Jasmin’s Birth Story


Raglan was very conducive to a fantastic summer pregnancy. Most days were spent devouring every book from the Homebirth library on the deck of my house. If it was just too hot another expectant mum and I headed to the beach, dug holes in the cool sand to sink our beautiful bellies in and lay there looking normal!

Over the first few months, Pete my husband, was unsure about my desire for a home birth. He was concerned about the safety of his family. The more information and statistics we researched the more convinced we were that home was the right place for a fit, healthy, informed woman to have her baby as long as there were no complications. In January we watched Bethany’s home water-birth from the homebirth library. Apart from the horror when he realised what the sieve was for this was a real turning point for Pete. He now realised that birth could be blood, mess, and drama free. I was also completely sold on the water-birth idea.

By March, I had a very clear idea of what I did and did not want for my baby and me. A comprehensive birth plan for home and another for the unlikely event of a transfer to Hamilton was typed up. This made me feel very strong and in control.

In early April, my blood pressure began creeping up and we started discussions about hypertension and pregnancy toxaemia. Hannah our mid-wife suggested I start focusing more on my diet and eating protein snacks every 2 hrs throughout the day. For weeks, the baby was in a posterior position and we discussed the implications of that and different birthing positions. Fortunately, on my antenatal visit on 16th April she had rotated and was anterior and fully engaged ready for action…phew! By this time, my blood pressure was nearly double what it normally is, and I had a mild headache. It seems my body and baby knew it was time to get on with the job.

On Wednesday 18th April and Pete and I were to go to a weekly business meeting that I NEVER missed, but I decided to stay home alone and have a candle lit herbal bath. When I got out, I felt a bit ill and then had a few twinges. When Pete came home, I told him I was having bad Braxton Hick’s so he’d better sleep in the spare room and turn up the hot water cylinder on the way. Do you think I had him fooled?

At 3am Pete woke up to hear me moaning through a contraction in the living room. I had not been able to contemplate the idea of going back to bed or sleeping, as right from the start at 11pm the contractions were awfully close together and strong. Besides, it was far too exciting! I was tired of trying not to wake Pete and needed to stop being restrained and make some noise to try to help ride the waves.

Pete got up and got the fire going and started filling the birth pool. There was an air of hustle, bustle and dare I say stress for a while but then all the jobs were done and I obviously wasn’t going to have this baby in the next 5 mins so he dragged his lazy boy out on to the deck for some fresh air leaving me to get on with it quietly… in my noisy way.

As the morning wore on, I started to get restless and bored, so I made a few 4 minute phone calls between contractions and invited my mother in law out for the party. After a while, the contractions spaced out and I slept for 15 mins solid between them. I was really spaced out on endorphins by this stage and I think my body was giving the baby and me a rest for the hard work just around the corner.

Not long after 11am I started to feel like I needed to go to the loo all the time and I just could not get comfortable in any position. All I could think about was getting in the water. We rang Hannah again and she advised that I should hold off and get in as a last resort so that I didn’t relax too much and go off the boil. Not long after, I decided it was last resort time and if I was getting in too early, tough I was doing it anyway! For a couple of minutes, it was weightless bliss and then the contractions hit. Wham! Time to catch up on all the ones I missed when I was sleeping. I obviously had been holding back because I knew I wanted to be in the water and once I was there all inhibitions went and we were getting on with the job.

I had been so spaced out that I hadn’t realised I had gone through the transition phase (which sounded so dramatic in all the books) and was in the pushing phase. At 12 noon Theresa the student arrived and assured me that I was doing a fantastic job. Having her smiling face looking calmly at me over the edge of the pool, when I actually had my eyes open was lovely.

12.20pm heralded the arrival of Hannah and I can recall her walking down the hall saying, “How long has she been making those noises?” Hannah observed for a little while making the odd empowering comment and then encouraged me to put less energy in to the noise and more into my bum. On the video you can see me become more workman like after that.

At 12.39 my waters finally broke which was really encouraging. It made me feel like I had actually achieved something. The labour stepped up a pace from there as I was feeling confident about pushing and knew that baby was well on the way. We all had a laugh when the head came out and I said, “It feels small”. Hannah reckoned no one had ever said that before. I meant it felt small when I touched it with my hand; it certainly was no mean feat getting it out. How women have babies falling into their stockings in the supermarket beats me! There was a lot of back pain as the baby’s shoulders moved but it was awesome to feel her helping and it brought me back to earth a bit and renewed my resolve to get the job done A.S.A.P.

At 2.05pm baby Jasmin was born. The cord was around her neck 3 times so I couldn’t pick her up or see her straight away, but Pete and Theresa managed to bring her to the surface and untangle her without cutting the cord. Getting my leg over the cord from the kneeling position to sitting was a mission as I had gone all weak and wobbly. By 2.10pm Jasmin was happily breastfeeding, and we just sat in the pool chilling out together until I birthed the placenta about 15 mins later. Pete clamped and cut the cord and we got out of the water and all went to bed together. A few hrs later after we’d had some lovely family time on our own Hannah weighed Jasmin and did all the tests, but it was so nice to leave all that stuff until later. Thanks Hannah.

Thanks to Jasmin for making us feel so blessed. Thanks to Hannah for guiding us and educating us so thoroughly. Thanks to Theresa and Gwen for being at my beck and call with ice, hot water, more ice, and more hot water! Thanks to my sister in law Jenny who made a video of the birth and thanks to Pete for being the main support person for his crazy wife from start to finish.