The Birth of Sage
Randomly throughout the night I was woke up by some light pressure waves. It had happened before and I assumed they might be Braxton Hicks but it wasn’t until later that morning I realized it might be early practice waves. Even though they were so light, even less than period cramping. I was scheduled for an Ultrasound first thing in the morning so we got up and during my appointment the ultrasound tech confirmed that what I was feeling were contractions as I had a couple while she was trying to look at Baby Sage. Then I had one that stopped me in my tracks as I was walking out the front door.
Things were still early and I thought this might be the beginning of a long haul. So, we took off for a 4km walk around Rundle Park with a friend and I only had a couple light ones while walking before they completely tapered off. Then I tried taking a nap and they started to come back, about 8 minutes apart before slowing down again. So, we went out to run some errands and pick up the ingredients for the Castor Oil Induction I was going to do the next day. I would have them randomly as we walked but nothing was strong, it was all light and light hearted as we joked along the way.
After coming home again they stopped and I figured it would be best to get as much rest in as I could so shortly after Luna went to bed, I tried going to sleep while Chris was working outside. I let my mother know that things were progressing and that sometime in the next 48 hours I thought the baby would come. I honestly thought I would still need the induction to push my body fully into labor. I had also kept my Midwife Ola and my Doula Ricky in the loop about how I was feeling.
Begining of May 26
Around 11:30pm my waves became stronger and a bit more regular and by midnight I was texting Chris to come in so that he could lay with me. They started to become timable and I wanted him to lay beside me for moral support. They averaged about 9 minutes apart and about a minute long. I was listening to my “deepening your Hypnosis” Audio track, as that is what had felt right at the time. They were still manageable and I slept in between waves but was relying heavily on my hypnosis audios when the waves came. Chris and I just laid next to each other holding hands and when a wave would come, I would squeeze my hand to let him know it was coming and he would rub my back or use the “Peace cue” and press his hand against my forehead. At one point he had fallen asleep so hard I was shaking his entire forearm to try and wake him up but he was dead to the world. I struggled more on my own with Hypnosis and knew I would do better once Ricky got there.
But I didn’t feel like I needed her yet. It wasn’t until 5:30am that I messaged/called everyone. By 6:30 my Doula Ricky was on her way and by 7:00am she arrived at my place, just after my Mother had gotten there.
I was laying in bed still at this point and easily breathing through pressure waves, very calm and relaxed. Ricky suggested changing my Hypnosis Track to “Early First Stages”. Our daughter Luna was still in her bed sleeping, while my Mom was doing what she could around the house until she got up. I really appreciated Ricky and her ability to help me with using my Hypnosis. She used the “Birth Prompts” and “Relax” cue to help me focus more deeply. All while Chris finished his breakfast and made sure everything was packed and ready to go. Once our little one woke up, she came and crawled into bed with me and cuddled. You could tell she knew that something wasn’t normal and was very gentle with me and asked if I was okay.
I was going back and forth from the bedroom and the bathroom as things progressed. I would have a lot of mucus each time I went to the bathroom but by 7:50pm I noticed a lot of bloody show. I came back to the bed and we used the peanut ball to open my pelvis. Shortly after that I felt my waves change. It is hard to explain but they went from feeling like a mental mountain I had to climb to more of a rolling hill. They were less intense and for a moment I was discouraged that they might not be progressing. I had two of the “rolling hill” like waves before I mentioned it to Ricky. She then asked if I wanted to tell Ola and I said that I wanted to see if they went back to the “mountain” type feeling. After 2 more like that I knew things had changed and it was time to call Ola and get ready to go. Through all of this I was very calm, relaxed and focused and talking in between waves.
At 8:00am Ola had actually called me and I was in the middle of a pressure wave so Ricky answered. She let Ola know that I was coping well but that things had obviously changed and that I had lost a lot of mucus as well as my water had started leaking and that she thought it was about time to go. Ola and I chatted after my wave and she said that she would give Lucina a call to make sure that they had a room and would call me back. We slowly started to get the last things into the car as we waited for the phone call and I spent my time between the bed and the toilet while getting dressed. As we did this my waves started to get stronger and Ricky very subtly tried to hurry us along. I also changed from using the “Relax” cue to preferring the hip squeezes for every pressure wave.
