Everything about the birth of this girl was about timing. On August 9th, I picked Art up from work and he asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday weekend. My 30th birthday was only 3 days away, (August 12th), but for me, I was a bit pre-occupied nesting, cleaning out closets and drawers, scrubbing tiles, and washing cloth nappies, to even think about the big “Three Ohhh”! Hmmm, birthday weekend… I mentioned that I had been thinking of getting a recliner chair, that way if the baby woke up in the middle of the night, I could just go out and feed, take him or her to the ‘bucket’ (potty), without having to wake up Margo, since we all sleep in the same room. I told Art, no need to rush buying a chair, the baby wasn’t due until 21st August, we could just look around. So, we went to the Super A-Mart furniture store and to my surprise, my usually super bargain-shopper and hunt-for-deals husband, said we could get one straight away. Early birthday present, my dear… He had to gut the car out to fit the chair in there, so we decided while we had the car cleaned out, we may as well put the new baby’s car seat in. I was 38 weeks, so it was about time anyway. I was 10 days late with miss M., and even though I had a feeling I would come early with this one, I was in denial that anything would happen so soon.
Art was outside, vacuuming the car, and Margo and I were inside the house, rearranging furniture, making room for my new chair. Then Art got all mad at me because he said that I shouldn’t have been doing all that heavy cleaning, lifting, etc. while I was so far pregnant,,, maybe he was right… Put Margo to bed, sat on my new comfy chair and picked up ‘The Water Birth Book‘ by Janet Balaskas. My midwife had loaned me the book. To be honest, I’m not much of a reader, but it was pretty good, and I wanted to read the section on ‘how to fill the pool’. Read that, then picked up my crocheting for a bit. I checked the time, quarter to eleven, ‘Oh, better go to bed! Even though I know this baby isn’t coming now, it’s a good idea to always be rested, just in case!’. Then, I stood up, and, there went my waters!
It wasn’t like in the Holywood movies where you’re all of a sudden standing in a puddle, it was very subtle, I wasn’t even 100% sure if that’s what it was. So, in denial, I didn’t say a word to Art, tried to go to bed, and half an hour later, yes, I was sure, it was indeed the waters. At 11:45pm, I rang our midwife, Maria, just to give her a heads-up. I was thinking, man, I’m not ready for this baby just yet! We still had to buy a hose for the pool, it was the middle of the night, and we don’t have 24 hour Wal Marts here like they do in America. No contractions yet, little babe… you’re just going to have to wait. I couldn’t really sleep at all that night, every half hour, I was running to the loo (lucky, that meant we didn’t have to utilize the fishnet for the birthing pool, if you know what I mean). Morning rolled around, hardly any contractions, so I made an appointment with the acupuncturist to see if I could get things rolling if they didn’t start soon. Art took Margo out to get the hose and some maternity pads (haha, wonder what the cashier thought). I stayed home and did my yoga, breathing and meditation, did the dishes, took a shower, even had time to shave, hang out the laundry, and baked freaking apple crumble, in denial, as if nothing was going on! I even called Margo’s swim school and told them casually that we wouldn’t be coming to swimming today because my waters had broken the night before!
Keep in mind, Margo’s labor was something silly like 36 hours all up, so I wasn’t expecting the baby even to be born that day! I thought, well, I wish contractions would start, but maybe I need to take a nap first.. actually, Art should too, because we could have a long day ahead of us. Can you believe my nerve! Margo went down for her nap around 11am and we all had a big family sleep. Art and I woke up before Margo and we went out into the living room to do our breathing, and meditation. While I was meditating, I started getting strong contractions, each time I would get one, I peaked at the clock and I noticed they were 5 minutes apart. Wow, I thought, that was fast, guess I don’t need to get that acupuncture. As soon as Art opened his eyes from his meditation, I told him, he had to get cracking and blow up that pool. It was about 2pm. Still thinking in the back of my head that I would be in labor for the next ten years… and that we had lots of time…
While he was filing the pool up, contractions started heating up, Margo was getting fussy, because Art was busy and I wasn’t able to deal with her during contractions, so I called our friend Maria (different to the midwife), as she had planned to be there to help with Margo during the birth. I also rang our midwife thinking it was probably too early, but something in my voice she sensed, and she said she was on her way. Sometime in between the contractions, I remembered thinking about the book I had ordered from Amercia, ‘We’re Having a Home Birth‘ by Kelly Mochel. It hadn’t come yet, but somehow, I knew it was in the mailbox! Art! Go check the mail! Sure enough, it was there. I read it to Margo as best I could in between contractions. Soon after, Maria our friend came and Maria the midwife came. And then, I was gone, just gone, off on another planet. Planet birth mode. Primal during contractions, semi-conscious in between. About an hour after Maria the midwife arrived, I couldn’t believe it, but I said I thought I had the faint urge to push. She quick called the other mid wife. Mean while, Art was still filling the pool! We had run out of hot water, so he was boiling water. Maria our friend was reading books to Margo. Maria our midwife was helping me through each contraction and just being an absolute angel. I somehow managed to get up to the loo, and then it was all over, went into the living room, I was in second stage (ready to pop that baby out, in other words). The EXACT SECOND Art got the perfect temperature in the pool, I became fully dilated, hoped in, and in about five minutes we had a baby in our arms. Art walked outside for a SPLIT SECOND and missed the head the coming out. She sort of came flying out like a rocket ship. Other than stopping for a brief moment and squirming around with her head was sticking out (OUCH), she literally flew out! And, there she was, our little baby girl, 11 days early, arriving August 10th, 4:20pm 7lbs 1oz.
Sharon, the second midwife rocked up about ten minutes after, traffic on the M1. I guess baby girl was going to wait for a lot of things, like for me to nap and for the book to come in the mail, but not for Sharon. The placenta came out a bit later, we left the cord on for about 3 hours, but decided to cut the cord rather than do the full lotus birth. it was just too much with Margo jumping around. Anyway, it just felt like the right thing. I still have it in the freezer, maybe I’ll make a smoothy with it, Art said he would pass on the placenta smoothy…. 😉
So, here we are, three Leos, and Margo, the Pisces. Art, baby girl Baltrotsky, who is in the process of being named (what!? she was too early!) and myself, we all have our birthdays within three weeks of each other. I’m writing this on my 30th birthday, two days after baby was born. I guess we can call it ‘birth-week’ from now on. Having a home birth was amazing and that’s a whole ‘nother story. It’s only about 100x more comfortable than being in a hospital, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting your toothbrush or undies! Little baby girl is wrapped up on my chest and has been sleeping for a couple hours while I’ve been writing this, deep in her own little bliss.
Huge thanks to the midwives of Gold Coast Midwifery Practice!