My Birth Story.
40 weeks. Cruz arrived right on time.
It was Friday afternoon and I was relaxing at home in the bath. Every few minutes I was wondering when labor would begin, how would it begin- just like anyone who is 40 weeks pregnant and well, over it. I was imaging my baby, labor starting when literally, right then and there – my waters broke. I heard them. I felt the pop. I stood up and it was on.
It was 3pm, so I got dressed and we started arranging family to come over to look after Phoenix for the night. When I went into labor with Phoenix, I carried all the anxiety around how the birth would be, how would it feel, how would I cope? With Cruz – I had some of that. But mostly I felt anxious for Phoenix. His whole world as he knew it, was about to change. And initially maybe we wouldn’t feel better for it. Maybe he would miss me. Maybe I would miss him. This was the first night I spent away from Phoenix… I know, right? I grabbed my things and took one last look at Phoenix and the tears rolled in. Probably from the hormones, but anyone that has had a second baby, you know that moment – the last one where it’s just you and him. I grabbed my bags and Phoenix kissed my belly and said “See you soon baby” and my expanding heart felt heavy.
We checked into hospital, I was only 1cm and everything looked clear to leave. By 7pm contractions were only few and far between. It started to get dark and we went for a drive. We didn’t want to go home and see Phoenix only to leave again. So we got some takeaway and went down to Warriewood beach. The darkness, the moonlight on the water and the breaking waves on a vacant beach were the best way to kick things off. I found my breath, contractions were building and I remember feeling so excited this time. When I went into labor with Phoenix, I was scared. I was tense. I was holding my breath in fear. But this time, I knew what to expect. I knew that the enormous pain I would feel, would be okay. That it was just pain and that it would pass. Contractions quickened and became longer and stronger. We made our way back to the hospital. I knew we were probably early to go in, but I just wanted to get settled for the night, sit onto a birthing ball, dim the lights and let it happen.
When we got back to the hospital and into a room, the contractions really became stronger. I couldn’t talk through them. I just closed my eyes and breathed. I brought my doTerra essential oil ice blue rub. Which by the way – really took the edge off. Anyone going for a natural birth, you need this stuff! I was blown away by its effectiveness. Things started feeling intense, but I didn’t want the nurse to check me yet. When they check, it bloody hurts. And secondly, I knew that if they told me I was still a 1 or a 3, I would be devastated and want to give up. So, I held out for as long as I could. When we finally checked, I was already a 7! I couldn’t believe it. Phil and I were literally celebrating. Then I realized, ahh, I still have the hardest work ahead of me. But it was in that moment that I knew I could do it. I knew I could somehow enjoy it because I was coping so well so far. And with Phoenix I didn’t cope, I felt like it wore me right down.
I wanted a waterbirth. And we coincidentally were in the only room with the tub. It was a sign. So I got in the water. The next three hours were intense. With Phoenix, I got an epidural. Which really did save my life. They’re darn amazing. One minute you feel like you’re being crushed by a bus and then the pain just lets off. But with Cruz, I really wanted to feel it all. I wanted to let my body really do what it is designed to do and feel it’s uttermost acuteness. It was such a rush. At this point with the contractions, I was using the gas mask and inhaling the ice blue oil rub. My husband was spraying the shower hose on my lower back and the midwife was talking me through it. The tub kept filling up and emptying. I remember when each contraction began, I would take the deepest inhalation possible and try and exhale all the way out. I was mindful of my thoughts and tried to loosen my body as much as possible. Just like in yoga, when a pose feels really uncomfortable, it helps to try and relax your muscles. I tried hard to relax my shoulders and my face. I smiled. I kept repeating in my head “I can do this. I’ve got this. Our baby boy will be here soon and it’ll all be okay.” And it worked. I cannot explain how different my thoughts were in both of my births – how opposite my attitude was towards the experience and how that same pain could feel so differently.
When was it time to push? How would I know? The midwife kept insisting that I would know when it is. And she was right. With the next contraction there was an enormous urge. I couldn’t not push. I couldn’t wait to meet him. I couldn’t wait any longer to know if he was a boy or a girl. I pushed with every ounce of strength I had in me. It felt like I could have moved a mountain. I roared and screamed and made noises that I wasn’t aware I had in me. Finally, his head popped out. His body still to come on the final push. One more big push, and I caught him. The midwives helped me bring him up to my chest. They asked us what his name would be. And my husband and I looked at each other and said “Cruz”.
Our darling son, Phoenix’s baby brother Cruz entered our hearts.