Watt Family Birth Stories
Luis’s Birth Story
Paul and I had decided to start trying for our first child. First month unsuccessful, oh well not to worry, it was only early days. Three days before my next period was due, I just knew I was pregnant. It was the weekend and Paul was at his mates’ place working on the sprint car, I just had to do the test then and there – positive. Well, talk about elation. I could not wait for him to come home so I went to him, armed with the tester. As I walked up the driveway Paul came out to see me, all I could do was hand him the tester and through my tears mutter that we were pregnant. Now the nine month wait.
It all started just as the clock ticked into Friday 30th July. I went to the loo at least half a dozen times by 1.30am, while Paul carried on sleeping. I had been to yoga on the Thursday night and stopped to get Nasi Goreng for tea on the way home, hence I wasn’t sure if it was that that was sending me to the loo or the start of labour. But by 1.30am I had decided that it had to be labour, and it was now that Paul woke, wondering where I was and what I was up to. I told him that I thought it was time and he was up and straight out of bed – “why didn’t you wake me sooner?” was his response. Off to the lounge we went to bide our time watching the telly and enjoying the warmth of the fire. Paul’s mission was to keep count of the contractions, which were well and truly here now.
At 2.00am and the contractions were ten minutes apart. As we didn’t really know what to do, after much deliberation, we thought it time to call Hannah (our midwife) for some advice. She told us to leave it for another four to five hours and then see how things were progressing. It was our intention to call her and Paul’s sister (our support person) with an update.
We had discussed all our options for the birth, and although a home birth did sound very appealing we had decided that we would have our baby at Waikato Hospital, since it was our first and we were so uncertain as to what we were going to go through. We wanted to stay at home for as long as possible and thought we would pack the bag in early stages, using this as a distraction from the contractions. So off I went to the bedroom to start packing. Every time I had a contraction, I would call out to Paul so he could record it and every time it did happen onto the bed I would jump, on all fours swaying. The pain of the initial contractions were quite intense, but I think it was once the endorphins had kicked in that the pain became more bearable. I can remember saying to Paul not long after I started packing “get me to the hospital, I want some pain killers”. Thank goodness for those endorphins as I was so determined that I could do this naturally. The bag packing was progressing very slowly, but the contractions progressing very quickly. In the end Paul came in to help me pack. We had lost track of the contractions but they seemed to be coming thick and fast and when I checked them on the alarm clock I was shocked to see that they were only two minutes apart and it was only 4.00am, two hours since we had first called Hannah.
It was about now that I informed Paul that I was not moving. All I could think about was how the hell was I supposed to travel in a car while I was in such pain, forget it, home seemed the perfect place to be. Paul checked if I wanted a bath or a shower or anything else, no way was I moving from that bed, I was there to stay. It was time to phone Hannah again, especially when I told Paul I wanted to push. He was fast on the phone, to both Hannah and Marie to get here quickly. Hannah arrived about 20 minutes later and Marie about 5.30am. Luckily, she got here, apparently she had one scary moment as she sped from Tarawera, that slowed her down a bit.
When Hannah arrived, I was on the bed with Paul rubbing my back. I told Hannah that I was not moving, so off to her car she went to grab her homebirth kit. Thank goodness she had it aye. It was about 6.15am when the urge to push really started and there was no stopping that urge. Hannah suggested the bean bag, which was an awesome item to have with the birth. I was on one side and Marie on the other. With each contraction I would get up on my knees and lean on Marie while I pushed and in between contractions I just lay across it with my eyes closed, in my own little world. The pain was so excruciating as our baby came down. All I can remember saying is “it’s gonna come out my poo hole” and I honestly believed that.
The next thing I know Hannah is telling me the head is crowning, not too long to go now I thought, and it was only a little while later and she was telling me one more push and the head would be out and one more push and it was, with Paul catching it. They told me later that the membrane was still intact, and that Hannah needed to pinch it to break it. I now waited for the next urge to push, which would bring our baby into this world, but the shoulders were stuck so Hannah had to assist a little. Luis arrived at 8.15am.
