** Riva Vitler- 4th April 2017 - 2.98kg - Family Birth Centre **
I don't think anything can prepare you for the emotions that you get when those 2 pink lines appear. Excitement quickly turned into reality. How will I cope? How will I manage labour? How will I manage to raise a baby? And I am very fortunate to have a loving and very supportive partner.
I enjoyed and stayed active throughout my pregnancy. The few things that had put me off having children for years was the idea of being in a hospital, surrounded by people I didn't know, telling me what to do and the thoughts of having no control over my labour was pretty daunting. We decided (upon the recommendation of a dear friend of ours) to try a hypnobirthing course. Laura's hypnobirthing course taught us to discuss our fears, why we had those fears and how to move past them for a positive birth experience. I found this especially helped me to realise that the things you see on TV and in movies are dramatized and the stories you hear from friends and family are their own individual experiences. Mine was going to be different and I was determined to make it my own.
15 days until my due date, and with plenty of time still (or so we thought!), we made the trip out to Jarrad's Aunty, to pick up the music I had planned to play during my labour. Lucky we did, as not 5 hours late, at 530pm, my waters broke at home. Cancelling TV and dinner plans we had made the day before with friends, we headed to the Family Birthing Centre near KEMH, and met up with the midwife. We didn't manage to get a positive reading for amniotic fluid to confirm I was in labour, so we headed back home when I started to notice mind contractions. I managed to stay home as long as possible, using the warm shower to soother me lower back pain, soaking in the bath and then finally rolling on and leaning over the fit ball while listening to hypnobirthing tracks. At 2am I woke Jarrad to let him know we needed to head in. I was thankful it was early so we had a clear run into the city, not having to fight the freeway traffic. Jarrad was adament we were not going to be that couple who had the baby on the side of the freeway.
Nicole the midwife met us there just after 3am and I was confirmed 4cm dilated. I remember thinking, is that it!? How will I ever manage to get through the next 6 hours or so of labour? But I did! I remained as calm as possible and took each hour, each minute, each surge at a time, again using the warmth of the shower to help ease the pain. I changed positions alot, using the bean bag, bed, couch and floor to help. The music played and along with the massage oils we had picked up earlier that day too, I managed to remain in a calm state.
By the time I had enough and asked for some pain relief with gas, I was already fully dilated. Managing to be carried into the lovely big and warm bath at 530am, and just as my good friend and second support person arrived (good timing Zoe!) thing because quite intense and I didn't remain as cam as I had imagined I would be at this stage. The water certainly helped though.
Nicole was quite suprised when Riva started to crown and was still in her sac! We an En Caul birth! I am proud to say, I managed to birth Rive without any pain medication, without intervention and a water birth, just as planned. The sac burst right at the end and Riva was born at 612am and placed straight into my arms for some skin-to-skin contact, where she stayed until her cord had stopped pulsing, it was cut and she was then placed into her daddy's arms.
She was checked over, weighed, measured and we left as a family of 3 just after mid-day. Birth certainly wasn't pain free but the tools and knowledge we learnt from Laura certainly helped make birth a positive experience for us.