"I thought I’d share my home birthing birth story from Thursday! And at the end I share a little bit about my experience as a Plus-Size pregnant woman.
Baby Flynn arrived at 12.01pm this Thursday, 3.91kgs, a very pink healthy bubba!
He arrived 29 hours after my waters broke the morning before. My labour started almost right away after my waters broke, the surges pretty quickly came to 5 minutes apart but they weren’t very intense for the first 19 hours. Up until this point I had been blissfully unaware and totally overconfident in this whole birth thing. I thought “If this is labour this is totally gonna be a breeze”!! I did a hypnobirthing course with Tina from The Birth Collective which totally revolutionized my view of childbirth. They teach positive birthing, which basically means you let go of the fear and trust your body knows what to do.
I had almost no fear going into the birth and I think this course was responsible for my naive optimism in early labour 😂 which to be honest isn’t a bad thing! Being the opposite and worrying about birth would not have helped either and would’ve made the experience worse.
But - I had back labour (and in the front, but it was nothing compared to be back), and when the surges kicked up a notch it was extremely intense.
It was around this time I called in my doula as l needed that extra moral support, she arrived at about 1am on Thursday. She talked me through this time more intense time and I know I was able to handle it so much better with her words of encouragement and just her reassuring presence. So this stage lasted for about 10 hours and then the pushing stage started and that’s when I hopped in the birth pool. I would’ve gotten in earlier but we didn’t realise how far along in labour I was as my surges stayed at 5 minutes apart for almost all labour.
So that’s a note for you guys - just because your surges aren’t 2-3 minutes apart consistently doesn’t mean you’re not progressing. My surges stayed 5 minutes till right at the very end. Which apparently can be common with back labour.
Getting towards transition, I did have thoughts during this time that this was “too hard” and “I can’t do this anymore”- and I did feel guilty for having these feelings because I wanted that blissful hypnobirthing experience. But I realise now that birth looks different for everyone, and you know what I did do it! It wasn’t too hard as I did the damn thing. And now I have my beautiful baby. So don’t feel like you have to feel a certain way or it has to happen a certain way.
So luckily my midwife had decided to come see how things were going even though my surges weren’t 2-3 minutes apart. I did message her just as she hopped in the car and she could tell from how much more intense my surges were that it was starting to happen and it turned out to be perfect timing for her arrival. The midwife arrived just around when I started the “pushing” stage. This “pushing” stage lasted about 2 hours. All I can say is thank god for the birthing pool and the encouraging support of my midwife and support team.
A memory stands out - just as my midwife arrived and I started feeling the urge to push, she came to me and put her hand on my arm and spoke kind words of encouragement and they honestly helped me so much in that moment.
For the most part I did not consciously choose to push, my body just did it during my surges. If I wasn’t feeling this urge I just didn’t push. And no coached pushing from my team of course!
Babies head went in and out what felt like 50 times 😂 but obviously wasn’t that much. At one point I think I said to the midwife something like “can you just tell me how many more times this is going to happen I just need to know!!”My midwife was very encouraging, saying this was a good thing to slowly bit by bit stretch out the muscles so I don’t tear.
And with one final involuntary push the babies head and body come shooting out super quick! I ended up with only 2 very minor tears and no stitches needed.
I didn’t think I’d done my hypnobirthing course much justice and I thought I was just yelling and moaning the whole time. But apparently on the outside everyone said I did so well and I was breathing and flopping through surges (most of the time). And my moaning was mostly that low primal animalistic moaning rather than screaming or swearing 😂
And every time I got that urge to push baby out I absolutely roared!!! It’s not something I could’ve stopped myself from doing. My throat is still sore today from that roaring!
I birthed the placenta not long after, just a few pushes and it came out. No extra shot needed to birth the placenta.
We had immediate skin to skin and for a long time hubby and I just sat staring at our gorgeous Bubba. He breastfed like a champ and is obsessed with the boob. We did delayed cord clamping (probably like 2 hours) and hubby cut the cord.
I had some postpartum bleeding that was borderline post-partum haemorrhage, but as I wanted to avoid the synthetic oxytocin shot at all costs, my midwife kept a close eye on me and I’ve been on bed rest for a few days and will have to take it easy for a while so my body can fully recover from the blood loss.
I can honestly say this birth is my greatest achievement, which sounds really cliche, but I am proud of myself. I got my totally intervention free birthing experience. And my midwife and doula have been so supportive and an amazing team in this whole experience!
My husband and sister were also part of my birth support and they were beyond amazing. Hubby was there by my side. And my sister, well she’s a very special person and has been the biggest help to me and hubby in the days following. We literally couldn’t have done this without her.
I also want to mention my experience as a plus size pregnant woman....
If I had been in the hospital system I would’ve been automatically deemed high risk due to my weight and a cascade of interventions and extra testing would’ve been pushed on me.
Regardless of the fact I’m a Naturopath and I eat and live in a healthier way than many!
The amazing thing about home birth and choosing my midwife, is her seeing me as a person and not a statistic. She never once saw my weight as a problem and actually discouraged me from weighing myself too much when pregnancy turned me into a weight gaining machine. I think the system is really hard on plus-size women and makes a lot of assumptions and does them a disservice.
But I am a living example of how a very overweight woman can have a completely healthy pregnancy and brith experience. I had a complete low risk pregnancy, perfectly smooth birth from a medical perspective and I have a super healthy gorgeous bub ❤️❤️
Big thanks to my amazing midwife Chantel Letertre and my doula Erin Quinn ❤️ and my second midwife Janine."