My birth story
Bonnie Hazel Newitt, born at 1:57PM on Saturday 15/10/22. My first baby, born naturally at home into water. 2 days of early/pre labour and 17 hours of active labour.
My early labour started Wednesday morning with a slow leak of my waters and beginning of bloody show. Some mild contractions began that night but only two of them woke me up during the night, so nothing serious at this stage.
The next day (my “due date”) my waters and show continued with no contractions during the day, but I could tell we were going to have a baby soon so I spent the day getting our pool set up and everything else ready. That night my contractions started up again, waking me up regularly through the night and painful enough I needed to start using my TENS. They were strong but about 7 minutes apart so we still had some time before active labour began.
The next morning (Friday) things slowed down again which was pretty disheartening as I wasn’t sure if we were as close as I thought we were now and I just kept getting my hopes up! A good friend visited during the day, brought over some treats and offered support, while I tried to rest as much as possible as I’d lost a fair bit of sleep the night before and wanted to stay prepared for active labour. 5pm came around and contractions were amping up again, about 3-5 minutes apart, so I went to bed and just worked through each one with my TENS machine and tried to rest in between. By 9pm they were strong and 2 minutes apart and I couldn’t lay down anymore, I was kneeling on the floor by the bed and leaning into a pillow with every surge. My partner, Willis, called my midwife, Ramona, and let her know where we were at and she told us to keep going and call her again when/if I needed her there and when things started to feel very intense while she got some rest before heading over.
Around 1am (Saturday) I started to lose confidence for the first time, I was already so tired and just wasn’t sure where in my labour I was at. Things felt intense so I asked if Ramona could come over to support us so she did. Having her enter the space and reassure me everything was looking good breathed a new bout of energy into me and got me back on track, so I continued labouring on the couch for a couple of hours while things progressed. Ramona checked baby’s heartbeat and could tell my body was still turning baby into the right position, so we kept checking in half hour intervals to see how much she was turning and how her heart rate was going. Once she was straight, contractions were strong and roughly 1 min apart so we decided it was time to get into the pool. Immediately, my labour came to a screeching halt. I stayed in for about 30 minutes before we agreed I had to get out and labour on land for a little longer. I walked around and couldn’t get my contractions to start again, which was my first emotional breakdown! It felt like all my hard work for those hours were for nothing. Willis and Ramona comforted me, and she offered to try some acuneedling to get labour started again, and I consented to a vaginal examination so we could get a better idea of why things slowed down. The VE told us that baby’s head was in a funny position, and we’d have to do some exercises to move it into the correct position so she could descend. The acuneedling thankfully got things moving again straight away, and we did some lunges and inversions off the couch during contractions to reposition baby’s head. These felt pretty uncomfortable to say the least, but… they worked! It took about 4 hours to get back to the stage of labour we were at before I got in the pool.
It’s now around 8am Saturday and my second midwife, Helen, comes to take over while Ramona takes a nap. It was a good change of energy in the house and she really helped keep things moving while I was so exhausted. I was losing confidence in myself over and over, but between my midwives and partner, god they just carried me so strongly through these doubts!
This part is all a blur (transition – haha) but I just remember things being very intense, I spent a lot of time in the pool because being on my feet was too painful, while Helen and Willis fed me food and water between contractions. I was also offered homeopathic remedies throughout my labour which seemed to help in gentle ways. I didn’t know at this point that my baby was actually ready to come out, but I was preventing her because I was holding so much tension in my body. Helen helped me realise that I needed to focus on releasing the tension in my pelvic area so we could get to the pushing part, and once I started doing this the rest of my waters broke! Helen went to wake up Ramona as we were now in the final stages of the birth, and I got back and into the pool to work through those final contractions. The surges were so strong now and everyone supported me through them with counter pressure on my body and many encouraging words. The pushing had begun, and for 30 minutes, I pushed for my life and birthed my baby into the water at 1:57PM Saturday, followed by my placenta 2 minutes later. I couldn’t believe it had finally happened and that I still had the strength to get through the last part when I’d never experienced exhaustion like that before!
I was checked and cleaned up, I had a tear and graze that we agreed to let heal naturally, baby had her first feed and had skin-to-skin with Willis and I. We stayed here for a couple of hours then the midwives helped me showered and set us up in bed to rest for the remainder of the night.
Bonnie landed so peacefully into life outside the womb and continues to be such a calm and easy-going little baby. We attribute this greatly to our birthing choices and doing it all at home naturally. We are so grateful to have had this experience, and especially grateful for Ramona and Helen with their unwavering trust in a woman’s body and strength, their support and encouragement, and passion for natural birth, and we know we will never birth any other way if we have the choice and privilege to do so. Birth was the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life but it felt so good to accomplish it in the way we set out to do – naturally and in the comfort of our home.