. Brad said 'I know we are staying home but do you think we should message Jas and Jenny?' I kept saying 'No let them sleep. If this is labour then we should strap in because it will be the long haul'. I was thinking this may be early labour but I’d still be going at teatime.

At 06:23 Brad said 'I’m messaging them, the noises you are making sound different'. I said 'Okay' because the surges were starting to get quite intense and more regular. The pain was very intense in my back but the TENS helped so much. I was trying to sway through the pain but I agreed something had shifted. Brad wrote a message on my phone that said 'Good morning Brad here, we are pretty sure Danieka's gone into labour, please give me a call when you can'. He initially wrote "Danieka is in labour" but I made him reword it to say "we think Danieka is in labour" haha I still didn’t believe it was happening.

Jas rang back straight away, Brad had her on speaker phone. We both felt so calm hearing her voice and felt so safe and supported. Jas was asking some questions and I was unable to answer them with the intensity of the surges. Brad was trying his best to answer them, while she was on the phone I had a surge and I began making this deep mooing sound or a meditative chant. Jas heard this and I remember her clearly saying 'Brad, Danieka is definitely in labour I’ll get hold of Jenny and we will be there soon'. To ring back if anything changes. We both felt a sense of calm knowing they were on their way.

Jas and Jenny had only gotten home from Launceston at 5 am that morning and Jenny had told Jas that they had no babies due until us in a few weeks so she was putting her phone in the lounge so she could get some sleep after getting home so early in the morning. Jas had to call Jenny’s niece to go to her house to wake her, Jenny niece said 'Jas is trying to ring you, one of your mums is in labour'. Jenny was like 'Who, no one is due' haha !! I would have loved to have seen her face.

Jas had recommended trying the bath or getting back in the shower to help with the back pain. I thought I would try the bath. Brad ran the bath but when it was time to leave the bedroom and walk to the main bathroom, I couldn’t walk out the door, the sun was rising it was light and I just didn’t want to leave my little cocoon in our bedroom. I felt safe and in control in our room. So Brad turned on the shower in our bathroom, he aimed our double headed shower directly onto my back. I was on all fours in the shower with my head resting in the bottom shower niche, Brad kept supplying me with cool washers to rest my head on. Thank goodness we had gas hot water as I could not leave the shower. When a surge would come, I would begin to moo/chant and Brad would apply deep pressure to my lower back with the water. He did this until Jas and Jenny arrived.

It was raining that morning as I had visualised. Jenny messaged that they were on their way and sent a picture of a beautiful big rainbow that was over Sulphur Creek on their drive. The photo was sent with the message 'It’s a beautiful day to birth a baby'. They said it was a sign that it was going to be a great birth. Rainbows have a strong significance to my Nan who has passed, and Brad came into the shower and said to me, 'There is a big rainbow out over us, Nan is with you darling'. I then broke down into tears and said 'I don’t know if I can do this. This is so painful'. In my mind I was thinking if I have to do this all day, I’ll have to go to hospital for pain relief which is not what I wanted to do.

Jas and Jenny arrived at 0800 I remember Brad and our labradoodle Sailor greeting them at the door. Jenny welcomed Brad with a huge hug and said 'We’re going to have a baby!' She said 'Now where is our beautiful mama?'. Jenny came into the shower to me and Brad helped Jas unload the car.

My surges were 2 mins apart, I was feeling the pain all in my back and so much bottom pressure. However I remember the feeling of calm, peace and safety I felt as soon as they arrived, I felt warm and cocooned. I knew I was okay now, I trusted them. Jenny came in and she said 'Good morning sweetheart, how are you going? Let’s have a baby mama!!'

I had thought when I visualized my birth with water that I would birth in the birth pool but I realize now the water for me was the shower. Jenny was there all of a few seconds and she yelled out to Jas 'Don’t worry about the birth pool we don’t have time'. I remember thinking what do you mean? I want the birth pool. Little did I realize how close I was to meeting our baby girl.

Jenny asked if she could check me to see how far dilated I was. She said 'I know you didn’t want checks, but this seems to be happening quickly and we just want to be sure we are where we think we are'. I remember I had my face buried in the face washer in the shower niche and saying ‘What if I’m not as far as I think I am’. I was crying saying it really hurt and that I have so much pressure in my bottom. Something shifted in that moment. I was checked and was 9cm dilated, all I remember was thank goodness because it helped my mindset so much knowing my body was doing what it needed to and that I would meet our baby girl soon. Meanwhile Jas and Brad had been preparing the bedroom and birth space.

At 0825 Jenny told me it was time to get out of the shower and hop onto the bed, that it was time to meet her. I remember I didn’t want to leave the shower as I had a rhythm and managing the pain best with the hot water and rocking of my hips. The transfer to the bed was quite uncomfortable especially with the pressure in my bottom.

