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Thread: Norquesta's Birth Stories

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Burwood, Victoria
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    21

    Default Norquesta's Birth Stories

    I have birthed two beautiful daughters. I would like to share my stories with you.

    I had my first daughter, Jess, at the Moorabbin Birth Center in Melbourne, 17 years ago.

    I was 17 years old and single.

    All my care was provided by a team of midwives.

    I had a wonderful birth experience and knew that if I had another child I would want my own midwife and would chose to birth in my own home.

    Jess’s Story, 1989
    Someone was looking out for me, I was approached by a birth center midwife whilst waiting to see a doctor at a large city hospital clinic. I declined her invite to have a look at the birth center (at the time I wanted full pain relief and the most advance technology available `just in case!')

    I took the Birth Center pamphlet and read all the books I could find from the recommended reading list. After all that reading I decided a birth center was where I would have my baby.

    At my next visit to the hospital clinic I requested to go to the birth center. The doctor wanted to know why, I explained that breastfeeding was important to me and that I wanted to avoid pain relief and intervention because I had found out it could affect my chances of breastfeeding. She assured me that I wouldn't be made to have pain relief and that intervention would only be used if needed. I said I wanted to birth in any position I wanted, again she dismissed my concern and told me I could birth in any position I wanted.

    She continued with my check up completely ignoring my request. I meanwhile was feeling increasingly distressed, eventually breaking down sobbing with frustration.

    The doctor and her assistant asked me what was wrong; I couldn't reply as I was caught up with sobbing. The doctor then decided to guess what was wrong. Her guess was “Its OK it's not to late you can still get an abortion!” This sensitive statement made me cry harder and I looked at her like she was a freak. Eventually I got my self together, convinced the doctor that the tears were just `pregnancy hormones' and escaped.

    Once in the clinic waiting area I broke into tears again, angry at myself for not getting referred to the birth center. A hospital midwife came up to me to see what was wrong. I told her. A phone call was made. She organised for a birth center appointment and sent me straight there.

    I gave birth to Jess, my first daughter, weighing 10 pound, 14 days after my EDD, naturally with the support of midwives.

    The labour was long, approx. 24 hours with 2 ½ hours of hard pushing. I lost faith in my ability to do it a number of times but the midwives with me kept me going, distracting me with showers, walks outside, changing positions, a bath, hot packs …… I think they used everything in their ‘bag of tricks’.

    I went on to breastfeed Jess for 3 years.

    *********

    After Jess’s birth I started supporting other young women during birth and trained as a breastfeeding educator. I loved caring and supporting for women during this time. I knew this experience could change a person life forever and the right support can make it for the better.



    Life moved on, I went onto a different path of running my own business, until I decided there was more to life and did a ‘tree change’, bought a little old house in a country town in 2000

    I became involved in community groups. I helped to set up a local birth support group and realized that things hadn't got any better for birthing women in fact they had worsened. When I had my first daughter 17 years ago we use to complain about a 19% cs rate, our local hospital was well over 30%.

    A local couple ask me to support them for their birth at hospital, I was shocked at the way they were treated.

    I started to get more proactive in getting the word out that women need to understand their bodies and birth their babies, not to just leave everything up to the hospital.

    Then I met the man of my dreams.

    When I became pregnant one of the first things we talked about was finding a midwife. We were lucky enough to find a wonderful midwife who wanted to start doing home births. Our back up midwife was a friend, who came out of baby catching retirement for us.

    We then went on the journey of the birth of our little `Sophia'.

    The birth like all births was hard, hard work. But in the end I got my wish which was to snuggle up afterwards in bed with my beautiful man and our little baby.

    Here is Sophia’s birth story, 2005.
    Pete and I welcomed our little Sophia into the world on Saturday the 17th of September 2005, at 3.48am. She weighed just on 8 pounds. Sophia was born 10 day over the EDD.

    I woke up on the Friday morning I had some ‘real’ contractions. I told Pete that if they lasted for another few I would class it as labour, so of course they stopped.

    Pete went off to work and for the rest of the day I had niggles. I dozed on and off all day making sure I got enough sleep just in case it was the real thing. About 5pm I decided to ring my midwife, to let her know that I thought I was going into labour. I found out that it was her daughter’s 18th and they were all going out to dinner. I made my enquiries a bit more general, just asking her whereabouts for the weekend (I didn’t want to spoil her night with a false alarm). She told me what she was up to and I said I would be in contact if anything happened.

    I then rang my second midwife. I told her that I thought I was in early labour, irregular cramps with no other signs. Merry-belle suggested a bath with some nice oils (Jasmine and Lavender) and rest. I was running the bath when Pete came in the door. Straight away he asked if I was in labour, I said ‘no’, just that I wanted a bath; he wasn’t convinced, and he said I had a strange glow about me.

