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Baby Boy Baltrotsky’s Homebirth Story

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imageThe five month lead up to this little boy’s arrival was anything but relaxing. Instead of getting ready for a baby, we had to move house (twice), negotiate buying a house, then, my husband’s father passed away. Work was crazy, we were sick for weeks and weeks at a time. Everything we did seemed to end in crazy. And those were the big things. We only moved into our permanent place when I was 36 weeks pregnant, just 3 weeks before the birth. Nesting? Forget it.

So many little things were also crazy, right up until the last minute and there was so much to do! But, I didn’t feel ready until all the boxes were ticked off. The very last thing that had to happen before I felt ready to birth this baby was our homeschool re-registration meeting. That happened on a Thursday. Finally… everything major was ticked off the list. I was 39 weeks the next day, and I knew that this baby was already cooked and ready to come out. I had accurately guessed with my previous two the round-about date when they would be born, and I knew with this one as well. The time was now.

The next day, I went to get an ayurvedic massage, I’d been going weekly since 34 weeks. My ayurvedic doctor told me it was important to get these weekly massages, as it helps the baby descend (brings the vata down). And, man, did it work because his head was down…waaaayyy down, which is apparently unusual for third babies. My ayurvedic massage lady gave attention to some marma points, energy points, to help if the baby was ready to come. That night, I had a mucus loss. And… my first real night of false labour was about to begin (although it had been sneaking up on me every night for weeks before).

False labour really messes with your head. The first night wasn’t too bad. I woke up around 11pm with mild contractions, about 10 minutes apart. I got excited! I also noticed the baby being really active, which was unusual because all had been pretty quiet for the past couple weeks down there. With every contraction, the baby would squirm and wiggle! (more on this in a sec). In between one contraction, I felt really tired, and laid down. I fell asleep and woke up in the morning! Labour had stopped… nothing happened all day. I felt really anxious… What was going on? In my head, I was planning and analysing. “It was the new moon, the baby should be born on the new moon, or on this date,” blah blah blah. But, then nothing.

The next night, the same thing happened. Same time of night too. Except, these contractions were slightly stronger, then they got much stronger and were perfectly spaced apart. My previous labour had only been 2 1/2 hours, so I figured I better call my midwife. At 11pm, I called her and told her to stay tuned. The baby was wiggling a lot again… then, I got tired, laid down, only to wake up again in the morning, with my babe still in my belly! I was exhausted, emotionally and physically. What was going on!? Surely, I knew my body better than this?! This was my third birth, how could I not know the difference between real and false labour?!?

Well, it turns out that the baby was most likely in a funny position, his little chin needed to be tucked in, but it was flexed. My midwife came the next morning and had a feel around. She could feel that his chin wasn’t tucked in. Our theory was that every time I would go into false labour, he would start to wiggle, hoping to tuck his little chin in so that he could negotiate that pelvis. In hindsight, he was very big and long, so it must have been hard for him to have enough space to get that head in the right spot. She showed me a few exercises I could do to help when I felt a contraction lift the belly up with my arms cradled and tilt the pelvis). Talking to her also put my mind at ease. She told me it was normal to have these false labours, and yes, it can mess with your head, but to try and relax.

I felt better after seeing her and immediately did the exercises… Then, BAM! A few hours later, it was on. I knew this was it. False labour tends to happen at the same time every day, and this was a different time, and a different feeling. I texted the midwife and asked her if she had gone far from the house. She had, indeed, gone all the way to her house, 45 minutes away. She asked me to time the contractions, they were strong and less than ten minutes apart. She was there for our last home birth, and that one had been quick, so she hit the road straight away when we told her how close together they were.

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By the time she arrived, it was obvious, this was no false alarm. But, things weren’t too intense yet. Everything was light and fun. Our friend, Julie, was over, playing with the kids. Art was frantically filling up the pool. The midwives were setting up. We were chit chatting and I could still talk to everyone. About an hour after it started, I hopped in the pool… and then it hit me that I was going to have this baby, and it was going to happen soon… and that I WASN’T READY!!!