It was dad who made the announcement “we have a son”. I felt total elation at the arrival and that we had done it naturally, joy that Luis was healthy and safe, ecstatic at the sight of him and amazed at how beautiful he was (and still are). I had instant love for the little bundle that I was holding. I lay on my back with Luis on my chest and Paul cuddling us both – wow. Paul even had tears in his eyes, which made everything even more special for me. We named our little man Luis Jarod Watt (a name which Paul had chosen before the birth). Hannah checked Luis over, all 9lbs 8ozs and every inch perfect. We got Luis on the boob, with some guidance from Hannah and the three of us (mum, dad, and child) lay there waiting for the arrival of the placenta. 45 minutes later it arrived. Once it was out, I sat on the side of the bed while Marie held Luis and Dad tied off the cord with flax and then cut it.
We had done it, we had a beautiful son and both Luis and I were good. A second degree tear from the shoulder, but it was worth it, we had our wonderful little man. I cannot believe we ever doubted that we could have a homebirth for our first child. It was the most perfect place to give birth. Everyone was great. Firstly Paul, who got ignored, but hung in there. I may not have spoken to him, but just knowing he was there was all I needed. Secondly Marie, who managed with all my weight pushing on her. Not once did she complain, even the one time that I bit her!! The following week she told me that she had to have a massage as her back and hamstrings were so sore, and I can’t say that I am surprised. And thirdly Hannah our midwife, who told me that I could do it when I was saying I couldn’t. She helped to bring Luis into this world.
Rowan’s Birth Story
Well, this birth was a little different to Luis’ birth, not better and not worse, just a little different.
Paul and I had decided to start trying for our second child on Luis’ first birthday. Well, we conceived on Luis’ first birthday!! This time dad and I did the test together (I did Luis’ by myself) and the excitement of being pregnant again was just as fantastic. Our first phone call was to Hannah (our midwife) – we had to have her again. Our due date was Sunday 22 April. I loved being pregnant and was really looking forward to the birth, just to see our baby face to face was going to be wonderful.
On Saturday 21 April, about 8.30pm I started having funny tummy feelings. It certainly did not feel like the labour pains I had with Luis, hence I thought that it may just be an upset tummy. I called Hannah just to let her know that I thought that this could be it – not 100% certain, but just be prepared for another call sometime soon. I went to the loo about 10.30pm and had a show, so this really could be it. But with Luis the show had come about 4 days prior to his arrival, so no telling. Off to bed we went, thinking that we should get some sleep just in case. I was awoken a couple of times, but I am not too sure if it was the tummy waking me or just the mind.
At 1.30am on Sunday 22 April I felt a dribble, thinking I had wet myself I jumped out of bed and went to the loo. I thought that this might have been my waters. Luis’ hadn’t broken until his birth so I didn’t know what to expect, but what else could it have been. I headed into the lounge, got on all fours, swaying with the contractions. I was timing them and writing them down as they came along, all the while I was watching the Chiefs playing, I can’t remember who they were playing, but they were in South Africa. I phoned Hannah at 2.00pm to say that the contractions were about 6 minutes apart. She asked if I wanted her now, which I didn’t as things were quite bearable. She told me to give her a ring when I needed her, perhaps in 3 to 4 hours time. Paul got up about now to see what I was up to!! He had not even felt me get out of bed but had heard something so thought he had better check. I was heading to the loo lots and yelling out each time a contraction happened so Paul could write them down. By now I was in the kitchen, leaning on the bench, it seemed to be the right height.
It was 2.00am now and Paul asked if I wanted him to phone Hannah, yes was my answer. Things were really happening now, the pain was getting quite intense. Hannah answered the phone “Sharon?”, but when she heard Paul on the other end, she knew that things were serious, and she was on her way. Paul had started filling the spa bath, as we were going to have a water birth this time. Kelly (our student midwife/support person) arrived around 2.45am and Hannah about a minute later. Kelly headed into the bathroom to look after the bath, which thank goodness was just about ready. I can remember being in the kitchen and squatting with a very intense contraction. I always complained at yoga that I could not squat and here I was squatting!! Next thing I was folded in half (feet and hands on the ground with my butt up in the air). Paul asked Hannah what I was doing, and she told him that I was trying to slow things down as the baby was coming. I don’t know why I stood like that, it just felt right.