By 8:30 am I tried calling Ola again and by 8:45am she had the confirmation that we had a room and we were out the door and in the car within 5 minutes. I was worried about the 20 minute drive as I wouldn’t be able to have Ricky there or be able to do the hip squeezes which seemed to be the two things that I relied heavily on besides my Hypnosis Tracks, which I listened to in my headphones on the way there. My waves actually slowed down in duration but were long when I had them. Then at one point I had a really strong wave, JUST as we were turning a big corner with a pot hole in it!! As the car bounced, I knew my water broke. While nothing gushed, I knew it would once I stood up.
As we arrived at Lucina around 9:20 am I let Chris know that as soon as I step out of the car my water is going to run down my legs and that the next wave would be more intense so I needed him to come do the hip squeeze and not to bother with the bags yet. Which is exactly what happened. Except not all of my waters broke so it wasn’t as intense as I expected it to be. Ricky wasn’t far behind us but when we got to the Lucina doors be realized that Ola wasn’t there yet. Thankfully one of the Lucina Midwives let us in and into the room to get comfortable. Chris and Ricky started to fill the tub with water and set up the array of LED candles around the edges of the tub. I was so glad we had brought them along; they made the room so peaceful and relaxing. Ola arrived shortly after and started to set up. By 9:30am I was feeling more pressure in my pelvis and Ricky continued with the hip squeezes as I leaned on the bed with each wave. Still breathing through them, nice and calm.
By this point I was still expecting not to be that far along, since my first birth was VERY different and a lot stronger with the medically induced pressure waves. Ricky had made a comment to Chris and I that Ola might be surprised at how far along I am when she checks me as I was still calm and relaxed and breathing through my pressure waves.
There was no screaming like you see on TV, the whole room was just calm, relaxing, comfortable and safe. I will say I got a little excited with anticipation for my one and only cervical check after that comment. Ola checked me at 9:40am and to be honest I had a hard time using my Hypnosis at that point, as it had seemed to take longer than I thought it would so I wasn’t mentally prepared. Then I heard Ola say that I was 7-8cm and my cervix was very soft and stretchy! I couldn’t believe it!! I was THAT far along! But my waves were nothing compared to the first time I gave birth. Natural pressure waves and medically induced pressure waves are VERY different. She had also mentioned that my forewaters were still intact and that she could break them for me if I wanted to but I didn’t want to. I wanted to get into that tub!!
By 9:45am I was in the tub, and I remember it being super warm and a lot more relaxing than I expected. It was definitely nicer than my tub at home that I barely fit into at 41 weeks pregnant! The warm water gave me this feeling of calm, soft, blanket like comfort that honestly eased my pressure waves instantly. If you are considering a water birth, I HIGHLY recommend it. I leaned my head on my arms along the edge of the tub as Christopher fed me ice cubes and put a cold compress on my forehead and neck. Ricky continued to help me with the Birth Prompts through pressure waves while Ola was in and out getting things ready and checking in with me. By 10:15am I knew things were getting serious as my pressure waves had increased and I needed a bit of help coping. I started asking for the laughing gas (which had JUST been brought back that day because of COVID! Good timing). Ricky and Christopher kept telling me that Ola was getting it and it would be on its way soon, it seemed to take forever even though it was probably only 4 maybe 5 pressure waves. I thought I saw the tank in the room with us but it turns out that was just the Oxygen tank.
For those who know me I can be a bit stubborn… to say the least, and in my first Birth I fought my husband and Doula REALLY hard when it came time to switch positions or try something new. So, this time we all chatted beforehand that I needed them to be very stern with me and move me if need be. It turned out that my body knew what to do on its own instead. After leaning on my arms on the edge of the tub I knew it was going to be time to move soon and so did my team. (As asked) They made sure to tell me that after the next pressure wave I would have to move into a different position. Well half way through that wave it was like she descended and my body knew it had to make room for her to come out and I just slid into the semi reclined position.
