thread: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2005

    Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Our third daughter was a surprise conception when number two was about 15 mths old. After a month of chicken pox through our household I conceived when it should have been physically impossible. I took a pregnancy test to rule it out and got quite a shock when it came up positive. I was already about 7 weeks along. It took me until about 16 weeks to come to terms with the pregnancy and the idea of having three children, particularly when DD2 was still so young.

    I took my best guess at my EDD as being 2 January, two days before DD2's 2nd birthday. Both scans then showed that baby was measuring a bit behind, so I thought maybe closer to 6-7 Jan.

    Like the other pgs, this one was also easy on me, no nausea, just tiredness and hunger first tri, bit of physical discomfort (including my pelvic floor) in the second tri and then a cruisy third tri. Baby dropped very early this time, engaging around 32-33 weeks (and subsequently measuring small from then on, only ever got to 35 weeks by measurement).

    My biggest consolation for the surprise pg was that I'd get to give birth again. DD2's birth was so fantastic I was excited about doing it again. I engaged the same two private midwives, only this time I'd known them for three years (and had shared in both of them having a baby since DD2 as well). I saw them regularly at our homebirth group get togethers. This pg and birth prep felt like a community event. I got the birth pool back, my doula from DD2 was able to help me again and I even organised to have my sister come down to video the birth. All set! Except DD3 had other plans...

    I had some early labour pains on New Years Eve, in the afternoon. I could tell they were early labour, but they got me scurrying to set up the baby's hammock and organise the last few things I hadn't gotten ready (remember: I thought I'd be having the baby the following week). I sent a message to my midwives and doula that I was getting some early labour as a heads up. I put up a FB notice and sent a txt message out that I didn't want any NY messages as I needed my sleep. Plus, with the early labour I thought it was possible I'd wake up in labour.

    Sure enough, 3:30am I woke up to contractions again. I dozed in bed for another couple of hours before I gave up and came downstairs. I waited until 7am-ish to text my midwives and doula letting them know contractions had started again, they seemed more effective than the day before, but still early labour. They were only coming every 10 mins or so and not lasting any longer than about 20-30 secs. This was exactly how DD2's labour had started, so I assumed it would be that night that baby arrived. I phoned my sister to see if she could get on an earlier flight (she was supposed to arrive the next day). She rang me back around 9am to sort out details (right in the middle of a contraction) and booked to get here mid-afternoon instead.

    Once DP and the girls came downstairs for breakfast, I went out and talked to them. I needed to use the fit ball to stay comfortable, but again, nothing more than every 10 minutes or so. I noticed if I got up and walked around they would come more frequently, so I told DP around 10:30 or thereabouts that I was going upstairs for a nap. (I was getting a bit annoyed with the cx by this stage, they hadn't stopped but they didn't seem to be turning into anything). Walking up the stairs brought on a couple of stronger ones. This was not turning out like DD2's labour where they went away completely, I had a rest and woke up to a bloody show. (DD2's birth was textbook, followed every stage exactly as you read about, just slightly faster.)

    DP brought the fit ball upstairs for me and left me to have a nap. I went and got a mattress protector for the bed (in case my waters broke) and put on a maternity pad. I managed to lie down, but needed to get up on the ball every 10 minutes for a cx. From here until DD3 was born, I needed to check my phone to see the series of events, because it's a bit of a blur:

    I texted my doula at 11:15am to ask her to come around 2pm (DP was picking up my sister from the airport around 3pm). I started to think I needed something better to help me through the cs, so I texted DP (downstairs) at 11:27am to ask him to fill the birth pool as I was not comfortable in bed and on the fit ball any more. He replied saying he was getting DD2's lunch and he'd do it after that.

    About 20 mins later I suddenly felt I needed support. I texted my midwives and my doula at 11:54am asking them to come now. I sent DP a text at the same time telling him I'd asked them to come. I felt some wetness on mu pad, so got up to go to the toilet. I thought it might be my mucus plug (this is what happened with DD2). Sat on the toilet, saw it was blood and looked down. Got the absolute shock of my life, as everything was open and clearly the baby was about to be born! (So much for the mucus plug, this was the bloody show I had in transition!). My midwife rang me at that moment to check that I wanted her to come. I told her the baby was coming NOW! (as I had a contraction and tried very hard not to push). (As soon as she had hung up she frantically rang around midwives closer to me, as she knew she would not make it and our second midwife was at another birth for at least a few more hours.)