Now I had the urge to push, which I did, one push in the kitchen and Hannah directed me to the bath. So off I waddled, hands on knees. I can remember thinking how the hell am I going to get my leg over the bath, but somehow I managed to and to find a good position, on my knees leaning over the bath. I said, “oh big poo, big poo, here it comes”, and with that I had another push. Hannah had a quick look and told Paul he better get down there ready to catch. Of course, he could not understand what Hannah was saying, it was too quick, but the head was crowning, and our baby was well and truly on the way. Another push and the head was out and one more push and the body was almost out, just stuck at the hips, so Paul helped a little, and our second son was born at 3.00am. Only 1½ hours, a lot quicker than either Paul or I had expected.
Paul was the one to make the announcement again, as he was holding our brand new child he declared “we have another son” and I can remember saying over and over “thank goodness it was so quick”. He may have been a lot quicker than Luis, but boy the pain was just as intense. I managed to get my leg over the umbilical cord and sit on my bum so I could cuddle my son – Rowan Joel Watt. He was so little, but so very gorgeous, we had done it, another perfect son, after a fantastic pregnancy and a pretty satisfying birth. I sat in the bath with Rowan for a little while, until the cord stopped pulsing. Hannah and Kelly were outside cutting some flax to tie off the cord. Paul cut it once it had stopped pulsing and then held Rowan while I birthed the placenta. Then I jumped in the shower, which was just divine.
We all then headed into the lounge and sat around talking for a while, about the most unrelated things, but it was just so cruisy, you wouldn’t think that we had just given birth (other than the little bundle in my arms and the smile that wasn’t leaving my face). I think Hannah and Kelly headed off about 5.00am. I tried to feed Rowan, but he just wasn’t interested. Paul, Rowan, and I all headed off to bed, knowing that Luis was going to be awake soon (can you believe he slept through the whole thing, with all my grunting and everything). Luis got up around 6.45am. I was in the loo at the time and he came down to see me. Paul got up and got him his milk and I headed back to bed. Paul brought Luis to the bedroom to show him his new brother, he just wanted to touch Rowan.
Rowan finally had his first feed around 8.00am. Luis and Paul were up, dressed and fed by this stage, watching telly I believe. I can remember hearing Paul on the phone, very briefly. He was calling his mum to tell her we had had our child. She didn’t even ask whether we had a boy or a girl, just said she was on her way around and hung up the phone and came straight around. She was so delighted when she arrived to see Rowan, but had wanted to know why we had not phoned her sooner. She was going to come around for Luis during the birth, but as he hadn’t woken, we hadn’t phoned. She would have come around at 3.00am to see Rowan if we had have called her.
Hannah and Kelly arrived back around 8.30am to weigh Rowan. Hannah had left her scales at home, hence we had to weigh him a little later. Only 7lb 13ozs, but every inch of our little boy perfect. Once again, a wonderful homebirth experience. Thanks to everyone (Paul, Hannah, and Kelly) for getting me through it. The arrival of our beautiful, healthy, and perfect son was well worth all the pain.
Jordyn’s Birth Story
I knew I was pregnant even before my period was due. Paul and I did a test but as the test kit was past its use-by date, we went around to Hannah’s (our midwife) to get a new one. We did another test there, but the line was just about non-existent, so we got some more test kits to do the following morning. We also found out that Hannah was leaving Hamilton and moving to Nelson – she had been there for our two boys (Luis and Rowan) and the miscarriage we had had four months earlier, so we just had to have her again. We did another test that night and the line was more obvious, and it was definitely there the next morning when we did another test. We rung Hannah to let her know, saying that we would also like Kelly (student midwife) to be involved, as she had with Rowan.
This pregnancy was so different from our boys. We don’t scan, but I think I knew all along that I was having a girl. I had a prolapsed disc at 8 weeks, but luckily found a great osteopath who managed to get it just about right, but that took a good three months. I then had two bouts of the flu, with the first putting me out of action for two weeks (our baby was certainly going to have good immunity as I didn’t!!), and I strained my back again at about 36 weeks. And to add to all this our baby was breach up until the end and of course there was the study I was doing – with two exams 1½ weeks before our due date and another two exams four days before our due date (and both on the same day!!).
