Cedar Sage’s Birth Story by Emma Fidock
Our bedroom was set up so lovely. Simple, but comfortable. Candles, cushions, music. Especially for someone who didn’t have much of a birth plan at all! I didn’t even have my hospital bag packed yet! We played the ‘Mazzy Star Station’ on Pandora and laughed and breathed and paced through the contractions. Guy had downloaded a contraction timer app on his phone so we could time how far apart and how long my contractions were. Every time they became closer and longer we would look at each other with a shocked and excited kind of smile! We were both so excited and so positive about my birth, which made the experience so much more enjoyable!
By midnight, the contractions were starting to be pretty full on where they needed all of my complete attention and breath. We called Maureen, our midwife, and asked if she thought we needed to go to the Birth Centre yet. She said that I sounded fine and to have a sleep and wait it out. I think I pulled myself together too well on the phone as there was no way I could even lay down let alone sleep out these contractions! As the minutes ticked by, they became more and more intense. All I could do was move. I would walk, stamp my feet, lean against the wall, kneel over a pouffe swaying my hips side to side. Each contraction needed something different to get through the intense pain. YES, PAIN. It was painful. It was bearable. But it was totally painful like nothing I had ever experienced or could have imagined. By 2.30am my legs were shaking during a contraction and even in between my body still had the shakes. We called Maudy again and she said she would meet us at the Birth Centre. We gathered all we needed for the centre, nappies, pads, coconut water, lavender water spray (which I never used, it made me feel so sick, which was strange as I was in LOVE with the stuff throughout my pregnancy to get me to sleep). I waddled into the car, and we drove the 10 minutes to Mullum Birth Centre.
During the car ride, my contractions totally mellowed. It was as if my body just knew that it had to calm down just for 10 minutes until we got to where we needed to be. We arrived the same time as Maudy and waited by the door while she walked around the other side to unlock it. It was 3 or so in the morning by this stage and there was no one there, only us. We went into our room and I remember the contractions still being super mellow again, I felt like maybe we came too soon!
Maudy examined me and I was 5cm dilated, and my membranes still in tact. As Maudy filled up the birth pool, I continued to pace through my contractions and hang off of Guy as they began to get stronger again. Guy got down an exercise ball for me and I bounced and rolled on that for a little while until, POP, my waters broke! All over the exercise ball and onto the floor, we both kind of squealed with excitement! It was the strangest feeling, like a little balloon popping inside of me! As soon as my waters broke, it was ON! The contractions came on more intense and longer than ever and had less than a minute between them to rest! The pool was filled, I stripped down and hopped in. I desperately needed to float and stretch out my legs as my contraction pain was like someone was stabbing me where my pelvis met the top of my legs.
Although the pain was so full on and the most painful thing I had ever experienced, I made sure to stay totally calm, breathe, and made sure I relaxed in between my contractions as a way to save energy and to help my uterus prepare itself for the next contraction. In between one of my contractions I peeled my eyes open and looked up at Guy, holding my hands, staring at me with tears in his eyes. I felt so sad for him! “I’m okay babe! Don’t be sad, I’m so fine I’m not even in pain!” I said to him. I was totally in pain. But I was actually really fine! In my head I had on repeat ‘Life giving Pain, Life giving Pain”. And knew it would all be over soon. I honestly think this it what made my labour so successful. Being relaxed. In between a few of my contractions I even fell asleep. I was totally in the zone. I had no concept of time. I didn’t even know my other midwife Chris had arrived and was sitting on a chair next to the bath. I was well and truly in ‘Labour Land’.
Suddenly, it was time to push. I pushed, and pushed, and pushed, for what felt like an eternity. Maudy kept reassuring me that I was almost there and was doing a great job. But nothing was moving, and I kept pushing. I looked up and locked eyes with Chris. ‘What is going on? Why isn’t anything happening?’ I asked her, totally exhausted and confused. Her response, “You really have to push now”, “I am!”, “No, you really REALLY have to push” Okay, I thought. And as the next contraction came, I puuuuuuuuushed, and yeeelllllled, and breathed and yelled and pushed and finally… we were past that stage, it wasn’t over yet. More pushing. More yelling. More breathing. A couple of micro naps. And only a couple of swear words later. I slowly birthed our baby’s head. His head was so gently and slowly birthed that I did not tear, and it wasn’t actually that painful. It stung a lot, and I could definitely feel myself stretching and opening but it was nowhere near as painful as the contractions themselves.
The wait between that contraction and the last felt like an eternity. And for my body, it was. My body was preparing for the last and final push. For about 5 minutes, I sat there, in squat position. Breathing. Relaxing and so READY for this final push. During the wait, our baby’s head was just chilling under water, looking around, wide eyed and ready to enter this world. I didn’t see this but Guy did and said it was amazing (and super weird) to see! FINALLY, the last contraction came, I pushed and pushed and really really pushed when finally, our baby was out! Like a huge explosion, a mix of water, a heap of vernix and a 3.36kg baby floated up in-between my legs and I caught him. It was the most amazing feeling of happiness, love, exhaustion and relief all mixed into one. Our baby was crying and crying and we were crying and laughing and kissing and hugging that we didn’t even know whether we had had a boy or a girl! A few minutes later I squeeled, “What is it?! What is it?!” Not even thinking to check myself! “Have a look!” my midwives said. A boy. A perfectly beautiful and healthy baby boy.
What a trip. 11 hours. The biggest transition of my life. A journey no one could have prepared me for. So amazingly hard and painful and challenging and exhausting. But totally empowering and wonderful at the same time. I was in shock for days. I couldn’t believe what my body had just been through. What it had done. What we had done. My baby Cedar and I. And I cannot wait to do it again!
Emma is a sun chasing, world travelling, life loving mother from the beautiful coastal town of Byron Bay. Her baby boy, Cedar Sage, is now 6 months old and is the absolute light of her life and a testament to her calm pregnancy, calm birth and parenting. Follow her and her cheeky little man on Instagram where you are guaranteed to catch a case of the smiles.