The Birth of Grace

8th July 2011 (40 weeks 3 days pregnant)

I could feel her getting ready for her arrival for a few days now, actually I thought she had decided that Tuesday was going to be her birth day, but as it turns out she wasn’t quite ready. When Thursday rolled around & those well-meaning, but slightly annoying phone calls to see if she had decided to make her appearance became more frequent, I thought maybe this might be time.

The previous night I ran myself a nice warm bath & poured my birthing oil in & my ipod ready with my birth tracks playing. I thought of my baby, I talked to her through my belly & told her it was safe to come meet us now. I envisioned how things would play out once she was ready & how I would bring her into this world. She moved a bit, tickled my ribs with her foot. I knew she’d heard me. At around 11pm I began to feel tightening in my abdomen as I went to sleep. I slept soundly until around 3am when the tightenings were a little more regular & I was too excited to sleep because I knew I was going to meet my baby soon. So I got up & watched a few hours of Jersey Shore before the sun started to rise & managed to get comfortable enough that I could drift off for a little while & get a few more hours sleep.

When I woke I told Richard that we might have our baby today but that everything was very slow, might not be for another day or 2, in the back of my mind thinking about my mothers marathon labours. We went along to my regular acupuncture appointment where my tightening were about 25mins apart upon arrival & 15mins apart when we left less than an hour later. We continued on to our obstetrician appointment, because I still didn’t believe that I was in labour, surges were still regular at around 15mins apart. The Obstetrician was happy, she called the hospital to let them know they would be seeing us at some stage tonight & sent us home to keep doing whatever I was doing because it seems to be working.

So we headed home, called Mum to pick up our dog, Ari, & she stayed for a cuppa & an episode of Bold & The Beautiful ! She was stunned that every 10mins I would gentle close my eyes, breathe deeply, slowly & calmly & then open them again when the surge was over. This was not what birth looked like to her!

After she left I decided to really go within, I wanted to connect with what was happening in my body & to my baby & just let nature take its course. After a little while based on my husband’s observations he thought it was time to go to hospital. I was not convinced as I honestly thought this couldn’t possibly be it! After about half an hour he ignored me & just called the hospital anyway!

The midwife wanted to speak to me so I hopped on the phone, I assured her I felt great & was in no pain, she thought it was probably not time to come in yet but just hang on the phone while I have some contractions so she can be sure we were timing them properly. Only seconds into the second contraction she said, ‘Emily, they are much closer than I thought, as soon as this one is over I want you to come straight into the hospital’. Hmmmm I thought, maybe this is it!

So we headed into the hospital through the pouring rain & Friday peek hour traffic listening to my Nirvana Rock-A-By-Baby CD (Nirvana songs played on glockenspiels, very relaxing)! When we arrived they were pleasantly surprised at how well I was doing, we chatted for a bit but as I had declined any examinations they said they would leave me to it & check on me in a few hours unless something changes....”what sort of change am I looking for” I asked, confused.....waters breaking or you feel like pushing.....I thought to myself that I felt a little pushy now, but hey what do I know! So off they went & we settled in with our dimmed lights & relaxation music. I had this desperate need to be outside, I wasn’t a fan of the room, I had felt much more comfortable mentally at home, but physically I felt great.

I spied a large cushy chair underneath a window so I straddled it, pressed my forehead against the glass & felt the rain tap on my head through the window. I was completely & utterly relaxed, connected with my body & my baby. A little while later I felt my baby moving down & out, I got down on the floor & breathed my baby down. A midwife stuck her head in to see if the room was free & was surprised when she realised that I was just about to have my baby. ‘Stop pushing’, she said, ‘we’re not ready yet’.....They frantically wheeled trolleys around, squeezed on gloves & threw on some wet weather gear (my waters had not broken yet) whilst I calmly continued to breathe my baby down. No time for my private obstetrician to arrive & with a few minutes my beautiful little  Grace was born earthside.

I was in established labour for 6 hours, my birth was painless, calm, positive & empowering. That night I lay so utterly awake, completely wired & full of energy that I could not even entertain the thought of sleeping even though I knew my body so desperately wanted that warm release when your muscles relax & that gentle haze of sleep fall over your eyes & drifts you off to another world. I was in a another world already, I could hear her  tiny little breaths as she slept, swaddled in her cotton wrap & those tiny breaths are the most amazing sound I had ever heard. I left the light on the bathroom so I could see her  through the darkness, I couldn’t possibly bear to tear my eyes away from her. We had finally met today, face to face. I had talked to her for so long, rubbed her little bottom through my tummy, tapped her little feet as they burrowed away inside me while she got comfy. Then she was here, this perfect little girl. This beautiful gift that I was able to bring into this world, so peacefully, so calmly. Finally I had my calling, I knew this feeling, this experience needed to be shared. And so Acacia Wellness was born!