Elliana Eve Cossey
42+2 spontaneous labour
14th April 2020 at 1:34pm
16 hours active labour, 36 hours from first contraction
8lbs 6oz and 55cm long
Our little girl finally decided she was ready to make her entrance into our world on Tuesday afternoon. A whole 16 days after her due date. After knowing about this pregnancy since week 3, we waited almost an entire 40 weeks to meet her! My labour was long and hard and baby girl wasn’t positioning her head in the best way to help me out, but thanks to my amazing midwives and husband and mum we pushed through (literally ) and made it in the end! I did experience a PPH after delivering the placenta and lost 1.2 litres of blood, this was pretty scary for us all, but my Midwives were 100% prepared and got it under control really quickly, they were amazing. So! I had my first contraction at 1am on Monday morning, April 13th. Less than impressed because I do not like odd numbers!
…my midwives were 100% prepared…they were amazing.
They carried on all night 10 minutes apart lasting a minute, so I was like wow here we go! This is early labour. I also lost my plug during the night too. I was so relieved that it was FINALLY happening! I had started to feel like I wasn’t going to get my natural home birth after all this time. When I got up in the morning though, they slowed right down and the feelings kinda just changed to light cramping, so I asked my midwife to come around about lunchtime and do a stretch and sweep and a check, and I was already almost 5cm so that was very promising!! I hadn’t laboured all night for nothing. This felt great! My mum came over and my husband Clayton called to say he wouldn’t be at work (works as an essential service). After my S&S we tried to do some walking around and what not, I went for a skip around the park bounced on the Swiss ball and stuff to get things going again, which they did. I called my Midwife to come back around 9pm, contractions were consistently 3-5ish minutes apart and not getting any closer but had been like that for long enough to call it established! Not much happened other than continuing to contract for a while, my other midwife arrived and they helped my husband set up the pool in the lounge. My mum and husband had also set up my fairy lights, lit the candles and prepared the space, it was beautiful. I basically then just laboured all night, things seemed to be progressing nicely, but slowly. Contractions getting stronger and requiring more focus to breathe through. I found the up breathing so useful throughout my entire labour, it was a fantastic thing to focus on to get through each contraction from the very beginning. It’s all a bit hazy around the middle, but at some stage in the morning they did a check and I was still 8-9ish cm but babies head was slightly tilted so wasn’t moving down on the cervix properly. At this point I had been actively labouring for around 8-10 hours so we did a few spinning babies techniques to try and help babies position to keep labour progressing. I started pushing at some stage in the morning when I was in the pool, (I need to look at my notes properly on a computer, to get times ) but progress was really slow.
I spent a while pushing in the pool but the contractions slowed right down, so I got out and spent a while pushing on the toilet. At this point I’m pretty exhausted, we must have been at least 12-13 hours into active labour. At this point my husband really utilized what he learned from the course and worked really hard to keep me green between contractions and whisper lots of positive affirmations to me. I also found that telling myself the surges couldn’t be stronger than me, because they are me, really really helpful at this point.After a while there (they told me this afterwards) the midwives went away and expressed to one another that they weren’t sure it was gonna happen, and they thought I might need to be transferred. It was around 11am at this stage, so they came back and said they thought we should try something else now and that if we didn’t make progress then, that we might have to look at other options. At this point I was more than ready to give up, I really thought I just couldn’t do it anymore. But the amazing support of my mum and husband snapping me out of that really helped me push through. Also remembering how far I had already made it!So we ended up on the mattress on the ground, they held my legs up to my chest and I had my mum on one side and hubby on the other and pushed for dear life this was the last way I had wanted to be (on my back, coached pushing) but at that stage I was sooo exhausted and we really just needed baby to come especially if I wanted to stay home. Even in the midst of everything I was able to utilize BRAIN, and consent to this form of pushing as I knew it was the best option at this point. I’m so thankful my midwives were willing to give everything a go! And not just throw in the towel and go to hospital. Babies heart rate stayed happy throughout it all!! Not once was she unhappy which was really helpful for us all. After what seems like blimmen ages we finally finally started to see the head. Pushing was not what I expected at all, I’m not sure if it was cause I was so exhausted or what but my body wasn’t doing the pushing for me and I had to actively push with each surge. However I did notice when they got stronger that at the peak of the surge my body would do a massive push and that is such a surreal feeling! I felt so strong when that happened.Before too much longer I got to experience the excruciating pain (sorry but there’s no other way of putting that!) that is the ring of fire (holy damn it is no joke!!) I hadn’t considered that it would last in between contractions with babies head half out
