‘You look like a woman who is about to go into labour’
This is what my midwife said to me on the morning before I delivered Tan. And when a lady who has been a midwife for 20 odd years says this to you, it’s definitely permission to feel excited. The rest of the day was relatively relaxed (two kids relaxed that is). I got some things from the shops, picked up the girls from my mums house after they had been there for a sleepover and made dinner.
We put the girls to bed around 7 and headed to bed ourselves around 9. I had been having mild cramping for the week and a half leading up to birth so the gentle braxton hicks I was getting just before bed were a normal occurrence. But by 11 when I could no longer lay down and needed to pace around I realised what was happening.
For all my births I have had the same people by my side and having them here again, in the middle of the night, in the comfort of our home, was very centring.
My contractions were coming regularly but quite spaced out, I knew this meant it would be another long labour for me but I felt totally fine with that. My body knew exactly what it was doing.
We laboured upstairs in our bedroom until 4 30am. After three labours and births I knew what worked for me each contraction and that involved things like gently squatting, pushing against a wall, leaning over the bed on my knees and also pulling my hair (whatever works hey!)
At 4.30 it was time to head downstairs to the beautiful birthing pool that was set up and full of water. The only light we had was from our diffuser. We had laid a rug down and the downstairs couch was draped with white sheets.
It was also really nice ‘timing wise’ to labour through the night. In the middle of the night the whole world feels more still, like no one expects anything from you. I felt so relaxed and in control.
As soon as I sunk into the hot water I remembered how amazing it felt to use water during labour. The pressure came off of my hips and my whole body instantly felt lighter.
This is also when things started to gain momentum. We called my midwife and told her how my contractions were feeling and she said she would be there soon.
At about 5.30 (and an hour sooner than usual) we heard the girls bedroom door open and out came Diaz with the most precious look on her face
‘The baby is coming now?’ She asked.
It was like a whole new wave of emotion washed over me when I saw her. The end result of this hard process was standing right in front of me with messy hair and cute pyjamas. I cried a wave of happy tears through my next contraction.
By the time my midwife and student midwife arrived, things were defiantly underway. On the outside of the pool I had my mum and Zakky helping me bare down with every contraction and on the inside I had myself and my mind to get me through.
The ‘transition’ stage of labour is the most confronting place I’ll ever go to. It really is such a measure of my mental strength. And I will forever reflect back on my times of transition through my three labours whenever I need to know what I’m capable of.
During this whole time I could not have felt more at ease being in my own home. The feeling in the room was one of complete serenity.
Given I was powering through my own personal battle to bring our life in the world, choosing to do it at home meant that it happened in the calmest of ways.
I distinctly remember opening my eyes after one contraction to see Diaz’s little face peeping over the top of the birth pool. When we locked eyes she gave me a big smile and a double thumbs up. I felt like everyone in the room was rooting for me and the love was pouring in from all directions.
I pulled Zak into the bath with me not long before Tan was born. Having his strong body support me through my final stages was exactly what I needed. I will forever be amazed at the lengths he will go to when I’m in labour to help me bare my pain.
When she came into the world I scooped her into my arms and we stared at her for a long time before looking down to see what gender she was.
It was then that Diaz decided to sing her new baby sister ‘Happy Birthday’. Quinny filled in with the words that she knew and my heart sung at deciding to have them there.
Baby Tan was finally here! She turned her head and started nuzzling my crop top and it was then that we had our first feed. Such an amazing thing to watch them, so instinctually, find the nourishment that they need as soon as they are born.
The whole process of birth is such a moving one. I always come away from it feeling so empowered and the fact that I had my third birth in the comfort of my own home only added to that feeling. It was absolutely the right choice for us and one we couldn’t be happier with.