Professional birth photographs by Jen from The Heart of Motherhood.

Patiently waiting

So I was getting impatient and nervous … Rosalie arrived at 39+5 (with terrible intervention and a cascade of errors that lead to an emergency cesarean section and a traumatic birth experience that took so long to heal from and I was worried if Emilia would ever arrive!

I had an induction booked for 40 weeks which was a Sunday 3/2/2019 which was my due date as I didn’t want to go a day over. Friday 1/2/2019 came (I had lost some mucous plug) and I had an OB appointment – Emilia still wasn’t engaged but had moved a little further in when my OB had an external feel of my pelvis.

I had discussed with Matt so much and we told our OB we wanted to cancel the induction for Sunday and reschedule for the next week which would have made me 41 – our OB was happy and supportive! Thank the lords!

Releasing fears

Saturday came and went – I lost more of my mucous plug but nothing happened! We went for dinner. Nothing happened. I spent a lot of time on my exercise ball. Nothing happened.

Sunday came – 40 weeks and official due date. We did our usual pottering around and I took some photos of my belly and Rosie while she napped. It was 11:30am – I didn’t realise this would be my last photos with Rosalie before baby arrived…

We went to my sisters for dinner. Nothing happened. No pains, came home and put Rosalie to sleep. I did an amazing fear release before I fell asleep – I was walking through a garden and there was boulders in my way. These boulders were my fears! I saw each fear appear and I smashed it away with a hammer… then fell asleep!

I did an amazing fear release before I fell asleep.

“My sister is coming!”

I woke up at 11:30pm on my due date, Sunday 03/2 /2019 exactly 11 hours after my last photos with Rosalie to surges. I got up and when I realised these surges weren’t stopping and were coming regularly (basically from the get go!) I downloaded an app to track them.

They continued and didn’t stop or drop off and I couldn’t sleep as when I laid down they got more painful. I kept walking and timing, walking and timing. I woke Matt around 2 and said hey babe, we should get organised Emilia is on her way! I’ve never seen him move so fast!

Rosalie was up by this stage and running around screaming “my sister is coming!” So I got in the shower, called my sister and got organised – my surges hadn’t changed only gotten more intense! We dropped Rosalie to my sisters and the surges were more and more intense and we drove.

I didn’t want to go into the hospital straight away so we waited in the parking lot while I walked and breathed and then I said to Matt I wanted to check in. We went in through emergency and when I said I’d been having contractions since 11:30pm (it was almost 4:30am by then stage!) they said oh wow we’ll get a wheelchair!

Meant to be

We arrived to birth suite and got room 3 – amazing that I noticed this – but my OB told me this was his fav birth suite room as he’d had his most vaginal births here! I felt like it was meant to be!

The midwife went through some notes from Rosalie’s birth (which were incorrect and annoyed me) but hooked me up and started tracing my surges. Surges were regular, Emilia was fine and I was fine! I asked to be detached so I could go to the toilet and then around 7am my OB arrived.

He laughed and said he knew I’d go into labour because he’d booked another induction- he is such a good kind doctor! So I was expecting a VE but nothing. He said keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll be back around 10am – I was shocked!

I had a panic attack when the midwife who was there for Rosalie’s birth and who bullied Matt and I arrived to “care” for me for the day… my heart sank! I was gutted. My day didn’t account for having to deal with her and her 75 years of negative nonsense!

An angel arrives

My OB knew of my issues with her, and had asked for her to do a swap and I didn’t realise but at 8am an angel arrived in the way of a midwife who’d been practicing privately but came back to the private hospital scene!

I hugged her and said oh my god I can’t believe you’re here… she hugged me back and said I have heard a lot about you Mumma – are you ready to have a baby????

She fitted right in and we barley noticed her! She explained a few things which included that if I had any scar pain I had to tell her immediately which I knew and then she said no for a walk, she said babe was doing great and my surges were fabulous so she said – get out of here! So she unhooked me and off we went down through the hospital and out into the garden.

My surges were strong and I had to stop to breath through them, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I knew because Emilia wasn’t engaged or in a perfect position I had to stay upright, so I persevered! I went to the loo while we were walking, and had blood… I didn’t get too upset or worried but made a note to tell my midwife when I got back upstairs!

“Are you ready to have a baby?”

A special moment

By the time we got up stairs, she wanted to check my pelvis and did a check. Emilia had moved in a little – not a heap but a little… I was so excited but got up quickly as everything slowed when I lay on my back! She said the blood was a good sign as it meant my cervix was doing something (all the dates had been worth it!) so I kept walking!

My OB arrived around 11 and we talked surges – he said they need to be longer… they had only been lasting 30 seconds and he said they need to be a minute plus to get bub out which made sense! Still no VE as he didn’t think I needed one, and he was so happy with bubs stats and mine. He said “so long as mum and bub are happy, I’m happy!” While he was there they checked her head in my pelvis and she’d moved out a little… I cried and started to lose focus – my midwife whispered it’s ok, relax just breath and she’ll be ok! So I did…

My OB said he’d be back around 2pm and to just keep doing what we were doing – so we did… I would hold Matt’s hand and squeeze and breathe – I remember he was timing them and I was getting to 45 seconds but still not long enough. My midwife said that they were actually lasting 90 seconds, but I was only noticing them when it started to get uncomfortable!