I initially laid on my left side, I remember the moment Brad came and laid on the bed with me, he held my hand and stroked my head and said ‘You’ve got this, let’s meet our girl I love you’. I felt so strong and so empowered and so loved at this time. I felt like a warrior.

The pushing phase was by far the hardest for me I pushed for just under an hour. I initially started pushing laying on my back with the aim to slow things down. As my labour was so quick if I stood with gravity Jas and Jenny felt she may come out too quickly and in turn I would tear. I felt it difficult to push her head out, I seemed to run out of steam each surge. Jas suggested I put my fingers in to feel her head which gave me an extra oomph to try meet her. I had a cervical lip which Jas helped to manage while Jenny pressed on acupressure points. They both were so positive and encouraging with their knowledge, instructions and beautiful affirmations. I not once felt worried or scared. I felt loved, supported and in the best care. Brad was my absolute rock, his positive mindset and support unwavering. He trusted me and I felt that.

Jenny and Jas suggested I try a squat position to allow gravity to assist, trying to get into a squat from lying on your back was an absolute mission with my belly and all the pressure. They all helped to pull and push me up. Brad stood at the end of the bed and he physically held me up while I continued to push. The energy was electric, we all knew her birth was close. I felt in that moment so loved and so at peace, despite the absolute ring of fire below. The change in position really helped and I felt her descend further, I was able to birth her head the burning pain and pressure was indescribable. Once her head had been birthed Jas and Jenny helped me onto all fours to slow the ejection reflex and prevent tearing. It was now I was able to reach back and feel her head and all her hair. Jenny held a mirror for me to see and give me that extra encouragement to keep going. The adrenaline was insane my whole body was shaking, I knew we were close.

It wasn’t too long after at 0941 that I pushed her out and she was here earthside with us. Jas placed her straight up onto my lower back for immediate skin to skin. I reached my hand immediately round to touch her, I was crying tears of pure happiness and relief.

Our little girl was here with us in our arms, born quickly and safely at home with so much love and support. Her birth was absolute magic and the best day ever. I reflect on that day so often and feel so blessed to have been supported by Jas and Jenny to feel so comfortable with them in our home to welcome our daughter.

Jas and Jenny passed her through my legs, and I came back to rest on my back, I sat absolutely exhausted but in absolute awe of the beauty that lay directly on my chest. She was perfect. Within 10 mins I was able to have a physiological third stage and birthed the placenta, to which Jenny took great care of and encapsulated for me. I had a small trickle of blood loss so had a syntocin injection to be sure. Once the cord had stopped pulsating, Brad cut the cord.

Jenny and Jas absolutely showered us with so much love and allowed us to have our bubble together as a new family. Brad, Eadie and I laid in our own bed as we snuggled our girl. We both so smitten and in disbelief.

I said to Brad ‘Peanut (which she was affectionately known while pregnant) is here’. We couldn’t believe she was born on the 22nd we found out we were pregnant on the 22/11/22. The number 22 has brought us so much happiness and luck since Eadie arrived. I then said ‘Happy Birthday Darling !’ And ‘I did it at home hunni'. I was in such disbelief that she was here and at home.

We announced that she was Eadie May and had an absolute flood of emotions announcing her to the universe.

Jas and Jenny left us to enjoy some time just together and Sailor got to meet her sister. They made us croissants and a cup of tea which we had in bed. We both looked at each other and said how lucky we are to have this experience.

Jenny helped me up to shower, she pampered me with so much care. (She did make extra work for herself when she flooded the bathroom!) Jas did a few checks of Eadie with Brad and helped him dress her and swaddle her. I will never forget that first moment I saw him hold Eadie, my heart exploded with so much love.

At about 1300 Jas and Jenny had tidied up, ensured we were okay and left us to be as a family. As soon as the door closed we both looked at each other and said 'What do we do now?' We enjoyed the afternoon in bed, cuddling our girl and just overwhelmed with love of the magical moment that had just happened. We then were able to ring and facetime all our family whom we shocked with her arrival being 2 weeks early.

Our postpartum care with Jas and Jenny was incredible, every check of Eadie and myself attended in our home, we didn’t have to leave our bubble. I reflect so fondly of that special time bonding with Eadie and each other with genuine support, knowledge and guidance as we started parenthood.

To have in home support for breastfeeding too was beyond amazing. I wholeheartedly believe my pregnancy, birth and postpartum was due to the wonderful care, support and love I received.

The 22nd of July 2023 will always be the most magical day ever. We are beyond grateful for the beautiful love and care we received from Jas and Jenny. I don’t even have the words to express how I feel about them both, it’s a feeling when they are around or when I think of them, it’s a feeling of family. They are forever part of our family and for that we are beyond blessed xx

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