    I had my bath then ordered a pizza & lasagna (I was hungry). It was now about 8.30pm and I had to think about the contractions. They were coming and going often enough for us to think about timing them. It was then that we realised we didn’t have a clock with a seconds-hand. I rang my neighbour Marg (one of my birth support team), to get her to bring over a clock so we could time the contractions. At 9pm Marg arrived very excited. I explained that I didn’t think I was in labour yet, but we were just checking.

    Marg got comfy by the fire with a cup of tea. I rang the café telling them to hurry up with the pizza. I was starting to get concerned that if this was the real thing I would need to eat soon. I would tell Marg when a contraction would start and finish. I would just go quiet, and they were kind of pleasant in a weird way. Marg surprised me by saying they were 5 – 7 minutes apart, 45 seconds long. I told every one to relax as this was really early labour, if it was even real labour.

    Not long after 9.30pm dinner arrived. Between contractions I demolished all but one slice and most of the lasagna (I was very hungry). Marg then announced that they were now 3 – 5 minutes and lasting more than a minute. I again told Pete and Marg to settle down as they were irregular and they weren’t painful and as I had no other signs it might not be ‘labour’. Marg wanted to ring the midwife as she was worried about catching a baby. Pete reminded me that contractions don’t have to painful (he’s obviously had too much positive childbirth education.) Pete didn’t care that I thought I might not be in labour; he started filling the birth pool, turned on all the hot water urns (we had 3) and stoked up the wood-stove.

    Marg needed a cigarette (she was a bit nervous) so she went outside onto our deck. It was a beautiful night out. Pete and I joined her to witness a big full moon lighting up the bush behind our home; the moon was surrounded with a beautiful ring of light. A very special moon to watch over my birth.

    Only minutes later I started yodeling with contractions. I now believed I was in labour, but still didn’t want the midwife rung. Pete and Marg asked me for our midwife’s mobile number. I thought Pete had it on his mobile: he didn’t. I thought it would be in my diary – not there either. I checked our ‘birth info folder’ but couldn’t see it. I knew I’d written it down somewhere, I just couldn’t remember where that somewhere was! Next contraction I was stuck bellowing in the toilet (bowels had started to move). On getting out I found Pete on the phone to her (he had rang the restaurant where the 18th was being held). Another one hit and I remember him saying, ”Just listen to her.” He was holding the phone in the air so she could hear my yodeling. It was now about 10pm. Our midwife was on her way.

    About 10:15pm things picked up. A contraction hit and I needed Pete. I remember calling out “Peter, Peter, Peter!” He got to my side, and then I could focus on the contractions. After it finished he went to get something and another one hit. Again I called him three times; this scenario repeated itself a few times until I wouldn’t let him go at all. My midwife arrived at about 10:30-ish. I went to the bedroom with Pete as I needed some quiet time as the house had got very busy and it seemed a bit overwhelming.
    After a few contractions I came back into the lounge room where we had set up an old futon on the floor next to the birth pool. A blanket curtain cut the area off from the rest of the house and kept the heat in from the open fire.
    I was determined to stay out of the pool as long as possible, so I rocked and moaned on the floor or leaning on the lounge. I started feeling sick during contractions. I now laboured over a bucket (I didn’t end up vomiting, I kept my pizza down).

    Close to midnight I wanted to get into the pool, I was prepared that it may not help straight away and that it could also speed things up. The first contraction in the pool came in hard. I felt my waters go and I yelled out, “There goes my waters!” The contraction continued to climb and I heard a change in my moans as they got caught in my throat. I knew that pushing sound and yelled out what was happening. At this stage I needed to let the pain go somewhere so I started belting the side of the birth pool – just as well the pools are made strong! It sure felt good. This contraction went on forever and I heard my midwife ask someone to ring our second midwife and tell her it was time to come over.
    I remember the next few contractions were pushing ones and I puffed though them. I had planned before birth to breathe through my second stage: no forced pushing. My midwife was happy, as my waters had been clear with no staining.
    The next 45 minutes I spent in the pool chanting and rocking in the water.
    About 1am, I wanted out of the pool as I felt too hot and needed to be on dry land.
    Contractions would hit. Lots of very loud bellowing and moaning helped heaps. I would sometimes puff them away; if I pushed it felt horrible but puffing felt good. Sometimes someone would say, “That’s it Deb, push,” and even though I was focused on puffing, my body would hear the command and push anyway. During my next break I reminded everyone not to tell me to push as I was going to breathe my baby out.