    DP came up to check on me (probably in response to my text, which he didn't remember receiving thanks to the shock of the next few minutes), If it wasn't the text, then thank goodness he did come up at that moment, or he'd have gotten an even bigger shock soon after! I told him the baby was coming and was the pool ready (had some idea I could still get downstairs and get my waterbirth at least...). He said he couldn't get it filled now and talked me out of that idea. He then ran downstairs, hustled the kids into our neighbour (who lives in the granny flat behind our house) and ran back to me while calling the ambulance. He was panicked and unprepared.

    When he got back to me I told him to hang up the phone, that I didn't need an ambulance, the midwives were on their way. He listened, Instead, he tried calling our first midwife (couldn't get through as she was on the phone to another midwife to send her here) and then our second midwife. Amazingly, although she was at the side of the birth pool with a labouring Mum and didn't have any ID on his mobile number, she quietly excused herself and took DP's call in the hallway. (She told us afterwards she has never, ever done that in her whole career but something compelled her to take the call - thank goodness!). DP put her on speakerphone as I gave him instructions.

    I said the baby was coming right now and he needed to get me some towels (I was on the ensuite floor). I think our midwife asked if the waters had broken and I told her no (she was then a bit nervous about having to tell us what to do with a baby born in the caul).

    Ever so thankful I'd carefully read Ina May's instructions to midwives in Spiritual Midwifery, I asked DP to turn on the shower, so I could hop in (I thought the water might help me to avoid tearing), pass me the towels to kneel on and turn off the water as soon as the baby's head was born. Kneeling forward on my knees and one hand, i gently pushed her head out in two pushes, checking for the cord as she came and guiding her with my other hand. All clear, nice and easy, I told DP to turn the shower off. She started crying as soon as I pushed her body out with one more push and brought her straight up to my chest. Her waters came out behind her. Midwife (still on speakerphone) asked DP about her colour and he said she was purple, but I corrected him and said she was pinking up straight away and was just fine. She was absolutely perfect, I couldn't believe she'd arrived and it was all over! (Her estimated time of birth was 12:18pm, less than 25 mins since I had decided I needed my birth team after all!).

    Our midwife congratulated us and I can't quite remember if she stayed on the phone until my doula arrived, or we let her go knowing the others would be there very soon. She crept back to her birthing couple and told them quietly that she'd just talked a father through catching his baby. The couple were very excited (their baby girl was born at home in the water a few hours later - I hope we get to meet them in person one day!).

    My doula arrived about a minute later (running up the stairs and leaving her car parked half way out in the street!). She and DP helped me to the bed (lucky I had put the mattress protector on!) and I snuggled my new baby girl. The midwife that mine had managed to get hold off who lived closest arrived shortly after and had a quick look at both of us (she didn't have her birth kit, since she'd been out and about when she got the call). Thanks again to our homebirth group get togethers, I knew her.

    (Just to show that homebirth is just part of the everyday, DP then went and retrieved DD2 and put her down for a nap, while DD1 came in to meet her new sister, before rushing back to play with the neighbour's daughter.)

    My primary midwife arrived within half an hour and did all the standard checks of me and baby. I had no tearing, just a couple of minor labial grazes again. We toasted the New Year and the new baby with non-alcoholic wine (which I had remembered to chill yesterday) and we all had a good laugh about DD3's rapid arrival.

    This time, the cord took a lot longer to finish pulsating, at least another 20 mins after the midwife arrived (maybe because she was born so quickly?). DP cut the cord for the first time (and it was a very fat cord!). I had a slow placenta last time (50 mins and took a walk to the toilet to dislodge it with DD2), but this time was ridiculous. Two hours went by and I wanted to have a shower, which I did, and still no placenta! Ended up having to blow into a bottle (so the non-alcoholic wine had two purposes) and it fell out easily.

