Real Birth Journey: Piper Mae

Birth. It is the most incredible, indescribable, unpredictable and miraculous occurrence. Bringing life into the world is an experience that is personal and precious beyond belief. Each delivery is different to the next, and yet I feel that despite the varying differences it is something so special it can actually bring us altogether. I’m pulling together a range of real birth stories to share in the hope of expanding our knowledge and expectations of birth, and to dwell in the wonder that is the gift of life, in the countless forms it may arrive in!

Name & age at birth:
Holly, 27

Due date:

Cravings during pregnancy:

Worst symptom/s:
Indigestion towards the end of the pregnancy.

Biggest concern about birth was:
Not making it to the hospital on time! 

Ideal birth plan was:
Go in and push a baby out! (That’s literally what I told my midwives) 

Hours in labour:
Almost two hours.

How we went from wombmate to roommate: 
I woke at 5:30am with some tightenings but went back to sleep until 6:30am. I then got up to my toddler and decided to stay up to see if anything was happening but felt no more tightenings. I was sitting on the couch having snuggles with my daughter Meadow, and thought baby must still not be coming today (I was now eight days overdue). The rest of the kids got up at 7:30am so I went into the kitchen to start breakfast. As I started to make my cup of tea I got the first contraction, it was a strong one but not painful. I then started making their breakfast and was getting contractions about 2/3 minutes apart. I texted my sister and said “Hey ya better get organized it’s happening, don’t come around yet I’ll let you know when I think but just get sorted I say!” (She was going to baby sit our 1 & 3 year old).

I went and woke my husband and told him I was in labour – he was super excited! I said I think it’s coming fast so can you come and finish off their breakfast and I’ll get into the shower. I hopped into the shower and just felt the presence of God so strongly over me that I began to cry, not in an upset way, I just felt complete peace and joy in my heart. The contractions were coming very consistently and fast so I had to speed things up and quickly get myself washed. I texted my sister again at 8:06am and told her to make her way over. At 8:15am I rang her and, I still find this so funny, she answered the phone with “I’m cooommmiiiiinnnggggg” in a very panicked voice, I replied yeah great cause it’s coming! She got here so fast! She walks in and followed me around the house as I was making beds and still trying to get Meadow dressed. She told me off for doing my housework and to just go!

My husband got our two older ones into the car and packed my bags in. I waddled out to the car and we headed to do school drop off. When I’m in labour usually I’m very quiet so I didn’t say much to them but did give them a kiss goodbye and then my husband walked them down to their class rooms. While he did that I got my scriptures out that I had been declaring over myself and the baby the whole pregnancy and just wanted to affirm my spirit with what God had ordained before the foundation of the world. My husband got back into the car and at that point I had the song “You’re a good, good Father” playing by Chris Tomlin.

We drove to the hospital and couldn’t get a park in the main carpark so had to head around to the one that’s a bit more hidden. I was fine with this but thought I hope we get a park quickly or this baby might be born in the car! We got one straight away and Adam went to get a parking ticket. As I hopped out and leaned over the front of our car, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a mother who appeared to be flustered with a toddler in her pram. I could see something wasn’t quite right and then I hear my husband talking to her as well. I couldn’t hear exactly what they were talking about, but when Adam came walking back over to me he explained that her son needed to have a procedure and she had no change for the parking meter and her credit card wouldn’t work on the machine so he paid for her parking ticket. He was so cute he had a big grin on his face and at this point I thought I’m not sure I can even walk into the hospital now I could just feel such strong pressure.

We start making our way inside and there was some tradies working in the hospital and they are all like “hey mate.” I had to laugh, I swear my husband knows everyone and so of course he knew these guys. I kept moving and he kept following as he was chatting back to them. We get up to the ward and two midwives were waiting for me and they said to pick any suite I liked as no one else is in labour, so I walked into the nearest one. I went straight into the toilet to wee and just cool down. I’ve always enjoyed being in the bathroom while in labour. I heard them say to my husband that they weren’t going to leave us in case a baby is born. He also said to them I think she wants a water birth. They knocked to check I was okay and I made my way out and they asked would I like to have a water birth and that they would run the bath for me. I agreed to this and she headed off to run the bath. I love leaning on things during labour so I leant on the sink out in the birthing room and I looked at Adam and said “Oh babe the pressure, the pressure” and he just smiled and agreed with me.

The midwives let me know they had called my main midwife and she was on her way. I had my own assigned midwife to deliver my baby (I have done this with three of my births now). They were quickly filling out paper work, I quietly whispered something and she didn’t hear me so I asked again if I could have some gas and air, she said no worries. I then asked if I could get into the bath, she wasn’t sure if it was ready so she went and checked and said that’s fine we will walk you down to it. I walked down to the bath, had two very strong contractions and then Adam helped me get undressed.

