Finley and Nicole’s Birth: The birth of a newborn baby is also the birth of a newborn mother.
||The Homebirth of Finley to Nicole and Dylan – A birth and postpartum story||
Just a note to say I thank Nicole for her candor and willingness in sharing not only her joyous homebirth but also her experience with anxiety postpartum. Positive Birth matters so women and families can move forward in their parenting journey without requiring reconciling a traumatic birth experience however a positive birth does not make you immune to Postnatal Anxiety or depression. So do a little research on the topic during pregnancy, lean in on support and reach out to resources such as Perinatal Anxiety and Depression AUSTRALIA. \
Special mention on the importance for continuity of midwifery care too. Make a cup of tea, sit down, breath a few deep breaths and enjoy this oxytocin fueled birth…
♥ The moment I found out I was expecting I knew I wanted to birth my baby at home.
I found the right midwife and our meetings always reassured me that my body was capable and meant to carry and birth babies.
At 32 weeks I wanted to add more positive fuel to help have the birth I dreamed and knew was possible.
I was recommended Cindy from Hypnobirthing Australia™ and absolutely loved her, as a person and loved how empowered my partner and I felt after attending the hypnobirthing sessions.
I loved the extra learning about what exactly happens to our bodies throughout labour and birth. It gave me the extra belief that we are made for this and that it will be tough in ways but that we will get through it :)!
My Birth Story
On the 11th of January I had a bit of a mucus show appear and knew that it was almost time to meet the little being who had called me home for almost 9 months :).
On the 19th I woke up and felt like I was having contractions but only minor and not very regular.
My partner, my stepson and I went down to one of our favourite beach spots and ate at one of our favourite restaurants. I was getting contractions throughout the day and would just stop and breathe as they continued to come and go. By 6pm they had taken a pause to then start again at 10pm with a lot more punch and a lot more frequency.
I stayed up for hours chatting with my mum as I walked around the house realising that this was really happening. A few messages to my midwives and they suggested to rest up because it was still early days and I’ll need the rest for this journey. As soon as they said that I jumped into bed, belly resting up on my partners back and there I fell asleep.
By around 9:30am I was up and the contractions kept coming, not too intense but still very much there. I ate and drank and kept having showers to try relieve some of the pressure. My partner ran me a bath and would just hold me as I leaned against him for support and comfort. He used the anchor touch on me multiple times throughout my birth which really helped me release (even when I struggled to let go).
Midwives arrived around 1:30pm on the 20th of January
I had my affirmations around my room, bathroom and playing through the laptop, switching between them and my birthing playlists.
One affirmation really sticks out throughout my labour, ‘I soften, I open, I release.’
I moved a lot throughout my labour, from the shower, to the toilet, to walking around and laying on the bed in multiple positions.
One midwife stroked my face and repeated many affirmations to me and this really relaxed me.
Everyone in the room was super relaxed and chatting like normals. This gave me a feeling of reassurance that everything was going okay . I thought my partner would be stressing throughout the birth but nope, he was happily eating his take out and playing his games and coming to me when I needed him there.
The midwives left us for a while and came back saying that they thought I was close and started filling the pool.
Once I was in the pool I felt a slight relief.. (3pm roughly). Dillon joined me [in the pool] and also supported me from outside of the pool, holding me, pouring water over my back and constantly telling me how great I’m doing and that I’ve got this!
After a while of being in the bath and not feeling the head coming down we move to the toilet. My midwives were amazing at supporting me in such a holistic way! I felt so supported and heard throughout my entire journey.
I had a feeling that my bub was a little stuck and asked to be examined which the midwives only do if I ask and I really wanted them to, for my peace of mind.
One midwife checked me by a vaginal examination and said my baby was coming out slightly tilted. She tried to move baby with her fingers but accidentally broke my waters.
Throughout my labour I was silent and then really loud. I thought I’d be silent but boy was I wrong however I embraced it and let the sounds come as they needed too :).
