Pre labor started on Monday the 14th at around 2.30am when I had my first bloody show. It started with some liquid and a bit of blood, followed that day by periods like cramps. We were so excited I didn’t sleep from 2.30am. The day after I lost my mucus plug. I can’t remember where on the timeline but I had hot curries, sex, accupunture, watched funny movies for oxytocin, raspberry leaf tea, walks, clary sage and bouncing on the ball etc etc.
The day after I lost my mucus plug my contractions/surges had been getting stronger. They would ramp up during the night and as the sun came up they would slow right down, exhausting because of lack of sleep. I think I had Spurious labour which is defined as painful uterine contractions (often irregular) without cervical effacement or dilation, but in my case I was dilating throughout the week. Luke and I had a really beautiful day together the next day, we went for breakfast, walked around town, got flowers and a new candle. We cuddled and kissed, watched movies and went for a walk as well.
On the 17th we thought Aila was absolutely coming but she had her own timeline which we honour. Cass came over early and we got the things moving. We did positions, timed contractions, slept and ate, walked and also a lot of clary sage oil. We went to the hospital to have some monitoring and of course she was movin n groovin happy as anything inside my belly and we were stoked about that. We could have had a stretch and sweep but we decided not to as we trusted her and always have from the start so why would we change now? We both can’t wait to meet our beautiful girl. Aila was teaching us so much about surrender and patience already.
So we ended up having a stretch and sweep on the friday 18th to get things happening + more acupuncture. I was so exhausted and wanted to have enough strength in me to birth Aila. I was hoping she would come on the 18th because Julie, my midwife, was going on annual leave but she didn’t and that was ok.
Madi, who is one of my best friends, came over on the 19th which was Aila’s due date. It was so nice because neither of us thought that she would see me pregnant but she did!
I had a bath around midnight on the Saturday night/Sunday morning because it was one of the places I felt at ease and since nothing was really happening I just needed to rest. After my bath which was early morning on the 20th I was trying to lay in bed to cuddle Luke (I had been sleeping on the couch majority of the week because the bed was SO uncomfortable) I got up to move because I was so over it and went to get up and POP, my waters broke. It was around 1.33am. Your dad and I were stoked. We had messaged Cass (our doula) already and she was on her way. I was calling for extra support for the uncomfortable sleepless night I thought I would be prepping for with pre labour so it was all working out perfectly (of course).
Contractions were happening but also all over the place as usual (they had been the whole week). I got into the shower as they were getting more intense and the water felt good. I decided I wanted to go to the hospital to get into the space plus I wanted some pain relief. We got to the hospital around 3.30am and the pain was setting in. I wanted all the drugs I could get at this point, I felt like I doubted myself and maybe felt a little scared with the unknown. I was so unaware what magic was laying a head for our journey to meet one another.
We were in the birthing suite for three hours, when they wanted to send us home around 7am. I was going to go but instead decided to stay because I knew you were so close to coming. I was examined and was 7cm dilated so it was happening, she was happening and ready to come. I also think the midwife was shocked because I think she thought because it was my first pregnancy and birth I wouldn't be as far along as I was.
I had the monitor around my belly but it kept moving when I moved so they couldn’t keep tabs on your heart rate, so I consented to the clip being attached to your head so I was able to be more mobile - hindsight I wish I didn’t have the monitor on the whole time it was quite annoying and had to be changed to a waterproof one before I could go into the shower. Once I got in the shower it all changed. My inner wild woman came out in full swing. With each contraction I would release a big whale like a warrior's call to my Celtic ancestors, to all the women in my lineage who birthed before me it felt like I was singing a song calling in their support. It was instinctively within me, I could never repeat the call ever again but it felt so natural. I remember apologising for making so much noise everyone laughed and said not to worry. I was also so grateful for breathing techniques as well, it helped me ride the waves and stay connected/grounded. Luke was incredible, ran the water all over my body and stayed with me, even though he was unsure and maybe scared too.
Birthing Aila was euphoric and the most amazing thing I’ve ever done... I just wanted to put that in before continuing the story.
