12.35am: I woke up from a sharp lightening feeling in my cervix. I got up and went to the toilet like usual. As I was walking I felt dripping down my leg and thought “surely this isn’t it”, even though intuitively I felt it coming before it happened. I sat on the toilet and fluid continued to leak. I felt a rush of adrenaline come over me. After wiping, the bloody show began. My heart was racing. Feeling nervous yet excited, and allowing myself to surrender completely to the unknown.
12.40-7.30am: I laboured gently in bed which at this point the surges had begun and felt like mild period cramp pains. This night my husband was sleeping in the spare room, as we both had a better nights sleep apart whilst being so pregnant and uncomfortable. I decided not to wake him and to let him sleep as long as possible as I had no idea how long I could be in labour for and wanted him to conserve his energy.
7.30am: I woke Corey and he started getting the house ready – setting up the pool, arranging the furniture and getting our space ready for our birth. Little did we know at this point.. just how far away that might be.
12.30pm: My contractions really slowed during the day, which gave me a break and allowed me to rest. I fell asleep for about an hour before being woken to more surges. They weren’t too strong at this point and were consistently 8-10 minutes apart for quite a few hours.
5.00pm: As it began to get dark, the waves picked up again. I laboured peacefully in my lounge room on the exercise ball. Breathing deeply through each one. This carried on for a few more hours.
10.30pm: Surges were quite intense now, I couldn’t lay down to rest anymore. I moved between rooms, moving into different positions and allowing my body to guide me through them. Still, deeply breathing through each one as it would peak and then fizzle out again, like a rushing wave in the ocean.
11.30pm: I was needing some rest but couldn’t get comfortable enough to lye down. Corey ran a bath and I found lots of comfort from the warm water, using it to manage the intensity. Corey laid on the bathroom floor right beside me.
12.30am: After getting out of the bath, I started to feel exhausted. All I wanted to do at this point was close my eyes and drift off to sleep, even just for a moment to take a break as I had been labouring for 24 hours now. But surges grew in intensity. Corey took some time to rest and my mum took over supporting me. She guided my breath and continued to remind me to visualise baby girl moving down into my pelvis with each exhale. This went on for the rest of the night. At this point, I was really relying on the TENS machine to manage how intense the surges were.
7.30am: As the sun started to come up for the second day in a row, once again contractions softened.
9.30am: As everything slowed down, this became frustrating as I was more exhausted and started to feel a crisis of confidence creep in. Wondering what was taking so long – my midwife Ramona called me and decided to come and check me to make sure everything was going smoothly. After consenting to a cervical check, we discovered babies head had moved slightly on an angle, but Ramona assured us it was nothing to worry about. All vital signs were positive, and baby was just happy to take her time.
10.30am: Ramona left us to get some rest. Corey fell asleep next to me, but the surges were so intense I had to get up from the bed and move around. I took myself to the lounge room where I began to sob and feel sorry for myself. I reached out to some friends for some emotional support to get me through the crisis of confidence I was feeling. Their words really encouraged me to keep pushing through.
12.30pm-5.00pm: I continued moving around the house, finding different ways to overcome the intensity. Ramona suggested some positions that would encourage baby to move more effectively. This really picked things up a pace.
5.00pm: Once again, another crisis of confidence hit. I had just gotten off the phone to Ramona and felt myself feeling helpless and wondering if this baby was ever going to come out. Surges then quite literally stopped and I felt myself fully come out of my labour.
6.00pm: Mum went off to rest and it was just Corey and I left in our bedroom. The candles were lit, lights were dim, we put a peaceful soundtrack on in the background, and we laid close together and chatted together. Talking through what was happening and how I was feeling. I felt very close to him. It felt like a euphoric experience. Corey suggested I hop into the shower to relax a little more.
6.15pm: I got in the shower to relax and reset. And it was like it just clicked. Labour kicked off again and this time it was different. Contractions coming frequently around 3-5 minutes. I felt like I was barely getting a break but it didn’t bother me too much as it was comforting to know that my baby must finally be on her way soon.
9.15pm: Contractions were very intense now, 90 seconds on and 90 seconds off. The wave would slowly roll in, and peak to their climax which started to feel overwhelming at times. But Corey and mum were there, reminding me to slow my breath and work through them calmly – breathing with me. I kept asking for Ramona at this point as I felt I needed her presence in the space.
11.00pm: Ramona arrived to our home and I was labouring on the floor, working through the extreme intensity, using my body to do whatever felt best to get through each one. Ramona began using acupressure massage and cold face washers to give me some relief.
She asked Corey to get the birthing pool filled as she could tell things had really picked up.
1am: I continued through the intensity of my contractions and felt lots of comfort sitting rear faced on the toilet. I sailed through each wave, breathing deeply and loudly, vocalising on the outward breath. I remember feeling like I couldn’t do it anymore and that I had had enough. I started asking for the birth pool which was still being filled.
2.20am: I felt like I needed to do a big and my body naturally began bearing down. The pool was finally ready and I could hop in. The water brought me huge relief. Contractions were still very intense and I felt like I needed Corey very close to me. He held me and helped me work through them, one by one. During the most intense patches of my labour, Corey would hold me and pray out loud to guide me through. My body continued to bear down until I fully surrendered to the feeling when Ramona said “just let you body push if it needs to”. As soon as she said that, I felt my body using force I never knew existed to push my baby down. This wasn’t painful, it actually felt pleasurable somehow.
3.00am: I continued to work through each wave, and I could feel baby girls head moving further and further down my birthing canal. Ramona assured she could see the head. This gave me more motivation to keep going. I was nearly there.
3.50am: Her head began to crown. At this point I was expecting a burning feeling which wasn’t as bad as I had expected. I didn’t push during this part, Ramona guided my breath slowly through the waves to avoid tearing. Then on the next contraction, her head was born. 2 minutes later the rest of her came out and before I knew it, I was able to reach down and bring her straight into my arms.
3.53am: Our baby girl was finally here. After a long, exhausting, yet incredible 51 hours of labour, our sweet girl was here with us. I will never forget this feeling. So much raw emotion flooded over us. I couldn’t believe I finally did it! This is truly the biggest blessing that life has to offer. Bringing my baby into the world, calmly, naturally and peacefully, exactly the way she was meant to. Surrounded with the love and support from my husband, my mum and our amazing midwives, Ramona and Tessa. It’s not often you hear someone say they wish they could go back to their labour and experience their birth all over again, but this was one of those moments I wish to relive over and over again.