    Time disappeared; I couldn’t get comfortable in any position. I tried every position I could think of. There was incredible pain near my bottom area – not burning but something else; but I thought it must be a normal pressure pain. After each contraction Sophia’s head would disappear back up completely. This went on for ages. My midwife did an examination and everything was fine, heart rate was great, and so I just went on puffing though contractions.
    Both my midwives and the support team kept hot nappies coming. If they were on my bottom at the start of a contraction I could handle it – if not, I would lose it. In the end all I could say/yell/demand was, “Hot! Bottom! Now!” Translation: “Could someone – anyone – please put one of those lovely, hot nappies on my bottom just about now, thank you!”

    At what would have been about 3:30am I was on hands and knees on the futon. When a contraction finished I felt a bit of plastic drop-sheet was stuck to my foot. This annoyed me, so I kicked it off. It was then I heard a pop/snap sound. I then told everyone, “My coccyx just went!” (I broke my coccyx 12 years earlier – I never thought about it being a problem during labour).

    Soon after this, I got an urge to get back into the pool. I stood, walked to the pool, and asked if the temperature was okay. It needed a little more hot water, so the support team swung into action passing hot water off the stove to tip into the pool. I stood there feeling the warm water in the pool. I remember watching it whirling around my hands and I almost forgot I would be having a contraction soon.

    Then it hit. I felt this one was going to be strong so I yelled to Pete beside me to, “hold me up!” He said he was but I told him more; then my legs gave way, my arms started to slide down the pools rails, I heard my midwife being called. I just remember being completely overwhelmed by my body and I heard myself making loud gulping moans. The midwives yelled to stop pushing. “I’m not!” was all I could get out. Sophia flew out in one shot, my midwife later describing it as a mid-air corkscrew. All I remember hearing was, “Grab your baby,” hearing a cry, and a baby being passed up through my legs from behind.
    ‘Wow, she’s gorgeous!’ and ‘Thank God it’s over’ were the two things that entered my head. I couldn’t believe I had done it.

    Third stage took 1½ hours. There was hardly any blood loss. Every thing went beautifully.

    We left Sophia’s placenta attached. It became known as her handbag. Her cord was very short, so it made moving around during third stage difficult but we managed. I birthed the placenta standing as I had birthed Sophia. That strange pain was present again when I was pushing the placenta out. I didn’t understand it then, but it became clear over the next few days that my coccyx was causing the problem. I believe that if I hadn’t kicked the plastic sheet out when I did then it would have taken even longer to get her out – at least until I had to push through it and let Sophia’s head clear the way. My coccyx has only started to heal enough ten weeks after birth to be able to move around without too much pain.

    Birth was hard, hard work and the pain went to the deepest part of me. But my midwives and partner supported me through it.

    Pete is the best daddy any little girl could want and I know I am the luckiest women ever.

    We have a few video tapes of late pregnancy, some of my labour, straight after the birth and the early days. As soon as I have played editor I will let others see our story. Some great shots of transitional labour, ‘bashing the birth pool’ and ‘my best friend the bucket’ are two shots not to be missed. Not too much of late labour and none of the birth as the video camera’s light annoyed me, so they had to keep it away from me.

    I realised how lucky I am to have birthed at home with a wonderful partner, good friends and my own midwives.

    My midwives developed a relationship with me, they knew me, my desires, my dreams. I knew I could trust them and they believed in me.

    Thank you to everyone who helped me on my birthing journeys.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    in my teeny tiny house
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    483

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    omg. balling my eyes out here. that is one of the most beautiful stories i have read.
    LMAO at yodelling, that is such a perfect description. I truely hope my next baby has a birth as beautiful as Sophies. i cant wait to see some of the fotos/ footage.
    Thankyou so much for sharing. Im now going to read it again.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bonnie Doon
    Posts
    4,566

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    Thank you for sharing your story! How wonderful!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Berwick, Melbourne
    Posts
    947

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    That was a lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern NSW
    Posts
    657

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    Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful story
    I cant wait to see the photos.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Sydney
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    4,081

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    Thank you Norquesta for sharing your story. I really admire your strength and your knowledge of your body. Though, as I was reminded by your story, our bodies will always be a beautiful mystery in many ways.
    BTW, I have once fell on my bottom and hurt my coccyx - it hurt for ages! I can't imagine how very painful breaking it must have been - ouch!!!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cairns QLD
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    5,471

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    What a great birth story!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Burwood, Victoria
    Posts
    21

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    Thank you everyone, once I get a moment I will send in some photos ........ still planning to edit the film, one day soon ......... when i do I will send it out to the big wide world.

    See you
    Deb

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