All along we had been visualising Cooper being born on a hot sunny day with a relaxed BBQ
atmosphere. Well you know the saying be
careful what you wish for. It turned out
to be the hottest day of the year (Sunday May 23). All along I kept telling my MW that Cooper
would be born during the day as I like my sleep too much. No night time labor for me ;)
The week before I’d had a feeling that Sunday would be the day. I’d been having irregular surges on Saturday
morning and went off to the store to get some burgers to BBQ for lunch. When I got into the store the lines were
ridiculous – everyone else was BBQing too!
I got a couple of bits and then went home – thankfully the lines were
gone when I went to check out.
We just chilled out for the afternoon and then went to our brother in laws house for another
BBQ on Sat evening. We got there had
some more BBQ and everything eased off…no surges or tightenings for about 2
hours. But as soon as we got in the car
to go home things got started again.
I went to bed - put on my GentleBirth CD and slept through the
surges until Midnight. I couldn’t sleep so put on Sex and the City and thought
I might go back to sleep. I couldn’t get
back to sleep so around 2am I wasn’t comfortable being in bed any more. I got up and watched reruns of Frasier just
sitting on the ball. I wanted to leave
Philip and Jack to get some rest. At
around 4am it was getting bright outside and things were beginning to intensify
so I woke Philip up to start filling the pool for me. The pool was heaven. I was
able to just relax and float…. The
surges were every 7 minutes mostly
pressure – the sensations seemed to be focused around my hips and the top of my
legs which I wasn’t expecting. Jack got
up around 8am and we arranged to have him go hang out in his friend’s house for
Jack left and things ramped up to every 5 minutes I asked DH to call the Midwife and my
doula. I thought things were progressing quickly and I had lots of birth
show. Marguerite my doula and Colette my
MW both arrived around 9.30am. Cooper
was doing perfectly and I was dozing in the pool between surges. My midwife offered to examine me around 10am
and I was 5cm. I was delighted – I
thought we’d definitely be having an early afternoon baby – just in time to
BBQ! The midwife brought out the gas and
air and that was great for keeping my breathing slow focused at the peak of the
By 3pm I was beginning to wonder what the delay was…..I had a banana and was sipping on sports drinks thinking that Coopers BBQ was going to get
started very soon. I was 7cm and Cooper
was moving down well – his heart rate was perfect the whole time. Things were heating up – weather wise and
with the sensations… Cooper was posterior
so I moved from the pool and spent some time in the back garden with my doula
putting counter pressure on my back. I knew that Cooper would rotate into a
good position if I kept moving. The
surges were now every 3 minutes and very intense. I had to really focus on
taking each surge one at a time. I had
myself convinced that each surge was the last one – ever. I had to stay in the moment. We spent time in the kitchen….dining room and
eventually found myself back in the quiet, dark, cool ‘pool’ room. DH took lots of video and made sure everyone
was well fed.
Around 6pm I started to experience a fleeting urge to bear down……it wasn’t something that
I was consciously doing but as other GentleBirth Mum’s have experienced my body
was just doing it. On my next trip to the
loo my waters went with a pop and there was even more pressure.
The urge to bear down was only every 3rd or 4th surge but it began to
get stronger and literally take on a life of it’s own. I’d had an epidural/induction with Jack so
had no urge to push so I was so looking forward to letting my body do it’s
The closest sensation I can describe is that it’s a bit like throwing up…..but your body is throwing ‘down’………all I could do
was breathe and float. Around 6.30pm my MW offered to check me in the pool and
I was 10cm….words I’d been so looking forward to.
For the last few hours of Cooper’s birth I almost felt like I was submerged under water.
I could hear what was going on around me but it sounded like someone had
turned down the volume. I was so focused.
It was just Cooper and I. The
affirmation that stuck in my head was ‘ my body knows what to do – my baby
knows what to do and ‘open’. I talked to
Cooper throughout – I remember saying ‘come on Cooper let’s do this’ As the surges started to nudge Cooper down it
was such a satisfying feeling of my body doing it all perfectly – I just had to
My MW just told me to listen to my body – at this point your
body is 100% in charge and all you can do IS listen and follow it’s lead. It
feels like an energy that is moving through you and you have no choice but to
surrender to it. I didn’t push at all – my body didn’t need any help from
me. I could feel Cooper’s head start to
emerge and then slip back again and I knew he’d be here soon. At this point I was still on my side with the
MW getting ready to catch. Cooper’s head
emerged with the next surge – the relief of that pressure was amazing. I knew
at that point he was not going to be a small baby. We waited on the next surge for his shoulders
to be born but the midwife was concerned that Cooper’s shoulders weren’t
turning properly so after a few manoeuvres in the pool the MW asked me to get
out of the pool. I got out of the pool
walked to the bed and the MW helped turn Cooper and he was placed on my chest,
pink and alert. That was at 7.40pm The
cord was left to do it’s job and he had his first feed……I couldn’t get over how
big he was. About 40 mins later Philip
cut the cord. I went to the bathroom
where the midwife put a bowl in the toilet and the placenta just dropped out
into the bowl. Cooper was 10lbs 7oz and barely fit into the Midwife’s weighing
Jack arrived home around 8.30pm to the news that his baby brother had arrived. His face was priceless when he met Cooper for the first time.
Philip rang all the family and the grandparents came up to meet their newest grandson. I had 3 stitches (keep up your perineal
massage) and was sitting in the living room with the family eating a huge bowl
of pasta at 9.30pm. Not long after I
was showered and tucked up in bed with Cooper.
Tired but ecstatic.
It was the most amazing, satisfying experience of my life and to be honest there were a
few times when I thought I’d like to ‘pause’ the day - go have a nap and finish the birth the next
day! It wasn’t completely pain free but
the combination of GentleBirth
affirmations, my CDs (once I got over listening to my own voice), great support
and the pool made what could have been a very long day very manageable and a
very calm birth for both Cooper and I (even with the special circumstances at
Cooper is feeding well and we’re sleeping when we can.
We had daily visits from the MW for the first 10 days which was
fantastic. I can’t believe he’s 2 weeks
old already – he’s so chilled out.
I’m sure I’ve left out bits - if anyone has any
questions let me know. It already feels like it was a lifetime away. These early few weeks getting to know your
little ones are just magic!