Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A Bit of Birthing Background

Firstly, I just would like to say a huge thank you to all the people who read (and hopefully enjoy) my blog! So far I have had over 5000 reads, which makes me feel just a little special :)

Secondly, I thought I'd give you a 'birthing background' about myself. Way back when I was about 13, a school friends mum was having her last baby. One day I went around for a visit and she had this big, blow up pool in the living room. Wondering what it was, I asked and found out it was her birthing pool that was set up for the impending arrival of their third child. A water home birth. I was in love. That, and the fact that both my brother and I were born at home, instilled the love of birthing in me. Yes my parents were hippies back then. But hey - who wasn't? (Come on Mum, you have to admit it.....)

Honestly, I was all set for a hospital birth with Jordan. I really was. Until I was told that I couldn't give birth in water. But if I paid $10k I could give birth in water at the private hospital 600m down the road. Uh, no. After a few weeks, and chats and phone number sharing with my beautiful yoga instructor (thanks Vanessa!) I decided to give birth at home. We didn't even have to hire a pool. Finally that huge corner spa bath would get used! Some of my family - including my husband - were dead against it. The first time we met our midwife, he refused to speak to her. The second time, he watched a home birth video for an hour with his jaw on the floor - in awe (sorry for the rhyming). I wouldn't say he was hooked, but he was nibbling at the bait and prepared for the bite. And anyway, if you know me - you don't go against me!!! Eventually he came round (or had no choice). So did the rest of my family. Jordan was born at home after a 36 hour labour (start to finish) at 2:07am on the 1st of January 2007. Yes, I did manage to say happy new year to my wonderful birthing crew!

Yes, there was a time during that long 36 hours that I thought - what the hell am I doing?! But I am an extremely positive person. I believe in the power of positive thoughts and I believe in my body. My body was made to birth. No, birthing a 9lbs4oz baby wasn't 'easy', but I still enjoyed it. Yep. I enjoyed it. The only time it hurt was when he was crowning. Otherwise it was just this immense pressure inside of me, and I gave myself  over to the feeling and just went with my body.

The second time round, my midwife knew I was pregnant before Daniel did! I think early on Daniel asked me if I'd home birth again. I think I just gave him 'a look' and that was that. Amali's labour was perfect. I went into labour around midnight, so I got up and began labouring by myself in the quiet, dark house. I had originally intended for Jordan, now 2, to be there, but he just happened to have been having a sleep over at mums that night. Obviously the universe didn't think it was a great idea to have him there, so that was fine. I laboured throughout the night by myself - the way I prefer in the early stages, it really helps me get 'into the zone'. I had my dad's relaxation music on, the same as with Jordan's labour, and I used the birth ball and lent over the kitchen table with a candle burning. I had to go to the loo a lot during those first few hours - the body's natural way of making sure the only thing it needs to concentrate on - birthing. During this time I got bits and pieces ready for the birth, half filling the spa, towels ect. I woke Daniel at 5am and told him I needed him now - he almost jumped out of the bed. I hadn't told him earlier on as I wanted him to get some sleep. He rang my midwife and she spoke to me and listened to me during a contraction. Then I said that I thought I was going to throw up - needless to say she got in her car straight away (this is a sign of transition, prior to serious labour happening). My best friend was to be another support person and she arrived within minutes of the phone call. I tried to walk up the hall way to get an internal so I knew how far along I was, but that short amount of walking bought the contractions on very strong and I never made it to the bed. Eventually I hopped into the spa and within about 45 minutes Amali was born at 7:05am. I even managed to tell everyone that she'd be out within 3 more pushes, and she was.

The second time the power of my body absolutely stunned and amazed me. There were a few times that my body just pushed by itself. There was a contraction and my tummy changed shape and pushed. I just laid there - amazed! She came out 8lbs8oz and a pale blue colour with bright red lips. And boy was I stoked when I lifted that little leg and discovered she was a girl! The best moment of my life so far. Sorry Daniel and Jordan - your birth and getting married come a close second!

