You know, not all births happen exactly how we plan them, but it doesn't make them less wonderfull or less empowering.
Rachel planned to birth her fourth baby at home. She and her lovely husband, Ryan, planned and prepared for the birth and designed a wonderful birth space, with everything you can think of!
"You will need to come quickly, once my water go they shoot out" she said to me.
I was on high alert mode.
Finally after two nights of contractions that didn't really develop to an active birth, and me being super on call and prepared for action, I finally got the call mid-day to come.
It really was a wonderful birth space.
And Rachel really was in active labour.
But something happened. Between the midwifes in the other room, Rachel's toddler who was overwhelmed and excited, and the slow punkcher of the birth pool... Something happened...
Rachel got into the warm water, like she planned to, but everything that was going on around her stressed her.
She started to worry that like in the previous few nights, her contractions will stop. Stress hormone took over the oxytocin and her contractions did slow down. She really did all she could to relax and get them going again.
We tried some EFT.
And we tried some aromatherapy.
We tried to leave her to it.
Well most of us did...
Rachel decided to get out of the water. This wasn't working.
She listened to her intuition and did what felt right for her at that moment.
At this point she was so very tired, having hardly slept the last couple of nights.
She needed to regroup, get away from it all and rest. If she was in a hospital it might have taken a different course, maybe intervention would have happened (and that usually leads to more interventions).
But going for a rest in the middle of an active birth doesn't necessarily mean that the process of her birth has stopped. At that moment in time, Rachel did what her body needed and went up for a rest. She got a quick check up and was left to rest.
But someone wasn't having any of that. And he was tired and grumpy and the one thing that he needed was his mummy and some comfort.
And he got it.
You know one of the most the beautiful things about breastfeeding is that it releases oxytocin. Which is just the hormone you want running around your body during a birth...
So Rachel had her little rest, and surges came back but something there was not moving. Not like she expected. After all it was her fourth birth and she knew herself.
The midwives had a little check and together with Rachel they decided to break her water.
And you know what? Just like Rachel said all along, as soon as her water had broke, she had one big contraction and her baby was coming! 30 seconds it took!
Powerful and intense and finally she was there, in her mama's arms. Just look at her relieved face here. So much joy this tiny baby brings.
What a triumph. What an amazing mama she is.
Not forgetting for one moment her other chicks.
While we waited for the cord to stop pulsating, Rachel's toddler just made sure his mama and his milk are still there for him (of course they are! Tandem feeding mamas are my absolute heroes). All this boobing helped the placenta come along and it was delivered soon after.
This was baby Orabella's home for the last 9 months!
So... not all births go to plan. And even if you do prepare the perfect birth space, you might end up not using it. But as long as you stay tuned to your body and your needs, you can still have an empowering birth. You still have control of your body, on your birth.
You can find Rachel here.
I am always here for more stories.