This was probably the hardest part of the whole thing, waiting for that next contraction to get babies head out.Then, on the next push I got her head out and it was the biggest relief of my life!! With the next one her whole body came wobbling out, such a surreal feeling! Clayton caught her and my midwives helped him put her up on my chest and it was the best moment of my life, I honestly could not believe I had done it, I just remember saying “omg I did it, I did it!” Because I was soo done for the last 4-5ish hours before that! I really didn’t know if I could.With pretty much the next contraction I delivered the placenta (also very strange feeling) and then this is when it all got a little scary and I had the bleed. Midwives got it under control pretty quick though. They manually contracted my uterus by pushing my belly, and gave me a shot of oxytocin and another one which I can’t remember to help it contract to stop the bleeding. My darling husband was so onto it he even asked me if I was ok with them doing that! He’s amazing. But then after that I had another bleed coming from somewhere and they couldn’t find it, so they had to go digging around in there looking and HOLY DAMN a 36cm head had just come out of there it did not want fingers digging around they couldn’t locate it and started to prep me to be transferred as they thought I would need to go to theatre and have surgery as it was likely an internal tear! It was continuous but slowing and so we decided we would try popping baby on the boob (she was having skin to skin with dad while they sorted my bleeding) and see if it might clot itself, thankfully it did!! So we got to stay home. I found that all really scary, especially seeing everyone faces with the initial blood loss. I was in tears at the thought of having to go to hospital after all that! While I was being sorted and once the cord had stopped pulsing and gone white, hubby cut it with a sharpened pounamu (greenstone) and tied off the cord with a muka tie (dried flax fibre with a small pounamu attached). I also had an IV line inserted for fluids, which they hung up on a clothes horse next to me! She then fed for a good hour to hour and half and then we got up and I had a shower – Standing was the weirdest feeling ever it was horrible! I had never heard of or expected it. I was all breathless cause my lungs couldn’t handle all the room they suddenly had! I was absolutely wrecked, I felt so drunk and woozy and every movement was difficult.Clayton showered me and I crawled into bed and munched on a whole heap of Camembert crackers and it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life! I had missed it so much! I also finally enjoyed a glass of cider. Then we all snuggled down in bed together as our little family of 3 and slept for the next 5 hours And that is my entire birth story! Very long and totally not what I planned or expected, but I feel so good about it none the less. The PBC digital pack helped in so many ways. From knowing what was happening to my body and when and why, to all the little techniques to keep things positive the whole time, to making decisions and having my hubby know how to support me. I am so so Proud that we got there in the end and managed to stay home I credit so much of my whole journey to the PBC from going overdue right to birth.So, I really wanna give encouragement to any mummas considering a homebirth that your midwives are prepared! They know what they’re doing and have everything under control. I knew this before but it was proven to me perfectly during my experience. It was also so amazing to just be in my own space the entire time, and hop in our own bed at the end of it all. If it’s a possibility for you- consider it!I also wanna give encouragement to those who are overdue and not wanting to induce! With the support of my Midwives we took each day by day and increased monitoring to make sure me, baby and placenta were all still healthy to continue. I had started tolose hope that I might miss out on my natural home birth but with a little bit of patience, baby girl came exactly when she was ready.
…with a little bit of patience, baby girl came exactly when she was ready.
She doesn’t look ‘over cooked’ and she wasn’t ‘too big’ and her placenta was still perfectly healthy and well. Your baby really will come when they are ready! Patience truly is the key ingredient and use that extra time to enjoy with your other half before there are 3 of you (and sleep, sleep lots!). I added our mid labour tiktok to show what a lockdown homebirth can look like!
There may be a little extra PPE but you can still smile and have fun and be in the environment you want