I was about 4 weeks pregnant when I called my midwife. The first thing she asked me was where I would like to give birth…
My first baby was born at home. It was a truly wonderful experience and I had a perfect homebirth. I chose a homebirth at that time because I had no Medicare or private health insurance to cover for a birth and having a homebirth was financially the most viable option.
This time round we had organised private health insurance including obsteric cover. I would have liked another homebirth but finances were problematic and my private health insurance would not cover fees for homebirth. I was stressed and was thinking to have a hospital birth instead because our private health fund would cover all costs for hospital birth. I was confused!
My midwife provided us with lots of information about our choices of where to give birth and we settled with combined care planning a hospital birth. We were seeing our midwife for most of the pregnancy appointments and our obstetrician Dr Ravi Kashyap, who works in collaboration with our midwife, for only 4 antenatal visits.
My midwife was very supportive and always here to help. Whenever I had a question she was the first person I would contact. She always had the right answer for me and gave me good advice.
Ravi accepted and supported all of my choices and never forced me to do anything different. We talked through our birth plan, which my midwife encouraged me to write, at the 36 week obstetric appointment. Ravi was very happy to support my plans for a waterbirth and a natural birth of the placenta.
My pregnancy progressed smoothly, besides normal and minor pregnancy complaints.
Our last pregnancy appointment was on Saturday, which was the birth preparation meeting. I started having a few early labour pains on Sunday and they continued until Monday.
On Wednesday we had planned to have guests coming to our house for dinner so I woke up early to prepare 5 different dishes.
Around 11 in the morning I started having some contractions. My husband was at work and I did not tell him a thing. I knew that if I tell him he would keep calling me up very often asking me how much pain I have or how far along I think I am. Or he might even want to come back home.But I just wanted my body to do the work that it had to do and not have any distractions around. So I just kept it quiet that I was in labour and stayed by myself. My plan was to wait for the right moment to tell him.
I did contact my midwife though to let her now. I told her that I was doing well and I am just letting things unfold as they are happening. I did not need my midwife to attend.
Around 3 pm I went to my friends place who lives just next door from us. I could feel the contractions coming more often but still was trying very hard to hold it together.
Around 6pm I told my friend that I think today is the day of birth and that I have been contracting since early this morning but have not informed anyone about it apart from my midwife. I told my friend that the baby will be here by tonight. My friend thought that I was joking! I was unable to return back home by myself so my friend accompanied me back home. I could already feel that the contractions were coming more often and felt more painful.
I decided to call my husband then to let him know. My husband was on the train on the way home from work and I was unable to contact him because of poor phone reception. I had to wait until he was about 5 minutes away from home to tell him that I was in labour. He started asking me all the distracting questions that I thought he would be asking! I told him that everything is fine and that there is no reason to panic. I explained to him that I have been having contractions since 11 this morning but chose not to say anything because I knew he would be unable to remain calm.
I informed my midwife that the contractions are more frequent. When my husband arrived back home he could not believe in how much pain I was and had made the decision to never tell him that I was in labour. Labour was getting so intense that I felt I could not handle it anymore and started crying!
At 8pm I told my husband that it was time to call my midwife as I could not bear the pain any longer and at 9pm my midwife arrived. I remember watching Tennis, my favourite player to cope with the pain.
My husband wanted to know how open my cervix was and asked me if I am happy to have a vaginal exam. I definitely agreed! When my mydiwife examined me I was 7cm dilated! I did not believe her and thought she was only saying that to encourage me. But then I heard her call my obstetrician and the hospital to organise getting the bath filled. I realised that she was telling the truth. So we made our way to the hospital. On the way to hospital the contractions were really painful and I felt like I wanted to push.
When we arrived at the hospital the bath was all ready to go and I went straight into the bath. My midwife was by my side the entire time and my obstetrician arrived 10 minutes after we had arrived in the hospital. My obstetrician entered the room quietly and just sat patiently next to the bath. The room was dark and the atmosphere was very calm. There was no friction in the labour space. My midwife and obstetrician fully supported me and worked well together.
The urge to push was so strong that I could not stop my body from pushing. My waters broked and then with the next contraction my baby’s head was slowly born. At 11pm, 30 minutes after we arrived at the hospital my baby boy was born!
After a couple of minutes I came out of the bath to rest on the bed for the birth of the placenta. The baby’s umbilical cord was left untouched. After 10 minutes my midwife asked me to stand up and push. The placenta came away naturally with very little blood loss, without administering any medications and the cord was cut after the birth of the placenta. My obstetrician checked if I had torn but everything was fine and I did not need any stitches.
I went home the next day in the morning and introduced Aarav to his big brother Aaron. It was all joy!
If we are having a third baby we will definitely have another homebirth. There was no major differences between my homebirth and the hospital birth. There was nothing extra that the hospital did offer me.
You have to let your body do whatever it needs to do, irrespectively of giving birth at home or in the hospital. I knew that there was nothing that other people could do for me when I was in labour and certainly that nobody could do it for me! You have to do it by yourself. You have to listen to your body and let things happen as they happen. You have to allow your body to do its work.