    I was peeved that I missed the chance to get the video and photos I'd hoped for, that DD1 had missed this sister's birth and that because of the shock at the speed, we really didn't get the joy and euphoria we'd had from DD2. It was all over so quickly I never had the birth high I'd expected. Poor DP was in absolute shock for quite some time (his face is absolutely white and like a mask in the photos from shortly afterwards). But I did get a couple of the things I'd hoped for: DD2 woke from her nap and DP brought her in to meet her new sister. She was entranced by the baby and their meeting was exactly as I'd imagined it. Also, I had said I didn't want 50 mins of pushing again, as I'd had for DD2. I had correctly predicted that one of my m/ws wouldn't make it to the birth, but I didn't expect neither to get here in time (or my doula, who only lives 15 mins away). I guess DD3 gets a birth story that is quite exciting! It's kind of funny to see the notes in her birth folder too. Nothing in the labour part at all!

    The disappointment I felt was pretty much erased when I got up to go downstairs after this too. I had no pain, no strain and could walk normally (took me a few days for my muscles to recover from pushing out DD2). I felt fantastic, I could hardly believe I'd only just given birth! Now, I'll happily trade the post-birth euphoria for the physical recovery from a quick birth anyday.

    In hindsight, I should have realised that, even though my cx were not close together or lasting long, they seemed to bite more than early labour. I shouldn't have been waiting for the signs that labour was progressing (mucous plug, waters breaking, closer and longer contractions) before getting my midwives to come. If there's ever a number four, they;re coming when anything starts!

    Charlotte born 1 January at 12:18pm. (It took us four days to choose her name - it wasn't on our list but it means 'free person' and we thought it was appropriate for a child who's done everything her own way so far!)
    Weight: 2.86 Kg, length: 50 cm (my biggest baby by 3 gms and 2 cm).
    Active labour: 24 mins. Second stage: about 30 secs.
    Last edited by Jennifer13; January 26th, 2014 at 09:19 AM.

  2. #2

    May 2008
    Melbourne, Vic

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing, Jen. Just amazing.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2011

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Great birth story Jen! So happy for you!

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2005

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    That was wonderful to read, thanks so much for sharing Jennifer!!

    You're super amazing! I feel like it's time for me to read Spiritual Midwifery now... great endorsement for the book

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Mar 2007

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Amazing Jen!!! You did so well!! Thank you so much for sharing xx

  6. #6
    Platinum Subscriber

    Apr 2010
    coastside, Vic

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Great story Jen, congratulations! Quite amazing really, you sound so calm through the whole thing, welcome Charlotte.

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2008
    summer street

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Amazing! I think every parent should be prepared for a freebirth. Your story reminds me of ds birth. I also didn't get regular contractions but thankfully had a longer second stage so a midwife arrived just in time to catch him.

    You're amazing!

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2010
    Sydney Aus

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Amazing Jen! Thanks for sharing!

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2008

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Such a beautiful story. So like my DS (3rd) birth! Definitely takes a while to process a fast birth xx

  10. #10

    Dec 2007
    Hork-Bajir Valley

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Congrats! Thankyou for sharing your amazing story

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member
    Add Beatrix on Facebook

    May 2007
    within a puff of pink

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte


    And I can really relate, think my hubby pretty much felt the same way as yours!!!

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2011

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    That's a wow! story.

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2009
    Scottish expat living in Geelong

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Wonderful story, I'm in awe at your calm control at the point of birth. Thanks for sharing

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member

    Dec 2011
    Surrounded by sand

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Amazing story, what a great birth experience for you and your dh

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Apr 2009

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    What a fabulous story Jen!! Thank you so much for sharing

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Oct 2006
    In a house, on a hill with a big fat welcome mat!

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Love it! Well done and I hope DP has recovered

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Add Sterla on Facebook

    Jun 2008

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Wow, amazing!!! Congratulations!!

  18. #18
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2008
    Perth, WA

    Re: Planned HBAC2 (accidental freebirth) of Charlotte

    Finally got to read this...what a great story, thanks for sharing. Congratulations again!