Story by Caitlin and Luka…
Welcoming our little Luka Fox to the world . Born right on 41 weeks on Thursday 23/2 at home after a 12 hour labour. Wow! Women are amazing. The hardest most rewarding thing I have ever done!!! I underestimated how hard the pushing phase could be.
From the first contraction at midnight, they were all at least 2-3 mins apart. The first 6 hours I was able to put into practice the Calmbirth breathing techniques, use of the TENS machine and acupressure. By the time I called the midwife at 7am, I felt my body involuntarily pushing and honestly thought bub would arrive before she did, unfortunately she was two hours away, so I continued to labour in the shower and bath whilst she travelled to our home.
I got in the bath after I called her and continued to labour until she arrived. My body was pushing the whole time, but baby wasn’t descending. When the midwife arrived, she got me out of the bath and did an examination and found I had a cervical lip, which was preventing Luka from descending. She was able to push the lip out on the way on the next contraction (ouch) which helped things continue to progress.
I got back in the bath for a few more hours, but still wasn’t progressing as much as hoped, so I (reluctantly) got back out of the bath and headed to the toilet as instructed by the midwife to try and open up my pelvis outlet to assist with the decent.
Getting out of the bath when the contractions were so close together was the hardest thing ever, but I knew something had to change, as what I was doing, wasn’t working. I didn’t even reach the toilet and collapsed in the lounge room with a huge contraction where I felt things shift simply by taking a few steps, my pelvic outlet opened and Luka’s decent was happening.
They got me to our couch, where I lay down on my side. It took about 45 mins to push him out, as I was so exhausted. It took every bit of strength to get him out, whilst at the same time, being so afraid of the pain of the looming contractions. I was really struggling to not be in my thinking brain at this point, and really struggled to consciously bear down and birth him, as my vocals were quite high and in my throat.
The midwife instructed me to direct that noise low down, as it was really just being wasted and I was losing my voice. In the end, he was born beautifully. No tearing and the placenta followed naturally about 20 mins later. What a relief that was!!
His latch was so forceful and strong on my naturally flattish nipples that he caused trauma to them within the first 30 mins, and they were covered with little purple love bites instantly, so I’m using a nipple shield with the guidance of a lactation consultant until my nipples can be drawn out and easier able to be latched onto. They are so so tender, but seeing his little face feeding, is worth the discomfort.
I’d like to add that more often than not, you have to work really really hard to get the birth you want, (both before labour and during labour) and know that sometimes things can deviate from the intended plan, but the more informed you are, the more options you have and more control over the situation you have, and more likely you are to get your desired outcome and that you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
My biggest tip is if you want to stay in control of your birth and your decisions, is that you need to be informed. Learn about birth, prepare for birth, have a plan, and make your wishes known.
Such a magical time that I keep reliving over and over!