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It really started the day before. Not the labour, but the magic.
Despite feeling massive, and needing to pee every 0.5 seconds, it was one of the best days of my pregnancy which I’m sure was all part of Sonny’s divine timing and contributed to my body’s readiness for labour. It was a beautiful day, sun was shining, so we went for a big walk around the lake, serendipitously bumped into my cousin, had a play at the park & just a fun day with Leo. Early in the evening I went on a second walk on my own to get extra ingredients for dinner, I had been slow cooking beef for a laksa. I felt heavy, and bub felt lowww, but my body felt good, and ready, as I breathed deeply, waddled slowly, and looked to the sunset sky feeling the presence of the women in my lineage who have walked these final steps of pregnancy before me – I can’t explain it but it felt all kinds of special. I did loads of stretching all day, deep squats, and kneeling lunges from my spinning babies routine. Dinner was DELISH and Leo was off to bed early. Mitch and I spent the evening cry-laughing at ‘Friends from College’ (one of my ALL TIME fav series FYI). Bed time. And as I began to ease out of my evening meditation I heard Leo call out. Mitch was already asleep, and as if prompted by a knowingness inside of me I thought to myself “this might be your last chance to snuggle him”, so instead of waking Mitch I went to Leo’s room, lowered myself into his floor bed (to his surprise & excitement) and cuddled him tightly, telling him how much I love him… “I love you so much too mum”… he drifted back to sleep. I returned to our bed with my heart feeling full, and while Mitch did get back up to Leo in the early hours, I slept really well which is why I woke at 5.10am with such a full bladder… And that’s when it all began.
At 4 days ‘overdue’ I woke up at 5.10am – Thurs 19th Aug – needing to pee. While sitting on the loo I felt an unusual sensation – my waters broke although I wasn’t convinced that’s what it was until I went to go back to bed and then felt the flow and quickly shuffled back to the toilet! Excitement ensued. It was what I’d been hoping for all along & yet I tried not to get my hopes up just yet for spontaneous labour since I hadn’t felt anything close to a contraction in over a week. So I called mum for Leo duties, (wishing my Dad happy birthday at the same time!). Mitch and Leo were still actually asleep in Leo’s bed at this point so I let them sleep while I brewed myself a chai, smiled into the pink sunrise sky outside & waited for mum. Once she arrived I had a long hot shower, which is when I started to feel a few mild contractions, could this really be it!? I called the hospital 6.15am. Given that we knew that I was almost fully dialated from my Obs appt 2 days prior (yep, fully dialated), they said ‘don’t rush… but come straight in’. At this point I heard Mitch & Leo stirring in Leo’s room so surprised them with news that Oma was here because “mummy and daddy need to go to the hospital to have the baby!”. Leo was super excited, as was Mitch who may have panicked just a little lol.
This was all so different from our planned induction with Leo.
I sent Mitch for a shower while I grabbed our things, contractions were coming on more regularly but short and manageable. We were on the road by 6.45am listening to my labour soundtrack. The excitement of it all ACTUALLY happening meant I was singing and laughing in the car with contractions still mild, tracking about 2-3mins apart.
We arrived to the Maternity ward 7.15ish and moved into a birthing suite. The midwife did an internal, I was about 8cm dialated. I was straight on the ball, bouncing and squatting and breathing my way through intensifying contractions. I was contemplating the shower but had begun feeling like I needed to push so Obs & midwife encouraged me to jump up on the bed in whatever position felt comfortable, so I birthed kneeling, with hands up over top of the upright bed, I grasped my combs in my palms (a birthing hack to manage the pain) and began seriously contracting. At this stage the pain became very intense, and Obs told me the head is ‘right there’.
I recall only a few intense pushing contractions as I felt bub move through me, to the point of crowning. The final moments as I felt the pressure of his head felt like fire & I thought I was surely about to tear in all directions. *There was screaming. Just then I heard the Midwife & Obs tell me to “stop pushing!”. The midwife came right up to my head & gently talked me through small intentional pushes to pass Sonny’s head while my Obs used water and a warm compress to avoid tearing/episiotomy.… I felt the relief of his head passing and then a final big surging push to birth the rest of him. As he entered the world my Obs guided me to take bub in my hands and bring him up to my chest. I was right all along, a boy.
Sonny arrived 8.30am.
So, spontaneous labour and natural birth, without pain relief, epidural or intervention, just as I’d wished for. I had an episiotomy with Leo so still can’t believe I birthed a 4.2kg baby with a 35.5cm head without needing stitches. I’m not a big person so I am beyond in awe of my body.
The hours afterward were just euphoric, and I was absolutely floating.
I felt amazing.
I had done it.
Happy Birthday my beautiful boy, Sonny Ernest Lark.