“BABY CASHEW BORN”- Eliza, 30 April 2020, 3.985Kg

Everything was perfect! It was Wednesday 29 April, your due date. We tried to have a nap, but I couldn’t quite sleep, which is very unusal for me. There were two moments throughout the day when I had to stop what I was doing because I felt quite a strong sensation. In the evening things started to get a bit more serious. I was able to help put Eliza down for bed. I told her that she would get to meet you very soon and explained everyone that would be coming over- Auntie Bee/Molly, Erin (midwife), Michelle (midwife) and Anna (doula). It was important to explain because we had been in our bubble during COVID isolation. 

I texted Molly, explaining the sensations I was feeling, but also said, hope it’s not a false alarm. She was super excited to come over, so she left straight away. She arrived around 8 oclock. DaDa and I tuned in to Anna’s guided relaxation. DaDa kept track of the surges.  After a while I needed to change the scenary, so I went to have a bath.  After the bath Bee and I went in to the guest bedroom and rang Gompa and GiGi to let them know that things were pretty serious. Next I came back to the bedroom with DaDa. He got me a wheatpack to put on my lower back where I was feeling the surges.  He rang Anna and Erin. Anna arrived around 1:30. She was so calm and comforting. For some reason I kept saying, “poop”. I was just lying in bed and when a surge would come I would say, “pooooop”. Anna turned on the hypnobirthing affirmations. Chris had set up the living area- massage table, lavendar in the diffuser, candles all around, dim lights, yoga blocks, birthing pool, etc. It was so perfect! As soon as things got a bit too much laying down in bed, we moved out in to the living room. Erin and Michelle arrived around 2am. Molly joined us in the living room. I only got in the pool once. I think I was worried about it delaying labour because I was so relaxed. Other than that I just slowly moved around the living room, breathing through each surge. Sometimes Anna or Chris would stroke my back gently. Everyone was good at reminding me to relax and not tense up. They also gave me water and food- apple slices, chocolate, honey. Oh yeah, I threw up a few times. Once in the bedroom when Anna was here and then in the lounge a couple of times.

I found myself thinking in my head the affirmation, “your mind leads where your body goes”. That helped me stay positive. It’s funny that that particular affirmation stuck because I never really noticed it during the four months of listening to the affirmations. It also helped to breathe in peace and relax and breath out tension and stress. When I started to get a bit “over it”, Chris and I went to the bathroom. He was so good. He had me prop by feet up on yoga blocks to help get my hips in a good position. He told me travel stories, which was a lovely distraction from the intense surges. When we went back out to the lounge it was nice to hear Molly, Anna, Erin and Michelle chatting and laughing a bit. They were quiet when we came back. They encouraged me to try different positions. Then they sent me back to the bathroom again. This time I was telling Chris, “you have to get him out. Talk to Erin, figure out a way to get him out”. I didn’t realise this at the time, but this was the transitional stage. When we went back to the lounge, Anna gently encouraged me to try standing and swaying my hips, holding on to Chris’s shoulders. Erin did Ribozo. Michelle was doing accupressure on my feet. I asked Molly to tell me a story. She started with “gentle waves at the lake of the ozarks”, but as soon as she said waves we reminded her that we are quite sensitive to waves, considering the recent storm that took our house. Hehe. It is funny!

I remember starting to hear Eliza stir a bit on the monitor. I don’t know how conscious or unconsious this was, but I felt the urge to push. I was squatting and told Molly to talk to you. She was amazing. It was so sweet. I didn’t know this at the time, but Molly explained that Erin had just excused herself to go to the toilet. Molly started seeing your head!! No worries, Erin came back in time. Hehe. She encouraged me to go on to all fours, which I didn’t want to do (because I didn’t want to move), but I did and saved my perineum for it! The next part is the best…well it all was the best, really. You slowly and gently came out in to the world. Anna took a video! The sun was rising. Your head came out “caul”, which means with part of the amniotic sac. So after your head was out Erin peeled it off. When it was on they could see you breathing. Such a miracle. You are extra special. Only one in 85,000 babies are born caul. The entire time throughout labour Chris was right there, huging, holding, stroking, encouraging, kissing and loving. Anna had a plethora of ideas and techniques- combs in the hands, ribozo, new positions, affirmations, etc. Erin was the perfect combination of gentle and assertive. Michelle was so reassuring, experienced and made sure I was well looked after. Molly was a little fly on the wall- quiet, calm, and stepped up when called on. It was the perfect birthing team.

 You were born! You came to me for skin to skin and DaDa and I just admired how absolutely perfect you are. Erin and Michelle were hoping you would cry to help clear the mucas from your lungs. But you were so relaxed and chilled. They spent a couple of minutes checking you over- heart rate, etc. You were perfectly healthy. You came back to me and had a feed. The latch was perfect, easy and so natural. I remember seeing the umbilical cord and scissors and asing if I could birth the placenta. Erin helped with that. You had a huge placenta! It didn’t fit in the yoghurt container. We had to get a big bowl.

 No medicaitons. No stitches.

 You were born at 6:22am and Eliza woke at 6:30. She was so amazed and excited. She offered you her dummy. It was the sweetest thing. She said, “tiny tiny fingers and toes”. She is such a sweetheart of a big sister. It was just absolutely perfect. Everyone helped tidy up while DaDa, Eliza and I gave you cuddles. Anna even made our bed.  . Chris offered some muffins and tea and coffee. By 8:30 Anna, Michelle, and Erin were all gone. Auntie Bee hung out with Eliza while you, DaDa and I went back to bed for a big rest! Yup, just perfect".