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I don’t know what happened, but I sort of shut down. It COULDN’T be happening this fast! Could it?

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And, what’s worse, was that I felt like I had to poo. The midwives joked and said, “Aw, you probably just have a BABY to push out… probably not a poo.” But, no, I definitely felt a poo and I was not about to poo in my birthing pool. The same happened with Goldie, I couldn’t have her until I pooed! I knew this was happening again. By this time, the contractions were very strong. My waters had not broken yet and there was so much pressure. An enormous amount of pressure that I felt I could not handle in that moment.

I climbed out of the pool, felt freezing and was shaking all over. I dried off and put a dress on and staggered down the hall way to the toilet. And yes, did a big massive poo. Hooray! But, I was really a mess in my head. Because, I knew this was it. I knew I would be pushing this baby out in just a few minutes. And, I felt such a resistance. I have no idea why. I stopped half way down the hall and absolutely could not walk another step farther. I put my head on my husband’s shoulder and starting sobbing and thinking in my head. “Why me?! I don’t want to be doing this! I hate this! This is crazy!” He said I cried only for a few minutes, but it felt like I was standing there for at least twenty.

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I just wanted to jump out of my skin!!! But, there was no where for me to run and hide. It was me who had to birth this babe. Whether I liked it or not. I had not felt like this with my other two births, so it was a real shock to be going through this sort of denial.

I mustered up some strength and walked back to the birthing pool. It felt so nice and warm. A few minutes later, my waters broke, which was a huge relief of pressure. Then, I felt this baby’s head slam into my cervix. Still, the thoughts of ‘why me’ and ‘get me the f@*! out of here‘ were floating around in my head, but I had to ignore them, there was nothing I could do other than what I was doing.

The next contraction, I had that undeniable urge to push. Except, this was no airy fairy breath-your-baby out and have an orgasmic birth sort of urge. It was a ‘push like hell heave ho‘! And I did. In once contraction, his head made its way alllllllll the way down, and half way out. It wasn’t one push, it was a bunch of pushes, but all in within a minute or so. It was insane. And, he felt HUGE. I was like, “Oh shit, how many stitches, and what sort of surgery am I going to need for this one?!?!” (turned out to be not even a graze, amazing bodies we have).

His head was almost all the way out, and the midwife asked if I could push a little just to get the chin out. Push? You said push?! Yes yes! I can push because that’s all I want to do! I pushed a little, and his head was out.

The head’s out” the midwife said.

Oh God, yay, the head’s out” I thought.

I vaguely could hear Margo (6 years old) yelling, “The baby’s head is out!!! The baby’s head is out!!” to get her sister’s attention. I really had no idea what everyone else was doing during this whole thing. I think at one point, the kids were kicking the giant birthing ball down the hallway, just a few feet away from me. And, Julie was making a frozen pizza for the kid’s dinner. Everyone was joking, “which will come out first, the baby or the pizza?!

The pizza came out first, but only by a minute.

Then, I thought I might just have a little rest for a second and wait for the next contraction to get the rest of the baby out. I flipped to my back, but oh there, was no waiting. I just couldn’t wait. The baby felt so massive in there. I had to push, had to had to push before that next contraction. In my head, that next contraction might be next century, for all I knew!

I gave a tiny push. Nothing. This baby was big. Then, I gave this all-mighty heave-ho with corresponding guttural growling scream. And out came our baby! But, he was like a mile long! It felt like I was pushing forever and he was still coming out! Arms and legs stretched out and it looked like I had birthed a giraffe! He shot so far out into the pool, he looked like an astronaut flying into outer space, only connected by his air hose. He seemed sooooooo far away from me. I started grabbing for him like he was going to slip away. It was pretty hilarious. Finally, I CAUGHT HIM like you would catch a slippery fish, and pulled him back to my chest.

