Hugo’s Birth Story


Birth story of Hugo Sebastian James Davidson, born to Katy and Glenn Davidson on December 23, 2003 at 2.40am, Summer Solstice

We were sitting in the lounge eating pizza for tea when I first realised Hugo was definitely on the way. I was eight days “overdue” and starting to get worried. Ending up in hospital for an induction was the last thing I wanted. We were planning a homebirth in the belief that childbirth is a natural, normal event in a woman’s life and not something that needs to be medicalised. I wanted to be able to labour at home, uninterrupted, surrounded by people close to me. I wanted to avoid medical intervention. And most of all, after it was all over, I wanted to be able to go to sleep, my baby beside me, in my own bed.

I started feeling regular pains at about 7pm but they were short and very close together, only about one minute apart. Not at all like slow progression of labour I was expecting from the books I had read. I told Glenn he had better start filling the birth pool. He did not quite believe things were happening and instead asked me to help him stake up our tomato plants. So, there we were out in the garden staking the tomatoes in between contractions as if it were the most natural thing in the world to be doing. My contractions became longer and stronger and I needed Glenn or my mum with me. They stroked my back and talked to me. Early in the labour I found sitting on a large Swiss ball and leaning forward on a bean bag the best positions. I tried keep in positions which kept my pelvis “open” and concentrated on breathing through each contraction.

At 10pm my midwife Mary Anne arrived and as she walked in the door, I did a huge pizza spew in the sink. She gave me the good news I was 6cm dilated. It was time for the birthing pool. It felt wonderful to submerge into the water. The pain relief was amazing. I could kneel forwards and put all my weight on a floating cushion. During contractions I gripped the side of the pool for support. Glenn was in the pool with me rubbing my back. As the contractions got stronger and stronger, I felt as if I was in another place – floating in and out of the present. In between contractions I felt calm and quiet, my body totally relaxed, resting for the next effort.

The strength I got from my support people including a friend and my sister-in-law was amazing. At one point during transition I called out “I can’t do this”, and I remember strong hands and voices reassuring me that yes, I could. They gave me sips of water and put hot towels on my back which felt heavenly. It was a relief to feel the bearing down urge and know my baby was almost here. Things seemed to speed up. I remember feeling a strong burning sensation as his head started crowning. Then before I knew it, I was holding my beautiful brand-new son in my arms.

To touch him and watch him as he took in his new world was the most magical experience. I was on the hugest high ever afterwards that nothing, including a trip to hospital to stitch a tear, could dampen. When we got home at about 6am dawn had arrived. The birds were singing, and we were new parents. The three of us tucked up in bed and enjoyed our first day together as a new family. I wish I could tell all expectant mothers that birth does not have to be a scary and painful experience. It can be one of the most empowering and positive experiences in a woman’s life. It was for me.