I’m on such a high about how great his labour and birth was compared to my other 3 kids.
I believe labour started with the first niggle of what felt stronger than a Braxton & Hicks at 8am Tuesday morning. I had felt off and emotional since waking that morning so had already decided to spend the school day resting in aircon. Throughout the day I continued to get minor contractions every 30mins or so throughout the day. I was able to rest but not sleep through them so I was really hoping it was the start of early labour. I started timing them at 2pm and they were getting longer and closer and by the time the kids went to bed at 8pm I knew I was most definitely in labour and it was likely I would have a baby in the next 24 hours or so (still expecting a long labour like David, Angelle and Frank).
I first called the midwives at 10pm to let them know I was in early labour but wasn’t wanting to come in yet. At that point contractions were 40-60secs long, 2-5mins apart. We called Lees mum and it was going to take her 2.5hours to get to our house to watch the other kids. Then it would take us another 30mins to get to hospital.
I was using the ball and shower quite a lot at this stage. Supported by Lee and David (who couldn’t sleep due to my habit of quite loud vocalisation during contractions 😂)
By 11.30pm I felt I needed to get to hospital sooner. Contractions were still only 60secs long but closer together and getting really intense. We had stopped timing them but I just had a feeling we needed to go. I was beginning to not cope as well through the contractions and despite my brain telling me it was still very early days I just had a feeling I needed to be there a o we packed all three kids into the car and headed in. Lees mum was called to meet us at the hospital to help with the kids.
We arrived at the hospital at 12.15am. The drive there was very intense. The contractions did not slow down or get less intense at all. I was continuing to breath through them, counting my breath in and then reminding myself to relax while exhaling. At 12.30 the midwife did an internal examination (at my request because I was feeling lots of pressure). I had asked to not be told the results unless I was ready to have a baby so she told me she could feel the waters bulging which was likely what was causing the pressure but please no pushing yet. (Later I would find out I was only just 4cms dilated at this point). I jumped in the shower for 30mins or so where I was able to be much more in control of my breathing. I was continuing the in for a slow count of 4 and vocalising on the out breath. I alternated between telling myself things like ‘my body knows how to do this’ ‘it’s only one minute, I can do anything for one minute’ and ‘relax so baby will come’.
Lee’s Mum arrived and we decided they would all head home to await further news because I thought things would still be ages away. Just after they left I had two contractions I wasn’t really in control of so I decided to change positions and hopped in the bath instead.
I was again doing really well in the bath. Felt quite strange actually. Completely out of body experiences between the contractions (Lee was sitting on the edge of the bath behind me and I was just resting leaning backwards with my arms over his legs and floating in the water) and then leaning forward in a kneeling/all fours position over the edge of the bath with Lee rubbing my back during them.
After awhile I started to feel out of control again. I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore and had a huge contraction where I felt I had to bear down and my waters exploded. I could feel it even in the bath.
With previous labours this usually happened at around 7cm so I said I wanted to get out of the bath and rest on the bed between contractions (like I did with Angelle). The midwives instead asked if I minded if my baby was born in the water. I was confused and didn’t understand. I said I didn’t really care where he was born. They were happy with that and said I had to get ready to meet my baby. The next contraction hit then while I was still kneeling over the edge of the bath. The midwife said to do whatever my body needed to do. They just asked me to open my legs wider to make room and keep my bottom down under the water. He was born in 5 minutes with maybe 3 pushes. No time for Lee to catch him as he shot forwards between my legs and I was able to bring him straight up out of the water onto my chest. Eamon was so calm and didn’t cry. He was just looking up at us.
I was so amazed that it happened so quickly.
I was able to have the physiological third stage I wanted. And Eamon found his own way to the breast and latched like a champ. We were left pretty much completely uninterrupted for the first 3 hours.
The kids and MIL hadn’t even made it home and they had to turn around and come back! They were all so proud to meet him.
So it turns out my body went from 4cm to baby in just over a hour!
The whole time I felt more in control than previously. I feel like I totally could’ve done it alone. And I fact kinda did because Lee spent most the labour looking after the kids and by the time they had left I was totally zoned out and didn’t even really notice him trying to support me.
Lee is a very proud Dad 😍 and the kids are so in love already.
Baby Eamon Lee Rossow: Born Wednesday 13th March at 1.46am. 3.774kgs, 54cm length and 34cm head circumference. 39+5 spontaneous labour.
Tamara attended the Active Birth Yoga and an Active Birth Workshop with her Partner