Birth Stories: Autumn's Birth by Emma Fidock
Autumn’s birth. Well. It was definitely not what I expected. During my pregnancy with Autumn, I’ll admit that I was pretty nervous about giving birth. I think going into a second pregnancy and labour, knowing what is to come is way scarier than not knowing! Even though Cedar’s birth was amazing, empowering, and straightforward, it was still bloody painful and the thought of going through that again was nerve wracking! It wasn’t until I was about maybe 36 weeks that I decided to change my mindset and become excited. Telling myself I was excited. And it’ll be amazing, to be in control and that I can do it, I’ve done it before! Positive affirmations work wonders!
The morning of my “due date,” I was unexpectedly woken up with a wet sensation in between my legs. I got out of bed and went to the toilet. I thought I had lost my mucous plug or maybe my hind waters, as that happened with Cedar to indicate early signs on labour.
It was 6am, and I went back to bed, gave Cedar the biggest cuddle while he was still sleeping and just cried! This was it! My last day or days with my baby! My husband, Guy, opened his eyes and asked what was wrong, and I told him it was beginning.
Guy randomly happened to have the day off of work, which was great so we just went about a normal day. No contractions had started yet, but I just kept leaking! (I later realized that this was my waters, and it was slowly leaking all day- whoops!) We went down the road and had a coffee, cleaned the house, I put on a slow cooked lamb stew and then just sat around. I didn’t have any food in the fridge so I decided to drive about 15 minutes to the grocery store to stock up for the days ahead. Contractions by now were very very sporadic, nothing to even really take note of.
While I was shopping, I started to notice that the contractions were coming a bit more often. I tried to time them, but kept forgetting so I wasn’t getting an accurate time. I figured they were about 15 minutes apart. Still nothing to stop me in my tracks. It was about 2:30 pm.
I got home at 3:00 and received a message from my girlfriend saying she had just had her baby, which was so crazy because it happened so quickly. I had only just got a text about Nutella from her an hour before! I couldn’t believe it!
By 4:00 my contractions were coming more regular at about 5 minutes apart. But still super, super mellow so I hadn’t bothered to even call my midwife yet. I was still vacuuming the house (I am a clean freak while nesting) I made muesli bars and just kept busy!
I texted my mother in law to tell her to pack her bags (she was coming over to look after Cedar) as I thought maybe we would have to leave in the early hours of the next morning. She called me back and asked what was happening and I told her they were about 4/5 minutes apart but I was fine. She convinced me to call my midwife Chris, who is a family friend, to touch base.
I sent Chris a text saying my contractions were coming 4 minutes apart. This was about 5:30. She called back and asked if they were painful and I said I was fine and that they weren’t so I wasn’t worried. I was to call her when we were leaving for the birth centre, which was about 20 minutes from our house.
In the mean time, my mother in law made her way to our place. I had a shower, packed my hospital bag and just waited! Guy and I umm and ahh about when to leave and when his Mum arrived we decided to go as Cedar was fine and we may as well enjoy the nice new birth units!
Just before hopping in the car I had one big contraction where I needed to lean over the kitchen bench. But still, I was okay. I hopped in the front passenger seat and off we went. I had 2 more contractions which were pretty uncomfortable as I was in the most awkward, uncomfortable seated position. As we drove past my girlfriends house who had just had her baby, I turned to Guy and joked that we should just stop there and use their birth pool! Literally the next second, I had a contraction which made me feel like I needed to do a poo, and I said “oh shit, that’s not a poo, babe, go!” Guy needed to drive! And drive fast!
The next 2 contractions my body was pushing haaaarrd! I was using all my strength and tensing all my muscles to try and stop my body from pushing this baby out!! I was taking all my calm birth skills of loosening up and breathing and throwing them out the window. I tensed and tensed. My uterus was pushing down so hard but I was NOT having this baby in the car! In between those contractions was complete calm, I was talking to my baby saying, Stay in there babe, not yet, we’re almost at the birth centre. Stay. In. There. Guy didn’t say a word and did not take his eyes off the road!
When we arrived at the hospital car park, I jumped out, bolted for the entrance and then doubled over right in front with another pushing down contraction. I don’t know how I did it, but I straightened up, put my hands in between my legs and waddled in. Thankfully, security was still there and unlocked all doors for us to get into the birth unit. We burst through and saw Chris. As soon as I saw her I just grabbed her arm and said “It’s there, the baby is right there!” “Oh really? Strip off then” she said. And I have never undressed so quickly in my life. And I was fully dressed. Trackies, Top, jumper, socks, uggies, I was not dressed to have a baby!
I jumped into the half filled warm bath and instantly relaxed. Chris turned the tap on to fill it up more, I put my hands Inbetween my legs, and there was her head! “The head is there!” I said to Chris. She came over, and with no time to get a mirror or anything, she and I both had our hands on the head and finally, I could let go. I could finally relax and let her come out. No more contractions, just one slooooow push (so I didn’t tear) and her head was out. Thank. God. One more push and out came her body. I pulled up my baby and I just could not believe it. I was in shock. My body was in shock. I just kept yelling saying “What the hell! What the hell just happened!?” The adrenaline in me was running high! They all told me to sit down, calm down. My pupils were crazy, I was so shocked, we were laughing! I pretty much launched my baby out the water to see what sex it was then yelled “it’s a giiiiirl!”
Once I had calmed down a bit, there was just silence, I double checked that she really was a girl and Guy and I were just looking at each other in disbelief. Only 30 minutes ago we were at home, still contemplating whether to come in or not!
That was it, I’d birthed my baby. Autumn Wilde. And man, was it wild! I didn’t even feel like I’d been through labour and given birth it was nuts. I had never believed you could have a pain free birth especially after Cedars birth but honestly, minus the part of having to HOLD MY BABY IN, it was totally pain free. Crazy, I know. I don’t believe me either.
An hour later we called Guy’s Mum to come in with Cedar, she couldn’t believe it. They came in and it was beautiful, Cedar was so excited and so happy to meet his new baby. 2 hours after that, we loaded our now 2 children into the car and slowly, calmly, drove that same road home, still in disbelief.
It definitely took me a lot longer to come out of the shock of birth and having a brand new babe in my arms this time around, the lack of labour just made it so unbelievable to me. I wasn’t as emotional and wrapped in a love bubble as I was when Cedar was born. 11 hours of labour first time round, the love and support from your partner, it being such a long and strong emotional and physical journey, then the joy of finally birthing a beautiful babe brings out so much emotion and love, oxytocin is flowing rapidly. But with Autumn’s birth, because it was so fast, the shock and Adrenalin took over, therefore it took me a while to actually register what had happened and that I had my beautiful baby I’d been growing inside me! I am absolutely besotted now, and have such a strong connection with Autumn, but it did take a while.
Let’s just say, if I fall pregnant again, I am definitely having a home birth!