The Birth of my Son-Shine.

By Xavia Healy-Diaz


The evening before Rico was born, I was in the middle of making Anzac biscuits when my friend and I remembered that we had seen a cow in labour down the road. So off we trotted, saw the calf all wobbly legged, and then headed back up to the house. As we approached, we saw black smoke billowing out of all the windows and doors – we had left a pot on the stove. I felt so terrible – what if I burnt the house down? What if all the baby clothes got burnt before I got to put the baby in them?

That night at my mum’s (my house stunk so much of smoke that I had to leave) I lay in the bath feeling totally terrible. I was tired and over it and felt like by the morning, I better have a baby or feel better, but I could not go on feeling like this. That night I got up to go for a pee and had my bloody show. I was pretty excited and suddenly every movement for the baby was important (to me anyway). I was all jumpy and couldn’t sleep. My family has a bit of a history of really long early labour and I remembered what the midwife told me.

There are two things to do in the really early stages of labour. They are eating and sleeping because you won’t be able to do either of those things later on. I sure as hell couldn’t sleep so I got up and ate some toast. After that nothing had happened, so I went back to bed. In the morning I was pretty flat, so I just rested at my mum’s place. About midday I took a homeopathic spray with caulophyllum in it and started having my first pangs about a minute later. They were kind of like period pain but sharper and they were definitely in the front not the back. They stayed regular at 10 minutes apart all afternoon, but I didn’t really think it was labour.

I had a midwife appointment in the afternoon, so Adam and I went to that. Our midwife Kate said that often the early contractions can be the hardest to deal with as your hormones have not kicked in yet. She also recommended I try tensing everything up on one contraction to see how important it was to stay relaxed, but I never did that, I was too scared. Adam and I drove back to Leigh. I didn’t like talking to through the contractions so we made a code word, and when I didn’t want to talk, I would say “morepork” so he would know just to give me a minute. It was great actually and we used it all the way through the labour. We went to the Sawmill Cafe (where I used to work) for dinner on the way home. Everyone kept asking when I was due. When I told them I was three days “overdue” they were all like “oooh well I hope it’s not long now” and “take it easy while you can”. I didn’t mention I was pretty much in labour, as it seemed a bit personal.

After we got home we watched a bit of TV, Adam half-heartedly rubbed my feet and then I thought I had better get some sleep, so I took some Panadol and went to bed. I woke up later, I don’t know when but maybe about 2 hours later and the contractions were getting pretty full on. I woke Adam up and he got up and moved a big chair into the birth room we had set up. The contractions were getting pretty intense by then, not really that pleasant. We rang Kate our midwife – the contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and nearly a minute long. Kate said it sounded like they were still a  bit irregular and it would be good if I could relax a bit, so maybe have a shower or a bath, and to ring when Terry said to. (Terry is my mum, for whom Rico’s birth was the 21st she had attended).  So next we rang Terry. She came up with my sister Tureya, and my dad Rique to finish setting up the pool. It turned out I hadn’t read the instructions properly and there was still heaps of setting up to do, we needed a battery we didn’t have, and it all got a bit stressful. Luckily the neighbour had a battery.

This was the worst part of the labour, when it was quite stressful and there was seemed like there was still heaps of setting up to do, the califont for the pool kept leaking gas, my dad wouldn’t lend us his watch to time the contractions, which were really intense by this stage. Then after all that, I got in the pool when it was ready and absolutely hated it!! It made it WAY more intense and changed where I was feeling it, so I got out again.

We had moved into the room Tureya and I had set up all nice (sisters are heaps better at that kind of thing than partners) and lit the candles we had made. Once we the midwife arrived it was better. The energy wasn’t so scattered, and I could focus.  I had read and been told at ante natal that lying on your back is the worst way to labour, but for me I laid down for an internal and that was me. I was most comfortable I had been. Stupidly, I hadn’t organized anywhere to lie down in the room, so we had to pull and squab out of the wardrobe and laid it kind of across the doorway…and I lay there pretty much until Rico was born 4 hours later!

I was really terrified that Kate would arrive and say I was only like 3 cm dilated, so I was stoked when I heard I was 8cm! I puked a few times, and that sucked but hey, I have since read that vomiting help open you up so it probably a good thing in the end. Like I said, I was really comfortable and not long after Kate arrived, I really got into the swing of things. I was leaning back on Adam and drifting off to sleep in between contractions, which were about 5 mins apart again at that stage, then sitting up and focusing on a point and making a loud low guttural noise when I felt one coming, then drifting off again. That was the trick I found, to be prepared, listen to myself and get ready as each one came on. If I was talking or something and one took me by surprise, those were the contractions that were really hard.

My mum kept encouraging me to move into a different position to see if I was ready to push, but even though my body was I wasn’t so I just lay and lay and lay, for about like 2 hours. Eventually I needed a pee, so I got up and went to the toilet. When I was coming back up the hall, I was overcome by the most intense urge to push!! I grabbed Terry, who was luckily right there, and bore down hard. I liked leaning on her to push as she has massive titties, which I could lean on like a shelf. Then I knelt down, facing Adam to have the baby. I have to say it really did feel like it was coming out my bum! He went in and out for what seemed like ages, moving past the bones, and then finally crowned. We could put our fingers in and feel the top of his head, which was pretty awesome. The head came out first obviously, then one more big push and out squirted the whole baby!! Which, by the way, is the most amazing feeling?

He landed behind me on the mattress and I somehow turned around without stepping on him (he was kind of behind me and underneath me), there he was! A whole baby with a massive cone head and black, black hair. I picked him up and he was all slippery and slimy and strong! It was pretty hard to keep a hold on him when he kicked. I cuddled until the cord stopped pulsing and Adam cut it. All the time I just kept saying “my baby my baby my baby”. We all three got in the pool then to wash, we had some meconium on us, and I nearly dropped the baby coz he kicked, and he was strong. Afterwards Kate helped me to put him to the breast.

Then we opened the curtains and realized it was daylight outside, the night was over, the hard work was done, and we had a tiny baby boy! Adam was my pillar of strength. From the time he woke up I was ok as long as he was near me. I held on to him and his strength and calmness helped me stay calm. He was amazing at know what to do and what to say and without him it would have been a completely different experience.