Just an hour of her birth, Amy sent me this text:
“Three beautiful words for you Pip: I did it!
We have another little girl, born at the birth centre an hour ago, drug-free after coming in from home at 9cm. Thank you so much. Great birth.
Just had to tell you straight away!”
I can’t tell you how proud I felt and how honoured I was to have played a role in Amy getting the birth she wanted.
Luckily for you, Amy did elaborate on her text and sent me her Amazing Birth Story.
Here’s the story!
Thank you so much for your course.
Thank you for meeting me at the start and end of my pregnancy.
Thank you for your utmost faith that I could do this. Because of you, I got the birth I wanted, the best birth possible, so thank you. xx
This was my second (and final!) pregnancy and it was a straightforward and uneventful pregnancy like last time, apart from morning sickness for the entire 9 months (just like last time!). Unlucky!
For our first baby, we decided to go with a private obstetrician and had a good experience at St John of God in Subiaco.
Confident that I knew what I was doing second time round we decided to go for the Family Birth Centre at King Eddies instead.
We went for a tour there and immediately loved it, they said so many of the same things that Pip had said in her course. I was assigned my own midwife called Carol and saw her for all my appointments.
At 40 + 3 I decided to book my toddler into daycare so I could have the day to myself so I messaged daycare at 8:30am to let them know to expect her.
I started to feel some Braxton Hicks type niggles at about 9am and I didn’t want to think much of it as I had had a couple of false alarms the week prior and didn’t want to jinx myself. I called my husband Cam at work just to say maybe something was happening but maybe not so he was on standby.
The niggles continued, every 3 minutes or so and started to get a bit more bite to them, enough for me to cancel daycare as I didn’t feel confident enough to drive any more. I called Cam again and said I was okay for now but I think labour had started!
So I did the only thing I could think of and started cooking! I knew if this was it then people would be at my house for the next few days and would need snacks. Not sure about my logic there!
I messaged my sister at work, who was driving us to the FBC, but she wasn’t replying or answering my calls (despite answering every phonecall from me in the last month with “Is this it? Are you in labour?!”. I couldn’t get hold of her so Cam got hold of her husband, my brother-in-law to come and look after our toddler. We eventually got hold of her thank goodness.
At 11am I thought it was time for Cam to come home so I told him to get himself something to eat and get home as quick as he could. He arrived at 12pm followed closely by my sister and brother-in-law. They decided to get something to eat first so ducked out to grab something and get changed out of corporate clothes.
I had hired a TENS machine this time as I’d had a few people recommend them in early labour. Cam put that on me and I had it cranked straight away, using the boost button with each surge.
I had made myself a wall of post it notes with little reminders of all the tools in my hypno-birthing toolkit that I could use (e.g. affirmations, shower, massage, light touch, etc) so that I had options in case I forgot what to do in labour (like I did last birth).
My go-to this time was a playlist with music that I loved, not relaxing music at all, more songs that made me go “OMG I love this song!”, so for me, that meant RnB from the nineties. That music put me in a good head space and I focused on the lyrics and beat rather than the surges. I found myself with headphones on, kneeling over our bed in our darkened bedroom singing out loud to these ridiculous songs while Cam or my sister rubbed my back. Hilarious probably to them as they couldn’t hear the music and I was using the singing to get me through the worst of the surge.
At 2pm we decided to head to the FBC.
Now I had to get into the car. They were coming so fast that I would have one surge, then get to the bedroom door, then wait for another surge to pass and then make it to the hall, and then wait again for the next surge to pass before getting in the car. I was laying in the back seat with my head buried in the pillow, blocking out all light with my eye mask. My sister drove us and I was concentrating so hard on staying calm and getting through each surge as best I could (without pushing!).
I was so successful I staying calm (and silent actually) that I heard my sister and my husband discussing if I had stopped being in labour and perhaps they needed to go back home!
It was about a 40 minute drive to Subiaco and when we made it my bubble burst and I was quite vocal with my surges.
My sister went to reception to tell them we had arrived and needed some help and my midwife looked at her strangely, thinking perhaps that I didn’t look like I was in labour – the perks of being an identical twin I guess! She advised my midwife, that I was in fact in the car.
I remember a midwife helping me out of the car and I loved her so much for her help. We walked past the reception desk and there were some pregnant couples there taking it all in – my sister said one of the husbands was pretty wide-eyed haha.
My midwife took us to the room and my sister got to stay too.
I was saying I wanted to push and she examined me on the bed and said the best thing I think I’ve ever heard anyone say “You’re 8-9cm!”. I was so happy!
I got gas and air and buried my head in some pillows, on all fours, and started to push. my midwife was so great and just told me to do what I felt was right for my body and pretty soon she could see the head. Cam was with me on the bed and I kept asking if my sister was still there (I had blindfolded myself with my eye mask) and she kept saying she was there and that was reassuring.
I got to the calm transition part where everything stopped hurting and I just waited for each urge to push. But I was fighting it, like last time, I didn’t want to do this part!
And then I heard my midwife tell me gently to “surrender” and it was like a trigger word for me. I’d heard that word so many times listening to the affirmations that I found myself all of a sudden able to relax and let go and birth my baby.
From arrival at the FBC to the arrival of baby it was 40 minutes. We’d gotten there just in time. I had a student midwife following my pregnancy and she made it just in time to see her first birth at the FBC. She said to me later how different it was from the private hospital she worked at.
When she was born she got put on my chest for the longest time and we got to soak her up. Everything was dark, curtains drawn and Carol was quietly doing paperwork next to the bed. Umbilical cord was still attached and pulsing and we were just waiting and falling in love with our baby. I think we were allowed to stay like that for about 20 minutes before the placenta came out all by itself. Amazing, and so different from our private hospital experience.
I was in awe of the whole experience. I did it! And I couldn’t wait to tell Pip! I was completely drug-free and felt great. No tear, no drug-hangover, no “ring of fire” even! My midwife had talked me through a fantastic delivery. We left the hospital 6 hours later, very happy to be back home in our own house.
Grace Patricia Drummond was born on Friday 6th April at 3:27pm, 3450g. She completes our little family.”