Welcoming our boy Brodie
I awoke on Wednesday the 1/12/2021 with a sinking feeling after realising I was still pregnant and hadn’t birthed after another night. It was my ‘due date’ and although so normal to go beyond dates it was the furthest I’d been through 4 pregnancies. I’d been tired and irritable, clingy, emotional and achy as well as extremely swollen with fluid for a couple of weeks now. I could feel that in the couple of days prior to this that baby had really settled down into the pelvis made evident through pubic pressure and lower back pain.
Finlay our 7 year old had hurt his wrist the evening before while I was out to dinner with some friends and so Kane and I decided we should keep him home from school. Kane dropped Deklyn and Lachy off to school and headed home. Together we tidied the house for the thousandth time and I insisted the bathroom needed to be bleached again which Kane quickly took over while ordering me to go rest. We cuddled up on the couch with Fin and watched a few episodes on Netflix before it was time to pick the kids up from school.
By lunchtime Finlay was still looking really cautious of his wrist so we decided it best to get it checked. Kane took him to the dr for an X-ray referral while I picked up the kids. There was an issue at the radiology with the printer so Kane was waiting for that to be repaired. I began feeling some light tightenings following some sharp jolts of cervical pain every so often but nothing to cause concern (or in my case, excitement). I had had a bit of a bloody show twice throughout the day and had updated my midwife Lou with photos (sorry Lou) before deciding that although it indicated there was some softening and thinning of the cervix, it could still be days away.
It was 4pm and time for Lachlan to head to baseball practice so we jumped in the car and headed there, Kane called while we were on our way and let me know Fin had a small fracture and he was headed to the hospital to have it seen to but that the dr had called ahead and sneakily advised that I was in early labour. I chose now to let Kane know that in fact I thought the dr to be correct and I had been having some niggly pains but not to worry I’d keep him updated. The whole way through the baseball practise I paced the side of the field unable to get comfortable but not in any real pain either.
We headed home followed shortly by Kane, Deklyn and Fin. Together we all ate dinner, tidied up, showered and put the two younger to bed. It was now 8:30pm and the uncomfortable pressure in my lower back was building. For the following hour I rocked on the gym ball in the lounge room while watching another episode with Kane and Deklyn. I felt there was some regularity to the pains so decided to time them to see and sure enough they were 4 mins apart. Still not really painful but uncomfortable. Kane was shocked to walk over and see that I was timing and what the times were but said little. 10pm came and Deklyn headed to bed. No sooner had his head of hit his pillow did they start to ramp up. The waves intensity increased and I needed to rock through the contraction. Kane put some chilled tunes on for me, dimmed the lights and cuddled me to tune into where I was I at. It was so grounding to have him there, in the comfort of our home in the quiet of the night with nowhere else to be. We chatted softly about a plan and if I needed anything while he checked out how the pool worked. He fumbled his way through setting up and filling the pool while I bounced on the ball giggling at him.
I hopped up and stood at the kitchen bench to text my Mum, Lou and Naomi my best friend and also photographer who we’d plan to have here. I let them know that things were beginning and likely to be the night! As I stood there rocking I felt a whole lot more pressure in my pelvis but particularly my lower back, I decided I needed to go with it and empty my bladder for maximum room for baby to descend. Once I got to the bathroom I spent the next 20 minutes leaning on the sink and rocking between contractions and sitting on the toilet. Kane quietly fussed about our living area while checking on me every few minutes. As the intensity increased I became more focused on trying to relax my body to release the baby down and out. Kane stood at the door and let me know everything was all set up and ready out in the living area when I wanted to come out. I nodded and remained rocking at the sink. Next contraction he came back in and persuaded me some more to come hop in the pool and I became frustrated at him for the pressure I felt to move out of this safe space, and began to cry. As soon as the tears began to well I realised, transition.
I asked kane to go and call the team but Lou First and let her know to come now. No sooner had he walked up the hallway, while I sat on the toilet I felt baby slip past my pelvic bone. I placed a hand down and felt a head crowning. There was no burning, no stinging so it caught me by surprise I called out to Kane ‘baby’. He back up the hallway, into the bathroom and dropped to his knees, as I stood up our little Brodie slid straight into Kanes waiting hands. He tucked him into his shirt while he cried and gently stroked his face. Brodie instantly stopped crying and looked straight up into Kanes face then mine both looking down at his. I looked quickly at his healthy pinky colour and relaxed chest moving calmly up and down and welled up with tears. We laughed at the fact we had another little son after trying to guess all those months who this little person was and how we knew all along it was him.
We sat there in that moment for a while just soaking it in before bursting out laughing again. We did it! Kane asked what we should do now and said we should probably call Louise now. I hadn’t realised he didn’t get a chance to do together we shuffled up the hallway into our living area where Kane had set the most beautiful space. It was warm, and atmospheric with twinkling fairy lights and sweet music quietly completing the perfect scene. He helped me into the warm pool and handed me Brodie to snuggle. He made some calls and went to wake our boys who wearily woke to one meet their brother and gazed in wonder at how perfect he was. These moments will forever be etched in my mind as the most fulfilled my heart had ever been.
Slowly through the door walked Naomi who burst into tears with joy, followed quickly by Lou and my parents. Everyone gathered around the room and basked in the wonder and excitement of new life. Deklyn cut the cord and had a cuddle with his brothers while Kane and Lou helped me out of the pool to shower. Once walking back into the living space feeling amazing and fresh the mood slowly shifted from serenity to celebration and it felt so right! We sat in our home laughing, chatting and drinking wine (them, not me) celebrating the birthday of Brodie. As everyone left Lou hung around and helped clear the space and check we were all settled and good. We waved goodbye and jumped into bed with Brodie snuggled between us. It was 1:30am and we just laid there staring at our perfect little guy.
Brodie is 6 weeks old today and I’ve spent the day reflecting on this experience of pregnancy, birth and postpartum with the support of a private midwife in the comfort of my own home vs. the 3 natural, straightforward vaginal births I’ve had previously. The main difference being the emotional support I’ve received and what an enormous difference it has made to the whole experience. I am respected, I am informed, I am supported. I am given the power to decide what I do and don’t want, I am listened to and I am trusted by my care provider for knowing my own body and following my instincts. It has positively impacted not only my birth experience but the mental health of myself, my husband, my family and I believe my baby too. He is the sweetest, snuggliest little guy who finds as much comfort in me as I do him. We don’t need to be told what we should and shouldn’t do with our babies, we need to be trusted to already know.