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I held him close for a few minute, then lifted his leg to take a peak”

“It’s a BOY!!!” I said!

And everyone chorused, “IT’S A BOY!!!”

Every birth is so different. His birth was so powerful and intense… more than I had experienced before. He was my ouchy one. The one that knocked me to my knees and made wonder how the hell the population of the planet had reached 7 billion people if every birth was like this. My previous two had been all soft and sweet.

I stood up to get out of the pool, thinking I would have to stand to get the placenta out. Two midwives and my husband were gathered around to help me out. But, I couldn’t move an inch. They were giving me a pep talk, “You can do it Kate, just one leg over… here we go..” I said, “I can’t, I can’t, Just wait!”

What I couldn’t articulate was that I was about to birth the placenta. Here they were trying to pull me out of the pool and I was standing like a donkey in quicksand. Finally, SPLAT! The biggest, juiciest placenta splashed down into the birthing pool and sprayed them all with bloody water.

See! That’s what you all get for not listening to me!!!” We all laughed.

We walked back to the bedroom to get comfy. I ended up losing quite a bit of blood, not enough to be alarmed, but enough that I couldn’t stand up properly. So, I spent the night peeing in a bucket on the side of the bed. It had been the same with my last birth, so I wasn’t overly surprised. My rock star husband was there to help empty the pee bucket and he even helped me change my pads. Wow, you just don’t know who you’ve married until you go through a home birth together!

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Our little boy was 8lb 6oz (3.93 kilos) and 21.25 inches long (54cm).

It was an intense birth, yes, but it was fun too. Anyway, the intense part was only twenty minutes. I can’t imagine how it would have been if I hadn’t birthed at home. Home is so comfy. You can really let loose and relax. The poo, the crying, blabbering on my husband’s shoulder, the peeing in the bucket on the side of the bed…  And, the girls probably wouldn’t have been there to see it.

So, hooray for insanely intense home births! Looking back, there’s nowhere else I would have rather been. He doesn’t have a name yet, but the Baltrotsky boys have a long standing tradition of having no name for so long that written on their birth certificate is ‘Baby Boy Baltrotsky‘. I don’t think it will take that long though.

My midwives were from the My Own Midwife midwifery practice on the Gold Coast. 

 

What If We Stopped Calling it the ‘Pain of Childbirth’

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I bumped into an acquaintance of mine who is attending medical school. Although I hadn’t seen him in some six months or so, and I don’t know him all that well, he started talking to me about how great epidurals were because they made the ‘pain of childbirth‘ bearable.  It was a bit awkward going from “Hi, How are you?” to talking about something that happens primarily from between your legs, but anyway… Read the rest of this entry

The Red Thing in My Freezer

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I promise you, this is not something out of a horror movie… but, if you come over my house, please let me warn you before you open the freezer.

You see, it happens a lot to us ladies who have home births (sometimes hospital births too), and it’s a big question… What do you do with the placenta?

The questions comes up quite a lot in natural parenting circles. Many people (gasp) toss it in the bin, like I did with my first, in the hospital. Well, that’s not a very nice thing to do to the organ that brought a human being into the world and gave somebody a life… now is it? Read the rest of this entry

From That Very First Day: Birth

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Today, a friend of mine welcomed twin baby boys to the world. Wow, so amazing, I mean, what even is ‘birth?!‘ Oh, I don’t even know… it’s just a miracle, that’s what. The few days before birth, the birth itself and then the few days after. It’s such a precious place in time and space, and it only happens once a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry

Have You Had That Baby Yet? Seriously, Shut up!

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There have been a plethora of overdue babies around me lately, so I had to write this post.