So, this time round I told my midwife I was pregnant and arranged our first meeting for the same day as my dating scan. I walked out of the scan stunned beyond belief and went home to wait for her and tell her the news. The ironic thing was, that it was a given that this time I'd have my last baby at home. Daniel didn't ask about it or question it. That was the way it would be. Our children think it's strange when our friends go to hospital to have babies! However, this time the universe threw me a curve ball and in catching it I knew that I would not have that last home birth. These babies would be born in a hospital. But unless absolute necessary, I would not be having a c-section.

I suppose I wanted to share my two birthing experiences with you all so that you know where I am coming from. No, I don't need to justify my decision in wanting a vaginal birth, but I'm more helping you understand me and my choices. Yes, there is a chance that these babies will need to come into the world before 32 weeks. And that's ok. If the universe decides that that has to happen, then it is for a reason. But why should I put any thought and energy into this scenario? I know the things that can happen, I acknowledge them, I understand them, and I have put them aside. If the time comes that they need to be bought back to the forefront of my mind, then that will happen.

For now, my focus is growing these three miracles inside of me. Eating lots, gaining weight (which means the babies are growing) and resting. A lot. I went to the Plaza (our local big shops) yesterday, spent 2 hours there, including sitting down and having lunch (and when walking around I did it very slow), and it ruined me. I was so physically exhausted when I got back to the car. That is the worst I have been. Again, time to listen to my body and not do that again.

It feels great to lie with my hips up each day. I can feel my cervix saying 'thank you!' as the pressure is taken off it. I only last an hour in this position as the babies start to push on my lungs and breathing becomes harder. The blood also gets to my head! But it is important. Vital. In the next few weeks I hope to push that out to 2 hours a day. Everyone keeps asking me how I am. I feel great. As long as I rest.

The babies are kicking strongly now. I can watch my belly jumping when I'm resting. A lovely way to reassure me that they are growing healthy. I don't feel as much from Baby A as he is the lowest down and his placenta is in between him and my skin. Baby B and C have a field day though!

Almost 22 weeks now.
6 weeks until my first goal of 28 weeks.
10 weeks until my second goal of 32 weeks.
And 13 weeks until my big goal of 35 weeks.
But I keep having the number 36 weeks pop in my head.
We'll see.

My thoughts and love go across the seas to America to my triplet friend who at 22 weeks has been ordered on strict home bed rest as her cervix has shortened to a point where it is scary. This really hit home with me as to how important this rest is for me and my babies.

No pictures for 21 weeks, I need to get back on track and take them on Friday,  when I turn 22 weeks.

And happy Home Birthing day to you all :)


  1. You are amazing Chenoa, it's like you've already been on this earth before. How is it that you are so young, yet so wise. You Go Girl.

  2. I love your stories!!
    I had 3 natural births, one in birthing sweet, one at home and one in hospital. I so believe in home births and that one of mine was the best ever. Sometimes you just can't choose... I had my peace at home and baby got out in 3 contractions. Hospital was the most forced one, no peace and privacy... I so get you and where you are coming from.

    Stay tuned and and universe will know where and when. Keep listening your body too!!!

  3. Of course I read your blog, and with each & every time - pride & love brings tears & awe - (& I've never said I was a hippie, just living an alternative lifestyle : ) Having you & Nathan at home was an easy decision for me, it's exactly as you have felt -the natural way to give birth. Obviously the triplets have thrown a spanner in the works but I'm sure the midwives & staff will soon understand the strength & determination that you have. Let's hope the universe also knows you as well as I do.
    Love mum xx

  4. Wow good luck, you will be amazing. I have met a lady who has had triplets vaginally, amazing woman and fighting the system is hard but you can do it. :)

  5. Hi Chenoa,

    I've seen you on the SCMBA Fb page. I saw your goal of getting to 36 weeks. I think it is great that you've got that goal for you babies. There's a triplet mum in the link below with a pic at 36 weeks. She had her bubs vaginally. Anyway, I thought of you when I saw this footage. All the best. Tulani