I think after the shower I sat on the edge of the bed because I wanted some gas as pain relief and I remember being so out of it at this stage, I had no sense of time at all. I would sleep in between surges so to rest and then wake up like a robot and do it again. The noises kept coming in waves. Luke said to me that I went to the stars to collect Aila. He also said that at one point I rapped a whole verse of a Drake song and was poppin along and then went back to sleep. Cass and him thought that was hilarious.
The whole time Luke and Cass never left my side. Always there with water, lemonade and gas. Plus encouraging words and constant love. Truly the dream team.
I was having contractions that I as the vessel couldn’t feel or notice. I was truly that, the vessel. Aila and my body were working together and trusting each other. So with those contractions being so hard and fast, Aila’s heart rate was rising as she couldn’t get any rest. There were a lot of people in the room and Drs trying to figure out what and why I was having so many contractions and why Aila’s heart rate was so high. I remember having an injection to slow down the contractions, but that didn’t work. At one point they thought about changing the machine thinking it could have been a faulty one, but it wasn't. My body was just ready to rock and roll. Although it seems somewhat scary now, at the time I wasn’t really scared. I remember being concerned but also felt so safe in the space + in our work together.
I feel like this was the time I was on my back on the bed. The midwives told me instead of voicing when there was a surge that I should use all that outward energy to push down and I did. It felt so good to silently push. I felt so strong. Because of the heart rate stuff Drs were present (one was a male Dr who was wearing a Christmas shirt that was far too small for him, weirdly remember that) and there was one Dr I think her name was Tara and she was a legend. She got my right leg and put it up on her shoulder and was basically like let’s do this. She got the momentum happening and for me the confidence that I could do this. I feel like I pushed for a looong time but like I said time didn’t exist.
My midwife who was there the whole birth was finishing up her shift and another midwife came in with about half an hour of you Aila being born and she was incredible. They wanted gravity to help birth her so that’s when the Midwife suggested I put my knees on the bed and drape my arms over the top of the bed. I honestly thought to myself how the fuck am I going to get into this position. I was exhausted and my body just felt like it could collapse at any time + it felt extremely heavy BUT with Luke, Cass and Sharon the midwife helped me and I got into position.
It was at this moment I knew I had to use everything I had left in the tank to get her here. I stopped using the gas and focused on my breathing and pushing. Sharon coached me through the pushing when to do deep and long pushes and when I should do short and sweet pushes. I remember at this point being so hot and sweaty. I kept asking Luke how much longer? And I remember when her head was out, it felt like sweet relief. I also remember Sharon asking if I wanted to touch her head and I replied with a quick no, I just wanted her here and to rest. Aila was so close to being here and with a few small pushes to get your shoulders out you were born.
Aila came out covered in poo (not mine btw but her own) and Sharon + Anathea cleaned you up and passed you to me through my legs but the umbilical cord was short so I had to roll back over onto my back so I could hold Aila. I remember looking at Luke and him just crying.
You were and still are the most beautiful and magical thing I’ve ever set eyes on.
You were so alert and ready to be in this world.
I had a 1st degree tear which didn’t require ant stitches which I was stoked about. I’m so grateful for trusting my body and having the guidance from the midwives/Drs when it came to pushing.
I birthed my placenta and had the injection to help. Birthing the placenta was such a weird feeling but such a freeing feeling. My placenta weighed 750grams and Nikki who encapsulated my placenta said it was her biggest one to date.
I was on an absolute high after that. I felt like a superwoman, like I could do absolutely anything and to never doubt my ability to do life changing things ever again.
One of the nicest moments was having a shower after. The warm water running over my body just felt so good and almost grounding. Cass the gem washed me all over and then gave me a moment to just be with myself. I remember giving thanks to my body, to myself, to Aila, Luke and Cass, the midwives... it was such a peaceful moment to express the gratitude I had. A moment between me, myself and I.
It was and still is one of the greatest moments of my life and the proudest. I truly loved birthing Aila and witnessing Luke become a father and me becoming a mother. Experiencing labour was like being in the void of two worlds because that is truly what it felt like. Aila guided us from day one and we never doubted her, our little miss magic. Aila is the greatest gift of our lives and we love her so much. Thank you.