It was getting late now and I kept saying to everyone ‘I can’t do it anymore’, ‘baby isn’t coming’ yet as I’m saying this, I’m bearing down and my midwife said, ‘Nicole, feel your babies head’ .
It was such an exciting moment. I felt relieved with an instant rush of energy to get this baby out and thinking that all this hard work is finally having an ending . I was so happy! My mum came and felt baby’s head and we were all in a bubble of yay – It’s finally happening :).
The pool was getting filled again, this time as I enter, I felt so calm and ready!
A mirror is placed on the pool floor so that the midwives and I can see :). This really helped because I’m such a visual person and seeing baby coming made me almost forget about the pain.
I found the ‘pushing’ stage absolutely magical! Watching my baby slowly enter the world was something I can never quite describe because it’s beyond words.
I finally bring my baby from out of the water holding him and kissing him and my partner .
We look after a while to check he is a he and say it’s a boy! My family patiently wait in the hallway. Once they heard me say ‘it’s a boy’ they knew he was here :)!
I sit in the bath waiting for my placenta to release but it doesn’t at that stage. We move to the bed and then after an hour and a half, I sit up and feel an urge to poop and there my placenta was – the incredible organ that helped to grow our beautiful little baby
After hours of baby and placenta being attached, I finally cut the cord . My baby fed on my breasts happily.
I remember just before the Midwives left, one placed him close to the edge of the bed and I was just in awe that it all had just happened and there he was just sleeping in our bed, all relaxed like nothing had happened.
The day after my birth I felt great! But at night I hit a point where I was having the sweats and vomited!
For 2 hours I was cramping like crazy and thought for sure there’s another baby but the midwife reassured it was just my uterus contracting back to its original size 🙂
My mum was the best support ! She was helping so much with bringing me food, smoothies and water plus holding Finley if I needed. The midwives would come to visit and were supportive and showed me lots of techniques for breastfeeding and made sure bub was putting on weight and was healthy 🙂
I spent most of the first weeks sleeping on and off with Finley and not getting out of bed until 1pm.
Months have past and he is now 8 months old. I had put a lot of energy into my son and realised I had been lacking filling my own bucket! I felt depleted! As much as I love being a mum. All of the changes to my life had finally hit me.
To move through this I started going to see a healer, bringing back positive affirmations to my life and getting out and about in the fresh air more. During my breakdown I felt like I couldn’t take care of my baby (we had a flu and then I had no sleep and hit a psychosis point where I was just stressing and so anxious, freaking out about every choice I had made). It was a super scary point in my life. I even stopped breastfeeding. After 2 weeks of feeding him formula, I slowly introduced the breast again and he brought back majority of my milk (he is 9 months now).
I’ve learnt that it’s so hard to find time for yourself after having a baby and to find time to fill your cup but I’ve also realised it’s very important to fill your own cup first to be the very best version of yourself for your baby and family 🙂
A note on Perinatal Anxiety and depression:
More than 1 in 7 women and 1 in 10 men will experience some form of post natal depression or anxiety. It is important to remember Postnatal Depression and Anxiety is temporary and treatable. To seek out info or support for yourself or someone you love contact PANDA National Hotline on 1300 726 306 (M-F,9-7:30 AEST/AEDT).
If you or your partner are in immediate danger or harm contact 000 or Lifeline 13 11 14.
Nicole and Dillon did Hypnobirthing Australia™’s The Positive Birth Program™ with Cindy Fenn.
Cindy is a certified Hypnobirthing Australia™ practitioner.
Nicole had continuous Independent Midwifery Care during Pregnancy, Birth and during her post partum time by Ten Moons Personal Midwifery Care.
Cindy teaches at This is Life Wellness Emporium in Elwood, Melbourne.
She would like every woman to feel how amazing it feels to birth your baby in your power.
For further information and to book into Cindy’s classes go here.
Not in Melbourne?