It was early in the morning about 3:50 am when I felt an uncomfortable period pain. Without thinking it twice I started to count and reached 30 when the sensation stopped. I was surprised at how long the pain lasted. Surely enough, it started again a couple of minutes later. This time the sensation lasted 40 seconds. I woke up my partner Gano and told him that the surges had started and instructed him to start timing the next surges. I couldn’t believe that we were so close to have our baby in our arms six days before her due date.

An urge rushed over me to go poo. I had heard this was something common which mothers go through during labour. I fled to the bathroom, stayed there for several surges then went back to the bedroom. Shortly after, Gano woke his sister, Victoria, and advised her my labour had likely started. She had happily agreed to be part of my birth team months prior.

Every time I felt that the next surge was starting, I said to Gano ‘’it’s coming it’s coming’’ so he could rub my back, give me massages, and just be at my side. I felt so much support. Later, I asked him to put the hypnobirthing CDs on to help relax my mood and keep me focused on the long task at hand. The CDs didn’t provide the effect I had hoped as it wasn’t long until I wanted virtually complete silence due to any noise disturbing my peace.

Gano eventually started to work on getting the birthing pool ready despite not having a practice run through the night before (thank goodness it inflated without problems!). When the electronic air pump began it gave me an urge to move into the dining room assisted by Victoria.  In hindsight, I don’t know where gained the energy to move to the next room because at this point I believe I had been in latent labour for several hours and undertaken countless surges. It was difficult for me to move my body at all let alone move into a different room.  It was incredible how a rush of energy flowed through my body when I felt the need to change my environment urgently. Once in the dining room, the surges continued, and Victoria continued applying acupressure on some points which I had previously marked with henna tattoos several weeks earlier. It was such a good idea to have these points temporarily tattooed on my body to avoid waiting frustratingly for Gano and Victoria to apply acupressure to the right areas.

I had lost track of time and remember suddenly realising light streaming into the dining from multiple windows which was interfering with the calm space I craved. With the little energy I had I whispered to Gano and Victoria “so bright so bright’’. They immediately closed all the curtains around me which made me feel that little bit better. In one sense being in labour was like judging a meal at a restaurant – regardless if the majority of the dish tastes good , if one small part is off it will taint the goodness of the rest.

At that stage of the labour I couldn’t make long sentences. Partially because the surges were occurring more frequently with smaller intervals in between. At some point during my time in the dining room my surges started becoming much more intense causing me to becoming a lot more vocal. Gano was helpful because he kept reminding me to follow the hypnobirthing breathing techniques we had spent practising the several months leading up to my labour. He could tell my body was drifting away from where my mind wanted it to be. His calmness during one of the most challenging physical moments of my life helped me maintain control of what I could control, mainly the tempo of my breathing and my posture.

Throughout my time seated in the dining room I was holding a bowl due to my nausea and I vomited several times as my surges continued. After about an hour or two, the pool was ready and I slowly made my way there. Every movement was tough but motivation to be inside the warm water got me there. On my way to our bedroom I had a surge and I had to bend down to the floor to get through it.

Now I had been in labour for about 3-4 hours. I had told Gano on several occasions to call our midwife Elodie but he was reluctant as she had told us previously “if you can talk then it’s probably not time for me to come yet”. Not too long after arriving back inside my bedroom I almost started to cry from the intensity of the surges at which point Gano finally called Elodie. She immediately asked him to pass the phone to me so she could hear me. She asked me a couple of questions, but it was too hard for me to say a word. I responded with several loud moans to which she reminded me to breath in and out through the nose very strongly. This made things a bit more bearable. So too did the knowledge that Elodie was on her way to our house despite coming from Lower Hutt – a 25 minute drive away!

Gano and Victoria were intermittently passing me bite size bits of food (toast, muesli bars, biscuits, crackers) and drinks (water, smoothies, orange juice) that I could sip with a straw. They also held the straw for me when I drank to made spillage and suction problems less possible. After some time it became harder and harder to chew and swallow so I stopped accepting any more food about 5-6 hours into my labour. Liquids was all I could handle at this point.

The arrival of my midwife was a breath of fresh air. I felt Gano and Victoria had looked after me well until this point but there’s nothing like the relief of having a professional present during labour. She wasted no time and began applying acupressure during the surges which now felt a lot shorter and softer. I was happy she had arrived. Several hours after Elodie’s arrival the labour had progressed to the point the baby’s head was almost coming out. For the majority, I had my eyes closed focusing on my strong and deep breathing during and after the surges. They were still intense but I didn’t feel the need to make as much sound anymore. The second midwife Suzanne arrived about 2-3 before the birth. Now I really felt like my birth team was complete and I needed to do now was get that baby out. She held one of my hands and assisted with the on-going acupressure. I hadn’t met her before but I really appreciated her emotional support. Her smiling face and willingness to provide positive encouragement added extra comfort.

To Gano’s surprise, Elodie implied the baby was not too far away. I became excited and felt the end was near. Again, the surges began occurring more frequently and intense. This caused me to refocus on the power of my breathing as I felt baby was going to come out shortly. Baby’s head emerged and the real challenge began. Elodie encourage me to maintain pressure in between surges because baby kept retreating back inside if I started to relax between surges.


Finally, after a long period of pushing baby’s head was out. I stretched my arm to reach and touch baby’s head carefully and the first thing I said was “It’s so hairy!!”. The bedroom erupted with laughter and it was great to lower the seriousness in the room for a moment.


Everyone was telling me how good I was doing and I knew I was so close to meeting our baby. The last part of the labour was the most painful because I sent all my energy to help baby to come out. As it happened, baby came out with her palm open and clasped against her cheek which made me make a loud shriek due to the tear it caused.

Finally, baby exited my body and I was overwhelmed with relief and joy seeing baby glide into the warm water. It was such a mix of emotions, room pain and intense physical pressure on my body to immense happiness and physical relief the minute baby was out. I raced to remove my t-shirt and Elodie put baby on my chest for our first skin to skin. The room was filled with happiness. My baby had just been brought into this world through the best way I knew how. Everyone present congratulated me on the good job I had done and on the beauty of our new baby. I cried and laughed at the same time, it was such a precious moment. A couple of minutes later I realised I didn’t know the baby’s gender yet so our midwife lifted baby up and it was a beautiful girl. Very exciting news for us. I began labour at 3.50am and gave birth approximately nine hours later at 1.09pm.

Our baby girl’s first hour on earth was spent drinking some colostrum and spending a good hour of skin to skin against my chest. We had a delayed cord clamping and thanks to the help of the injected oxytocin to my body the placenta came out much easier as my body felt too stiff and painful pushing it out without assistance.

For me, this experience of giving birth couldn’t be better. It made me feel so empowered, positive and strong. Also, all thanks to the huge support I received from my partner who I love so much and the rest of the birth team I could choose.