It’s such an honour and a privilege to be friends with amazing women like Rachel, be invited to capture her homebirth, and then, when you ask if you can capture the whole pregnancy and story, be granted full access and permissions. What. A. Dream.
If that’s all TL;DR then here is the basic information in picture form 😉
I’m thrilled to now hand over to mama Rachel herself, and publish her birth story in her own words here:
“On Wednesday, October 25th, I began to get the feeling that something might be happening soon. I had had a few rocky days the week before, feeling the pressure from having lots of people asking about the status of my uterus. I had seen my midwife, Peta of Hand in Hand Midwives, on Tuesday and she had really calmed me down and helped me focus.
So Wednesday during the day I had mild cramping but I guess I was a little bit in denial and just and carried on with my day, trying to spend quality time with my 2.5yo, Henry.
Wednesday night I went to bed, but couldn’t sleep. When Stu came to bed I got up and went out to the sofa. I put on my hypnobirthing tracks and meditated through semi-regular surges. Again, I think I was doubting that this was anything, while at the same time knowing that it was something.
I tried to time the contractions but I found that using the app was more distracting so I left it and just used my hypnobirthing to try and rest.
Around 2-2.30am I started to feel like something was actually happening. I told myself that I needed to get to 3.30 when Stu woke up for work, then 5am when Henry would wake.
Stu came to check on me when he woke, unaware that I’d been on the sofa all night.
I told him that it was happening today so he wouldn’t be going to work, and to go back to bed. I needed to have a bit more time working through meditating by myself.
I knew that at 5am I would be ready to ring my birth team, so when that came around, I had a shower, sat on the bed in my towel and rang everyone who needed to be called.
Stu brought me some food, and rang Dad as I had surges coming every 4 minutes or so; a short call to them to ask them to come and get Henry.
The birth team arrived at about 6am I think, Granny came not long after and off Henry went.
Peta checked me out thoroughly. The birth pool was filled, and I got in. I had stopped looking at the clock so I don’t know what the timeline was like.
The water was lovely, and felt calming. I carried on with contractions but they felt very unproductive; too easy I thought.
I remember asking Peta if anything was happening, because I really didn’t feel like I was progressing. Peta continued to reassure me and checked baby’s heartbeat.
Stu was a great support during contractions, squeezing his hands really helped.
I guess I was progressing because the surges were feeling stronger, the feeling of normalcy and ease between them though was very different to Henry’s birth, so I did think I was still a while off from birthing.
My backup midwife Marilyn arrived as I kept concentrating through surges and resting in between.
I started to feel like I wasn’t going to be able to keep going for hours; the surges were strong and I wanted to shout through them. The birth team knew what was happening, I was in transition! Woo!
I tried some different positions but found them incredibly uncomfortable as the next surge built, so moved back to grab onto Stu’s hands again.
As the surges got much stronger and I felt like I wanted to push, my waters broke. Peta let me know that it had happened, and then the next contraction was super strong. I could feel the baby coming, and was pushing hard. I believe I gave Stuart a nice bite mark on his hand at one point too!
Her head must have been coming around, I felt like it should have been crowning but was a bit ahead of myself (haha) a few more pushes and her head was out, Peta checked to make sure it was a head and not a butt (I had told her I thought the baby was breech the week before) and I reached down and felt her squishy head. Such a great feeling, you know that baby is gonna be there so soon!
There was a short contraction that I didn’t get a good push against, but the next one was big and I think that was it, she was out, I held her as I felt her coming out, and took a split second to look at her under the water. Then up she came for a cuddle!
She screamed a lot. Not my fave noise!
But very happy to have done it and to have Baby here. I was thrilled to see her and was checking out her cord when Stu said ‘What is it?’. We peeked under the cord between her legs and discovered she was a girl! I could actually not believe it, and sometimes I still can’t. Who knew?!
I was worried about the birthing of the placenta after having a retained placenta with Henry, so I think I might have looked a bit concerned, and had Peta reassuring me a lot.
Some clots passed- I was surprised at the size of them! Then I think I kneeled and did a little push and the placenta came out. About 20 minutes all up, I think.
I got out of the water to the sofa for snacks and a snuggle.
Peta and Marilyn checked if I needed stitches, which I did, and that was fine by me. Daddy had his snuggles with Baby and and then I hopped into bed with my little lady!
Emily Sarah was born at 9:07am on Thursday October 26th, 2017 weighing 4.3kgs and 51 cms long.
It was the most perfect experience, I’ll never forget it and the photos I have from it have really made my life. Seriously unforgettable.”
So wonderful to have Rach share her story here! About 2 hours after birth I left Rachel resting quietly in bed, after the back up midwife Marilyn had left also. Baby Emily was calm, and Stu was ecstactic. Peta was happy that both her patients were doing perfectly well, so I went home to rush some edits for this beautiful new family of four. What an incredible morning.
Watch the full slideshow here:
Note: I’m not really a birth photographer, though I have captured a few births. I love it so I do a homebirth or two a year.
PS If you see partially loaded images, try clearing your internet cache in your settings by clicking “clear cache” and coming back. Thank you!
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