I climbed into the bath and that’s when I felt baby fully engage. I started groaning and then in walks my midwife, she was smiling and said to my husband “are you ready to have a baby?” At this point I could feel baby’s head was almost out and with one more push she was out. She floated up facing them and my midwife just reached down and scooped her up and placed her straight onto my chest. I sat back and just gazed at her. My husband was so shocked he said “do we have a baby?” and my midwife replied “Yes, you have a baby.”

We then looked down to see it was another precious girl, another perfect gift from heaven. As we looked at her and was taking it all in my miwife was laughing and being quite loud and my baby turned her head from being on me to fully look straight at my midwife. It was incredible, she had just been born and had such strong strength to turn fully to the other side and look straight at her. The midwives were so impressed that she then offered to take a photo for us. I stayed in the bath just soaking her all in while waiting for the cord to stop pulsating and once that finished my husband cut the cord.

My midwife asked if I would like to have the needle to help my placenta to be delivered, I declined. She then said given that it was my 5th baby it may take a while to be delivered. I thought, no it won’t I had already prayed it would come out quick and easy. I hopped out of the bath while Adam had skin to skin with our baby. I sat on the toilet where they placed the dish to catch the placenta and with one push it was out. I told her it was out, she looked at me puzzled and then said “the placenta?” I replied yes, she then looked at Adam and said “could we expect anything less from your wife? She just sits down and then it just comes out!” At this moment I was like yeah I did (but also praise be to God). They helped me up and I walked out of the bathroom into the room adjoined to it where I got to lay into a lovely double bed. Adam passed me the baby back and we got to have a good couple hours of skin to skin and of course her first breastfeed. I just soaked all of it in as Adam and I tried to decide what to call her – we still hadn’t agreed on a girls name, we only had a boys name picked out.

My mum came up once again as a proud as mama! It’s always funny when my mum comes up as she has had eleven children herself so she is very well known up there! She got to have a cuddle while Adam went to get food and I had a shower. That first shower is just so nice and I just felt so happy that I didn’t even realise I was singing until I came out and mum explained the doctor had been in to do the check and the midwife commented on my singing in the shower. Let’s be honest though, who doesn’t love to sing in the shower? Especially when you have just had the most amazing birth.

She passed her hearing test with flying colours, her doctors check, and also a paediatrician’s visit to confirm our decision not to vaccinate. With all that done and paper work finished I scooped her up and carried her out of the hospital as Adam carried the bags. It was funny we got into the lift and a lady said “oh I thought there might have been a new baby seeing dad carry the bags” and when she heard I had had her not even 4 hours yet, she let out the biggest swear word – we just had to laugh. Daddy put her in her capsule once back down at the car and we headed for home. It wasn’t even time to collect the other two from school so we decided to head home and my mum could collect them for us.

I just want to encourage you that having a baby doesn’t have to be a scary thing, we as women were made for this – our bodies were perfectly designed to have babies. I also want to say a huge hallelujah to my God for answering absolutely everything I prayed for. Prayer is real and He loves to answer our requests. 

Most vivid memory during labour:
I have so many but it would have to be Adams response to her already being born and the beautiful smile on my midwives face as she walked in and 3 minutes later she scooped up our baby.

Most amusing/interesting moment during labour/birth:
Adam paying for that ladies ticket and chatting to the tradies.

During labour/birth, I definitely did not expect:
To be dropping my kids off to school like it was just another day.

A myth/misconception I believed prior that I now don’t is:
I don’t have any, but I prayed for a quick birth and when I came home that afternoon I said to my sister it was so quick I didn’t expect it to be so quick and she just turned and said “you prayed for a quick birth, how did you not expect it?” 

Baby’s name, birth weight and date:
Piper Mae, 7lb 9oz 11-02-2020

Baby’s name was almost:
Pia Rose or Lexi Mae.

Time spent in hospital post birth:
3.5 hours.

Best tip/trick you received for those early days:
All my beautiful family and friends dropped off meals. 

Top 3 lifesaving items for a newborn:
Bibs, swaddles and a good size hand towel folded in half to lay baby on as you feed in bed so you don’t have to wash your sheets constantly. 

If you could go back and speak with your pregnant self, what would you say?
Holly stop thinking baby is coming early, you are going over due for the 5th time.

If you could speak with yourself during labour, what would you say?
You were made for this, God placed this baby in your womb and He will bring it out exactly the way it is supposed to happen.

If you could speak with yourself on day 3 of having a newborn, what would you say?
Sit and feed more, stop saying how much energy you have and stop cleaning everything.

Any words for first time mums-to-be nervous about their own upcoming birth?
You got this, if you can fall pregnant then you sure can deliver a baby. 

Any further notes you’d like to include:
I also want to add how proud I am of Soph for her amazing work in putting this blog together to encourage women and to start more conversations around birth. Thanks for reading & God Bless!

If you have a birth story you’d like to share, then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation and continue celebrating this incredible life changing event!

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