BIRTH STORY: Ebony Rae 16th Jan 2017
The HBAC (Homebirth after Cesarean) of our rainbow baby (baby after loss).
As I quickly approach my daughter's 2 month birthday I thought I'd better get my act into gear and write up my birth story. Amazing how quickly the details begin to get a little hazy!
But first, a bit of background as to what brought us up to this point in the story.. (I apologise in advance if there are parts that don't make sense... I was writing it in the early hours of the morning whilst feeding hahaha)
My first son, now 3, was born via emergency cs for failure to progress after an induction for post dates at 41+1.
I fell pregnant with my 2nd son in later 2015. After a rollercoaster of emotions, he was born at 24 weeks and passed away a couple of hours later from a fatal chromosome condition. Though it was a terribly hard and emotional situation, his birth was an amazing and somewhat healing experience for me. He was a drug free, breech, vaginal birth at a public hospital... and it lit a fire within me so fierce that I pretty much became obsessed with all things pregnancy and birth.
After getting the all clear from our doctors, we decided to start trying for another baby straight away, as it had taken us almost a year to conceive last time. Fate called our bluff and I fell pregnant pretty much straight away, which put our rainbow baby's due date at 11th Jan, 3 days before our son's anniversary.
I was booked in to the same hospital again, as they had a good enough rep for supporting VBACs, however I realised that I just couldn't walk into those birthing suits again with so many powerful memories, so I looked into home birthing. I enlisted the services of the wonderful MAMA midwives, as well as my beautiful doula and a student midwife.
My pregnancy was a very uneventful, normal pregnancy. For a week or so in the lead up to Ebony's birth I was feeling quite 'niggly.' I had been having weekly chiro, acupuncture and doing regular pregnancy yoga. My first son was induced at 41+1 though, so I had braced myself for a potential 42+ week pregnancy. I was in denial.
The early morning of 15th Jan I woke to contractions. They were 20 odd mins apart, but strong enough to keep me awake. I called my doula to let her know and for a bit of reassurance, wondering if this was actually it or not. I had never gone into labour naturally so I really had no idea what to expect. Contractions continued throughout the night and I attempted to get as much sleep as possible between them.
Morning came, and everything fizzled out as my husband and son woke. I sent hubby off to work and shipped my son off to my mum's so I could rest and relax, hoping things would pick up again that night.
Contractions came back around 8pm that night. I tried to relax through everything, anticipating a long labour as that seems to happen along our maternal line. I ducked in and out of the shower which was so wonderful for pain relief however it also ramped things up a fair bit so I only stayed in there for short bursts.
Hubby called in our birth team around 2am as I was beginning to feel I needed a bit more support.
I was having unrelenting back pain which was harder to deal with than the actual contractions. My doula and her magic hands helped with massage and hot/cold packs, though nothing much seemed to help. Because of this I spent a lot of time lying on my side which in my mind wasn't really where I wanted to be at all.
I got into the birth pool at some stage and it was soooo lovely and warm and relieving. However, I ended up getting out as it fizzled everything out again. Morning hit and it felt like everything had stopped again. I was really beginning to doubt my body's ability and I spoke with my midwife about having a VE to see where I was at. My main concern was that if I wasn't far dilated at all, it would completely shatter my confidence and everything would prob go downhill from there. So we decided to leave it for a while and re-evaluate again in another hour or so. And then everyone went to sleep... it had been a long night. And it was probably the best thing that happened really. It was just me and Bethany and I relaxed, and things ramped right up again.
Some time later, I was starting to feel pushy but was hesitant to go with it as I didn't really feel like I was far along enough. Bethany and Marita encouraged me to give it a go and see how it felt. It was nice to have something else to concentrate on other than my back pain. At some stage I moved to the bathroom to sit on the toilet and that's where I turned into some lady animal... haha
I couldn't believe the noises that were coming out of my mouth!! The uncontrollable urge to push had well and truly kicked in.
I could feel the baby's head with my finger as she came down.
I was a bit paranoid about having her on the toilet and was glad to move onto our bed at Marita's suggestion. And there it was that I pushed out our beautiful daughter, whilst on all fours, with my husband, and some amazing, beautiful women surrounding me. What an experience!
Our daughter, Ebony Rae Tonkin, was born at home on Monday 16th Jan at 1.27pm. 4.29kgs, 53cm long, with only a few grazes thanks to her arm making an early entrance haha..
I was so blessed to have such wonderful people help me through.. Marita, Jan and Marg from MAMA Services Melbourne, and Bethany from Belly Beans Doula. The wonderful Lacey Barratt was there to capture it all for us!
Thanks for reading, if you got this far! And thank you all for all your advice and positive stories along the way to help get me to where I am sitting right now. Next to my gorgeous, now 2 month old, HBAC rainbow bubba.