Tuesday, August 30, 2011

birth story

Just over one year ago I gave birth to my baby girl.
Here is our story...

It was mid pregnancy that we decided on a home birth with our first child. I wanted it to be at home, in water, peaceful and natural. As nature intended. I didn’t really see the need for a hospital, it was for sick people. I wasn’t sick. I was pregnant. Like many millions of women before me. However, I did feel comforted by the fact that we live on the same road as the hospital, literally, a 30 second drive away. I remember saying to my midwife, Wendy, that I wouldn’t hesitate going to the hospital if need be.
I enjoyed lying on the couch for my antenatal visits with my lovely midwife, Wendy, in the comfort of my own home.

At 35 weeks Wendy thought the baby was breech. A few weeks later, she thought it was posterior.

Wednesday 21st July, 2010. I woke up with what felt like dull period pain. I met Wendy that morning at our homebirth coffee morning, and she said as soon as she saw me she knew I was in early labour. She said women about to give birth get slightly puffy in the face. So I went home, feeling a bit giddy with excitement, but still not really believing I was in labour. I was 37.5 weeks pregnant. Nick got “the call” and came home from work. That evening I (tried to!) make a birthday cake for the baby. I wanted to celebrate the baby’s birth with a home made cake – and I had heard that I might need the sugar afterwards! The chocolate cake came out burnt and uneatable. I was in labour and the cake proved it. 9pm Wendy listened to me breath through contractions over the phone and decided she should make her way over.

10pm I submerged into the nice warm pool in the lounge room. I had tried to stay out of the pool as long as possible, I wanted only use it when I really had to. It was Wendy who suggested I get in. Oh, it felt so relaxing, and I felt like I was being held – a gentle embrace from the water. At this point I was breathing through strong contractions. I had lots of pressure in my lower back. At 1am Thursday 22nd July, Wendy suggested a lie down in bed, I think she may have said ‘sleep’ – but to call it that is laughable. So Nick and I laid down in bed together. I laid there on my side, not really thinking of anything else other than internally focusing on my breathing, and getting through each contraction. At 3.45am I felt like I needed to get things going again. I had my ‘sleep’ and was ready to go. My contractions were strong and frequent almost immediately, and I hoped back into the pool. By 5am I was starting to get tired, Wendy gave me Pulsatilla (homeopathy) for internal strength and I started falling asleep in between my contractions with my head on the side of the pool. By 7.15am we were discussing the idea of breaking my waters to help things along. I was starting to feel frustrated and I really wanted to progress. So in the pool, Wendy broke my waters and I felt a huge, satisfying gush. I remember this moment so vividly. I instantly went from feeling relief and pleasure, to a magnificent force taking over my whole body. This was not me anymore, I wasn’t in control. I had to listen to my body. It was so incredibly powerful. At 11 am I roared. I said to Wendy “that wasn’t me!”I had given my first full push. Amazing.
The pushing went on all day. I went from the pool, to the toilet. To the bed. To the pool. Back to the toilet where I finally decided I felt I could push most effectively. It felt good. I felt productive. I felt strong (strong enough to pull the hand rail off of the wall!) The pushing was so involuntary, my body (and baby)doing what it needed to do.

By about 3.30pm we made the decision to head to the hospital. The baby was doing brilliantly, it’s head was down, Wendy had first seen it hours ago. I think I just knew something wasn’t ‘right’. I was never fearful, I just knew something wasn’t quite as it should be – call it a sixth sense, I don’t know. But I knew I wanted to go.  I remember how ridiculous I felt, trying to pack a bag, whilst on my hands and knees, trying to get dressed, trying to breath through contractions and Wendy telling me NOT to push!
At the hospital I tried pushing for almost another hour with the help of the (unwanted!) vontouse. This did nothing to help baby out, so it was decided that I needed a c-section. It was at this point that I surrender to the fact that I might need some help. More important than my ‘birth plan’ was the health of my baby.

Nick held my hand as I lay behind the blue curtain. I felt  the weight of a little body being lifted out of me.“It’s a  girl” he told me with tears in his eyes. I told him to go to her. I remember him saying to me “she’s so beautiful”.  Ruby Mae Malinovski was born at 6.25pm Thursday 22nd July 2010.
For the next 24 hours she lay on my bare chest. The warmth of her tiny body now on the outside of me.  Exactly where she needed to be.

Whilst it wasn't the calm home-birth we had planned, if I have learnt anything from my baby girl, it is this... What I want to do, and what she want to do, are usually two different things. And I wouldn't change that for the world.


  1. It is so true, we plan and plan and plan...but at the end of the day, we still need to surrender to what will be.
    A beautiful birth story with a happy ending. xx

  2. Lovely to hear your birth story. It sounded beautiful and stressful at the same time. I would love to try a home & water birth if I have another baby. What type of birth pool did you use?

  3. Oh i adore this...so much truth - our babies choose how they want to be born and usually that is reflected in their personalities. You're wonderful for surrendering to where your journey took you... beautiful brave woman you are x

  4. Life would be boring if everything went to plan. Your birth was no less magical because it steered from your intended path. I had a similar experience and spent weeks feeling like I had failed. Silly woman, failed? I had my beautiful healthy baby in my arms. My greatest achievement yet.

    Well done Mum x

  5. I loved reading your birth story. And you had a gorgeous girl! Looks like you make pretty great smoothies and almond milk too. Kellie xx


Thank you for your comments. Much love x