Positive Birth Story: En Caul Waterbirth

It has been 12 a whole 4.5 months since our daughter Fleur made her entrance into this world and while she sleeps soundly on my chest with Daddy watching Mothergoose Club with our first born Eco in his playroom, I thought I would use the opportunity to finally share my long awaited birth story with you all…

SURGES

It was 5:30am on Monday 4th June 2018 and following yet another sleepless night thanks to severe heartburn and pelvic pain that plagued the majority of this pregnancy, I was woken after finally drifting off to sleep with mild period like cramps lasting 30 seconds.

I didn’t think much of it at the time as my waters hadn’t broken and thought it was Braxton Hicks but after having another two in the space of half an hour I decided to call my local birthing centre who confirmed my thoughts on early labour signs.

I was advised to monitor them and if the space between each one decreases in time to call back so they can arrange for me to come in.

I calmly got out of bed to make myself some breakfast and a big mug of hot chocolate before monitoring these cramps around 6:20am.

I went on to have 8 surges lasting 30 seconds within half an hour before having a further 9 lasting between 35 and 40 seconds over 40 minutes.

Having identified a pattern of my surges increasing in length with the space between each one drastically reducing, I called my local birthing centre who advised me to come in.

With my Son and other half fast asleep as we approached 8am, I decided to run a warm bath to take the edge of my surges which was becoming more intense and painful with each one that I had.

HYPNOBIRTHING

I used hypnobirthing breathing techniques and focused on long deep breathes, 8 seconds in through the nose and exhaling via the mouth for the same length of time.

I had another 15 within the hour lasting 45 seconds before deciding to tell my other half I was in early labour despite my waters not breaking and to start getting ready for the trip to the birthing centre.

I found myself no longer being able to dedicate the time in closely monitoring my surges as litte Eco had woken up just before 9 am and immediately requested tea milk (what he says for a warm beverage) and toast honey amongst other things to eat.

Despite being in pain with each surge that passed I vowed to grit my teeth and attempt to act as normal as one could during early labour so not to startle my Son.

With my Mother In Law already at work and no one to look after Eco, we resorted to plan B…. For me to give birth alone with Daddy and Eco waiting outside in the family waiting room.

We had discussed at length where Eco would be during labour and if Grandma wasn’t available to have Daddy look after him. To this day he has never spent a day / night apart from us and didn’t want to leave him with friends unfamiliar to him.

With every body washed, dressed, fed and out of the apartment by 9.45 am we made the short 15 minute drive to our local birthing centre and checked in.

ARRIVING AT THE BIRTHING CENTRE

I was greeted by a lovely student midwife who led me along the corridor to my room and took my blood pressure. I was also asked if I could provide a urine sample which I couldn’t give under labouring conditions.

I asked the midwife if room no 8 was available as I birthed little Eco in that room. Being the sentimental individual that I am I wanted my pending baby to be born in there too. You can probably imagine my sheer delight at being told it was!

Kissing my other half and little Eco goodbye I made the short walk down the corridor to room no 8. Words cannot simply describe how I felt upon entering the very room that Eco made his entrance into this world. Flashbacks of his positive birth immediately came flodding back and with that felt so comfortable due to familiar surroundings.

ACTIVE LABOUR

With my surges becoming increasingly painful with each one that passed I felt the need to bear down and push. I had to wait a few more minutes for the birthing pool to be filled up and by this point my gentle breaths became more vocal but managed to stay in control of them. I recall finding it hard to stand upright and often found myself kneeling over the table.

USING HYPNOBIRTHING TECHNIQUES TO BIRTH MY BABY

Finally the pool was ready for me to get in and I did just that. The warmth of the water covered my naked body and it did a wonderful job of reducing the pain of the super intense surges. I was able to refocus on the task of birthing my baby.

I was surprisingly calm despite not having my other half in the room for support but trusted my body to continue using Hypnobirthing Techniques.

Somehow through the excruciating pain of my surges I managed to completely zone out and stay in control of my breathing, inhaling big deep breathes for a total of 10 seconds and exhaling with a humming sound for the same duration.

There was an older midwife present with the student who was extremely impressed with my breathing, so much so that when the time came for me to request gas and air, she quietly said.

I don’t think you need gas and air lovely, you are doing just fine with your breathing. Trust your mind and body, you can do this!

At that moment I felt empowered by her words and decided to take her advice, after all I did feel in total control of the pending birth of my baby. Unlike with little Eco where attempts to breath him out were instead met with numerous swear words and what could only be described as lioness roars!

BIRTHING MY BABY

As I continued to breath through the Surges the older midwife squealed with excitement and alerted me that instead of seeing my baby’s head, she saw a white tip of a balloon.

Not registering what she meant I was really confused until she rephrased the sentence and said the baby was incased in her sack (technical term En Caul) , a very rare occurrence and the first en Caul experience for both midwifes.

This meant I needed to really give it my all come the next wave of surges in order to birth the balloon as the tip kept coming out and then going back in again, much to my frustration .

With my next breath I felt a sudden urge to bear down and push. I will never forget that moment as it took all I had to give a gigantic push and successfully birth most of my baby. Now I generally have a high pain threshold but that push was thee most painful thing I have ever experienced. I was even told to slow down so not to cause severe tears downstairs.

I was advised that one more push was needed before I could meet my beautiful baby so I regained my composure, dug deep to refocus despite being utterly shattered and did just that.

My beautiful baby I was housing for 9 whole months made her appearance at 11:30am and was overcome with joy, relief and an unconditional love.

It honestly felt like hours had passed by since I waved goodbye to my other half and Son and so was shocked to learn that Active Labour was only 50 minutes long. I suffered two small 2nd degree tears and lost 500ml of blood.

As for the baby, we had a beautiful girl who is nicknamed Fleur. She weighed a healthy 7lbs12 (1 lb shy of her brothers weight at birth) and scored 10/10 on the Apgar chart.

FOREVER GRATEFUL

I count myself incredibly fortunate to have had two relatively uncomplicated smooth pregnancies, two waterbirths in the same birthing centre AND roomwith both babies being born healthy. I do not for one second take any of it for granted.

Motherhood has indeed changed my life, of course for the better and is a role I take extremely seriously. 

Thank you Little Eco and Baby Fleur for choosing me as your Mother. As long as I am here on this earth I promise to nurture, guide, love and protect you. Always! X

Thankyou to Danielle for sharing her amazing birth story. You can follow Danielle’s journey through motherhood here.

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