|Josie meets Ocean|
In her own words...
On Saturday i asked Mum to have the girls overnight so that we could go walk on the beach, and hopefully get things moving. Well, 35mins walking at James' speed in the freezing cold wind was enough to do me in! I went home to bed and had a fantastic nights sleep. The girls came home the next morning and as Freya was feeling ill we had a a quiet indoor day. Rest, rest and more rest, it felt perfect. I think inside, by mid-afternoon I knew that the baby was going to come that night. I was having regular tightenings but no pain, and I made a conscious decision not to time them or pay too much attention to them as I didn't want to feel like I was 'in' labour until my body was really ready to do something about it.
The girls went to bed early and easily that night and I felt like you do just before an exam. - There was nothing more I could do, no more meditating, journalling or researching unnassisted birth would make a blind bit of difference. Instead I kicked back to watch junk television and eat biscuits, I went to bed early.
At 2am I went for a wee and even before I got there I knew it had started, although i'd still felt nothing. I did a wee, stood up and felt a trickle. I smiled. Hmm, what now? I went downstairs and sat on the edge of the sofa for a few minutes wondering if I should light the fire, or wake James. I felt a surge and stood up, no, I'm just gonna ride with this. I liked the dark and I felt that doing it on my own was what I had really planned deep down inside for a while. I wanted to own this birth completely and not have to worry about what anyone else was thinking or feeling at that time.
For quite a time I stood and spiralled my hips through each surge, singing 'the river is flowing' gently to myself and feeling ecstatic that I was going to meet my baby soon. When they started to ramp up a little i got into meditation mode and called the energy from the Great Mother, grounding myself deeply before asking for healing gold light from the father above and calling in my spirit guide who is at this time an ancient midwife. I felt ready to move forward. I got some water and went and sat on my birthing ball leaning on the stair pillar. I remembered reading somewhere that your contractions can never be bigger than you because they are you, and so I thought I would focus on getting my breathing down to a really gentle level, really relaxing in to each contraction. This gave me a break for quite a while. I felt the desire to stand and my waters went with a gush. I remember thinking 'great, we're really going to get on with it now', and sure enough the next surge was a lot more powerful. I moved on to a kneeling crouch hanging over pillows in the corner of the sofa and working with each surge. My singing was getting louder now and i had to work hard to stay in control, I didn't want to wake the family too early and have to concentrate on anything other than what I was doing. When i felt I needed a poo I got up and had another full on surge. Walking up the stairs was hard work!
When I got there I had to cling on the bannister and sing. There was no being quiet now. This woke Lilly and I called James, he came out and told me he'd been listening for about half an hour waiting for me to call him, he told me he was proud of me, I sounded like I was doing great. This really helped to reassure me, and i moved in to the bathroom as he went to sort out the girls.
Thankfully having read 'Hello, baby' many times they weren't at all phased and were soon settled down to watch Mary Poppins in their bedroom whilst I was roaring away in the bathroom. I had tried to sit on the loo and it felt really wrong.
James came to check on me and i asked him to get the shower going and put some towels down in the bath. I had felt for a while that Ocean wanted to be born in to water, but having a bit of a phobia of baths I didn't do anything about. Getting in the shower was bliss, it gave me a few moments peace before i had a really strong urge to push, i reached down and felt I wasn't quite ready but the urge told me to push. I went in to a full deep squat and the urge to push just wouldn't stop. I roared and out came the head, but so did a load of blood, I yelled to James to call the hospital to send a midwife as I was bleeding. ( Throughout my whole unassisted pregnancy my only fear had been hemorrage). James called them and they and told him to call the paramedics whilst they kept the line open, meanwhile I had another urge to push. I roared again and out came his little body, with a lot more blood. I remember looking down and noticing that he had two arms, two legs, everything was where it should be. I couldn't believe it, i had done it!!!! I'd freebirthed!!!!
I yelled to James and the girls that he was here, but the girls were watching a good bit of Mary Poppins and James was still on the phone. I got out of the shower with Ocean in my arms feeling amazing, but there was another big spolsh of blood come out. James ran upstairs and wrapped us both in towels, the paramedics had advised him that i needed to lie on my left and they would be there in three minutes. They turned up and a minute after that a midwife turned up. I consented to her checking me and it turns out that although i had some tears there was nothing to major to worry about, she sent the paramedics away and James set about cleaning up the blood (the girls were fascinated by it all and ran around saying there's more blood here, and here, pointing it out to each other).
Jane (the midwife) was fantastic and stayed for a cup of tea and wanted to check that the bleeding settled after I passed the placenta. I did consent to having the injection (can't remember what it's called) after I had birthed the placenta, just because there had been a lot of blood loss already. Ocean was here, beautiful, and his birth and placenta had not been affected by any drugs or interventions in any way..
All in all I can say that this was the most powerful experience of my life, I had achieved everything that I wanted and I felt immense pride and satisfaction that my experience had confirmed to me everything that i had believed and worked toward in the last year. I completely owned this birth experience, it is something that should be every woman's birth right. James also feels that he got more out of this birth, even though he was less involved. Having his role as protector and organiser made him really feel valuable and involved, and the girls loved being here when he was born.
Thank you Josie for all those classes, many times throughout the labour, and the weeks previously I used techniques and information I had learned to help me, Ocean was born at approx 6am on Lilly's third birthday 09-01-2012, our family is now complete.