Edith's birth

by Kimberly Percival, Edith's mother

Edith Dawn was born Thursday 26 June, 7:19pm, weighing 9lb 6oz, 58cm and a completely natural vaginal birth. This was amazing for many reasons- my size (I'm a thin women), condition (i had hyperemesis gravidarum my whole pregnancy), my low tolerance of pain, and issues with obstetricians prior to delivery.

Born at 40wks +11days we were on a race against the clock. I had a horrid time with obstetricians prior to Edith's birth, with doctors adamant to book in an induction from 39weeks with no medical reason besides scheduling. I was bullied, called a 'problem', informed many times i was killing my baby, and told because i had a birth plan i was setting myself up for a terrible birth. I was not opposed to induction, but did not want her scheduled before day 10 unless there was a medical concern- she will come when she is ready i thought. In tears and extremely upset from both my 39 and 40 wk appointments, Cheryl Sheriff, my doula from Ideal Births, picked up the pieces at a moments notice. I also drew strength from the wonderful support and encouragement of Suzanne Swan and fellow active birthing yoga ladies at Yoga Baby.

Edith was my second birth. My son Jack- now two and a half, was delivered posterior, had breathing issues, and was a overall difficult birth. I required an epidural which only half worked, had many stitches and was extremely ill during and following his delivery. I was determined to improve on things this time; birth off my back, save vocalisation for when i needed it most, labour with my waters intact as long as possible (with the hospital keen to break them upon arrival), and labour in the comfort of my home.

The day arrived and i was so pleased labour started spontaneously at home at 2am, the day before her scheduled induction. I got my hubby to fetch a heater and continued to do my thing until our son woke in the morning. After getting him happily off to a friends place i continued in early labour at home with contractions strong but ranging from 10minutes to 3minutes apart- depending on what i was doing. I rested when i could, went to the bathroom frequently in attempt open up and remind myself to relax, had a shower, ate, walked around the house, used a heat pack and tried to conserve energy and move through my active birthing poses. I was focused trying to keep Edith anterior. At 2pm my contractions stalled for three hours and i had a sleep. Having just picked up the flu i woke in a horrid mood and my hubby needed a break. Cheryl came to our house to allow my hubby to fetch dinner. Once Cheryl left we ate dinner- with me rocking on a ball and the contractions came on hard and fast.

During my sons birth i was emotionally shattered when we were told at the hospital i was only 2cm dilated. I was at the end of my tether at that point with Jack and had intensely laboured for hours with contractions 2minutes apart. This time i just kept saying to myself Kim your only 0cm just keep going. My hubby used a birthing app to count me through each contraction which felt reassuring. A strong contraction came and i nearly broke my hubby's hand. I felt the need to stand upright. At that point i said i know its only 6:30pm but i think we need to go to hospital. The next contraction i squealed in pain and boom my waters broke all over the bed. I turned to my hubby and said i think she is coming. I hit a crisis point and mentioned that maybe i cant do it naturally and may need pain relief. A moment later i was saying I'm not going to make it to the hospital and to call an ambulance. Hubby then demanded i get in the car immediately.

It was the longest trip ever to hospital. On the trip in i started involuntary pushing. I just remember Suzanne, my yoga instructors voice saying- "head down, butt up and pant". I hit transition in the car with a hot flush and kept rambling that we aren't going to make it. Cheryl met us in the emergency carpark and took control of situation racing me down to delivery, me squealing and  hanging over the back of a wheelchair. Seven minutes after we arrived Edith was born.

After 9 months of hyperemesis, being unable to work, expensive medication, hospitalisations and both physical and emotional challenges i had MY IDEAL BIRTH.

A natural birth, no tearing, perfect baby, immediate breastfeeding and attachment, delayed cord clamping, spontaneous water breaking, minimal vomiting, everyone in attendance. Although i had a haemorrhage following her delivery it was brought under control and did not impact on my experience.

I must thank the wonderful people in my life who got me through those dark hyperemesis days. Cheryl for those cuppa catchups and birth support, Suzanne Swan for her encouragement - you always made me feel like my pregnancy was beautiful even in the tough times. My family and mum for physically caring for Jack and I. And my husband Anthony for enduring the journey of yet another hyperemesis pregnancy.

I was blessed to have my ideal birth and I want to encourage new mums to not lose hope, it can be your experience too.

Kimberly attended Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga.