It has been over a week since the home birth of Caden Joseph.
As most new mummies I want to share his birth journey, and as his was an amazing experience I want to write it out so that I always have it.
Saturday the 28th of January, 8 days past my ‘due date’ started out like most other Saturdays. Adley and Nevaeh got to have their ‘Dora’ morning (when mum and dad stay in bed and the kids are allowed to put the t.v. on until 7am), we made pancakes and then the kids went for a play at Leah and Emily’s house while daddy went to work for a few hours.
The week had been the hottest in Perth for years, each day over 38C (100F) and that Saturday was forcast to be 42, the hottest day of the summer. During January I had felt it important to keep to ourselves a little bit. I wanted to spend time with the kids, playing and enjoying our last time together before baby arrived and Adley started kindy. I wasn’t yet ‘over’ being pregnant, I was feeling great, not uncomfortable and enjoying the kicks and hiccups of my baby inside of me. I was getting anxious about not going into labour on my own though. Having planned a homebirth, the last thing I wanted to do was have to walk into a hospital to be induced.
I picked up the kids about 11 and brought them home for lunch and a nap. My gorgeous Doula popped over for a quick coffee on her way home from the gym and I had a couple of ‘twinges’ that did make me stop but after a couple of false labours I wasn’t prepared to say anything just yet.
While reading to Nevaeh and Adley I experienced a couple of decent contractions, the kind where I needed to stop and breathe. The kids wondered what on earth mum was doing and told me to ‘keep reading’ their stories ☺. Once they were safetly tucked in I called Rick and told him not to rush home but not to hang around at work either. Then I sent a message to Sara, my doula telling her she needed to come back, but added a ‘don’t rush’ on the end. I was a little paranoid about calling people in for the birth and then having contractions disappear again. I set about getting ready for our baby’s home birth, the time was 12pm.
The pool had been sitting, (tormenting me) for a couple of weeks in our bedroom. The kids and I had actually used it a couple of days before to cool off in Perth’s heatwave. The towels and sheets were all piled up, candles ready to be lit, a playlist of music to be played in early labour and later, Bible verses about God’s strength ready on a board to read. It soon became evident though that I was not going to get much prepared during contractions and that I really shouldn’t have been worried about the contractions stopping. They quickly turned into 3 mins apart and very intense. I called Linda, my midwife to let her know and she told me that she was at the hospital with another client! Without time to be disappointed she said she would call her colleague (who I took to mean Sara, the backup midwife I had met), I called Rick again….and he didn’t answer! Somewhere along the line I managed to put the extra sheets on the bed and throw in a cd. I called Rick again, and he didn’t answer! When he (finally) called I was in the middle of a contraction and answered to let him hear what was going on. He yelled that he was on his way. In amongst this Adley had come in to talk to me about Cars or something to that effect…feel a little panicked I told him that he could go and watch kids shows (Adley didn’t hesitate for a second!) The doorbell rang and it was Sara….with much relief I let her in and at the moment realised that Sara could do all the ‘stuff’ and I needed to get on with birthing my baby who now seemed to be in a bit of a rush! The time was now 12:30.
The next phase is a bit of a blur to me. I spent most of the time at the end of my bed rocking through the contractions and going to the toilet! Then, I decided that rather then going back and forward…I would just stay on the toilet. Not that I particularly needed to go, and I had never envisioned the toilet would be a cool place to hang out in labour, but really….this isn’t a time to think about what might look good! Unfortunately, the toilet really wasn’t a ‘cool’ place. Being that it was 42 degrees outside and the toilet doesn’t have air conditioning I was soon incredibly hot. Rick arrived home about 1pm, helped Sara with the pool, frantically called to find out where the midwife was and discovered that Marilyn, a midwife we hadn’t met would be coming. He and Sara managed to get a fan and some iced water to cool me down which was a welcome relief!
Somewhere along the line my contractions went from intense to needing to push. For the first time I could feel my baby descending through my pelvis. Even after two other births this is the first time I had experienced this sensation. With Adley I had had an epidural and didn’t feel any kind of need to push and Nevaeh practically fell out (at least that is how it felt). Between being told I was 8cms and Nevaeh being in my arms was just 10 mins and the pushing was so strong I don’t remember feeling her descending at all.
The pool was (finally) ready at about 1:20 and I jumped in. Even on such a hot day the warm water of the pool was just wonderful! Instantly my body seemed more relaxed, the aches and weight disappeared and I was able to fully commit to pushing out my baby. The toilet had been a great place to labour but I really wasn’t all that keen on birthing my baby in there!
At 1:25 I think the doorbell rang, or Rick was so excited to see a woman arriving he didn’t care if he was letting a stranger or a midwife into the house! Thankfully it was Marilyn who had come in out of her holidays to greet our little one. Marilyn did a quick check of baby’s heartbeat, which was the first time someone had touched me during the labour. Sara and Rick had allowed me to be in my own space through contractions, encouraging me with words but not entering my ‘zone’. Sara had repeated the phrase just to ‘go with it’ often, and that is what I intended to do.
With the next contraction I could feel the baby’s head and the soles of my feet burning! I have never heard anyone comment on their feet burning while the baby is crowning but the same sensation occurred with Nevaeh as well. It literally feels like hot oil has been spilled on my feet! With the next contraction came his head and then a couple of minutes later his whole little body came out and I was able to lift him to the surface of the water and straight onto my chest. It was now 1:33pm…just a little over an hour and a half since the first contraction.
Adley who had quite happily entertained himself with kid shows in amongst wandering in and out of the room to see what was going on came running in at the sound of the baby. He quickly decided that we needed to wake up Nevaeh (who had somehow slept through it all). I am told Nevaeh jumped out of bed when she heard that ‘our new baby is here’ and Sara caught a beautiful photo of Adley and Nevaeh meeting their baby brother for the first time when he was just a minute old. The kids then spent a few minutes trying to give him ‘baby toys’ and Adley informed Caden that when he is a bit bigger they will have bunk beds!
It was the most beautiful moment, more perfect then I could have ever imagined!
Our lovely midwife arrived just a little late. She had been with her other client who delivered at 1:10pm and then jumped in the car to get to us, missing out by just 10 minutes! It didn’t matter at all as Marilyn had been wonderful and really hadn’t had to do much at all. The next few hours were lovely as Linda and Marilyn fixed up the paperwork in another room, the kids were kept occupied with more kids shows (they were pretty pleased with all the extra t.v. time) and a bag of goldfish unsupervised and Rick and I were left in our bedroom, on our bed to enjoy cuddles with our new baby boy.
Caden’s journey into the world was fast but one of the best experience’s in my life. A friend asked me if it was as special the third time around and there are no words to describe the love that you feel for your child…even your third! His birth was not only empowering, it showed me that not everything goes to plan (I would have loved my other wonderful doula Cath and my midwife to have been there) but when a mum is supported and doesn’t doubt herself and her capabilities, miracles can happen.
Caden has been the most peaceful baby and I hope that has something to do with his entry into the world. When we were looking for a name we came across Caden, meaning Peacemaker in some books and fighter in others. Although somewhat contradicting we decided that sometimes you need to fight for peace. Our hope and prayer is that our little boy, like his big brother and sister will do what they can to bring justice, peace and a bit of heaven to earth for all.