The Birth Of Baby O
I got the call at 4 30am. My client was well over 40 weeks. She rang to tell me that things were pretty intense, and she would like me to meet her at the Family Birth Centre (FBC).
I always wake with adrenalin at that time of the morning. Listening to her as she paused our conversation through a Birthing Wave, I knew that this was it.
So very excited for her as going beyond 40 weeks, had meant she had to meet additional appointments and requirements to continue to be cared for, and birth at the FBC. She had faced a lot of pressure and as always there were deadlines.
I dressed quickly and kissed my partner and kids goodbye, and packed my birth bag and peanut ball in the car and drove.
The drive is always exciting when you know a baby is on its way earthside and this was no different. I got there by 6am and I waited. The cleaner was cleaning and there was only one midwife on.
I waited patiently in the Family Birth Centre waiting room. They arrived at 9.15am. Since we spoke things had calmed down and then picked up again (the rollercoaster of birth)!
The first midwife seemed busy and she wasn't actually convinced that she was in labour.
She was using Hypnobabies, and was quietly labouring in her own way. She had been in her Birthing Time since the night before, but being a first timer we were all prepared for the long haul.
Despite Birthing waves coming regularly and lasting a minute the midwife told the Mumma she hadn't progressed enough to labour at the Birth Centre, and so we had to decide what to do.
So we all discussed it and decided to head to the beautiful Kings Park. It was an amazing sunny day. We got there by 10am and within a few minutes, she lay on the back seat of her car, surrounded by pillows.
Looking peaceful as if she were sleeping, at one stage holding a cookie in her hand up in the air. Occasionally she would reach down and grab her drink bottle and drink a few sips. The only few indicators that she wasn't actually asleep..
It was a stunning day and with the windows down, her husband and I waited patiently, guarding the sacred space surrounding this beautiful Mumma and her baby as they danced together, baby preparing to cross the bridge earthside, and Mumma to motherhood.
Passers by asked if she had overdone her workout (because she was dressed in activewear) - not even realising she was in labourland... breathing silently through her waves.
After a few hours, I suggested it might be time for a toilet break. We had secured a beautiful spot in the car park, the only one shady spot in a busy tourist area.
When she needed to go to the toilet, we asked the Parks Officers to help us out. They parked in our spot to save it for us! Her husband drove her to the toilet parking as close as possible, not realising this was blocking the tourist bus route.
Using both of us for support we helped her to the toilet. I put my sunglasses on her to try and shield her from the bright midday sun.
Next thing we heard a loud horn tooting. It was the big red, Hop On Hop Off Tourist Bus and it was full - and our car was blocking the bus route.
I ran inside to the toilet and asked for the keys to move the car. The passengers on the tourist bus were all getting very impatient.
I turned the engine on only to realise I couldnt find the Park Brake! I scoured the front seat well aware that a bus load of people were staring at me.
I said to the driver that I couldn't find the brake and if he could move it he should. So he got out of the bus and proceeded to move the car, which led to a bus full of tourists cheering. Then Mum and Dad came out of the toilet block and the cheering was silenced as they realised she was about to have a baby!
We went back to our favourite spot in the car park until it was time for the 2pm appointment. Back at the Family Birth Centre we sat out on the front lawn on a mat doing rebozo sifting, before going inside.
A concerned midwife heard the natural birth sounds and stopped to check that we were ok and that we did in fact plan to go inside to the Birth Centre (which we did when she was ready).
This time things were different. The midwives were convinced that active labour had begun and we were allowed to stay. Such a huge relief to the parents who didn't fancy another drive to Kings Park.
After labouring on the bed for a while, she asked if she could use the tub, and the midwife had no objections. With the Hypnobabies soundtrack on in the background, she laboured softly in water.
After some time a change of position was suggested, so she agreed to go and labour out of water. Things seemed pretty intense out of water, but for a while she laboured on the bed with her partner beside her, holding her and giving her strength.
The hours melted into one another, accompanied by soft music and the movement of birthing a baby. Occasionally a new midwife would enter the room or someone would walk down the hall but otherwise it felt as if the Family Birth Centre were our own.
Then alternating between the shower, the bed and the birth tub for hours. It didn't seem all that long before it was time to push.
At the 3am point it was approaching 24 hours of labour, and the midwife kindly suggested that now was the time to push this baby out (or face transferring to King Edward Memorial Hospital).
This amazing midwife was able to suggest a range of positions for Mumma, that proved to be effective for helping this baby to come earthside. Her effort was raw, hanging off the sink, she bore down and supported by her partner, in one final push - baby O was born.
Both parents were smitten. The adoration and shock in their face. I don't think they could actually believe the baby was here. It was just so amazing even to me to know that she had done it, in her own time, in her own way, supported by her loving husband. Baby O was born beyond 40 weeks and at the Birth Centre, while in the arms of her husband - just as she had envisioned.
With everything ok with Mum, Dad and baby - I decided to head home and get some sleep, leaving them all in the capable hands of lovely midwives.