Carys Shirin Ann’s Birth


After having our boys, Wade in hospital followed by Reid (a waterbirth) at home, there was no doubt that I would be having this baby at home as well. Still, I found it quite amazing that a lot of people assumed I would be heading back to hospital for this birth – why, I will never know. This 3rd pregnancy was such an eventful one. I had spent virtually the whole pregnancy sick with so many ills, chills and tummy bugs I’d picked up, not to mention the morning sickness, that I found myself wondering if this child would ever turn out normal! Secretly though, I wondered perhaps if it would be a girl, as I had not had any sickness with the boys. This pregnancy was certainly so different. I had been having quite strong Braxton Hicks contractions from about 34 weeks, with a few good runs of them at 37 weeks which got me thinking this is the real thing. However, nothing ever seemed to eventuate, and I spent a lot of my time huffing and puffing just to get by!

So, at 38 weeks when I woke up at 3am on Monday 20 September with some real powerful crampy contractions I still thought nothing of it. I managed to sleep in between them and got through to 8am to see Adil off to work. My day was already well mapped out with two sick children to look after and it was pouring with rain outside. I virtually spent the day on the couch with the boys, dozing on and off (thank goodness they were sick), still having contractions 15-30 minutes apart. They were not definite, but the difference in them to the previous ones made me a feel perhaps this was it. Adil arrived home and got the boys fed and into bed while I stayed on the couch. At 7.45pm Adil was heading out to cricket practice and I asked him to stay home as I didn’t feel I wanted to be left alone that night.

At 8pm I got up to go to the loo, as I’d had another strong contraction and a real urge to go to the toilet. I discovered I’d had a little show and was amazed at how excited I felt. I phoned Lyn straight away, as Reid’s labour was quick, so we wanted to be prepared for this baby’s arrival. She said to phone back when they got stronger and closer. 40 minutes later Adil rang her back as they had quite quickly gone to 7 minutes apart and much stronger. We phoned our two support people, Jo and Claire, and they both arrived along with Lyn around 9.30pm. Once the contractions got stronger, I felt heaps of pressure on my lower back and tail bone. Jo was putting ice on my back to help ease the pain and Claire administered heaps of Rescue Remedy and massage to help divert the pain. The ice worked wonders! It numbed my lower back completely, it did not make me feel cold, but surprisingly made my feet very cold!

We were joined by Reid (17mths) at 10.30pm, who calmly sat in the bean bag for about 2 ½ hours watching the labour process. We were all amazed at how he never seemed frightened, just sitting, and observing all that was going on. By 11.30pm the contractions had actually got really intense and I found being on my knees leaning into the couch really comfortable. I really wanted to push by now as the pressure was incredible and the back pain was almost too much to bear. Lyn suggested I try to push with the next few contractions, but as soon as I started, I knew that the baby was not ‘there’, I could not feel anything.

I remember just wanting to give up and go to bed at this stage, the pain was so intense, and I could not focus on anything to get rid of it. The baby’s head was moving heaps, grinding around the cervix area, which was also quite painful. Lyn had a good feel of the baby’s position (no internals though), and then said those words I did not want to hear, “Jude, I think this baby’s slightly posterior”. She suggested I lie down on the floor on my side and breathe through the next ½ hours contractions to help the baby move. It was the 2nd time that night I just wanted to give up and I remember shedding a few tears at the thought of having to lie down, let alone all the intense feelings I had about just wanting to see my baby.

However, with the fantastic support I had from Adil, Jo and Claire, I managed it. I felt almost calm in between contractions, as all 3 surrounded me and massaged, held my hands, with Jo helping me to visualise beautiful places to be. Everybody had positive encouragement, which helped me so much to getting closer to delivering my baby. At 1.15am the contractions had finally moved to my front and I could absolutely no longer breathe through them. I sat back up on my knees and lent into Adil who was sitting on the couch. I started to push again and almost immediately I could feel the baby’s head. By now Jo had taken up her position with the video camera, and Lyn and Claire were waiting for the baby to arrive!

When I look back on the video now, the pushing seemed to be the easiest part, as I was more in control of my body. I didn’t have as much of the burning pain I’d had with Reid and I could feel my baby’s head emerging slowly but surely. I was also very vocal at this point, and I felt this was a good way to release my feelings of all the pain I had worked my way through! Claire was getting quite excited, talking me through the pushing as baby’s head emerged. Lyn had kept a hot cloth on my perineum, which felt good, and had given me direction with my pushing. I actually felt quite safe with the cloth there and each time she moved it to warm it up again, I literally begged her to put it back!

At 1.46am with one last push our baby arrived into the hands of Claire, who was overwhelmed. Jo was trying to video with a running nose (from a cold), a let down (she’s still breastfeeding) and tears and laughter, it makes really good viewing!!

After the baby was born, I leant into Adil and took some deep breaths, had a few tears, and tried to refocus on myself for a moment. I then heard Claire saying, “he’s born, he’s here Jude”. I remember turning quickly to look as Lyn untangled her cord, which was firmly stuck between her legs. “It’s a girl”, we all said at the same time! How fantastic. Baby Carys Shirin Ann had finally arrived, 7lb 7oz, 2 weeks early with loads of black hair, a beautiful perfect specimen.
Wade (4yrs) had just woken up (I found out later, this was because of all my ‘yelling’), as she was being born, he was totally overawed. He sat on Adils knee and watched everything, helping Adil to cut Carys’ cord. He was also intrigued with all the ‘good blood’ and the placenta, not to mention Lyn’s big scissors. However, ½ hour later all he really wanted was to know if Carys had brought him a present!

Adil and I want so much to thank our 2 good friends, Jo and Claire. Jo, who along with her 3 children had our 2 so many times while I was sick. Her endless supply of meals and the fabulous support and friendship she has given us is so valuable, a true friend indeed. Claire, who has been there for all 3 of our children’s births, a huge tower of strength, love and support, another valuable and true friend.

And finally, our friend and midwife Lyn, who has seen us through all 3 vastly different births. She has been there for us when needed, giving us so much valued support and encouragement. We are so lucky to of had her friendship over the last 5 years. There is nothing I would have done differently.
Thank you, Lyn.

Birth Story of Carys Shirin Ann: As told by Wade, aged 4 years.
My Dad came and got me up.
Jo tried to wake me up. I didn’t want to come down with Jo.
I came into the lounge. I saw the baby and Uncle Claire and Jo and Lyn and my Dad and Mummy.
I got woken up by Mummy going arrrrrah.
I saw the baby. I sit on Dads knee. Dad held me.
My Dad cut the cord with Lyn’s scissors.
The blood dripped on Mummy’s shirt.
My Dad used to let me go and let me have lots of cuddles with Carys.
The placenta came from Mummy’s vagina and into Lyn’s ice cream container.
The placenta tipped into the grass and planted for Carys’ new garden.
Carys look little. She had lots of sticky hair.
Carys had lots of toes. I love her. She is my little man.
Carys had a thing on her belly button to block the middle.
I got action man. Reid got a car.
Lyn had big scissors and a big case.
The scissors are to cut the cord, they are bigger and huge.
A note from Mum:
When asked what was the best thing about Carys being born, he replied,
“My action man and Lyn had big, huge scissors”!