So here I was surging for 90 seconds every couple of minutes… and I didn’t even realise! I was feeling amazing – I remember Matt was in the loo and I turned to Mum and said – Mumma I’m actually going to do it … I’m actually going to have my baby, and I cried – Mum hugged me and said yes you are sweetheart! And she cried. Then our midwife cried and then Matt walked out saying – what’s happened!! Such a special moment!!

So here I was surging for 90 seconds every couple of minutes… and I didn’t even realise.

Anyway, everything continued, I tried on the bed. Hated it. I tried walking but I was getting tired – it was about 1:30 now and my legs were getting sore! So I asked for a mattress and we tried the floor… as crazy as it sounds my body knew what it needed – completely instinctively knew what was best!

My OB came in at 2pm and we chatted and I asked for a VE because I was panicking my cervix wasn’t dilating and I was only 4cm (where I “stalled” during my first labour!) so he did and he said oh wow Lauren – which panicked me – but he quickly said you’re 6-8 with your membranes about 3 inches through your cervix!!!

I looked at Matt and smiled… and said we are getting there – and then well in true Hollywood style – my waters broke!!!! He quickly put a tracker on her so I could keep walking and being upright, which I was happy about. He said he couldn’t tell what position she was in, but he felt it was ok…

I couldn’t believe how everything was happening so differently… but was so excited everything was happening on its own!!!!! He checked mine and bubs stats and he was amazed at how great she was – she wasn’t wavering, she was perfect as he said. My midwife and I chatted and I believed it was from my surge breathing technique that kept her calm… she completely agreed!

My OB said he’d be back around 6pm and I just needed to have dilated a further cm to keep everything on track… I was excited and terrified! But kept doing what I was doing – the time flew from here, this was 2pm and I remember by 5pm I was involuntarily pushing!!!!! I remember my midwife called my OB and he said he’d be down…

I believed it was from my surge breathing technique that kept her calm.

She’s nearly here

I was getting a tad irrational by this stage and kept asking if anyone could see the baby, as I was exhausted. The pain now was very strong with each surge, and while I was breathing I was also crying and saying I wanted to be done.

I argued when they said they couldn’t see her yet – how? I’m in so much pain, I’m pushing – why can’t you see her!!!! I remember I could feel Emilia rotating with each surge and I knew she was getting into the perfect position… such a clever little baby!!

My midwife suggested I hope off the floor and onto the bed, but I argued because I needed to stay upright.. she reminded me very kindly that Emilia was in place now and ready to arrive! So I got onto the bed and it was bliss!!

My OB had arrived and he and Matt were laughing and I remember I told them to cut it out – I wasn’t in the mood for laugher!

I remember saying it doesn’t hurt anymore, and my midwife said it’s ok – she’s not far away!

Then I started to get a real urge to push… and so I did – my OB told me I wasn’t pushing into my bottom, and I needed to push into my bottom… so I did – I remember thinking of my HypnoBirthing and thought I should be breathing but pushing felt right! So I pushed…

I was so exhausted between pushes I was falling asleep. I was so tired. I kept asking do I need a section? I don’t want a section! And my OB said – Lauren she’s coming… you just need to get her out! I asked for help. I said do what ever you need to get her out I can’t do it anymore… he was waffling on and I thought I don’t have time for then I need to push again!

A calm and collected babe.

Then I felt that ring of fire… I knew she was coming!!! So I pushed, one last time and I knew her head was here and I was told don’t push anymore and I thought but I don’t need to, she’s here! And then in an instant and was here!

My OB shouted, Lauren she’s on a short cord don’t pull as I just wanted to cuddle her! But I held her, and she was with me. I did it! She was here. My baby!! I remember not much after this, except she was very quiet! They kept checking her, and making sure she was breathing – she was of course but she was just so calm and collected. We cuddle for an hour, before she wanted food… and she fed.

I was so proud of her and of my body!

She latched perfectly! My beautiful birth and my beautiful girl – what a day! My OB said he couldn’t believe it… Emilia had turned almost 180 degrees to get into the right position and that she never went into distress! He said he’d never seen a baby in such a bad position stay so calm and still arrive as she did… I was so proud of her and of my body!!! Less than an hour of pushing and she arrived, completely intervention and drug free. A totally natural labour. I still sit here in shock that I did it… When we finally went back to our room, my midwife said the contractions I had had all day were what they expect with an induction and when a mother is placed on the Drip. She said she’d never seen anything like it, and that from the moment she saw me she knew I was going to have the birth I’d dreamed of! My heart was full – my body had created and I had birthed by babe. Naturally. Drug free. Intervention free. I won’t receive any medals, and I don’t want them – I just want to honour my body for the goddess she is!

A huge thank you to Lauren and Matt for sharing this amazing VBAC birth story. I appreciate my couples taking the time to share their honest experiences with others. B x