Unassisted FreeBirth Story & Photos
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"I did it!!! I had my freebirth!! I gave birth Tuesday 17th March at around 7:58am with just my partner and our 2.5 year old. It was long, it was hard - it was amazing!
Here's my birth story:
Around 5am on the morning of the 15th my partner and I have sex for the first time in a while, I'm currently 41 weeks and 4 days. I wake to mild contractions starting an hour or so later, they continue throughout the morning. I get a bloody show at around 1:30pm and contractions continue irregularly for the rest of the afternoon.
At 10:30pm, I'm feeding my 2.5 year old, Mowgli to sleep and contractions become a little bit more intense and a little bit more often, between 5-10 minutes apart. They continue through the night.
Contractions are still coming on the 16th, I'm home alone with Mowgli all morning and very irritable (sorry Mo!) - contractions are strong enough that I need to concentrate and breathe through them. Mowgli is having me read books, wanting to breastfeed and asking a gazillion questions during every contraction. I make it to 1pm when Gaj gets home from work and we ask his mum, Sara to take Mowgli with her for his afternoon nap and to keep him for a few hours in the evening.
When she takes him, I settle down with Gaj to watch movies and try to rest as much as possible. Contractions get painful enough that I vocalise and need to change positions often. It becomes too uncomfortable to continue watching movies so I move to the shower.
My close friend and fellow freebirther, Kara comes over at 10pm to give me some moral support while my partner gets some final study in before the baby.
Mowgli arrives soon after - asleep! Thank you Sara! I transfer him to bed and continue labouring around the house with Kara. Gaj goes to bed around 10:30 and Kara heads home a short while later.
I try to go to bed and sleep but each contraction is too painful that I can't keep still or quiet and I'm scared I will wake Mowgli up so I move back out to the shower. I swap between the shower and the spare bedroom for a couple of hours and end up lying on the ground in the shower and getting broken sleep between contractions - I wake up by the shower overflowing because I was sitting on the drain!
I move back to the spare bedroom and lay down, sitting up and groaning for each contraction.
About 3:30am Mowgli wakes up and comes to find me, He wants to breastfeed but I have to stop and get up for each contraction, so we do that for a while, laying and feeding, then getting up for a contraction. He's very patient and calm now, unlike in the morning. It is such a special last breastfeeding session with just the two of us.
A short while later I feel my body start to bear down involuntarily during contractions, I have an overwhelming urge to push then my legs start shaking and I projectile vomit all over the floor about 5 times. This is when I decide to wake Gaj up. He cleans up the vomit while I get back in the shower. Mowgli is awake now and in good spirits, talking about how I "chucked vomit all over the floor". He joins me in the shower for a while and sits next to me on a stool as I labour. I am pushing during contractions now, I try hard to breathe them out and not bear down but it is impossible!
After a while I move back to the spare bed, but quickly start vomiting again and move back into the shower. Gaj cleans the vomit again and then starts filling the bath in the birth room.
Contractions are extremely painful, but they are still irregular and up and down in intensity, I feel that baby is sitting in a funny position and at this point I think I still have a long way to go.
The bath is filled and warm by about 5:30am and I hop in, first contraction in the bath is wild and I contemplate getting right back out! But I stick it through and then am able to rest between contractions - the bath is fantastic!
Mowgli is still in good spirits, visiting me at the bath, riding his bike around outside the back door and playing. He's going well considering he's been up since 3am!
I keep trying hard to breathe down through contractions but the overwhelming pressure makes it impossible not to push, I've been pushing for hours now. I am grunting, yelling and being all around noisy! Yet I still don't think birth is close. I can feel baby kicking often and the kicks still feel so high. I am exhausted. This is hard.
More vomiting over the side of the tub! Gaj is back on cleaning duty as well as keeping the water warm by boiling pots and pouring them in.
At around quarter past 7am I message Kara to ask if she can come over again, I tell her I'm pushing but I don't think baby is in the birth canal and I am exhausted. She says she will be over within the hour.
10 minutes later I message her back: "my waters just broke!"
The relief! During an extra strong contraction with extra strong pushing I feel the pressure explode and my waters release into the tub with a 'POP'. It feels so so so good.
I tell Gaj to make sure the camera is ready. From outside Mowgli starts crying - one of the dogs knocked him over and he scraped his arm, Gaj goes to comfort him. Ah the rawness of freebirth!
I am pushing HARD, I can't stop. At this point the inevitable poo comes out and the unfortunate choice of Dahl the night before means there are small pieces floating everywhere, I am kicking myself that we didn't get a fish net or scoop.
I call Gaj back once Mowgli has stopped crying and tell him I want to get out because of all the poo floating around but he quickly fashions a suction device out of some hose and it works SO well, he quickly suctions every bit out around me while I continue to labour until the water is clear again.
More strong contractions, I'm pushing again, Gaj gets the camera, Mowgli comes back in, eyes still wet from crying and I yell out during a contraction as I feel the head start to crown! Mowgli starts crying again and Gaj puts the camera down to comfort him (somehow he puts it so it is still perfectly focused on me!)
I give Mowgli a smile at the end of the contraction and reassure him that I'm okay, I can feel the baby's hair and that lots of noise just means the baby will be here soon! He's happy again and runs back outside to continue playing with a pair of pliers in the garden.
The next contraction I feel the head descend further. I push (still involuntarily) and the top of the head comes out. I have a short pause between contractions where I smile and feel the hair, I can't believe the baby is almost here! It suddenly feels so fast. Then, with the next contraction the whole head comes out, another pause, then with the third contraction I push the whole body out and bring my baby up to my chest.
So much hair! Gaj immediately calls Mowgli who quickly runs back in and stands next to me with his pliers. Baby has wide open eyes and is moving around, gurgling but taking some time to cry. I rub the baby's back and blow in baby's face. Baby coughs and splutters...and then cries. Mowgli is very excited, he puts his pliers down next to me (you will see them in the photos!) and our dog even comes in for a peek!
After about 5 minutes I remember to check what we have!...A girl!!
I see a little bit of blood start moving through the tub so decide to hop out, Gaj gets a towel and chux pads (that the wonderful Kara dropped off the night before). And I get up and sit next to the bath on the ground. She starts breastfeeding and I feel a large clot come out accompanied by lots of blood, it would be considered a haemorrhage. I ask Gaj to get some Angelica tincture ready to try get the placenta out but when he gets back with the tincture I change my mind and decide to wait. I feel good and I want to give my body a chance to get the placenta out on its own. And it does! Not even 5 minutes later I birth the placenta, along with more blood. I take a piece of placenta and put it in my cheek as baby has her first feed. Then Mowgli joins and we have our first tandem feed. The afterpains are bad and I take some afterease.
I message Kara again: "Guess what..." and send her a photo, "I thought that might happen!" she replies, she's on her way over now.
Me and Gaj look at each other and I say the name that I know is hers, Anansi. Gaj agrees and we look down at our precious little daughter, Anansi.
Kara arrives, I pass another large clot so we prepare some 'no bleed' tincture and I take some of that. Kara and Gaj help me move to the bed and then start cleaning up while I continue breastfeeding.
Throughout the morning we do placenta prints, take photos of the placenta, tie and cut the cord and put some cord in the dehydrator to make a keepsake. I drink a placenta and berry smoothie prepared by Kara and eat nourishing food. More breastfeeding and cuddling. We catch Anansi's first poo in the sink (we EC from birth) and I have a shower. Then I settle into bed and cuddle my new baby girl, Anansi."