By 10: 28am I had my first urge to push. As my body grunted and began to push down, I remember Ola asking me “Candase, what was that?” and I thought it was such a funny question. But she wanted to know if I was forcing it or if my body was naturally pushing, which it was. Then I had a couple waves with no pushing sensations and then my body began to start pushing. At some point my Midwife had said to my Husband “Do you want to deliver the baby?” so he quickly changed into his swim trunks and hopped right in there with me. We hadn’t planned this at all and I will forever be grateful that Ola had suggested it, because it was the most magical moment we could have shared together.
In between pushes I was still using the gas but when it came time to push I would breath on my own. The gas was GREAT when I needed it and I am very grateful to have had that option. But it was also so powerful to feel my cervix open up so much on its own, naturally and instinctually. There was power in pushing, and not just physically but spiritually. I knew with each push she was closer to coming earth side. I would finally get to meet her and see her face and hold those little hands and hear that first cry. I will say though, that not every push brought her closer to being born… Did you know that babies can slide back inside of you? I sure as hell didn’t and BOY WAS I SURPRISED! It was like pushing a boulder up a hill and not reaching the top so when you stop pushing the boulder slides back down the hill. So, there’s your random fact of the day, you’re welcome. I will say that I wish I could have seen the look on my face when it happened thought. All I remember is Ola saying “don’t worry she will come back” all while I was thinking “what kind of alien thing just crawled inside me!”.
At some point I was told to reach down and feel her head, and while I never imagined wanting to do that (I didn’t with my first), it was really cool to know how close she was and that my body was doing this amazing thing. Through one wave I pushed her head out, along with her cute little hand right beside her face. While we waited for the next wave to come it took a lot mentally to not just try and push her out. When the next wave came her shoulders were out and she was born at 11:02am. She came out right into Christopher’s arms with Ola directing him the entire time! He put her on my chest and I was in pure and utter shock, I couldn’t believe she was here already!! Honestly, I have a few videos and pictures and there is one clip that I will forever cherish; eyes as wide as saucers in awe that my Husband caught our baby and that I had birthed our little girl.
Her cord was left to finish pulsing while I just held her and sang to her in the tub. Chris cut the cord and got out of the tub just in time before it filled with blood. While baby Sage was being checked out and then passed to Daddy for some skin to skin, I birthed my placenta in the tub. After getting cleaned up and moving to the bed where I had to get a couple of stitches (also THANK YOU GAS!), we could hear Sage sucking on her hands and she was definitely ready to breastfeed. We crawled under the sheets and fed her while the 3 of us just cuddled. During this time my Midwives were making us a seriously stellar breakfast! Pumpkin waffles, omelet, bacon, fruit and best of all coffee. Ricky, being the absolute server and sweet heart that she is, cut my food and fed it to me while I was nursing Sage.
After eating I got dressed and we packed up our things after taking a few very lovely and cherished photos. By 1:45pm we were heading home with our new baby girl!! We were only there for a total of 4 hours and 25 minutes!
I couldn’t believe it! It was the best experience I could have ever asked for. It was WILDLY different than my first and I am so grateful to have had the experience I had with a Birthing team that I trusted with my whole heart. The entire pregnancy and birth I felt heard, cared for, respected and honored. I walked away from my first birth saying “that was the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced” and I walked away this birth feeling like I was healed, as if my soul needed this experience, and needed this tiny human to come into our lives.
Sage, thank you for choosing us to be your parents. Ricky, thank you for being my rock and my grounding voice to keep me steady. Ola, thank you for being the biggest light I could have ever asked for and becoming part of our family. Christopher, words can not describe how grateful I am for you and how you carry this family and support me through such a transformational time in our lives.
I love you all <3