The last couple of weeks of the pregnancy were pretty busy. Luis had just started morning Kindy, so we were off around 8.20am every morning walking there (my daily exercise). Then it was home again, and Rowan and I kept ourselves busy until we needed to go back to collect Luis. I was also busy studying for my final exams as I really didn’t want to have to sit them again next year.
Hannah came around when we were 39 weeks and confirmed a breach and then came around again two days before our due date and felt our little one was still breach, thinking that she could feel the shoulders and that the head was tucked under. We had prepared ourselves for a breach homebirth with Hannah and Kelly giving us lots of information. It is amazing the reactions we got when telling people that we were birthing a breach at home – most people assumed that we would be off to hospital for a caesarean.
I had been having niggles in the early hours of Sunday (day before our due date), but I didn’t think much of it. Paul headed off around 7.00am dirt bike riding (about when the niggles stopped) – on the condition that he came straight home after the ride just in case our little one decided to come early. I had a show late morning and sent a text to Paul to let him know (as he was out of coverage area). As soon as he got it, he phoned to check how things were going – nothing happening. Paul got home around 3.00pm and set the birth pool up and filled it as I was having niggles again. By 6.30pm we had established labour – our little one was on the way. Our boys were going to stay home for the birth but they were wanting my attention and I just knew that I wasn’t going to want to give it to them so Paul dropped them off at Nana’s for the night (and boy am I pleased he did – the language was not good!!).
We phoned Hannah to let her know that we had established labour and she phoned Kelly and they headed around. It was quite strange having them there waiting for things to happen as we had only phoned them when I was in transition previously. The contractions were progressing with me breathing through them as needed. Once they started to get more intense I got into the pool which was absolute luxury. Dee (our second midwife) had arrived by now and we were all just chatting away waiting for things to really happen – then transition started and how things changed. I felt really lost with myself. I didn’t know what I wanted (other than staying in the pool). I was using the F word a lot, screaming, and hitting the side of the pool, really getting quite frustrated. Things just were not going like they did with our boys and when I had the urge to push, I felt there was nothing to push. I think I was feeling a bit scared, thinking that as we had a breach baby, it was stuck (as it wasn’t coming like it should!!) and I started thinking that I had to get help. I said to Hannah that I thought I needed to go somewhere and she advised me that I would have to get out of the pool and she would have to do an examination before I could go anywhere. I so needed to hear that, it gave me the push I needed. I knew I was not getting out of that pool, I did not want to birth in hospital, and I did not want an examination, so with the next contraction our baby was coming.
I had remembered Hannah telling us earlier in the week that we had to let our breach baby out slowly as with a fast breach birth there could be complications. I was pointing saying “coming, it’s coming” and Paul was saying that he could see eyes and a mouth. Here I was thinking our baby had come out bum first and all of the body was out and we just needed to birth the top of the head – nobody told me that our little one had come out head first – that she had turned.
It was 10.45pm and our baby was here, crying and I was thinking no resuscitation, our baby is doing it, we don’t have to resuscitate (Hannah had advised that a lot of breach babies are resuscitated for very good reasons) – our baby was so clever. I then stood and lifted my leg over the cord and our baby was handed to me. I looked to see whether we had a daughter or a son, I had to look twice and couldn’t believe we had a daughter – which I proudly announced to everyone. We sat in the pool for a while and I fed our little girl, then we got out and sat on the couch waiting for the placenta to birth. Once the cord stopped pulsing Paul cut it and the placenta seemed to fall out not long after.
Jordyn and I lay on the couch and I fed her some more. Then I dressed her. I had forgotten how little babies are and how difficult they are to dress. But everything came back to me – eventually.
Jordyn is now eight weeks old and I look back to her birthday with a smile. It seems so long ago, and the memory of the pain has gone, just the memory of holding her for the first time is here – and what a wonderful memory. And the reaction of our boys the following morning at meeting their sister – awesome. She is so very different to Luis and Rowan – she sleeps!! She is the most beautiful little girl, especially now that those rolls are here – just more to cuddle. We were lucky to have such an awesome support group during our pregnancy and birthing. Paul, my man who is always great – Hannah, who is not only the best midwife out, but also a family friend, and we will miss not having her in the same town – Kelly, who was so supportive throughout, and who is going to be a great midwife starting next year and Dee, who is just such a beautiful person.