I worked until four days before my due date with Margo. Each and every day that I made it to work, everyone would say the same thing as I waddled in the door, “Oh, you’re here, we weren’t sure if you would make it today! You must be so over it.”  Read the rest of this entry

Dear New Mother, With That Newborn Glued to Your Chest…

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Don’t wish this time away…

My husband took this photo of me almost exactly four years ago… Sigh…

Like so many first time new mothers, my baby and I were a permanent fixture on the living room couch. My butt print was embedded in the upholstery and the outline of my baby’s ear was perpetually pressed onto my chest. I stayed in my pajamas all day. I didn’t even have an iPhone back then to get distracted on! I tiptoed around the house if my newborn would let me put her down for a second, so I could use the toilet and shovel food down my mouth. I was a nervous wreck, but completely in love. Read the rest of this entry

Five Funny Reasons Why Every New Mother Should Wear Her Baby

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Babywearing is a serious life saver, most baby wearers know that.  There are too many emotional and physiological benefits to mention here, and I’ve already written a long winded post on ‘The Top Ten Reasons to Wear Your Baby or Child‘. Here are a few of the funny reasons to wear your baby that not too many people mention. Read the rest of this entry

The Un-List of Everything You Need For a New Baby

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The first born... only a few days old.

The first born… only a few days old.

 

In July, 2013, the whole world had their attention on a little royal baby. At the time, I had just recently had a baby myself. So naturally, I started thinking about fresh little newborns.  The photos of Will and Kate, gracefully showing off their (gasp) one day old newborn on the steps of the hospital where he was born made me a little sick at first (well, they weren’t exactly on parade, they did *actually* have to leave the hospital). At first I was a little bit like, ewww… whatever, royal baby, and Kate looks perfect the day after giving birth and with make up on, and perfect baby boy and she won’t have to lift a finger to do anything and everything is perfect, perfect, perfect… vomit in my throat. But, then I looked at a few more pictures and the vomit in my throat actually turned to compassion and familiarity. They had the same awkward first-time parent look that I had when I took my first born home from the hospital.  My husband even has pictures of us taking her to the car to prove it. Read the rest of this entry

Very Extended and Tandem Breastfeeding: A Few Raised Eyebrows for Sure

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Big kid, loves boobs

Big kid, loves boobs

The other day, I was watching this clip of Maggie Gyllenhall, talking about breastfeeding her baby while she was shooting for the movie, White House Down.  The actress was saying how her daughter was only 2 1/2 months old when she started the filming, which seems crazy to me… Two months post partum and if I had as much money as her and I think I would be hunkered down with my baby wrapped on my chest and my pajamas on… forget having make up on and being on a movie set… but anyway…  It got me to thinking though… why is breastfeeding such a big deal?  I’m not talking even about breastfeeding in public, or breastfeeding a three year old, but I mean, just breastfeeding in general?  The talk show host certainly seemed a bit conservative about the whole thing, and also was a little confused when Maggie said she was ‘like, really breastfeeding‘… which is right, which is what you do when you have a tiny baby.  Anyway… Read the rest of this entry

Sibling Spacing from an Attachment Parent Perspective… Is Three the Magic Number?

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The only double trolley at Coles!

The only double trolley at Coles!

My girls are two years and four and half months apart… just to be extremely exact. Margo was 20 months old when I found out I was pregnant. Early pregnancy exhaustion and nausea set in soon after I took that pregnancy test, and stayed there for about 2 or 3 months. I spent a lot of time laying down on the couch, reading Margo books, or half dozing while she toddled around in the living room. The first trimester was during the hottest summer months, and the heat made me stick to our vinyl couch… the thought of opening the fridge to cook something made my stomach turn and I made sure that every time Margo had a nap, I was passed out along side of her. It was pure luck and a huge blessing that the exhaustion happened just at the start of school holidays, so I was off from work until the worst of it subsided. Looking back at the whole thing I can draw a better picture of what it means to have two kids relatively close in age. I know some people have kids much closer together than I did, or some even have twins or more on their hands, but it was still ‘2 under 3’ and it was a bit of juggling act to get started (still is). Read the rest of this entry