Monday, September 12, 2011

Camillas Birth Story

Our first real life 3-Way-Cuddle

A lot of people have been asking me about Camillas birth so I thought I would write out a basic birth story for my blog, and a much more detailed one for my own personal records.

My labour was short. Probably too short for my liking if I'm going to be honest. I had been conditioned to believe that first time pregnancies take days and days of labour before anything happened. So, on Saturday night when my contractions started during a walk to the supermarket for chocolate I tried to push them aside and I kept telling Graeme and myself that labour can start and stop. We tried to watch a movie and got about half way through it when my contractions suddenly picked up.

We had a very fast home birth after a very short labour. There was no time for an exam to see how far along I was, so based off intensity I think I was probably in 'established labour' for 2.5 hours - maybe. I pushed for 30 minutes total.

Infact, it was so fast we didn't get time to fill the pool.

I went into shock a little bit when my contractions intensified. I fainted and vomited and there's a definite period that I just don't remember - Like how I ended up on our bed. In my head I was thinking that that intensity would be lasting for days and I didn't know how I could do it. Looking back I now understand that stage was my transition - going from labour into pushing. It happens to most women and they reach a point of "i can't do this" however, at the time I felt like a failure and I was really scared.

The midwife arrived in a hurry and shortly after I announced that I needed to push.

It was so instinctive. Nothing like on the movies where they instruct you when to push and how hard. My body knew what it needed to do and I was just along for the ride. I could feel everything.

I pushed. I pushed. I made a few jokes. I pushed. I will always remember the moment I turned and looked into Graeme's eyes. They were welled up with tears and so full of love.

Camilla came quickly in one big burst. Usually the head comes out and then there is a pause as the baby rotates so the shoulders can fit through. There was no pause and no changing position for us. I was told I had to get her out straight away so I did. She flew out and landed on the bed. Seriously. She flew. We went from seeing the top of her head (which was crazy!!) to having her in my arms in seconds. Graeme calls her the salmon, I call her our mermaid.

She was placed in our arms, sticky and covered in white vernix. She was as pink as a pig and our little princess. Absolutely perfect.

The next 4 hours flashed by as we enjoyed hours of skin to skin contact (a fantastic way to bond) established feeding (she latched on straight away and hasn't stopped since!) Was weighed (7 pound 6) and measured. The placenta was delivered. It probably took longer than it could have because I was exhausted. I was stitched up and paracetamol'd up.

I will always remember Graeme wrapping his arms around us and praying for us while the midwives were in our hallway. They could hear us and they waited, I so appreciated that. It was a beautiful moment.

Then, it was time for the midwives to leave and Graeme and I were tucked up in bed with our sleeping daughter between us, wrapped up in her wollen blanket. It was seriously perfect. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Giving birth is one of the most natural and empowering things I have ever done. Somewhere deep down my body took over and did what it had to do to deliver our daughter. The midwives were there to help and offer encouragement and a few tips but when it comes down to it, its our bodies that do all of the hard work. I'm sorry if you have not been able to experience that, I mean no disrespect, but want to express how normal labour and birth is. It should not be feared, horror stories should not be the norm. I think its unfortunate that the horror stories are the most common stories to reach your ears, especially when you are pregnant. Birth is natural, empowering and totally forgiving to your body and mind. Women have been doing it for centuries.

Graeme was my main support person and he was everything I could have wanted him to be. He took a little straight talking in his stride (At different points I told him I hated his iPhone, not to touch my legs and that his soothing voice was pi**ing me off!!!!) He was my rock. We also had 2 other girl friends arranged to be support - one arrived just as I was about to start pushing but missed the birth and the other due to a whole lot of hastiness and confusion didn't arrive until after. I think I'll always regret that somewhat. My support people were invaluable to me and we couldn't have had the birth and care we did without them.

Finally, on home birth; Aside from the fact that we would not have had time to go to the hospital and had planned a home birth anyway, I wouldn't have it any other way. It was so indescribably comforting to be labouring in my own home, not have to get into the car (how on earth do people do that!!??) and to be made toast and milo afterwards by our support people. I loved falling asleep in my own bed and waking up to Graeme (definitely couldn't have done that in hospital) and all of my comforts. Almost everyone who came to visit in the following days said how much of a "love nest" it was. It was warm, dim, and we were able to stay in bed together for most of the following days while we recovered and bonded with our daughter. I will not think twice about planning a home birth for our future children.

Thanks for reading. I hope I didn't share too many details but just enough to satisfy your curiosities. I'd like to empower and encourage you too, so if you have any questions or would like to know more details please just let me know. Email me on :)

Extras for the Interested:

As soon as labour picked up and we couldn't fool ourselves into thinking it would stop we tried to take a baby in baby out (like here and here) photo. I had adjusted the top specifically for that purpose earlier in the week and I remember being really annoyed that there were shadows and the lighting was terrible. I was having a contraction during this photo, and a few seconds later passed out. When I "woke up" I was on the floor with our duvet and could hear Graeme on the phone to our midwife. The next thing I knew I was lying on our bed without my top and leggings off and my midwife was taking my blood pressure. Odd.

I have since decided to use the photos in this post as my 'baby in' version.

This is the first ever photo of Camilla. 



  1. LOVE IT! So happy you had such a positive natural birth. I was lucky to have two and both entirely different and in hospital. Sounds like a home birth was just perfect.
    Had to laugh at your comment about how you get in the car with contractions to drive to the hospital... I dont know how I did it both times but let me tell you, I was holding on to my tummy AND the door handles and telling hubby to drive GENTLY! The speed bumps in the carpark aren't helpful either!!
    Beautiful photos and so happy for you! xox

  2. Nothing better than a great birth story. I am so so so happy that you had such a great time of it. I could read stories like that all day.
    I also fully love that contraction tummy photo.
    Go the home birth!

  3. So so happy for you that you had a positive homebirth experience. Its a wonderful wonderful thing. As you say, its a shame that the horror birth stories seem to be the norm.

  4. Absolutely awesome story! Loved the bit about normalising birth too - so true.

    I too didn't realise I was in transition until afterwards, looking back..

    It makes you feel like a rockstar eh? its amazing what our bodies can do.

  5. lovely story Soph. glad it was a beautiful experience for all three of you, although I bet Graeme was a bit scared when you passed out!
    Aunty Bev

  6. Amazing Story!!! I love reading about home births!! Love the pictures!! :)

  7. Thanks for sharing your story with us Sophie. Birth is so special and amazing. I have been blessed enough to have three wonderful home births and am so thankful for the amazing experiences they have been. I totally get what you're saying when you said sorry if you've never experienced a natural birth. I would love to somehow be involved with pregnant and birthing women in the future - I just can't get enough of them! If you're interested, I've written my birth stories on my blog (check the archives in Jan 2012 for #1 and #2 and Sep 2011 for #3).

  8. Just stumbled across your blog and had to say this is a really lovely birth story and it was nice to read such a positive experience :)


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