Aria’s Birth


Sean had arrived 10 days late, but with Jess coming 5 days early I was certain that Aria would arrive before her due date as well, especially as her head was fully engaged at 35 weeks. Alas, she had other ideas, so when I was 40 weeks and 6 days, I had an appointment to see Lyn my midwife and she duly ‘swept’ me. Then away we went to wait for labour to begin. I was absolutely certain that it would work. So, when I had a show the next day on Saturday, I was pretty confident. But Saturday went, Sunday came, Sunday went, and Monday came and nearly went before it began. I felt a little strange that afternoon, and had gone to bed to try and have a sleep when Sean and Jess were home from school, but couldn’t as I was having a few contractions that I told myself were Braxton hicks, even though they felt different. I had joked for weeks that I wondered if I would recognise labour when it began because I had been having so many Braxton hicks.

We had dinner and Sean and I went to the supermarket and I had a few stronger contractions while we were there, but that was nothing new. I told my friend Aimee as we left that if I was not in to do my shopping the next day that it would be because I had had her. I never really thought that that would actually be the case, but at the same time I knew it was about to happen. Strange thoughts!

We got home from the supermarket and as the kids were going to bed, I had my first proper contraction. Jessica asked me if I was going into labour, but I snapped at her and told her of course not and to get to bed! For the next few hours I timed them and they were coming about every six or seven minutes, by the time I was watching Nip Tuck I was having to get up as it was too painful to assume my normal horizontal position on the couch. By now I was sure that this was it and began to get excited. But at the same time, I was very scared and was trying really hard to keep calm. Drew and I made sure that Aria’s room was all ready for her arrival and tidied up the lounge.

I ran Lyn at 12.45am and told her that I thought I was in labour, but when she arrived at 1.10am she wasn’t convinced, she didn’t think my contractions were anywhere near strong enough, and upon checking me out I wasn’t yet fully effaced and only 3cm dilated. I was hugely peeved and wanted to cry, even though my contractions were not that strong I had been having them for hours (since about 3pm I realised afterwards). She did another stretch and sweep to see if that would get things moving. She then went home and told us to ring her when the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and lasting a minute (long and strong as she put it). She said that it might be hours before that happened, if at all, and that she thought she would probably be seeing me for another sweep at my appointment later that morning. My thoughts at the time were ‘You have GOT to be kidding. Stupid woman, what would you know, I WILL be ringing you back soon!’ She left just before 2am and at 2.30 I went to have a bath to see if that helped as when I was in early labour with Jessica that really helped my contractions to strengthen.

Almost straight away the contractions got stronger, it seemed to me that it happened really fast, I cannot even completely remember. I do remember asking Drew every time a contraction began how long since the last one and then demanding to know how long each was lasting. He told me afterwards that he just told me what I wanted to hear, but he didn’t have much of an idea as each time he would forget when the last one had finished! A couple of times he asked me if he should ring Lyn, but I told him to wait as I didn’t want to get her out of bed again until I had to, he was doing an amazing job of keeping me going. I don’t think he realised that just being there and encouraging me through each contraction helped. I lost all concept of time and in what seemed a noticeably short time the contractions seemed to be coming so intensely that it was just one big contraction that peaked. I didn’t feel as if I was coping very well at all, the contractions were far more intense than I had experienced with either Sean or Jessica and I was beginning to not be able to breathe through them. Jessica had woken up with all the commotion of Drew running backwards and forwards from the kitchen with jugs of boiling water because I needed the bath really hot, so then she was running as well, I hated her seeing me in pain and asked her to go back to bed, it had been planned that she would be there for my labour and birth but I had warned her that I thought I wouldn’t want her there because I usually like to be alone when I am in pain.

Just after 4am Drew rang Lyn back and she arrived again at 4.25am. I was still in the bath and at 4.40am I had a huge contraction and felt something pop, I honestly thought that Aria’s head had exploded! As stupid as that sounds now, it was what I thought had happened! I had my waters broken with both Sean and Jessica, so I had no idea what it felt like to have them break spontaneously. Lyn assured me that all was well and that it was just my waters breaking. All I was thinking that was, my contractions were going to intensify even more, and I was not sure that I could cope with that.

Lyn suggested I get out of the bath while I still could! She would have let me deliver here there but there wasn’t enough room, so I got out of the bath and got on my knees, leaning over pillows on the couch, rocking and swaying with each contraction. At 4.50am Lyn did a VE and informed me I was now 7cm dilated. Another HUGE disappointment, I could not believe that I was not fully dilated yet. I was having a contraction every 2-3 minutes. By 5.20am I was having 4 every 10 minutes, and they were so intense I wondered how I was going to get through one more contraction, let alone many more! I remember sobbing when each one started because I really didn’t think I could do it anymore and I felt like I was screaming with every single one.

Sensing that I was in transition, at 5.55am Lyn did another VE and told me I was fully dilated but the urge to push wasn’t there, I felt totally out of control and the pain was almost unbearable. It is the most awful feeling to know that you have to do it yourself and that there is nothing that is going to help. I heard myself saying that I couldn’t do it anymore and begging Drew to make the pain stop, I was crying but no tears would come out. At 6am I got up to wee and then got into a supported squatting position with Drew behind me. At 6.05 am the back-up midwife Robyn arrived, she simply came inside, sat beside me, and held my hand. I was worried about not wanting to push and at 6.20 Lyn told me to have a push and see how it felt, which I did but it hurt so much that I stopped! I really, really didn’t think that I could do it, but I kept telling myself that I had to, and I knew that the harder and stronger I pushed the sooner this would all be over. Just a few pushes later at 6.25am she was born. The entire time I was pushing I was asking Lyn if she could see her head, and when she could I was asking her if she was coming out. Even as her head was coming out, I was still trying to get my head around that fact that I was having a baby, I still could not believe it.

Lyn giving her to me was THE most amazing, exhilarating feeling that I have ever had. All at once it sunk in that it was real, she was really here!
As soon as she was born, Jessica came in. She said she had been waiting at the door and guessed when she had been born. Drew went and got Sean. He thought that “she was ugly, but oh, she’s here”. Now he thinks that she is the most beautiful thing that he has ever seen. She was very swollen and bruised (she had been grinding her head on my cervix for weeks) but I still thought that she was absolutely gorgeous and fell completely and utterly in love with her. I had been worried that I would not love her when she was born; I knew that I would, but I still worried! *more stupid thoughts* I need not have worried. She was weighed and dressed at 7am, all 3995gm of her – 8lb 12oz.
I was very uncomfortable, and Lyn was telling me that I would feel better when the placenta came out but getting it out was another story. Aria was put to my breast at 6.50am to try aid the delivery of the placenta, but it still took another half an hour before it finally did. It had been stuck behind my cervix, and it took a lot of pushing and pulling to get it out. We had agreed that Lyn would only give me Syntometrine if she really thought I needed it, but she was not concerned at all.

As the weeks have rolled by the feelings have become stronger and stronger, and now my love for her is overflowing and at times quite overwhelming. I cannot even put into words how she makes me feel. Drew was so worried about me having her at home and really hated seeing me go through that, but he has now become a complete homebirth convert and thinks everyone should have one! He raved about it for weeks afterwards to everybody!